To add to the canon of not-only-Republicans-make-stupid-racist-comments, Former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao found herself at the receiving end of a vicious attack by Progress Kentucky, a liberal super PAC in Kentucky. Her sin? Being married to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Oh, and being Asian.
Here’s one tweet posted (and defended vigorously) by Progress Kentucky:
Despite whatever reservations one may have about Chao or McConnell’s conservative politics, this sort of attack is heinous and pathetic. Never mind that Chao was born in Taiwan, not China, never mind that she has been a U.S. citizen since she was a child, (despite Progress Kentucky’s suggestions that she “bought” her citizenship) and never mind that the allegations of impropriety in global outsourcing has no real founding. Oh, and never mind that “this woman” is a graduate of Harvard Business School, the first Asian-American to lead the Peace Corps, later the first Asian-American woman to serve in in the White House cabinet, and had plenty of influence of her own. No, according to Progress Kentucky, what is important here, is that she is a #wife of a powerful man, and that her father’s “Chinese money” has been buying elections. The PAC protests that publicizing Chao’s race is important: “Not many know McConnell’s wife is Chinese.”
Yeah, because it was probably real hard for her to hide her Asian-ness while serving as labor secretary. This is race-baiting to the nth degree, not to mention pandering to the notion of the nagging wife with an insidious ulterior motive and mysterious “oriental” influence. And, by the way, SHE IS AN AMERICAN, YOU ASSHOLES.
It appears that cooler, less asinine heads will prevail. The Kentucky Democratic Party, while continuing its stance against McConnell, roundly denounced Progress Kentucky:
“There is no question that Sen. McConnell needs to go, and that Kentuckians deserve someone in the Senate who is working to bring all Kentuckians a brighter future,” says KDP Chairman Dan Logsdon. “However, these kinds of comments are deplorable and have absolutely no place in Kentucky, and frankly are just the kind of divisive politics that Sen. McConnell himself has used for too long.”
According to Politico a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee called the tweets “inappropriate.”
Earlier Tuesday, Progress Kentucky was going to apologize to Chao, but it appears that it has instead decided to dig in its heels, holding itself as the only organization “unafraid” of speaking the truth about China. Or something. Update: The PAC has now issued an apology.
Luckily, our favorite Kentuckian, Ashley Judd, was on Twitter to say exactly what needed to be said (other than Progress Kentucky is a racist asshat).