There are many ways to describe Mitch McConnell, the legendarily ineffective Senate Majority Leader: "milquetoast," "freaky-deaky," "goofy AF"-but one word you're unlikely to hear outside the competitive mayonnaise-eating circuit is "trendsetter." We've seen a lot of crazy stuff this year, but the idea of Kentucky's senior-citizen senior senator actually making a legitimately positive contribution to our nation's political life is, like his complexion, completely beyond the pale.
In what can only be described as a pleasant surprise, McConnell has announced plans to push for the legalization of industrial hemp when he returns to work this month. He said so in a press conference on March 26, as he stood next to his state's agriculture commissioner. Forbes Magazine notes that Kentucky's fledgling hemp industry has already been protected from federal intervention due to his past efforts, and the proposed legislation would "finally legalize hemp as an agricultural commodity and remove it from the list of controlled substances," he said.
Hemp, as you know, is a cash crop of long standing, dating back to almost the dawn of time, with special strategic and sentimental value in American history. Two of our first three presidents, Washington and Jefferson, were hemp farmers, so that's checkmate right there. But there's more. The First Battle of Lexington, in the Civil War, was fought in part over hemp territory; they even called it "Battle of the Hemp Bales." In fact, McConnell's state was the only one to survive the war with its hemp trade intact, hence its particular interest today.
Hemp fibers have also been key to America's war efforts, from the rigging on the USS Constitution to the parachute cords pulled on D-Day.
Some people have accused McConnell of being soft on the rising crypto-fascist trend typified by the alt-right, while others say he's just soft in general. Indeed, the whispered tales of fulsome, foamy fupa glory cannot even be repeated here; we'll leave that for Reddit and men's room walls around Dupont Circle. So what if the weirdo's wet-nursed some of the most ridiculous legislation of the modern era, forcing Republicans to pass budgets that even the one who can read didn't?
Much like China is doing with our treasury, let's give credit where credit is due, with interest: The man is absolutely right, for the first and perhaps only time in his career, such as it's been. But, to be fair, he has been consistent on this issue, having sponsored a similar bill in 2014 that died with less fanfare than a pro-democracy activist in Russia. Surely this creates a rare opportunity for bipartisan consensus, with McConnell and co-sponsor Rand Paul whipping GOP votes in tandem with Democrats who are getting whipped plenty as it is. He might have enough clout to get the president's illegible yet legally binding signature. He'll address the biggest obstacle himself, when he pushes the plan to (current) Attorney General Jeff Sessions, presumably while talking very slowly.