And Now Mitch McConnell is Compared to Al Qaeda

Philip Bump

There's something about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that inspires hyperbole. Today, his policies are being compared with Al Qaeda, officially completing the trifecta of overwrought analogies.

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McConnell has repeatedly spoken out against increased background checks for gun purchases, including a vote yesterday to filibuster the proposed package in the Senate. Which inspired a political action committee called Americans United for Change to note another group that would like to mantain easy access to weapons.

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"Bad Company," the ad is called, presumably not in dedication to the 1970's sex-rock band. "Call Mitch McConnell," it offers, "Ask him why he's in such bad company." That would be some call. "Hello, Senator, why do you pal around with terrorists?"

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As FactCheck notes, Americans United for Change is a non-profit PAC founded in 2005 to oppose President Bush. Its leadership is comprised of the former executive director of the Democratic National Committee and a former aide to Nancy Pelosi. McConnell's campaign manager was quoted by CNN: "It’s outrageous the left would make the comparison, but not surprising considering their track record of bullying anyone who disagrees with their point of view."

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Earlier this week, that campaign manager, Jesse Benton, suggested that McConnell's opponents were using "Gestapo tactics" in leaking a recording of a campaign strategy meeting. For those keeping score at home, then, AUC's contribution to the political dialogue mean that we've now looped Al Qaeda, Nazis, and Kim Jong Un into the conversation surrounding McConnell since Wednesday.

It's not clear how much damage this ad will do — or even how widely it will be seen. But the way the week is going for McConnell opponents, it will probably be revealed later today that the spot was actually funded by Al Qaeda itself, and the senator will gain another 40 points in the polls.