Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: “Moscow Mitch” is a deeply stupid nickname for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. It’s the sort of #resistance Twitter snark that appeals to a certain segment of the public that—best intentions aside—eagerly reduces McConnell’s decades-long career of grotesque legislative malfeasance into the same sort of glib Russia hysteria that’s elevated odious third-rate grifters into odious second-rate grifters.
Nevertheless, I regret to inform you that “Moscow Mitch” is, unfortunately, very good, if only because it seems like the only person who hates it more than I do is McConnell himself.
Speaking on Tuesday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewett, McConnell whined about the moniker, calling it “modern day McCarthyism” and “an effort to smear” a “Cold Warrior like me.” Per the transcript:
HH: Senator, let me begin by talking to you about nicknames. I played the Cocaine song, because Cocaine Mitch is a popular hashtag among people like me. Grim Reaper is as well. But Moscow Mitch is McCarthyism. That’s absolutely despicable. What do you think of the last one?
MM: Yeah, I mean, 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. 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.
HH: It is simply an assertion that you’re doing the bidding of Moscow, which is, of course, pure McCarthyism. I thought we were past that in this country. I really did, and especially if you’ve overseen the biggest Defense spending hikes out of the Congress in a decade.
MM: Yeah, no question about it. And going back even to the breakup of the Soviet Union, I was one of those leading the charge for expanding NATO up to the Russian border over and over again over the years. So they’ll say anything and do anything. This is what we’re up against with the hard left today in America.
McConnell has evidently found an extremely stupid bridge too far even for his own brand of craven political ghoulishness, but it’s hardly the first time he’s thrown a tantrum at the most baby-soft criticism imaginable. After blocking a Democratic proposal to beef up election security mechanisms, McConnell took to the Senate floor to complain loudly that he will NOT be intimidated by the mean ol’ media who, he insisted, are trying to “gaslight” him.
Look, if calling him “Moscow Mitch” is what it takes to get McConnell to throw a hissy fit on a nationally syndicated radio program, then, fine, I say let’s do it. Is it embarrassing and sophomoric? Sure. But does it get results? Seems like it!