This week, Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman publicly took Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to task for proclaiming his support for service members and their families while simultaneously advancing the interests of the Republican Party ahead of the nation as a whole. Aptly summing up the problem, McConnell himself recently told reporters that “100 percent” of his “focus is on standing up to this administration” — not on meeting the needs of the American people, and not on charting a path forward for the United States. Nope — instead, McConnell is occupying himself with settling political scores.
Vindman was responding to a post from McConnell in which the Senate GOP leader touted a memorial dedicated to Gold Star families in Owensboro, Kentucky. “Gold Star families” are the immediate family members of service members who died in times of combat. Addressing McConnell directly, Vindman countered as follows, discussing the “sacrifice” of Gold Star families:
‘A sacrifice that you have repeatedly failed to honor by constantly choosing your interests ahead of the American people and sacrifices of service members. Your deeds say more than your words.’
A sacrifice that you have repeatedly failed to honor by constantly choosing your interests ahead of the American people and sacrifices of service members. Your deeds say more than your words. https://t.co/z1WgFO0jjC
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) May 30, 2021
Although McConnell made a public show of insisting that former President Donald Trump bears responsibility for the riot at the Capitol this past January, the top Republican didn’t even bother to vote in favor of convicting Trump of incitement of insurrection after the ex-president’s post-riot impeachment on that charge earlier this year. During the riot, Trump supporters who had mobbed at the scene violently assaulted scores of police officers who were on the scene trying to defend government leaders against the onslaught of the openly murderous crowd — but these facts weren’t enough to move McConnell to take a tangible step against Trump and vote in favor of conviction.
Vindman rose to particular prominence in connection to the Congressional testimony that he delivered amid the first impeachment proceedings against Trump. The House charged Trump with abuse of power in connection to a scheme to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens, and as part of that scheme, Trump directly pushed the Ukrainian president on a particular phone call to pursue that line of inquiry. Trump claimed that the call was “perfect,” but Vindman, in his then-role on the National Security Council, had listened in to the call as it unfolded, and he knew the truth.