Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's newest ad is a chutzpahdik piece of work. The spot is narrated by McConnell's wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who stiffly sneers: "Have you ever noticed how some liberals feel entitled to speak on behalf of all women—as if every woman agrees with Barack Obama?" A narrator then gets to the heart of the matter and makes some astonishing claims:
"Mitch McConnell co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act. He's always supported its purpose. Mitch voted for even stronger protections than Obama's agenda will allow."This is all so tendentious it's amazing. McConnell did co-sponsor VAWA when it was first introduced in 1991, but as Sahil Kapur at TPM explains, that bill never came up for a vote. He did not sponsor the legislation in 1993, when it finally did advance to the floor—and then he voted against it!
More recently, when it came time to re-authorize the act last year, McConnell voted against doing so, even though it passed by a lopsided 78-22 margin. That means McConnell wanted to make sure he was on record as opposing the bill, probably because he feared a GOP primary challenge.
But now that it suits him to pretend like he's a champion of women, that's exactly what he's doing. Let's hope Alison Lundergan Grimes can make sure Mitch doesn't get away with it.