Mitch McConnell is reveling in his own cruelty.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell apparently thinks it's "fun" to arbitrarily block popular bills and to mock people who suffer from addiction.
"We need to have a little fun in this business," McConnell said in a Monday interview with Politico. "I used to call myself Darth Vader," he added, comparing himself to the iconic Star Wars villain.
McConnell was explaining why he has come to embrace unsavory nicknames for himself that celebrate his worst tendencies to obstruct and to hurt people. One of those nicknames, the "Grim Reaper," is a reference to his plan to make the Senate a "graveyard" for just about every bill passed by the Democratic-led House.
McConnell has relentlessly obstructed bills passed by the House that reflect the priorities of the majorities of voters who backed Democrats over Republicans in the 2018 midterms — such as reforming elections, improving gun safety, and expanding access to health care. At the same time, he has tirelessly jammed unqualified and extremist right-wing judges through the Senate confirmation process.
McConnell also seemed to be dismissing critics who object to his embrace of the nickname "Cocaine Mitch." His campaign has printed t-shirts with the phrase, which was first used against him by a Republican candidate for Senate in West Virginia — and McConnell even uses the term when answering the phone.
However, families dealing with the real-life tragedies of drug addiction have been less amused. "The shirts aren't just offensive, they're a painful and cruel joke to those of us grieving a terrible loss or fighting desperately to save a loved one," Tanya Meeks, a Kentucky mother who lost her teenage son to a heroin addiction, wrote this month.
Instead of addressing real issues that could help these families, McConnell has preferred to insult them and use the Senate to hold pointless show votes — like pushing for further abortion restrictions or making a mockery of major environmental concerns.
McConnell's obstruction is a continuation of the sabotage efforts that he began under President Barack Obama. McConnell refused to hold hearings for Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, for a year — which allowed Trump to steal that Supreme Court appointment after he took office.
McConnell has promised that even if Trump loses reelection and Democrats take the presidency, he will continue to obstruct bills that millions of Americans have demanded to improve their lives.
"Fun," for Mitch McConnell, is being cruel to vulnerable people and denying Americans the solutions and opportunities they have demanded be enacted in their names.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.