Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin gave Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a new nickname during Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.
Several journalists noted that, during the meeting, Durbin referred to McConnell as “Nuclear Mitch.”
Durbin gives McConnell a new nickname: Nuclear Mitch.
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) April 4, 2019
Durbin also with the new nickname for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “nuclear Mitch.” Don’t know that I have heard that one before.
— Michael Macagnone (@mikemacagnone) April 4, 2019
While Durbin clearly intended the moniker to be insulting — it was a reference to Senate Republicans’ push to use the nuclear option in order to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominees without input from Senate Democrats — it’s possible that it could backfire in the same way that McConnell’s previous nickname — “Cocaine Mitch” — did.
The day Cocaine Mitch became Nuclear Mitch. I love it. https://t.co/yPsEGJ8C9a
— Erielle Davidson (@politicalelle) April 4, 2019
Townhall editor Guy Benson added that McConnell’s new nickname was actually made possible by former Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, who first introduced the nuclear option as a way around the opposition party.
‘Cocaine Mitch’ accepts ‘Nuclear Mitch’ as an alternative nickname, but wants to make sure ‘Dirty Bomb Harry’ gets the earned, overwhelming credit for using strogarm tactics to change nomination/filibuster practices https://t.co/MaVO1QwPqt
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 4, 2019
“Cocaine Mitch” was also intended to be an insult. Knowyourmeme explained that it originated with then-Senate candidate Don Blankenship, who said in a campaign video, “One of my goals as U.S. senator will be to ditch ‘Cocaine Mitch.'” (RELATED: McConnell Trolls Blankenship On Twitter After Primary Loss)
Blankenship was referring to an article in The Nation magazine from 2014 that claimed 40 kilograms of cocaine were found on a cargo ship owned by McConnell’s wife’s family.