It's kind of trivial, perhaps, but one of my favorite odd facts about the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom -- the epic event that produced Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech -- is that not one but two college kids in the bobbing sea of faces crammed around the Reflecting Pool listening to King's immortal words would grow up to become U.S. senators many years later.
One future senator would -- over the course of his 50-year-long, 1000-1-shot rise to political prominence -- remain remarkable true to the expansive vision of that 1963 march, with an almost annoyingly loud but consistent, laser-like focus on expanding economic opportunity and fighting for the working classes.
The other young man in the shadows of MLK grew up to become Mitch McConnell.
Unlike the young Bernie Sanders, McConnell must have been taking a dip in the Reflecting Pool or even dozing off when King said that "with this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood." To the contrary, the Kentucky Republican has risen to the pinnacle of U.S. power, as Senate majority leader, by turning up those "jangling discords" to a nearly deafening level -- with no moral or ideological compass other than following the Big Money that promises political power in our warped 21st century, with a win-at-all costs mentality that crushes norms of basic democracy that had survived for a couple of centuries. It is Mitch McConnell, more than anyone else in Washington, who has turned the notion of comity into comedy.
The latest episode in McConnell's sad odyssey came this week, when senators from both parties started circulating a bill that would curb the power of the executive branch -- now in the person of one Donald John Trump -- to fire a Justice Department special counsel such as Robert Mueller, who is probing the events surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the possible role of all the president's men and women, including perhaps Trump himself.