Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is continuing to reap the publicly humiliating blowback from his efforts to block election security legislation from proceeding in the Senate recently. Now, the Kentucky Democratic Party (KDP) has launched a webstore featuring various items dragging “Moscow Mitch,” as the GOP leader has been nicknamed in the wake of him essentially turning a blind eye (at best) to efforts to stop Russian interference in U.S. elections. The nickname apparently first emerged from West Kentucky retired teacher Marshall Ward and was eventually shared by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on national television — and it’s stuck.
Democrats have made shirts, buttons, stickers, and Russian-looking hats available. Most of the items sport the traditional yellow-on-red pattern used by Communist propagandists and read:
‘Just Say Nyet! To Moscow Mitch’
KDP communications director Nicole Erwin added:
‘There’s no comparison between the Father of Our Country and Moscow Mitch. ‘It certainly provides a clear contrast: Mitch McConnell doesn’t care about the coal miners or any of the working families here in Kentucky.’
Even the “just say no” part of the slogan is a dig, since it’s a callback to the anti-drug campaign of the same name that emerged in the United States around the time of the Cold War, when Russia (as the Soviet Union) maintained higher power. McConnell’s actions have placed him squarely in that context, allowing for Russian expansion to proceed unchecked at the possible expense of fundamental American security. Just recently, a Senate Intelligence Committee report said that Russian agents had targeted election systems in all 50 states! Figures from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to current FBI Director Christopher Wray have insisted that Russian election interference is a continued, active threat. Yet, Moscow Mitch decides to help block security bills anyway, because he finds them politically unacceptable. This is about more than politics!
McConnell has responded to the criticism by claiming he’s being subjected to “modern day McCarthyism,” referencing the mad push from U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy to root out nonexistent Communist infiltrators some decades ago. The comparison is false — this isn’t about stopping the Senate leader’s “free speech” or whatever else! This is about him failing in a fundamental requirement of his office, that to protect his constituents.
Prominent progressive New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a fitting response to those claims from the Senate leader when she shared:
‘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
The newest surge of opposition to the widely disliked McConnell comes as at least some Democrats hope to unseat him in 2020. He’s up for re-election, and veteran Amy McGrath has announced a candidacy that she’s casting as the “No B.S.” option. Whether that resonates with Kentucky-ians remains to be seen — as does whether whoever the Democrats eventually nominate for the 2020 presidential election is able to topple Donald Trump.
Featured Image via screenshot