The Journal, Kentucky's leading pro-Union paper, poured it on Burnett, the First District’s guy in Washington in 1861: “He may console himself with the reflection that no one can retort by calling him a dog, for he is ‘A creature / Whom ‘twere base flattery to call a dog.'” (Burnett hated the Journal. McConnell’s hometown Courier-Journal is not his favorite read.)

The Journal conceded that Burnett could “pride himself in the consciousness that although he may not wear a dog’s collar, he has brass enough in his impudent forehead to furnish all the dogs in creation.”

Kicked out of Congress as a traitor, Burnett is little noted nor long remembered.  

Besides the all-but-forgotten Burnett, McConnell puts me in mind of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the lying, reckless, demagogue who falsely accused dozens of loyal Americans of being communists or “com-symps” and helped lead a second Great Red Scare after World War II.