Mitch McConnell And Other Republicans Are Being Dragged For Publicly Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day While Blocking Voting Rights Bills

Every Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the same thing happens: Republicans publicly honor the civil rights leader’s legacy while doing the things he fought against. This year, the GOP are doing their best to block two voting rights bills, both of which are languishing in part because the GOP has filibustered them. So when prominent Republicans took to social media to praise King Jr., a proponent of voting rights and a hater of the filibuster, they were torched for their hypocrisy.

The two bills are the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Both seek to combat voting restriction bills enacted at the state level by Republican lawmakers. Joe Biden vowed to enact similar legislation early in his presidency. Instead, it met predictable pushback from Republicans, who have used the filibuster to keep them in limbo. Democrats can’t get rid of the filibuster partly thanks to two members of their party: Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin.

On MLK Jr. Day, members of the leader’s family joined several hundred activists for a march in D.C. They demanded the Senate finally put an end to the filibuster and pass legislation that would have done something King Jr. thought was paramount: easier access to voting for all.

Meanwhile, Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and more — all lawmakers against such legislation, and even against the teaching of racial issues in schools — were releasing fawning tweets about someone who would almost certainly find their actions worth protesting.

McConnell — who denounced Biden’s fiery speech in praise of the voting rights bills as “profoundly unpresidential” — even earned a direct plea from King Jr.’s youngest daughter, Bernice King.

“Pass voting legislation,” she asked him. “In the United States, that is among the most authentic ways to honor my father. If these state voter suppression laws persist, the America my father dreamed about will never come to be. Be a vessel for right.”

Others simply called him out.

McCarthy also tweeted about King Jr., writing that “His words and example inspire us today.” He, too, was called out.

Ditto DeSantis, who late last year actually quoted King Jr. while announcing bizarre legislation meant to stop “Critical Race Thory” — which is not taught in public schools — from being taught in public schools.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, had the distinction of passing a bill that eliminated requirements that teachers teach King Jr. in public schools, then praising him on the holiday established in his name.