Thanks to Ben Folds, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now has an asterisk beside his name in the annals of music history… and not in a good way.
During a performance Thursday at New York’s Pier 17, the singer-songwriter paid homage to the Kentucky Republican by setting his new nickname, “Moscow Mitch” to music.
“It’s going to be an instrumental piece here like the song ‘Tequila.’ They just go ‘Tequila!'” Folds told the audience, which you can see in the video above.
“For this song, what I want to do is put a little cool stutter in it, like, you know, ‘My-my-my-my-my-my Sharona,’ That kind of thing, right? So, what we’ll do is, we’ll go, ‘Mah-mah-mah-Moscow Mitch.'”
Folds added, “I’m going to show him how good his song really is.”
Joe Scarborough coined the nickname for McConnell on “Morning Joe” last week following his move to block two election security bills despite warnings from the U.S. intelligence community that Russia (and other countries) were likely to attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections.
Scarborough, a former GOP congressman, later called McConnell’s actions “un-American” and accused him of “aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin‘s ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy.”
The moniker has gained increasing popularity online, with the hashtags #MoscowMitch and #MoscowMitchMcTreason going viral. And, according to a Kentucky Democratic Party press release Friday, the sale of “Moscow Mitch” merchandise including T-shirts, a Russian fur cap and drinkware exceeded $200,000 in 48 hours.
McConnell was noticeably angered by the accusations. During a heated speech on the Senate floor last Monday, he called them “modern-day McCarthyism” and said his critics were using “unhinged smears.”
“Over the last several days, I was called unpatriotic, un-American and, essentially, treasonous by a couple of left-wing pundits on the basis of boldfaced lies,” McConnell said during his Senate floor speech. “I was accused of ‘aiding and abetting’ the very man I’ve singled out as our adversary and opposed for nearly 20 years: Vladimir Putin.”