A week ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was struggling to get the “Moscow Mitch” sign off his back and out of trending on Twitter. We’ve nearly forgotten about that, because he has been busy making excuses for not doing anything immediately about guns.
Not everyone has forgotten, however. The folks at Republicans for Rule of Law are out with another powerful ad, slamming him for largely ignoring the issue:
This strong new ad from Republicans for the Rule of Law will air this week in DC and KY. It urges Majority Leader McConnell to let the Senate do its job and consider legislation to secure our elections. And it urges his constituents, and all Americans, to weigh in as well. pic.twitter.com/TpE2ntSnbe
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 7, 2019
RRL legal adviser and spokesman Chris Truax released a written statement on McConnell’s negligence. “Instead of seizing the moment for bipartisan action, the Senate GOP blocked multiple election security bills claiming that they were ‘partisan’ efforts at ‘federalizing elections,’ ” Truax said. “But this characterization ignores that several of the currently stalled bills are co-sponsored by Republican senators like Marco Rubio, James Lankford, and Lindsay Graham.” He continued, “Our representatives should work to pass bi-partisan legislation to deter future election meddling, secure our electoral system, and encourage cybersecurity. This is not a red team/blue team issue.”
Just as President Trump leaps from one controversy to another so that we lose track of each episode in the blur of calamities, McConnell may figure that he can seriously ignore voters and thereby keep them from fixating on any one issue.
That, in all likelihood, won’t work, in part because although he has fans, McConnell doesn’t have a cult following that will rationalize anything he does. Moreover, his refusal to act against a foreign enemy and to help protect us against domestic white nationalist terrorism reinforces the total disregard for his oath of office. As Truax said regarding the election security issue, “Every member of Congress took an oath to defend America from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. It’s time that Congress and Mitch McConnell lived up to that oath.”
When Republicans do neither — by, in the foreign realm, supporting a president who coddles Russian President Vladimir Putin and who lets himself be manipulated by a brutal dictator like Kim Jong Un, and, in the domestic realm, by refusing to break with the instigator in chief for white nationalism and declining to support efforts that would make it somewhat harder for its adherents to carry out mass murders — the argument for throwing them all out of office grows stronger. If you want someone tough on Russia, on North Korea and on gun-toting white nationalists, don’t look to Trump and the Republicans.