There were no heroes to root for in the 2018 feud between West Virginian GOP Senate candidate/coal magnate Don Blankenship and ice-blooded Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.
The former is a felon who served time for the deaths of 29 coal miners at his company’s site in 2010. The latter is among the most cynical, calculating, and consequential politicians in U.S. history. So when Blankenship aired a campaign ad that mentioned “Cocaine Mitch,” a cryptic reference to a debunked allegation against McConnell’s wife’s family, it was hard to find any reason to care one way or the other. It was only when McConnell embraced his new moniker after Blankenship’s eventual election defeat, that a reason emerged. Not only does McConnell’s party prefer harsher penalties for drug offenders, but the senator’s home state of Kentucky has serious and endemic drug problems. In other words, he’s not exactly the ideal vessel for ironically celebrating the Narcos aesthetic.
If it seemed odd that McConnell would tweet a Cocaine Mitch meme last year, now he is apparently fundraising off the nickname by selling T-shirts.
A year ago, a legend was born. Own your piece of history. #CocaineMitch
— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) May 8, 2019
Even after a ThinkProgress story about the shirts prompted a wave of backlash, Team Mitch kept going strong. Before he appeared on malevolent human potato Sean Hannity’s demagoguery hour last night, McConnell’s team tweeted out a request for the senator’s fans(?) to swarm Twitter with the #CocaineMitch hashtag.
Tweet using the hashtag #CocaineMitch during Mitch's appearance with @seanhannity tonight at 9pm EST and you'll be automatically entered to win a FREE signed t-shirt! #Hannity pic.twitter.com/KdkKjY97BF
— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) May 10, 2019
It’s exactly the kind of trolling nihilism you can expect from the man who obstinately opposed the Obama administration at every turn and now frequently calls Democrats who don’t accede to Trump’s agenda “obstructionists.” Cocaine is hilarious, trolling is politics, nothing matters, who cares?