When people get old, they often lose their filter and start saying the quiet part out loud. For aging white people, this most often means saying racist sh**. For old white politicians, it often means saying racist sh** while standing at a podium on national television. And since the GOP remains the party of old white men, this can be a real problem for Republicans.
According to Newsweek, Yertle the Turtle’s great grandfather made the remark on Wednesday during a news conference where he was asked about the voting rights filibuster he and his fellow GOPerpetrators of voter suppression have engaged in.
McConnell accused Democrats of “fake hysteria,” which is already rich considering all the “fake hysteria” his own party drummed up over imaginary widespread voter fraud based on Donald Trump’s “big lie,” and the fact that they have used said hysteria to justify legislation to secure elections that don’t need securing.
But it was what McConnel said next that raised major eyebrows.
“Well, the concern is misplaced,” McConnell said of the notion that blocking The Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is an attempt at disenfranchising Black voters. “Because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.”
Now, racism apologists are going to say the old-a** mutant non-ja turtle simply misspoke. But in America, whiteness has always been viewed as the default for what and who Americans are, while everyone else, especially Black people, have been reduced to a hyphenated “other.”
McConnell didn’t misspeak—at best, he uttered a white nationalist Freudian slip.
McConnell’s oblivious Klanswer to the question, “Am I racist AF, or nah?” aside, the master of wearing a turtle neck without wearing a turtle neck went on to completely miss the point as he further whitesplained why Black voters have nothing to worry about.
“A recent survey, 94 percent of Americans thought it was easy to vote,” he said. “This is not a problem. Turnout is up, biggest turnout since 1900… they’re being sold a bill of goods to support a Democratic effort to federalize elections… this has been a Democratic Party goal for decades.”
McConnell, of course, wasn’t specific about what study he was referring to, but even if he’s right, he’s citing voter turnout statistics from before the Republican rush to change voting laws after their cult leader failed to get reelected in 2020. Hell, Trump has said himself that high voter turnouts hurt Republicans and the GOP has thoroughly demonstrated that the party believes this to be true—even though some researchers say it isn’t.
The fact is that there is far more evidence of a concerted effort by Republicans to suppress the vote, and that said suppression disproportionately affects Black voters and voters of color, than there is to support the idea that Democrats have been trying to “federalize elections” (whatever that means) “for decades.”
We can call all of that “debatable,” but one thing isn’t up for debate: McConnell’s Mitch a** is racist, and he’s getting too old to hide it.