Republican businessman Matt Bevin, a Tea Party favorite whom the New York Times has politely referred to as a “political novice,” has won Kentucky’s gubernatorial election. This is terrible news!
Kentucky, my home state, is the last southern state in which Democrats hold a legislative chamber (the House). Kentucky has had a Democratic governor for the past several decades, including the fairly popular Steve Beshear, now finishing up his second term. In other words, although Kentucky is a red state, it isn’t as red as you might think. Or, wasn’t.
Bevin’s win marked a huge turnaround for Kentucky Republicans, who picked up four of six elected statewide positions and significantly weakened Democrats’ hold on the Kentucky House. But beyond this political quagmire lies the actual effect this dumbass will have on the people who elected him, which, for some, could be fairly catastrophic.
Matt Bevin has implied that he would like to take 10% of Kentucky’s population off Medicaid.
Kentucky has had unusual success with Obamacare for a southern state. Gov. Steve Beshear has set up a popular state exchange, Kynect, and opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act—as a result, Kentucky’s uninsured rate has fallen from 20.4% to just 9%, the second largest drop of any state.
But as John Oliver helpfully explained on this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, Matt Bevin has said (and then pretended he didn’t say) that he would like to undo the Medicaid expansion because of, you know, reasons, a move which would take an estimated 420,000 Kentuckians (10% of the population) off health insurance. He later clarified, according to the Times, that he “would stop enrolling new people but would not take coverage from those who had it.” Makes sense, definitely!
Matt Bevin has never held political office.
And in the Year of Our Lord 2015, there is nothing that gets the dick blood of a conservative voter flowing more than a man who has no idea what he’s doing. Matt Bevin is a financial consultant and the president of a bell manufacturing company, whose uninsured factory was destroyed in a 2012 fire (John Oliver noted the irony that “because the cost of the insurance was too high, he needed to turn to the government for help. And quite frankly, Matt Bevin, that should ring a fucking bell.”)
His first political campaign was a full 12 months ago, when he lost in the Republican primary to Senate Majority Leader and villainous tortoise Mitch McConnell. Bevin ran on the grounds that Mitch McConnell was not conservative enough.
Matt Bevin is deeply conservative.
Kentucky’s new governor is anti-union, has said that early childhood education programs “serve no purpose,” doesn’t seem to enjoy paying his taxes, has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood in Kentucky, visited our good friend Kim Davis in jail, would like to “eliminate the magnets that attract illegal immigrants,” whatever that means, really fuckin’ loves guns, treats experienced journalists like political enemies, and recently gave a speech at a cockfighting rally.
Elisabeth Pearson, the Executive Director of the Democratic Governors Association, associated Bevin’s win with the anti-establishment fervor that has lifted Donald Trump and Ben Carson to the top of Republican polls. Via Politico:
“Attorney General Jack Conway ran a strong campaign focused on the issues that matter to Kentuckians: good schools, good-paying jobs and economic opportunity. Unfortunately, he ran into the unexpected headwinds of Trump-mania, losing to an outsider candidate in the Year of the Outsider. While Jack Conway came up short tonight, his presence in this race strengthened the issues debate in Kentucky.”
I’m so sorry, y’all.
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Image via Associated Press.