#MoscowMitchMcTreason trends after McConnell decries ‘McCarthyism’ -- and the senator hates it
United States Senator and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

“Moscow Mitch” is a name that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough has repeatedly used to attack Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for opposing a series of election security bills, and he has clearly gotten under the skin of the Kentucky Republican — who described denounced the name as “modern-day McCarthyism.” And the day after that, the hashtag ##MoscowMitchMcTreason was trending online.

Scarborough and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank have been describing McConnell as “Moscow Mitch” as a way of saying that when McConnell opposes bills designed to promote election security, he is encouraging the Russian government to interfere in U.S. elections.

On the Senate, McConnell indignantly asserted, “I don’t normally take the time to respond to critics in the media when they have no clue what they’re talking about, but this modern-day McCarthyism is toxic and damaging because of the way it warps our entire public discourse. Facts matter. Details matter. History matters. And if our nation is losing the ability to debate public policy without screaming about treason — that really matters.”

After Scarborough’s blistering attacks on McConnell last week, the hashtag #MoscowMitch went viral — and on Tuesday, a different hashtag, #MoscowMitchMcTreason, was trending.

On Twitter, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City described McConnell’s claims of McCarthyism as nonsense, posting, “McCarthyism is the practice of baselessly accusing political opponents of being communists.” The 29-year-old congresswoman went on to say that “blocking action to protect U.S. elections despite official DoJ pleas” doesn’t “make you a communist” — only a “bad leader.”

Scott Dworkin, head of the Democratic Coalition (a political action committee), was even more biting on Twitter, asserting that if McConnell “doesn't want to be called a traitor, then he should stop being one.”