“Moscow Mitch” is Now the Song of the Summer, Thanks to Ben Folds

Well, ok maybe not the song of the summer, but it is a song—in the summer.

Win McNamee/Getty

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

This week: “Moscow Mitch” by Ben Folds (Ben Folds, 2019)

Why we’re into it: Do we really need to explain ourselves here?

During a concert in New York City Thursday night, Kesha collaborator Ben Folds debuted the unrivaled song of the summer: “Moscow Mitch”—a nickname given to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell due to his role in blocking election security legislation last week. 

Performing on the roof of Pier 17, the former Ben Folds Five frontrunner paused his concert to address the audience: “What I want to do is put a little cool stutter in it, like, you know, ‘My-my-my-my-my-my Sharona.’ So what we’ll do is, we’ll go: Mah-mah-mah-Moscow Mitch. That’s it, okay?” While the song is mostly instrumental—save for two verses of Folds and the crowd yelling, “Mah-mah-mah-Moscow Mitch!” followed by a few laughs from the audience—it’s an undeniable banger.

The nickname has become immensely popular, trending on Twitter and spurring official fundraising merchandise. The name originated with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough after he lambasted the GOP leader for “aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin’s ongoing attempts to subvert American democracy.” We’ll forgive the provenance of “Moscow Mitch,” the mild Russophobia, and the utter lack of creativity on the grounds that anything that gets under Mitch McConnell’s skin can’t be all bad.

The legislation is supported on both sides of the aisle, and experts like it. As my colleague AJ Vicens recently wrote:

The proposals contain measures including mandatory voter-verified paper ballots and post-election audits; streamlined information sharing requirements among local, state and federal officials; more funding for voting system upgrades; and minimum security requirements for federal elections. Other legislation aims to thwart foreign influence operations in US elections and increase regulations on online election advertising.

McConnell argues that this bill is part of a broader push for “socialism” and is an attempt to help Democrats win at the polls, rather than trying to secure our elections from foreign interference.

So while we may never see Folds’ hit in the Top 40—or even a studio recording of it—that won’t stop us from blasting this defiant summer anthem all season long.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate