I have been brutally critical of Fred Hiatt and the Washington Post over the years. Dana Milbank has been my Wanker of the Day more times than I can count. But I have to give them all props for printing this in today’s paper.
Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.
This doesn’t mean he’s a spy, but neither is it a flip accusation. Russia attacked our country in 2016. It is attacking us today. Its attacks will intensify in 2020. Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell, the Senate majority leader, blocks us from defending ourselves.
Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic. The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.
Not only did Milbank write this and the Post agree to publish it, but the first sentence (“Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset”) also appears as the headline to the piece.
If I have any problem at all with the language here it is that “unpatriotic” doesn’t really cover the extent of the problem. You can be unpatriotic because you don’t stand for the national anthem. People have different opinions about what makes for good citizenship and what kind of behavior indicates a lack of love for country. There are people who refuse to serve in the armed services even during times of urgent need during wartime, and they may still believe they’re doing what’s best for the country.
The problem with McConnell’s behavior isn’t that he’s refusing to do what’s expected of him. It’s more serious than that. He’s acting more like a saboteur. If he were blowing up our train tracks and arms depots, he’d hardly be doing more to give aid and comfort to the enemy. He’s actually in a position to appropriate money and craft policies to protect our voting systems from outside infiltration and manipulation, and he’s refusing to act.
Imagine that we learned that a terrorist group had a nuclear dirty bomb on a timer set to go off in Baltimore’s harbor and the police chief blocked access to the roads and shipping lanes leading there so that no one could defuse the weapon before it detonated. What would we call that police chief?
I’d call him “Mitch McConnell.”