Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), already an odd fellow amid the heady mix of conservatives and libertarians at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, knew his only reason for appearing at the event would be to pander to the few stragglers in the GOP’s anti-establishment movement gullible enough to believe whatever he had to say.
So he made a silent overture to the Constitutional crowd by tottering onstage holding a rifle. Things got awkward fast:
McConnell presented the rifle to retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has chosen not to seek re-election because of ongoing cancer-related health issues. Classy, huh?
Maybe. But Coburn and everyone else in the room knew that McConnell, one of the few CPAC invitees with conservative targets on their backs, was waving that gun around as a spirit stick to assure skeptical conservative voters he’s truly one of them.
This is the same guy who called Tea Partiers “bullies” whose upstart political clout merits a punch “in the nose” from the GOP establishment.
Thankfully, the intelligence-insulting motive for McConnell’s empty gesture wasn’t lost on the Internet. Here’s the most biting example we saw:
— Evan Goldstein (@egoldstein93) March 6, 2014