Mitch McConnell Earns the Wrath of Anti-Obamacare Jihadists

| Thu Sep. 12, 2013 12:47 PM EDT

Today brings the weirdest fact check ever. It turns out that Mitch McConnell's primary opponent, Matt Bevin, has leveled the worst accusation that it's possible to accuse a fellow Republican of. So what is it? Pedophilia? Raising taxes? Putting a solar panel on his house?

Nope. It's insufficient dedication to destroying Obamacare. And McConnell is fighting back by enlisting the Washington Post's fact checker to check some facts. But here's what prompted Glenn Kessler to give Bevin a thermonuclear four Pinocchios:

McConnell, as Obama would attest, has been a consistent thorn in the side of the administration on the health-care law. For instance, McConnell helped ensure that not a single Republican—including even moderates who were sympathetic to Obama’s aims–voted for the final version of the law....McConnell’s office provided The Fact Checker with links to the more than 100 speeches, made between June 2009 and March 2010, and they were often fairly tough. Indeed, as Talking Points Memo has noted, the irony is rich that anti-Obamacare machine McConnell helped foster has now turned against him.

This is....weird. As even Kessler acknowledges, Bevin's attack is solely about defunding Obamacare, not about opposing it back in 2010. I mean, just watch the attack ad. It's crystal clear. And yet, the best McConnell can do is point to 100 speeches given before Obamacare passed? He's all but conceding that Bevin is right.

I certainly agree about the richness of the irony that McConnell's anti-Obamacare machine has turned against him. And I agree that on a tactical basis, McConnell is correct that the anti-Obamacare jihad is virtually certain to fail and virtually certain to hurt Republicans in the end. His political sense on this is better than Bevin's.

Nonetheless, on a purely factual basis, it sure looks to me like Bevin is right. In the fight against defunding Obamacare, McConnell is pretty plainly not on the side of the tea partiers who want to see their representatives battle it out to the bitter end. So why all the Pinocchios?

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