There are a lot of things to hate Don Blankenship for. Putting production over safety leading to the deaths of 29 miners in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster tops the list.
But today I hate Don Blankenship for putting me in the rare position of having to defend Mitch McConnel and Elaine Chao.
Blankenship, you may have read, is running for the Republican nomination for Senator from West Virginia and part of his “platform” is to get rid of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who Bankenship calls “Cocaine Mitch” because — now pay attention here — the father of McConnells’ wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, (who Blankenship refers to as a “Chinaperson” because he’s originally from Taiwan) owns a shipping company and cocaine was once found on one of his ships.
Coming under criticism for his “Chinaperson” comment, Blankenship kept digging. In a commercial, he defended himself by saying that he wasn’t racist because “races are Negro, white Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian. There’s no mention of race. I’ve never used a race word.”
Blankenship, who spent a year in jail for charges related to the Big Branch catastrophe, continues to accuse Mother Nature and MSHA of causing the explosion and claims he was a political prisoner — leading comic Steven Colbert to label him “the Nelson Mandela of tampering with mine safety equipment.” And many blame him for being largely responsible for killing the United Mine Workers union in southern West Virginia over a period of years — another indirect cause of the Upper Big Branch disaster.
Blankenship joins other 2018 Republican Senate Candidates in competing for who can be the Trumpiest supporter of the Donald. But in Blankenship’s case, Making America Great Again apparently hearkens back to the days when Negros knew their place, Chinapersons stayed in Chinatown, and big government let mine owners kill miners with impunity.
OK, I gotta go….