It’s tough enough for the political veteran seeking re-election against up-and-coming Democrat Jason Kander, Missouri’s secretary of state who is showing surprising strength in the polls and in raising money. The string of recent controversies involving Donald Trump, who Blunt has endorsed, doesn’t help.
Like many of his Senate GOP colleagues, Blunt, who served seven terms in the House before his election to the Senate in 2010, prefers to talk about his own record and agenda, not Trump’s.
Blunt’s record and agenda? Good luck with that.
Blunt’s got a record for sure, stretching from his glory days as Tom Delay’s bagman to his more recent efforts to assist his corporate donors. Take for example, Blunt’s relationship to Montsanto, one of his biggest funders. In 2013 Blunt covertly slipped a controversial goodie for Montsanto, a rider now known as the Montsanto Protection Act, into a totally unrelated bill. And he’s still at it, having recently used his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to block a vote to repeal a second Montsanto Protection Act.
Of course, since his Democratic opponent, Jason Kander, has been gaining on him during the past year, he’s made some effort to soften his reputation. For instance, Kander served in Afghanistan while Blunt evaded service in Vietnam, his generations’ Asian war. Not a good resume bullet in patriotic Missouri. So what does Blunt do? He makes a big deal about supporting veterans,
such as joining the GOP’s exaggerated VA pile-on, huffing and puffing about the agency’s supposed shortcomings although he conveniently forgot to remind folks that he voted to withhold funds from the over-stressed VA that would have alleviated its staffing and service problems.
Or take Medicare. Blunt did a favor for the Federation of American Hospitals, a for-profit hospital lobbying group, and in return the organization ran an ad in the St. Louis Post Dispatch lauding him as a savior of seniors and Medicare – a doubtful proposition in itself, and even more bogus when viewed in conjunction with Blunt’s past record on Medicare (see also here and here) which is, to say the least, dismal.
What else is there? He supports the NRA’s worst excesses and wants to destroy corporate and financial regulations that protect Americans. Depending on your point of view that might comprise either an acceptable or a frightening agenda.
So let Blunt shine a light on his record and agenda while he attempts to diminish the Trump phenomenon. But tell me again – how does that record and agenda separate him from the dishonest, NRA-loving, anti-regulation, corporate deal-making Trump?