Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is not worried about the state of U.S. democracy. Showing how out of touch he is with voters as well as reality, McConnell said that in direct response to an NBC News poll in which “threats to democracy” ranked as voters’ top concern.
McConnell spoke one truth, which is that there is “very little election fraud.” But while he acknowledged that voters aren’t pulling the idea of threats to democracy out of thin air, he downplayed the dangers.
RELATED STORY: Republicans are sore losers, but it's more dangerous than that
“I do think it’s an important issue. There were those who were trying to prevent the orderly transfer of power for the first time in American history,” McConnell told an audience in Georgetown, Kentucky, without directly identifying that “those who were trying” include the leader of his party, many top White House staff, and a number of his party’s current elected officials.
In a remarkable understatement, McConnell described the effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as “not good.”
There was a mass attack on the U.S. Capitol with the intent of preventing Congress from certifying an election because the loser was mad about it. The attack led to loss of life as well as disabling injuries to the law enforcement officers trying to fight it off. It was, you know, “not good.”
But! It’s not a huge deal, because those efforts were “thwarted,” McConnell said.
”I guess that’s had some impact on the poll. ... But look, I think we have a very solid democracy,” McConnell said. “I don’t think of the things that we need to worry about, I wouldn’t be worried about that one.”
Eh, don’t be worried, he says, as several of his party’s candidates for offices with authority over elections run on the premise that the 2020 election was stolen, and even use their own primaries as a way to keep the Republican base primed to be suspicious of election results. Don’t be worried, he says as poll worker jobs go unfilled because of threats from election deniers. Don’t be worried, he says as Trump supporters attempt to access voting machines in multiple locations across the country.
There are a lot of reasons to be extremely worried about threats to democracy. Granted, some number of people telling the pollster that they were worried about it may have been angry about the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago for classified documents, confusing a careful investigation of possible crimes with the efforts to overturn an election they supported. But the actual facts on record are such that McConnell’s claim of “a very solid democracy” must be seen as a desperate attempt to deflect attention from his party’s role in threatening the democracy.
Want to fight voter suppression? Sign up to volunteer as a poll worker this November with Power the Polls, and they will get you connected.
'We don’t live in a democracy,' says the Republican Party's top 'election integrity' expert
The GOP nominee for Arizona secretary of state is an Oath Keeper