The Jury Talks Back

7/9/2019

Coincidental Timing: Mitch McConnell’s Ancestors Slave Owners; McConnell Challenger Announces

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:30 am

[guest post by Dana]

Last night, NBC News published their version of a “big” story.

Like former President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s ancestors were slave owners, and like the former president, McConnell is opposed to reparations:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said recently he opposes paying government reparations to the descendants of American slaves, has a family history deeply entwined in the issue: Two of his great-great-grandfathers were slave owners, U.S. census records show.

The two great-great-grandfathers, James McConnell and Richard Daley, owned a total of at least 14 slaves in Limestone County, Alabama — all but two of them female, according to the county “Slave Schedules” in the 1850 and 1860 censuses.

The details about McConnell’s ancestors, discovered by NBC News through a search of ancestry and census records, came in the wake of recent hearings on reparations before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Asked about the reparations issue, McConnell, R-Ky., said he was opposed to the idea, arguing it would be hard to figure out whom to compensate.

“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, when none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea,” he said June 18, a day before the House reparations hearing. “We’ve tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We’ve elected an African American president.”

Coinciding with this “big” story, is news that Kentucky DemocratAmy McGrath is challenging McConnell for his Senate seat in 2020:

Kentucky Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot who rose to national prominence last year in her failed campaign for Congress against Republican Andy Barr, is turning her sights on a new target: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In a three-minute video released Tuesday, McGrath said McConnell has “bit by bit, year by year, turned Washington into something we all despise.”

“I’m running for Senate because it shouldn’t be like this,” McGrath added.

McGrath’s candidacy marks a significant recruiting coup for Democrats. She emerged as an unlikely fundraising juggernaut in her congressional race, bringing in millions of dollars after her campaign released a biographical video that went viral, and becoming a Democratic celebrity in the process.

Three things to consider: Not since 1992 has Kentucky had a Democratic senator, President Trump won Kentucky by nearly 30 points in 2016, and Rep. Andy Barr beat McGrath in the Kentucky House race by 3 points.

Also, McGrath has a history of saying some pretty eye-popping things :

The one quote that McGrath…will likely have the hardest time explaining on the campaign stump in deep, deep red Kentucky is her comparison of the election of Donald Trump to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of an estimated 3,000 Americans.

“And then, of course, the results of the election, we have a new commander-in-chief,” the failed congressional candidate said at a Meet the Candidates Series event on Nov. 20, 2017. “And that morning I woke up like somebody had sucker punched me. I mean, I felt like, ‘what has just happened to my country?’”

She added, “The only feeling I can describe that’s any close to it was the feeling I had after 9/11. ‘What just happened, where are we going from here?’ and it was that just sinking feeling of sadness, and I didn’t know what to do.”

Here is McGrath’s video announcement:

Team McConnell wasted no time in “welcoming” McGrath to the race:

–Dana

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