WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 15: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answers questions from … [+]
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came under fire on social media Tuesday after his ten-minute speech recognizing Joe Biden as president-elect. It was the first time since the election that McConnell, Kentucky, officially recognized the November election result, the Daily Caller noted.
Users of the Parler social platform, which has a large conservative user base, were quick to target McConnell, accusing the Senator of not doing enough to support President Donald Trump, who continues to claim the 2020 presidential election has been rigged.
All over Parler, users aired suggesting that the Senate majority leader “cannot be trusted again”. Other users called him a traitor, a RINO (Republican In Name Only). Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin led the indictment on the platform, calling on McConnell to simply “congratulate” President-elect Biden – a move Senate leaders have taken in much of the history of the Republic.
Levin wrote on Parler: “I think we should thank McConnell for his excellent help in challenging the lawless acts of the Biden Campaign and the Democrats in major battlefield states. Wait, he was AWOL? Well then, thanks for nothing, Mitch Trump helped you secure your seat as he had so many Senate and House seats, and you couldn’t even wait until Jan 6. You have been the Senate GOP leader for far too long. It’s time for some fresh thinking and new blood. “
Other users were even more hostile.
LTaylor (@ LTaylor1135) went so far as to post, “So we lost Mitch McConnell to the Democratic scammers, and maybe we never really had him to begin with. I’m sorry the great state of Kentucky has a prominent leader, who doesn’t. ” Stand up for them when they need it most. Senator McConnell’s betrayal is particularly difficult given his Senate role. “
The reaction on Twitter was essentially the same, where a number of users targeted McConnell for his perceived “betrayal”. Among those was conservative activist and political commentator Mindy Robinson (@iheartmindy), who tweeted, “Want to guess who’s on Dominion’s payroll? That bloated sack of vodka-POS coat Mitch McConnel.”
Conservative activist and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) pondered McConnell’s decision: “Why would Mitch McConnell punch patriots and Trump supporters like that? What is he trying to tell us?”
It wasn’t just Conservatives who seemed angry with McConnell – many Liberals also used social media to shout out the Senate majority leader for taking so long to accept the November election results.
McConnell’s colleague Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) Tweeted, “If Vladimir Putin accepted the election results but you didn’t, you may have a problem.”
There was also some humor among some of the hateful messages on social media. Comedian Paula Poundstone (@paulapoundstone) provided some ease by tweeting, “Here’s a McConnell joke: Mitch McConnell walks into a bar, and six weeks later she says, ‘I’m in a bar.'”
Not all discussions on social media were so angry or venomous that they were directed against the Senate majority leader. Some took note of what else was said in the Senate speech. Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) tweeted: “McConnell’s prelude to Biden’s win saw Trump have achieved numerous successes – from getting a COVID vaccine approved in record time to pre-pandemic economic prosperity, etc.”
Dennis was also one of the few who noticed another and more serious part of McConnell’s remarks when the reporter went on to say, “There are risks here for McConnell: He needs Trump to sign his year-end expense statement and is focused on maintaining his majority winning the two Georgia Runoffs. “
On Tuesday afternoon, Senator McConnell responded to the comments – writing on Parler, “To all of the people who say I’m a traitor, a RINO, a false patriot … you must know that the presidential election was never one of my priorities “I don’t care who the President, Trump or Biden doesn’t care, my priority is to keep the Senate majority and keep myself as the majority leader, that’s important to me and every GOP member.”
The typos and grammar aside, this shows that it really is a brave new world when elected officials respond so quickly via the social platforms with quick-typed messages rather than a polished, edited and timed press release. In the end, it shows that it’s not just the message, but the method of reaching the audience for today’s politicians.