The hashtag #MoscowMitch was trending on Twitter this morning after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked two election bills designed to deter interference by Russia and other states, claiming it was “partisan legislation” by the Democratic Party.
It followed special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday that Russia is still attempting to interfere in American democracy, further to its meddling in the 2016 presidential election, with a view to disrupting the 2020 contest.
Then on Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee published a report detailing Russian interference dating back to at least 2014 through to 2017 that targeted U.S. election infrastructure with an “unprecedented level of activity.”
From the editors of the right wing National Review:
As an act of political theater, the Democrats’ recent attempt to cast Mitch McConnell in a bad light has been quite successful. The Internet is awash in headlines contending that he blocked election-security reforms despite warnings about ongoing Russian interference from Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The reactions are overwrought and unfair. McConnell was right to stop the two bills at the center of the controversy, and the Democrats knew full well ahead of time that he would do so. And “Cocaine Mitch” is a far better nickname than “Moscow Mitch” anyway.
Senate Democrats asked for unanimous consent to these bills knowing they would not receive it and pretended to be shocked when they didn’t get it. The media then gobbled up a narrative about McConnell stopping action on an issue right after being warned about how serious a problem it was.
Time Magazine reports:
McConnell said he wouldn’t allow a vote on the bills because they were “so partisan,” but, as previously reported, earlier this year McConnell received a slew of donations from four of the top voting machine lobbyists in the country.
The plans would likely burden the two largest electronic voting machine vendors in the United States, Election Systems & Software and Dominion Voting Systems, with new regulations and financial burdens.
Together, the companies make up about 80 percent of all voting machines used in the country and both have far-reaching lobbying arms in Washington D.C. Many of those lobbyists have contributed to the McConnell campaign, reported Sludge last month, an investigative outlet that focuses on money in politics.