Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked two election security bills last week despite warnings from intelligence agencies that Russia and other countries are actively working to influence the 2020 election in favor of President Donald Trump.
Americans were outraged and soon #MoscowMitch began trending on Twitter, prompting him to give an impassioned speech on the Senate floor railing against “the outrage industrial complex,” insisting that current measures are sufficient to protect American democracy.
McConnell soon took to Twitter, repeating an accusation from his floor speech: “Modern-day McCarthyism.”
Modern-day McCarthyism is poison for American democracy. It is shameful to imply that policy disagreements make the other side unpatriotic. The people who push such unhinged smears are doing Putin’s destabilizing work for him.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 29, 2019
Historically, McCarthyism alludes to deceased Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI), whose obsession with weeding out federal workers and public figures he deemed communists in the 1950s created the term and its historical infamy.
It wasn’t long before Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called McConnell out on his bulwark against sensible policy.
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
While McConnell normally prides himself on being the “Grim Reaper” when it comes to killing policies passed by the Democratic House of Representatives, some—like the Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim—noticed McConnell’s uncharacteristic anger for accusations that he was a Russian asset and that #MoscowMitch had begun trending.
Which made it all the more satisfying when #MoscowMitchMcTreason started trending as well.
It feels good to wake up and see #MoscowMitchMcTreason number one trending. These guys are blatantly openly working with the Russians to keep power and until I saw that trending I thought nobody cared. AMERICA your illegitimate president is a Russian agent. #FightTheFascists
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) July 30, 2019
People heartily commended Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s clapback as well.
Thank you AOC. I am quite familiar with the McCarthyism playbook :).
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 31, 2019
This communism crap from #MitchMcTreason is an attempt to deflect. @AOC is absolutely correct he’s a poor leader for the American People and democracy. In short, he is betraying his constituents, the American People and he has been at it for some time.
— William Mitchell (@bmitchell94619) July 31, 2019
What #MoscowMich is doing is called McConnellism; obstruction & allowing election interference.
— stalklo (@stalklo) July 31, 2019
According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 70% of Americans are concerned about foreign election interference. Fifty-nine percent of them want additional laws passed to curtail the efforts.
Maybe McConnell should prioritize the people over the victory of his president.