After 46 Senate Republicans voted against $250 million in funding for election security in 2018, Senate Republicans have finally been shamed into making a vague gesture of care for US elections by agreeing to add just $250 million to the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill Thursday morning.
Democrats say this is *NOT* a replacement for the election security legislation we obviously need. Nor is it the $600 million the House approved.
But it is a step in the right direction, and is evidence that public pressure is working to some degree on “#MoscowMitch,” who until now has blocked election security as if his very career and ability to misuse his position as Senate Majority Leader depended upon interference from a hostile foreign country.
“Moscow Mitch,” the name given to McConnell by Republican Joe Scarborough, followed the Republican Senator to his home state of Kentucky during the 2019 Fancy Farm Picnic, during which he was publicly shamed for not protecting the United States and not working for Kentucky. The Courier Journal reported:
National derision followed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell home as Democrats taunted the GOP leader with T-shirts, signs and continuous chants of “Moscow Mitch” during his speech at St. Jerome Catholic Church’s annual political picnic.
McConnell and his team have taken the attacks, spawned from his refusal to take up election security measures, more personally than previous barbs.
Joseph Gerth wrote in the Louisville Courier Journal that Moscow Mitch gets to McConnell more than other barbs because it’s true. Not in the sense that he’s an old school Russian asset, but that he is a Machiavellian manipulator with zero morals, “What is his style, though, is allowing anyone to get away with anything as long as it advances his own personal goals. He’ll allow a president who makes racist statements get away with them with nary a peep, as long as the president appoints whomever McConnell wants on the federal bench.”
Gerth also took this moment to remind everyone of that time that then President Barack Obama wanted to warn Russia against their attempt to attack our elections and Mitch McConnell refused and then threatened President Obama that “he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”
Moscow Mitch. Whatareyougonnado. The guy has been protecting Russian interference since 2016, as if he knows that Republicans can’t get elected in national elections without help from folks who don’t mind Republicans only elevating the rich, lazy and dirty while pretending to be pious.
In July, McConnell was doing his usual smug and blow routine, telling the press we don’t need any more election funding, claiming, “We have passed and–legislation appropriating up to $300 million, it’s not all been spent yet.”
Suddenly Moscow Mitch is singing another tune:
I’m proud to have co-sponsored and helped develop a bipartisan committee amendment that will provide another $250M to help states administer and secure our elections.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) September 19, 2019
This shows that even Mitch McConnell can be forced to at least pretend in a vague, glib manner to care about the United States more than his own power. We all know it’s not true, his own constituents know it’s not true.
But McConnell is being forced to dance with the flag he pretends to worship and that’s a good thing.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.