Thanks to progressives doing nothing, Tea Party Republican Matt Bevin will be able to take away everything
Being the political news junkie that I am, it’s safe to say that there are times when a story will enlighten me, annoy me, upset me, and even anger me. Then there are those exceptional articles that, speaking as a progressive, fill me with absolute fury and rage.
This past Tuesday, the people of the State of Kentucky elected only its second Republican Governor in forty years, Tea Party businessman Matt Bevin. When it comes to state politics, Kentucky is usually blue. In fact Kentucky’s house of representatives is the only state legislative chamber in the entire south still held by Democrats.
Losing an election is not the end of the world, nor is it enough to fill me with rage, until you realize just how it happened. Matt Bevin, the Republican candidate who barely managed to win his primary, won because 70% of the electorate stayed home.
Bevin was behind in the polls until the end, but liberals and progressives forgot to show up on Election Day. Bevin won with 52% of the vote, but because only 30% of eligible voters cast a ballot, Bevin gets to move into the Governor’s Mansion with the support of less than 16% of registered voters. Absolutely pathetic. Progressives in Kentucky, hell Democrats in general, failed beyond imagination.
Bevin used Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples this past summer, as a wedge issue between himself and his opponent, Democrat Jack Conway. As a result, Bevin’s small hardcore Christian base showed up to vote while everyone else stayed home.
The Democrats might still control the Kentucky State Congress, but make no mistake, the newly elected Tea Party Governor is not powerless. In truth, progressives and Kentuckians in general are going to pay a heavy price for staying home on Tuesday.
If elected Bevin stated that he would “bring relief from Obamacare to the taxpayers of Kentucky.” Bevin pledged to use his executive authority to destroy Kentucky’s very popular state health insurance exchange, known as Kynect (which is essentially Obamacare).
In addition, Bevin has pledged to cancel Kentucky’s participation in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, which will mean that at least 300,000 Kentucky residents will lose their health insurance.
I imagine these will be Bevin’s main priority, but he is a Tea Party extremist, which means it is sure to get worse. He believes as governor he can simply disregard the Environmental Protection Agency, he wants to creating a voucher system to use public money to pay for private schools, He strongly opposes labor protections and wants to enact a so-called “right to work” law.
Let’s not forget Kim Davis, in order to help her out, Bevin wants to get government “out of the marriage business altogether.” Keep in mind this is a man who according to right wing watch once said same-sex marriage will lead to parent-child marriage. Yes, my eyes are rolling too.
I sincerely hope a lesson was learned here, by progressives and moderates alike from around the country. When turnout is low, we lose, the crazies win. Now and for the foreseeable future, we will have a constant reminder of that fact. Shame on Kentucky, shame on its voters or lack thereof. In the future, when someone wins with 16% of registered voters, I hope they call it a Kentucky Victory.
I’d say you all got what you deserve, but no one deserves Matt Bevin.