Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the rest of his political party continue to dig themselves into a rhetorical hole with their de facto embrace of Russian attacks on U.S. elections. After he faced steep criticism for blocking election security bills on the floor of the U.S. Senate in recent days and complained on Twitter about it, prominent progressive New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bluntly pointed out to McConnell that he’s not being subjected to some “modern-day McCarthyism” like he whined and proclaimed. No — he’s just a “bad leader.”
She shared, addressing the Senate leader directly:
‘McCarthyism is the practice of baselessly accusing political opponents of being communists as unjust grounds for targeting & harassment. You are blocking action to protect US elections despite official DoJ pleas. That doesn’t make you a communist. It just makes you a bad leader.’
McCarthyism is the practice of baselessly accusing political opponents of being communists as unjust grounds for targeting & harassment.
You are blocking action to protect US elections despite official DoJ pleas. That doesn’t make you a communist. It just makes you a bad leader. https://t.co/qLqR2vtOfI
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 30, 2019
It’s true — the Department of Justice has warned about the dangers of continued Russian election interference. Just the other day, former FBI director and former special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress that Russia was carrying on with their meddling efforts “as we sit here.” In recent testimony, current FBI Director (and Trump appointee!) Christopher Wray made a very similar warning.
President Donald Trump and Republicans, meanwhile, seem unable to convince themselves that the meddling is a threat in the first place, let alone come up with some kind of systematic action plan to address it. Trump just keeps egomaniacally dismissing the whole thing as a “hoax” and the Russia investigation as just a plot against him and nothing more.
The actions that McConnell helped block would respond to meddling through means like increasing funding to state election security, requiring that candidates for public office report any attempts at foreign help to federal authorities, and implementing paper ballots more widely, which in leaving a paper trail help protect the vote. McConnell is so unwilling to accept criticism for blocking these measures that he’s resorted to claiming his opponents are trying to shut down his free speech or whatever — but Ocasio-Cortez is among the many Americans who aren’t having it. The issue is not about that — it’s about keeping American elections safe, which should not be a partisan issue!
Check out Twitter’s response.
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