Mitch McConnell’s Friends Are Being Oppressed By Liberal Thugs

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Ed Kilgore is impressed with the flexibility of Mitch McConnell’s mind:

You have to hand it to Mitch McConnell. While other scandal-mad Republicans are off on a wild goose chase that could well end in 1998, McConnell’s focused on exploiting scandals to promote his very favorite cause, and his special gift to the corruption of American politics: hiding the identity of big campaign donors. His op-ed in today’s Washington Post aims at convincing us that conservative donors obviously need anonymity because they will otherwise be persecuted by Obama-inspired bureaucrats and union thugs.

In fairness, this has actually been the conservative party line ever since they did an abrupt U-turn after Citizens United and decided that disclosure of donors’ identities wasn’t something they approved of after all. From the very beginning, their claim has been that America’s right-wing millionaires need to keep their political affiliations private because otherwise liberals will hound them into….something. Even now, McConnell can’t really provide any specifics of just what would happen if donors had to make their donations public, and is instead reduced to muttering vaguely about Chicago thuggery, a “culture of intimidation,” and favoritism in awarding government contracts:

These tactics are straight out of the left-wing playbook: Expose your opponents to public view, release the liberal thugs and hope the public pressure or unwanted attention scares them from supporting causes you oppose. This is what the administration has done through federal agencies such as the FCC and the FEC, and it’s what proponents of the Disclose Act plan to do with donor and member lists.

I’ll give him this much: supporting political causes does indeed expose you to pressure from people who don’t like your causes. This goes both ways, of course, and conservatives are just as fond of boycotts and picketing and demagoguery as lefties are. The question is why McConnell thinks not just that speech should be free of government interference, but should also be free of any consequences whatsoever. The marketplace of ideas is weak tea indeed when no one has any idea of just who’s saying what.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend