Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has always been shameless in his efforts to ignore what’s best for the country in order to protect his party and his president.
But as the ‘Moscow Mitch’ label continues to stick to him after he refused to advance commonsense election security legislation through the Senate, he looks to be increasingly panicked.
That was clear earlier on Monday as he took to the Senate floor to defend himself from a chorus of backlash that he’s faced in recent days.
On Twitter, the Senate majority leader played damage control, desperately (and laughably) accusing his critics of “doing Putin’s destabilizing work for him.”
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
As Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, said on Monday, “Clearly Mitch McConnell is a bit freaked by #MoscowMitch.”
Clearly Mitch McConnell is a bit freaked by #MoscowMitch. Pass it on.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) July 29, 2019
Could 2020 be the year Mitch McConnell is sent packing?
Mitch McConnell is still the favorite to win reelection in deep-red Kentucky next year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a scenario in which he could be sent packing.
Let’s first start with the fact that the Kentucky senator will face well-funded Democrat and former fighter pilot Amy McGrath in 2020. As PoliticusUSA’s Jason Easley wrote earlier this month, McGrath is poised to shatter fundraising records in her quest to beat McConnell.
In addition to a strong challenger, McConnell faces his own image problems as he is the most hated senator in America. Trump’s approval rating in Kentucky – a key indicator for how the state will vote – has also declined by nearly 20 points since he took office.
Yes, the Democratic path to winning a Senate seat in Kentucky over Mitch McConnell is a narrow one. But McConnell seems to recognize that he is no longer a shoo-in. As the ‘Moscow Mitch’ label sticks, that becomes even more apparent.
If Mitch McConnell really wants to shed his image as a puppet of Vladimir Putin, he can start by passing legislation to secure American elections.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.