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Fri Jul 26, 2019, 09:01 PM

Friday Talking Points -- #MoscowMitch

{Program Note for DemocraticUnderground.com readers:
This is a weekly roundup column of what is going on in the political world. For the duration of the 2020 campaign, I've normally been posting these under the "Democratic Primaries" category rather than the "General Discussion" category, whenever the primary race is discussed. This week, however, I find that I haven't mentioned the primaries or even the candidates once, so I am once again posting this under the General Discussion category, for this week alone.}

We're going to wait until the talking points to fully delve into the catchy hashtag #MoscowMitch, because we feel the point being made is an important one that may just get a whole lot more attention over the next month or so (if the Democrats are capable of following through, that is -- always an open question). Suffice it to say for now that Mitch McConnell is taking an absolutely indefensible stand by essentially aiding and abetting America's enemies.

The big story of the week this week, however, was Robert Mueller's testimony before two different House committees. Our reactions to this spectacle weren't exactly what everyone else in the media focused on, but then that's not saying very much since everyone else was grading Mueller on whether his televised testimony was sufficiently entertaining enough to get high viewer ratings. We sincerely wish we were making that up, but we are not.

Instead, we wondered about the talking point that Democrats in the first committee -- for once -- were universally insistent upon using, usually at the very end of their allotted time. But does the phrase "no one is above the law" actually mean anything anymore? Would an incoming Democratic president really spend their political capital on going after Trump in the courts in a big way, or would the impetus to "move on and look forward" be too strong to resist? It's a fair question, especially when you consider what Barack Obama did when he first entered office. But anyway, we wrote all about that earlier in the week.

The other rather irreverent reaction we had to the hearings was very specific. At one point, a Republican questioner used a phrase which should have immediately generated a forceful Democratic response. After all, if they're not willing to smack this down, then who will be? What I would have dearly loved to have heard at that point would have gone something like this:

"Point of order, Mr. Chairman. POINT OF ORDER!!! My Republican colleague just used a phrase that is meaningless because the entity he described does not actually exist. I would like to move that he be given the chance to withdraw and amend his remarks, or that they be stricken entirely from the record. To state the obvious, there is no such thing as the 'Democrat National Committee.' It does not exist. Such a blatant error should not be allowed in our committee's testimony in any way. How big an idiot would I appear if I used the phrase 'Republic National Committee,' after all? So I would move that the remarks be either withdrawn and amended or stricken from the record completely, as a point of order."

Seriously, when are Democrats going to push back on this idiocy? Republicans think it is some sort of slur to use "Democrat" when they should say "Democratic," which has never really made much sense to begin with, but when one of them tries to do so in official committee testimony misstating the official name of the party's central committee, then Democrats really should push back as hard as parliamentary rules allow them to.


The Mueller testimony was the focus of the week, of course, but that focus went pretty fuzzy for most mainstream media sources, television and print combined. The real story, we were told, was that Mueller simply wasn't good television and therefore Democrats would instantly cease trying to impeach Donald Trump. A few voices in the wilderness pushed back against this silliness, most notably in Salon:

If they were reporting on the news, the takes and the headlines would read much differently. They would say things such as, "Mueller testimony reveals extent of criminality in Trump's orbit" and "Mueller affirms that Trump could be arrested for felony crimes after leaving office." Other exciting headlines, based on what was actually said, could read, "Republicans use misinformation and conspiracy theories to try to discredit Mueller" and "Trump's greed, immorality led him to betray country, hearing reveals."

But that's real news, the sort that is based on actually listening to the hearing and reporting on the contents, instead of playing video games on your phone and waiting for the music to swell so you know that it's finally, after all that jibber-jabber about DOJ protocols and investigative practices, about to get good.

This article also referenced a rather amusing tweet from The Atlantic writer Adam Sewer: "The putatively objective press has internalized Trump's own metrics for evaluating public events. Mueller testified that the president is an unprosecuted felon. His testimony however, lacked a compelling musical number."

The one Democrat on the committee who really stood out was its chairman, Adam Schiff. Schiff took his time to run down some very basic questions with Mueller. The answers were just about the only real viral moments of the hearings, as Schiff got Mueller to confirm that his investigation was not a witch hunt, that Russian interference in our elections was not a hoax, and that his report in no way vindicated Donald Trump. Which proves how much Trump has been lying about what the report said, for months now.

There were other media articles written which took a much more sober and intensive look at Mueller's testimony, such as the one Politico ran (claiming Mueller's performance was "awesome" ), but for the most part such nuance was pretty hard to find, as everyone else obsessed over the TV ratings of two congressional hearings. Again, we sincerely wish we were making this up, but we are not.

In international news, the United Kingdom got its very own orange clown with bad hair to lead their country. Let's see if their experiment turns out any better than ours! We should know this pretty soon, since Brexit is now slated to happen on Hallowe'en (seriously -- who agreed to that date?!?). Ivanka Trump cheefully welcomed Boris Johnson to the job of "Prime Minister of the United Kingston," which somehow sounds like a Jamaican soccer team. The tweet was swiftly deleted, but not before everyone had a big laugh about her idiocy on the internet (of course).

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, a "PR problem" got solved (so to speak), as the governor of Puerto Rico officially threw in the towel after a significant portion of the island's populace turned out in a gigantic protest against him. He had initially tried to get away with not resigning but merely announcing he would not seek re-election, but that simply was not good enough for Puerto Rico's people. After hundreds of thousands of them protested over the weekend, the governor finally announced his upcoming resignation.

Moving further afield, Trump cavalierly spoke of incinerating 10 million people this week. No, really -- here's what he said in an interview: "If I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth, it would be gone, it would be over literally in 10 days and I don't want to go that route. I just don't want to kill 10 million people." Um, we suppose that's something to be thankful for, at the very least.

In the same region, Donald Trump made a claim about his dealings with the leader of India this week that was just a product of his own twisted imagination. Here's the story:

"I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago," Trump recalled. "He actually said, 'Would you like to be a mediator or arbitrator?' I said, 'Where??' He said, 'Kashmir.' Because this has been going on for many, many years. I was surprised at how long it's been going on," Trump added, revealing his lack of knowledge about the history of the conflict.

Trump added: "I'd love to be a mediator."

This simply did not happen. As the story later points out:

Indian government spokesman Raveesh Kumar flatly repudiated Trump's claim less than an hour after the White House meeting.

Kumar tweeted India's response, assumably so that Trump would actually read it and pay attention to it:

We have seen @POTUS's remarks to the press that he is ready to mediate, if requested by India & Pakistan, on Kashmir issue. No such request has been made by PM @narendramodi to US President.

Both Indians and Native Americans were pushing back on Trump this week, as the New York Times published a piece by Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico, who is one of two Native American women to be elected to Congress. Haaland pushed back on the president's racist "go back home" nonsense against the other freshmen Democratic House members in a big way, as only a Native American truly can do:

The president and his followers lack the moral authority to tell anyone to leave this country because they are not indigenous to this land. The fact that the president claims this country as his own and wants to keep everyone in their place proves that he doesn't understand his place. I question the standing of anyone who would call to send my sisters and colleagues... or any other American "back." As a 35th-generation New Mexican and a descendant of the original inhabitants of this continent, I say that the promise of our country is for everyone to find success, pursue happiness and live lives of equality. This is the Pueblo way. It's the American way.

Note that "35th-generation" remark, which gives Haaland the moral standing any relative newcomer like Trump will never have.

Let's see, what else? We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing last week, marking a half-century since Neil Armstrong flubbed his lines. For a long time, history books given to children reported that what he said after first setting foot upon the moon was: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." However, the actual tape shows he skipped over that important "a" in there, making the phrase almost circular in logic: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." But as always, everyone forgives him the flub, since his intended quote is such an astoundingly historic thing to utter on such a momentous occasion. Personally, we enjoyed hearing from Michael Collins during the coverage of the anniversary, since he was the forgotten third man who never actually got to walk on the lunar surface. He only got one song out of his feat, "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey, And Me" by Jethro Tull, so it was good to see him get another moment in the sun.

And finally, we have to close on a bit of trolling, because some student shamed Trump in a very big way this week. In a speech in from of "Turning Point USA," a conservative group hosting a Trump speech to students, an image of the presidential seal was projected behind Trump. Except it wasn't the official seal at all. It was a spoof with a double-headed Russian eagle clutching a set of golf clubs (rather than arrows) and a wad of cash (rather than olive branches). Above the eagle's two heads was the phrase: "45 is a puppet" in Spanish.

HuffPost tracked down the guy who created the image (which he used to sell some T-shirts online), who was vastly amused by the whole thing:

But the man who created the doctored, satirical seal has only kind words for whoever pulled the stunt.

"I love them," said Charles Leazott, a former Republican and graphic designer who was tracked down by The Washington Post on Thursday. Leazott created the seal as a joke just after the 2016 election and told the Post he never expected it to blow up in the news.

The designer said he couldn't be sure whether the person who chose his graphic was "wildly incompetent or the best troll ever," but suspects the explanation given by the conservative group Turning Point USA, which hosted Trump, is nonsense. Turning Point said the seal ended up onscreen due to a last-minute error in finding a high-resolution image to project behind the president.

Personally, we think his fake seal is entirely appropriate for Donald Trump. Heh.

Filmmaker Michael Moore deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week, for a performance on last night's Late Night With Seth Meyers. Moore laid out a very simple two-part plan Democrats should use to win back the presidency in 2020, and it sounds like a pretty good idea to us.

First, nominate a candidate who is likeable. That's harder than it might first sound, but it is crucial. We need someone people can root for head-to-head against Donald Trump. Also, the candidate needs to be a "street fighter" in order to hold their own against Trump in a debate and on the campaign trail. A likeable guy or gal who is a street fighter sounds like a great idea, to us.

Second, use ballot initiatives wherever possible to boost voter turnout. According to Moore, Democrats won big in Michigan in 2018 for a big reason: there were two very popular voter initiatives on the ballot, one to legalize recreational marijuana use and one to outlaw gerrymandering. Both passed with large majorities.

So for Moore's prescription of nominating a likeable street fighter and pushing popular ballot measures as a way to boost Democratic turnout (specifically in Midwestern states), we have to say that's worthy of at least an Honorable Mention.

But this week we're going to give the coveted Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi once again. During a very contentious week, Pelosi managed to tamp down a lot of the drama within her caucus, and she negotiated a budget deal with the White House that means the debt ceiling won't be taken hostage until at least after the 2020 elections. This budget deal was a compromise with the Republicans, of course, but as always Pelosi got more out of the dealmaking that the GOP. She got a bigger boost in non-military spending than in military spending, and she agreed to finally bury the concept of the "sequester" -- which was always an accounting fiction to begin with.

Not everyone in Pelosi's caucus was a big enough fan of the budget deal to vote for it, but she did manage to get 219 Democratic votes, which would have meant (if it had been necessary) that she could have passed the bill without a single Republican vote. That's a show of strength.

Pelosi was far better at whipping votes than President Trump was, it should also be noted. Although Trump leaned hard on the House Republicans, only 65 of them (out of 197) voted for the budget bill. That's a show of weakness.

Pelosi wrapped up the week by appearing at an event to celebrate the first 200 days of the Democratic House. She gave a short speech where she laid out what Democrats will be campaigning on as they put as much pressure on the GOP Senate as they can over the August break:

We promised to lower health care costs and have sent ten bills to the Senate to reduce prescription drug prices, protect the pre-existing conditions, and reverse the GOP sabotage of health care.

We promised lower health care costs, increase workers' paychecks, and we gave 33 million workers a pay raise by raising the minimum wage, passed paycheck fairness, equal pay for equal work and passed key investments in job creating infrastructure as well as protecting the pensions of our workers.

Lower health care costs, bigger paychecks, cleaner government. We promised to clean up corruption and, in March, we passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act to reduce big, dark money in politics, advance fair and secure elections and restore ethics to government. And, at the same time, fight against any foreign intervention into our elections.

While the media has completely ignored it, the House under Pelosi has actually been passing significant bills which would make the lives of millions upon millions of Americans a lot better. The Senate refuses to act on any of them. This presents a very clear case to the voters about which party has a forward-looking agenda and which one can only say "No" to any good idea the other side has -- because they've completely run out of ideas of their own. That's a pretty good picture to paint out on the campaign trail, and it is all possible because while the media obsessed over every shiny object in her first 200 days, Pelosi was busy passing bill after bill after bill.

So taken in total, we have to say that Nancy Pelosi is the obvious choice for this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Here's hoping the next six months can be as productive in Pelosi's House as the first six months.

{Congratulate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on her official contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.}

This is fairly low-level, involving only a candidate for a state legislative office, but it is so odious that we feel it rises to the level of a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. Here's the full and sordid story:

A former Florida state House candidate who claimed to have removed 77 bullets from 32 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting has admitted the harrowing story was a lie.

According to documents released by the state Department of Health on Wednesday and reported by online media outlet Florida Politics, Democrat Elizabeth McCarthy, who was running for House District 28, came clean during an investigation of the matter.

"It is a false statement. I just made it up," she said. "I wanted to be somebody in the community, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I gave any impersonation. I knew it was wrong and I should have stopped -- by no means did I ever mean to put anybody in jeopardy."

During an Orlando town hall discussion on gun safety in March, which was hosted by Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.), McCarthy was introduced as an emergency room doctor, and painted a vivid picture of her response to the 2016 shooting at the LGBTQ venue, which left 50 people dead, including the gunman.

"The night of Pulse I was working at Orlando Health, and you're never prepared for it, we've never experienced something like that, something so horrific," she said.

McCarthy then described her wing of the hospital as having been set up "like an assembly line" with teams extracting bullets, preparing victims for operations and performing surgeries.

"The hardest part for me was wheeling a body into the morgue and hearing the cellphones of people that had passed where their loved ones were trying to reach out to them and they couldn't obviously answer," she said.

The then-candidate's speech became even more personal when she noted that "because I'm gay, it struck me even harder," calling the victims "my people."

Florida Politics didn't take her at her word, and instead investigated her story. They found that McCarthy had never been issued a state medical license. She had previously worked as a registered nurse, but never as a doctor. After initially denying the facts Florida Politics uncovered, she finally decided to end her campaign after her lie was so badly exposed.

This is seriously beyond the pale, folks. Making yourself the hero of your own narrative is fine and good, within the confines of your own mind. But telling such tales in public, and then actually running for office on them as a foundation shows a serious lack of humility, to say the absolute least. And a serious lack of intelligence, we might add.

While she's gone from the campaign trail, her problems aren't completely over, though:

She now faces charges from the Florida Department of Health for fabricating her career as a doctor. The department is seeking $1,000 in fines in addition to $2,095 in investigative costs, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Attempting to perpetrate a hoax over an incident in which many people died is one of the worst reasons we can remember for awarding the MDDOTW. The whole incident, in a word, is downright disgusting.

So even though this is a low-level office and a candidate not an officeholder, we still had to give this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Elizabeth McCarthy of Florida. She should really be hanging her head in shame, right about now.

{Elizabeth McCarthy is no longer a candidate for public office and is a private citizen. It has always been our policy not to provide contact information for such persons, sorry.}

Volume 535 (7/26/19)

We realize this is the second week in a row without discrete talking points, but today we were struck by a news story that seemed awfully familiar to us. Because Joe Scarborough echoed an idea we wrote about last month, and (Joe having a much bigger audience than we do) it immediately went viral with a very catchy hashtag. This all ties in with the announcement earlier this week that Democrats plan to make this a very big deal on the campaign trail over the next month. Now, we're not going to attempt to claim any sort of credit for these developments, but see for yourself where we are now versus (at the end) where we urged Democrats to go, last month.

Our story begins with ex-Republican Joe Scarborough, excoriating Mitch McConnell on his Morning Joe cable show, for blocking every effort (both Democratic and bipartisan) to shore up America's election system to protect it from Russian attacks. Here's the part that went viral:

{President Donald Trump} is aiding and abetting {Russian President} Vladimir Putin's ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy, according to the Republican F.B.I., C.I.A., D.N.I., intel committee. All Republicans are all saying Russia is subverting American democracy and Moscow Mitch won't even let the Senate take a vote on it. That is un-American.

Immediately thereafter, "#MoscowMitch" began trending on Twitter.

Mitch McConnell deserves the abuse, and as much more of it that Democrats can dish out during August town hall meetings. Last year, he halted a bipartisan bill to require all states to use paper ballots and conduct post-election audits. This year, he stalled the same bill. This week, not only did Robert Mueller sound the alarm on election security and Russian attempts to breach it, but so did F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray and the Senate's own Intelligence Committee.

HuffPost went into more detail:

State election officials are anxious and underfunded, some running systems with outdated software and scrounging for replacement parts off e-Bay.

And on Thursday a report from the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded all 50 states were targeted in 2016 and ahead of the 2018 election "top election vulnerabilities remained."

But there's no help coming from Congress.

It's a risky calculation heading into 2020, when the stakes will be high for an election that could see record turnout as President Donald Trump runs for a second term. Primary voting is six months away.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday blocked a House-passed bill that would authorize $775 million to beef up state election systems. GOP leaders made the case that the Trump administration has already made great strides in protecting the vote and they say no more funding is needed.

The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, called inaction by Congress a "disgrace" and pledged to keep pushing for votes. Mueller's testimony "should be a wake-up call," he said.

"Leader McConnell, let me read you that sentence," Schumer said from the Senate floor, citing Mueller's testimony Wednesday before the House committees about Russian interference. "'They're doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it in the next campaign.'"

It's not just McConnell who is guilty of aiding and abetting our enemies, but he's obviously the ringleader:

"The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections," F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

The next day, only hours after Mueller testified to the same effect, Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, a Republican, blocked two election-security bills and a measure regarding cybersecurity for Senate staff.

Democrats had hoped to pass a pair of bills requiring campaigns to alert the F.B.I. and the Federal Election Commission if they received offers of assistance from abroad. Another bill would allow the sergeant-at-arms to offer voluntary assistance to help secure the personal devices and accounts of senators and their staff.

Hyde-Smith blocked all the bills without offering any explanation for her action or stating whether she made the motion by herself or on behalf of her party. Her move is generally in keeping with Republican arguments that Congress has already responded to election security issues, which primarily fall on state officials.

. . .

Last month, another freshman senator, Republican Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, blocked similar legislation. The Secure Elections Act, co-sponsored by Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma and backed by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, all Republicans, would streamline cybersecurity information-sharing between federal intelligence agencies and state election authorities and provide security clearances to state election officials. It would also make relevant grants eligible to local jurisdictions.

When Republicans controlled the House last summer, they eliminated new funding for states to strengthen election security. After years of unsuccessfully trying to defund the federal Election Assistance Commission (E.A.C.), Republicans defeated a bill to extend funding for a state grant program meant to ensure that the voting process is secure.

The E.A.C. is the sole federal agency that exclusively works to secure the integrity of the democratic process. It has worked with the F.B.I. to examine an attack on the agency's computer systems by a Russian-speaking hacker after Trump's election.

Late last month, the Democratic House majority passed an election security measure that authorized an additional $600 million to states as well as $175 million every other year to bolster election infrastructure. The bill would also require voting systems to use paper ballots as a backup to electronic systems, and would require that all 50 states conduct audits after elections. A recent analysis by the Associated Press found that many of the 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use old or outmoded operating systems to create their ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts.

All but one Republican in the House opposed the bill. The day after Mueller's testimony, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the bill in the Senate.

Finally, Democrats are beginning to realize the political potency of this issue, and it looks like they'll be hammering on it throughout the August break. The gift of the #MoscowMitch tag is merely icing on the cake, as it were. Even before Mueller testified, Democrats were signaling they'd be making this a big political issue, as well they should:

"The only people that are stopping these kinds of common-sense measures from becoming law of the land are... leader McConnell and President Trump," Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, said during a Capitol Hill press conference.

While Republicans and Democrats alike have attempted to pass a variety of legislation to improve election security over the past two years in response to Russian interference, McConnell has repeatedly stood in the way of the bills and argued against the need for a greater federal role to protect voting.

"We're talking about low-hanging fruit that, if it came to the floor of the Senate, they would pass with close to 80-plus votes," he added, referencing previously introduced measures that would require states to use paper ballots and conduct post-election audits, impose sanctions on Russia if it attempted to interfere again and mandate that campaigns contact law enforcement if contacted by a foreign power.

When it comes to election security, McConnell "is not afraid of the Russians. He's afraid of the United States Senate, a Republican-controlled Senate," according to Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

McConnell would "rather run the risk that we would have an election result that doesn't reflect a democratic vote" than tackle the issue, he said. "That, to me, is a low point in the history of this country."

. . .

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who chairs the House Democracy Reform Task Force, said the chamber had tried to accommodate McConnell by breaking out the ballot box security provisions from a larger measure that was a grab-bag of election reform efforts.

But now "that's piling up on the Senate side against the door that Mitch McConnell has barred when it comes to protecting our democracy," Sarbanes said, noting that last month the House passed a Democrat-backed bill that would require election systems to use voter-verified paper ballots.

"The alarm bells are going off, the lights are flashing and Mitch McConnell is blithely sleepwalking through it all," he said.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, predicted that a "host" of foreign nations will look to interfere in 2020 and that local and state officials "don't have the funds" to fend off such an onslaught.

He said that he and other Democrats would act as "election security Paul Reveres" over the August recess to warn of the looming threats.

That's an ominous phrase if ever we heard one, for Republicans. After all, it's pretty hard to defend what McConnell is doing. No matter how hard he tries, "making elections safe and fair" is just never going to sound partisan in any way to American voters -- instead it's going to sound like a pretty good idea to make elections safer and more fair. But Republicans have painted themselves into the corner of explaining why having paper ballots that can be counted later is some sort of dastardly Democratic plot.

Obviously, it isn't. And obviously, Democrats should be making this case. Loudly. As we mentioned, over a month ago we prodded the Democrats to do precisely this, using the same phrase Joe Scarborough began with. In an article titled "Aiding And Abetting The Enemy," we suggested some boilerplate speechifyin' Democrats should be using out on the hustings. The only thing we'd really change would be to sprinkle the taunt "#MoscowMitch" throughout, but that's a pretty easy edit to make. In any case, to close on, here's what we wrote back then:

When America has been attacked in the past, politicians in Washington have put aside partisan differences to meet these dangers head-on, standing together. We unite in times of crisis to battle America's enemies. That has been a bedrock of our democracy for over two centuries. But now we are under attack again, and one party seems content to just sit back and let it happen.

This is a disgrace. I'd like to ask all Republicans in the Senate what they think Ronald Reagan would say about standing up to a Russian attack on our elections, if he were still alive today. What would Ronnie do? Allow Mitch McConnell to aid and abet the Russians by refusing to even consider legislation to protect the foundation of our democracy -- our free and fair elections? Or would Reagan fight back against Russia? Which do you think is more likely?

For over a half-century, one of the Republican Party's core beliefs was the existential threat Russia posed to America. They have thrown all that out the window, folks. They are now content to allow Moscow to attack our elections with impunity. There are House bills waiting for action in the Senate to fight back against these attacks, but Mitch McConnell doesn't want to give the Democrats a political "win" by bringing them to a vote. There are bipartisan bills written by Senate Democrats and Republicans together which are also being ignored by McConnell. This is an absolute disgrace.

Every member of Congress swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, but Republicans are allowing Mitch McConnell to shirk this defining duty. We call on every Republican who cares about defending America from foreign attack to demand that Mitch McConnell end his petty partisan posturing and allow the United States Senate to get to work on legislation to protect American elections. Anything less is a blatant dereliction of duty.

Chris Weigant blogs at: ChrisWeigant.com
Follow Chris on Twitter: ChrisWeigant
Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com
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