How Kentucky Politics Is Like Justified


If you don’t watch the fabulous FX series, Justified, the post title sounds like it was like written by a valley girl, like wow. If you don’t watchJustified, what the hell is wrong with you? It’s in its 4th season and is based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, and stars the splendid Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins and his big scary choppers. It is set in Kentucky and much of the action is centered in Harlan County. There are some ruthless characters onJustified: murder, mayhem, betrayal to equalGame of Thrones. No dragons, literal ones, that is: Mags Bennett came pretty darn close before getting offed in Season 3.

You’re probably wondering where this post is going, which a common occurrence with my posts. It’s about the implosion of the whole Ashley Judd for Senate thing.One of her closest advisers, Jonathan Miller, wrote about *why* he thinks Judd was driven out of the race:

The most egregious disinformation came from entirely anonymous sources.

Such wasthe charge
that Judd told a group of supporters at a private dinner in
Louisville, “I have been raped twice, so I think I can handle Mitch
McConnell.” The actress’ apparent flippant comparison of a political
campaign to sexual assaultspread likeEbola across theInternet, leadingsome to classify Judd as the Democratic version of Todd Akin.

The problem is, it never happened.

I wasat that dinner
and never heard her say anything remotely like that. What’s more, such a
statement would have been completely inconsistent with the way I’ve
heard Ashley discuss her horrifying experiences as the youthful victim
of sexual assault—how they defined her in adulthood; how they propelled
her to champion women’s empowerment across the globe.

The second Big Lie involved the Big Dog. The national media began topress the narrative
that former President Bill Clinton was trying to force Judd out of the
race in favor of a Grimes candidacy because Grimes’s father,
Jerry Lundergan, had been a longtime Clinton supporter and had helped
Clinton win Kentucky twice in the ’90s.

no doubt that the whole Lundergan family had developed a deep bond with
the Clintons ever since Jerry emerged as Hillary’s loudest Kentucky
supporter in her 2008 presidential bid. And just because, as a Clinton
campaign staffer in 1992 and an administration official in 1996, I don’t
remember Lundergan’s involvement, it doesn’t mean he didn’t help the
former president win Kentucky on those occasions.

But Ican personally
attest to one prominent Kentucky supporter of the Clinton/Gore
reelection campaign: Ashley Judd. Indeed, that’s where we first met.
And Judd’s close relationship with both Clintons continued through
Hillary’s 2008 bid, when the actresscampaigned with Bill in Texas. He later returned the favor by providing the cover squib for Judd’s2011 memoir, All That Is Bitter and Sweet.
So it’s not surprising that Ashley informed our Louisville dinner group
that the former president had privately urged her to run against
McConnell, offering his complete support for her prospective campaign.

He doesn’t name MSM names but I saw Howard Fineman peddling the President Elvis story onHardball, causing Tweety to salivate over the Clintonian gossip. The rape story always sounded bogus but Clinton’s interest in a more “pragmatic” candidate rang true, especially for those of us who actually remember his weasely, trimming, triangulating Presidency. It’s great to be ex-King, y’all.

I’m not exactly an expert on Kentucky politics, I know more about bourbon and basketball, but I know from ruthlessness. Chinless Mitch may be charisma challenged but he is possessed of the sort of low cunning that serves a polititician well. He and his minions are down one opponent who could raise big bucks and attract media attention up the wazoo. Whether it would be the right kind, I dunno, but the Judd non-candidacy makes Kentucky less entertaining in 2014, which is a pity sinceSenator Aqua Buddha is proving to be a talented political tap dancerunlike his purer than thou pappy. Kentucky coulda been the next “it state” with a gorgeous movie star running against an unpopular incumbent who is uglier than boiled sin, both inside and out.

Anyway, I think Boyd Crowder would approve of the backstabbing ways of Kentucky politics. He’s dabbled in Harlan politics and I think he’d be an excellent political consultant, he’s amoral, ruthless and expects to be paid big bucks. Raylan Givens would rather wisecrack while shooting a shit bird…

One more thingJustified and Ashley Judd have in common: someone named Wynona. That brings an end to this edition of odd comparison theatre…