Some young Kentuckians sent this to me and asked me to post it.

An Open Letter to the Young Citizens of the United States

Fellow Young Americans,

Here in Kentucky we pride ourselves in civility, hospitality, gentility and all the components of a polite society. As such, we are customarily compelled to extend to you our sincerest apologies for the actions of Kentucky Senators Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell.

To you we say…Our Bad!

Senators Bunning and McConnell were elected to represent the values we hold dear here in the Bluegrass – honesty, fairness, opportunity and hard work. Nevertheless, they have abandoned our cause for the values of their financial and ideological backers – values that are destroying America – greed, privilege and radicalism.

We are sure many of you can relate. This seems to be a growing trend among the elected leaders of the GOP. You, too, are probably fed up with the Republican members of Congress who oppose any move towards rebuilding America, while making zero proposals of their own.

Last week was unfortunate for our Commonwealth. Senator Bunning again embarrassed us deeply with his one-man crusade to stop the extension of unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans. Yet another disgraceful act among a distinguished career of disgraceful acts. His show of misguided demagoguery points to two concerns: the hypocrisy of his radical political philosophy (he has had no problem extending corporate tax breaks or paying for two wars on the national credit card) and a bad case of the crankies due to his general decrepitude.

As Senator Bunning grandstanded in the Senate Chamber, 200,000 of his constituents stood on the brink of further financial uncertainty. Mothers worried about how they would continue to provide food for their children. Families feared foreclosure. Individuals prepared to choose between sustenance and medication. Senator Bunning kicked those who were already down. Talk about constituent services!

In all honesty, Senator Bunning has never cared about the Kentuckians he represents. We should have been apologizing for this years ago. But is Senator Bunning really to blame? When children misbehave, whom do we hold responsible? The parents! Often this approach must be applied to our Senators as well.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has stood idly by while the members of his caucus work day in and day out against the interests of working families. Where was the Minority Leader during Senator Bunning’s procedural temper tantrum? Was he assuring his fellow Kentuckians that the Republican caucus would pressure Bunning to retreat? No. Did he display any sense of outrage or any concern for those who would suffer? No.

This is what happens when you raise a group of Senators to oppose EVERYTHING! Saying no becomes second nature. Members of the Republican Caucus are incapable of developing their own solutions to our national problem. God-forbid they ever utter the word “yes!”

Senator McConnell is no leader; he is a defender of the status quo. During the catastrophic George W. Bush Administration, Republicans catered to every whim of the nation’s elite. As a result, the tax burden was shifted to the middle class, jobs were exported overseas, and financial institutions were deregulated and allowed to prey upon venerable citizens. Mission Accomplished! No more work for them to do but defend their disastrous policies – regular people be damned! His greatest legislative accomplishment is his tenacious opposition of every reform designed to raise the quality of life in Kentucky, let alone the nation.

But why do they remain? Young Americans from across the nation are asking this question about their representatives. The answer is simple. We allow the obstructionists and radicals to define the terms and divide the ground each step of the way.

Senators McConnell and Bunning have no vision for their party, their home state or their nation. They have shown zero leadership. They do not represent the hardworking, honest people of Kentucky. Rather, they broker power and wealth for the elites on the backs (and dreams) of those too blinded by fear to see the truth.

Please accept our apology, on behalf of the good people of this Commonwealth. We vow to you today that we are learning our lesson on civic responsibility – votes have consequences! We understand that the 200,000 Kentuckians in danger of loosing unemployment benefits were lucky this time. We cannot afford for there to be a next time! We need your help!

Apologies aside, there is good news! Fortunately, Senator Bunning is retiring at the close of this Congress! (Feel free to take a moment to sigh with relief before continuing.) This fall we have a chance to reclaim Bunning’s seat! Now, consider the possibilities! For the future of this state and the nation, we must stop the Republican candidates vying to be nominated to defend his seat. Both of these men not only refused to confront Bunning during this most recent fiasco, but actually cheered him on like a delusional tea-bagging hero. It was shameful.

The Democratic candidates have a vision for Kentucky! They see a Kentucky where hard work is rewarded and every member of our community is valued. Kentucky Democrats recognize that we are each a few unlucky circumstances away from unemployment, disability or any other needed assistance. Kentucky Democrats know that the safety net, forged by progressives over the last half-century, protects us all! We, and our candidates, are committed to honest discussion about the issues facing each Kentuckian and every American. McConnell’s brand of fear mongering must end in 2010. Sending a Kentucky Democrat to the U.S. Senate would provide a clear message to Senator Do-Nothing and his lolly-gang of pessimists.

We are going to need your help! Please, come to Kentucky. Help us do what the Republicans will not – meet with our wonderful people. We will talk about the problems Kentuckians face and work on fair and equitable solutions. We must dispel misconceptions about health care reform and the economic stimulus. The people of Kentucky will listen. They will talk. And, when presented with honest discussion, they will choose optimism over fear, community over division and Democrats over Republicans!

Yours,
The Young People of Kentucky