Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has never shied away from shilling for Ukraine. But for Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, the Kentucky Republican took it up a notch with a wardrobe statement piece.
While attending President Joe Biden’s largely incoherent speech, McConnell forwent America’s red, white, and blue, instead wearing a tie emblazoned with the colors of the Ukrainian flag: blue and yellow. Like a NASCAR driver, McConnell was apparently just sporting the hues of the brand he represents.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago, the Senate minority leader has been one of Congress’s biggest proponents of shipping endless U.S. taxpayer dollars overseas to fund the conflict. Back in May, for instance, McConnell issued the most tone-deaf statement imaginable by claiming that “we all agree the most important thing going on in the world right now is the war in Ukraine.” The remark came at a time when voters said “lowering inflation and fixing the economy” was their most important issue heading into the 2022 midterms.
Rather than encourage the Biden administration to push for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict, McConnell has been at the forefront of Senate efforts to throw more dollars and military help at Ukraine. During December’s negotiations on the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, which passed as a result of Senate Republican support and will further increase America’s ballooning national debt, McConnell made more aid to Ukraine one of his top spending priorities. In 2022 alone, McConnell helped approve over $100 billion in aid and military assistance to the eastern European nation.
Make no mistake: McConnell’s Hollywood-style fashion statement on Tuesday night was a message not only to Ukraine but to Republican voters. The blue and yellow tie is just another signal from McConnell to conservatives that their priorities mean jack squat to him and his friends in Republican leadership. It’s a clear display of the elitist attitude felt by many within GOP ranks, who see Republican voters as nothing more than tools to be used every election cycle to maintain their hold on power.