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

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.