Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for “civility” on Monday after his reelection campaign publicly mused about the death of one of his rivals.
McConnell told Kentucky residents in a speech that America has a “behavioral problem” adding, “People are acting out and it’s not, I don’t think, limited to one ideological place or another. You’ve just got a lot of people engaging in bad behavior.”
Americans have to “learn how to behave better, how to be able to disagree without anger,” he said.
McConnell’s comments come in stark contrast to his own words and actions.
In August, McConnell’s campaign suggested that Democrat Amy McGrath, who is running against him for his Senate seat in 2020, would be buried by the self-described “Grim Reaper of socialism.” The campaign posted an image — which is still online — of McGrath’s name on a headstone, accompanied with other failed political campaigns.
The stunt was done just hours after the deadly mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
After the El Paso shooting, many asked McConnell to consider gun legislation, citing the passage of a popular gun safety bill in the House that received a majority of votes. Instead, McConnell described the fight against gun violence as “theatrics.”
McConnell has not courted civility with his effusive praise of Donald Trump. Just a few days ago he appeared at the White House to praise Trump’s efforts to stack the courts with conservative stalwarts, bypassing commentary on Trump’s behaviors.
“You didn’t blow it,” McConnell said to Trump, describing the nomination process for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. “You made a great choice” in nominating Brett Kavanaugh he told Trump.
McConnell did not demonstrate civility when he refused to hold a vote on Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s chosen nominee for the Supreme Court. And despite Trump’s history of racism, misogyny, and sexually forcing himself on women, McConnell has not criticized Trump. Nor has McConnell rebuked Trump for his specious attacks on diplomats and other government employees.
“Civility” seems important to McConnell only when he feels he or one of his allies is the target of criticism.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.