In a column for the conservative Bulwark, columnist Andrew Eggers cast a jaundiced eye at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY ) and his Transportation Secretary wife, Elaine Chao, over their old-school-style “grifting” by quietly funneling taxpayer dollars to the Senate leader’s pals in his home state.
Reacting to a report in Politico that stated that Chao had designated an underling at the Transportation Department to specifically handle transportation grant applications for the state of Kentucky, the columnist sarcastically applauded the couple for keeping the Washington D.C. “swamp” alive.
“In the Trump era, we’ve become accustomed to political grift looking a certain way: goofy, cartoonish, and almost entirely shameless. The president who swept into Washington full of promises to ‘drain the swamp’ has instead helped a whole rogue’s gallery of boosters, fans, and hangers-on into the public eye,” Eggers began as he focused on the D.C. power couple.
“On the scale of political transgressions, this is admittedly pretty tame stuff—ranking somewhat below, say, the petty grandeur of using your political position to help your wife score a Chick Fil-A franchise. After all, that federal money is going somewhere, so why not Kentucky?” he wrote before adding, “But it’s hard to deny there’s a special spice to the thought of Elaine and Mitch hashing out the details of federal spending projects at the dinner table.”
According to the conservative columnist, grifting has become more open under President Donald Trump and snidely suggested that McConnell and Chao should at least be given credit for keeping theirs on the down-low.
“The kind of grift Trumpworld traffics in is explosive and outrageous, creaking under the weight of its own shamelessness. For all those reasons, it’s also likely not to outstay its equally outrageous and shameless presidential lodestar,” he wrote, before concluding, “McConnell-style grift is a horse of a different color: quiet, unassuming, boring, built to last.”
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