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Born in the U.S.A: Flipping Murray State the Bird

Devin Griggs, Opinion Editor April 18, 2013
Columns, Opinion, Opinions Columns 30 Comments

When I found out that Mitch McConnell would be giving Murray State’s commencement address, I nearly crashed. And I mean that literally, because I was driving when I got a text message informing me that the Senate Minority Leader would be on campus in the flesh May 11.

What a stark change from McConnell’s normal behavior, which includes spending most of the year out of the Commonwealth and in Washington, D.C., doing his best to stonewall the president’s agenda for the past four years (even if that means voting against bills he used to support!)

Mitch McConnell headlining Murray State’s graduation might be less egregious if he hadn’t made his entire political career flipping students the bird.

As Kentucky’s representative in the Senate, McConnell has voted against legislation that would keep student loan interest rates low, voted against expanding pell grants and voted against providing emergency funds for schools and teachers sufferring as a result of the Great Recession.

But it’s not just students that Mitch McConnell has flipped the bird to over the years he’s represented Kentucky in the Senate. McConnell is quite the lady killer, too. In just the last four years, McConnell voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act not once, but twice. He voted against fair pay legislation for women in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Students and women aren’t the only ones that Mitch McConnell has flipped the bird to, either. McConnell voted to give millionaires and billionaires tax cuts twice, while also voting against raising the minimum wage.

McConnell is a bona fide champion of the 1 percent, voting to end the Estate Tax, a tax on the fortunates of the ultrarich that prevents people like Paris Hilton from getting all of daddy’s fortune when he passes away. McConnell also nobly voted to give billions of taxpayer dollars to failing Wall Street firms when the economy imploded as a result of McConnell and George W. Bush’s economic policies.

Speaking of Dubya, Sen. McConnell was joined at his hip the entire time he was president. In addition to his wife serving as Labor Secretary for President Bush, McConnell was a cheerleader for Bush’s disastrous economic policies that crashed the economy, put us billions in the hole and made the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.

Eager to criticize the president for out-of-control spending, McConnell raised no complaint when President Bush borrowed and spent more money than all the presidents before him combined. McConnell suffers from attention deficit disorder – that is, he only pays attention to the deficit when a Democrat is in the White House.

Every single student on this campus should be up in arms about this. Mitch?McConnell has continually given students the finger. Why should he speak at our graduation?

Column by Devin Griggs, opinion editor. Devin serves as vice president of finances for the Murray State College Democrats.

Currently there are "30 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jean Seymour says:

    First of all…..what the hell are you doing driving and reading texts?
    But I also agree with you on that dumb ass and his voting….another question is what is wrong with Kentucky voting in someone like that knowing he only helps the rich….even though lots of others do the same thing in other states…SC being one of them……What is it going to take for this country to wake up and get rid of those in power for themselves only……Come on people….get a brain and a mind of your own…….

  2. Heidi Taylor says:

    Please don't fail to mention that his wife is on Fox News payroll as a commentator. It's a serious conflict of interest that never gets reported on.

  3. Rosemary Grace Sarver-Middleton says:

    Are there enough MSU students who care to protest his speaking there? As a concerned alumni I am appalled that he is speaking. If he had been the speaker at my graduation I would have refused to walk.

  4. Jim Pence says:

    Murray State University administrators have shown their true colors. They invite a person, Senator Mitch McConnell, that has shown utter disrespect for students all over America to speak to the students he has shown no respect for. In doing this the Murray State University administrators have aligned themselves with a self serving politician that proudly voted against legislation that would keep student loan interest rates low, voted against expanding pell grants and voted against providing emergency funds for schools and teachers suffering as a result of the Great Recession.

    While students all over America are struggling with college debt Senator Mitch McConnell's wealth increased from $3.1 million in 2004 to $27.2 million in 2010.

    I suggest the Murray State administrators could have found someone better to speak at their 2013 commencement. However it's nice to know where the Murray State administrators stand when it comes to their students. They stand with the one percent and the politically powerful that seems to be intent on fleecing college students and and line the pockets of college administrators. Shame on you Murray State University!

    • Jim, you are making a gallant effort, but everyone sees Mitch as Emperor Mitch. In Kentucky, the people, especially the confused Democrats, will re-elect him no matter what he does to "Not Help Kentucky". It is a shame. I eagerly await the message of hope and good jobs for the future, that the King will infer to the audience. He will also remind them of how hard he worked to educate himself and pay his own way through school. He will, as usual, in a very dishonest way, tell everyone that he has, to the contrary of what Jim and Bruce say, he has done great things for schools and students. Just wait for the good news Jim.

    • They will be real "Gotcha" moments. Let's wait and count the number of misleading promises he makes.

  5. Cam Williams says:

    I have given my last dime to msu if he gives that address…

  6. Julie Wampler Belt says:

    You will find out about the joys of the estate tax if you parents pass away and leave you the family farm and you have to sell it to pay the taxes. BTW we are no where close to the 1 percent. Keep drinking Obama's kool aid and lets redistribute all the wealth. Have any of you ever been hired to do a job by a poor man. I doubt it!

  7. You have obviously never been on the paying side of high taxes! POTUS got his way on trillions in new spending in his first term (more than $700,000,000,000 in the stimulus alone). Yet Mitch is hurting teachers? Grow up! The Pres and his entitlement's are breeding dependence and keeping minorities and the poor enslaved not free and prosperous. He puts no effort into getting people off the Gov drug.

  8. Devin, keep speaking truth to power. Kentucky needsjust the leadership you exemplify. Thise current voters have certainly brought nothing but shame on the state electing the likes of Mitch and Rand. And Julie unless that family farm appraises for in excess of 5.25 million there is no estate tax. The rich have it soooo bad. Clinton how does feeding the hungry enslave then?

  9. The women of Kentucky are well aware that McConnell voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act twice, and that he voted against the Paycheck Fairness act as well.
    We are mobilized and ready to put our boots on the ground in an all-out effort to unseat him in 2014.

  10. Terry Long says:

    For a college student, you sure don't know much about the real world.

  11. Larry Davidson says:

    Excellent and very correct…

  12. Elizabeth Thomas says:

    I am very concerned about this choice of commencement speaker and quite frankly shocked that anyone in the Administration thought it was an appropriate choice. The graduation ceremony is about the students, the excitement and achievement. It should be all about motivating and encouraging them. Period. Instead, we are faced with a virtual political rally that makes a mockery of the achievement of graduation. I know that as a faculty member, I feel compelled to boycott the event, as much as I love cheering for all my students as they cross the stage. I am saddened by this story and wonder if this isn't a time when the student body should take a stance? Is this who they want to speak at their special event? I've yet to hear of one student who is happy about this.

    • Beth, I feel ya. We were very proud and honored to attend the Air Force Academy Commencement only to find that the speaker was another politician who did everything he could to undermine the graduates. In fact, the same guy grounded the Thunderbirds this year!!!

    • David Ball says:

      Hmmm….wondering if Obama was speaking, there'd be a different reaction? Also, in an unrelated event, the Idiot Joe Biden was attending the MIT cop memorial service yesterday, and actually was cutting jokes! These people should all stay home.

    • Sandra DeClue says:

      David Ball what a jerk, it's their graduation, Mitch McConnell should stay at home.

  13. Sandra DeClue says:

    As an alumni, I am disgusted with, and embarrassed by this choice for speaker, How could you ruin these students graduation? I am ashamed of Murray State for this, I am sure Money is involved here in some form, otherwise I doubt he would be motivated, or votes or something. He never does anything based on honor. So insensitive of MSU.

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