Usually unresponsive to criticism, Senator Mitch McConnell was caught by a nickname that apparently got under his skin. The Senate majority leader recently expressed his indignation over the name “Moscow Mitch” that was given to him by the critics, who accused him of single-handedly obstructing stricter election security measures after the Russian meddling in 2016 electoral. Several have also addressed him as a “Russian asset”, which offended him even more.
“It’s modern day McCarthyism. Unbelievable for a Cold Warrior like me who spent a career standing up to the Russians to be given a moniker like that,” Mr McConnell told right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday. “It’s an effort to smear me. You know, I can laugh about things like the Grim Reaper, but calling me Moscow Mitch is over the top.”
For Months, Democrats have been trying to get certain bills pass, stating bipartisan laws for protecting the US polling from any future interference. However, in July, McConnell refused the requests from Democratic senators, which could have strengthened the election infrastructure.
Last week, the case revived with greater momentum, citing the July testimony of Robert Mueller. The former special counsel told the House Intelligence Committee that Russia was already trying to meddle in the 2020 presidential elections, while “we sit here”.
The information led to a significant backlash against Mitch McConnell, President Donald Trump’s close ally, for rejecting the Democrats’ bills. However, he defended his stance, stating that the Trump administration was already making efforts to enhance and strengthen election security. Although the bills were backed by senators of both parties, he opposed and argued that they were partisan in nature.
Of Mueller’s statement, McConnell said, “They’ll say anything and do anything. This is what we’re up against with the hard left today in America.”
However, despite all his reasoning, criticism took his hold. Former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough was the first to coin the nickname “Moscow Mitch”. It soon caught on and House majority speaker Nancy Pelosi used the term to refer to her colleague. During a speech in Illinois, she used the nickname to reprimand McConnell’s blocking of the legislation.
“We sent our legislation to the Senate,” Pelosi said. “Moscow Mitch says that he is the grim reaper. Imagine describing yourself as the grim reaper, that he’s going to bury all this legislation.”
On the other hand, President Donald Trump came to his defense and said, “Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than even Donald Trump.” The President further added to the reporters on Tuesday, “And I know nothing.
Senator Mitch McConnell is apparently angry over the nickname that critics have thrown at him. However, for the US, the bills that Democrats have been striving to get approve stills remains a major concern. In a democracy, interference from Russia in what people vote for would be a grave issue, as it has remained from the past two years.