During the 2018 midterm elections, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made a joke that even his detractors found pretty funny. A year later, as reports that the state led by McConnell continues to be the hardest hit by drug addiction and overdose rates, continuing that joke is not all funny anymore. In fact, it’s just poor taste.
People reports that:
‘On Thursday, the official Twitter account of McConnell’s re-election campaign tweeted out a photo of their new “Cocaine Mitch” T-shirts, which feature a faceless illustration of the Kentucky politician on the front alongside the image of a fine white powdery substance. Meanwhile, the back of the shirt reads: “Team Mitch Cartel Member.”’
The “joke” began when West Virginia Senate candidate Don Blankenship began referring to the Kentucky Senator as “Cocaine Mitch” in his campaign ads, a reference to a debunked conspiracy after cocaine was found on a ship owned by McConnell’s wife’s father. When Blankenship lost his election, McConnell tweeted a photo of himself as the star of the Netflix drama “Narcos” as a joke, and it was actually a fairly amusing comeback.
However, the CDC reports that Kentucky ranks among the top four states with the highest drug overdose rates, which jumped by 11.5 percent in 2017 despite Trump’s professed dedication to addressing opioids and opioid addiction treatment. McConnell himself has also vowed to address the growing problem, but it continues to worsen. A joke about drugs and cartels isn’t funny at this point, it’s just in poor taste.
Twitter was rightfully horrified by the ill-advised joke. Read some of their comments below: