Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Saturday appeared to briefly step into the Virginia gubernatorial race, which has turned its focus to a debate over "parents rights" when it comes to education.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, whom McConnell once blocked from getting a Supreme Court confirmation hearing, the senator said he was concerned that the Justice Department has "directed federal law enforcement to partner with state and local governments to address" violent threats against administrators, teachers, and others who work in the public school sphere across the country.
McConnell dismissed the idea that Garland's view on the situation reflects the reality on the ground. Instead, McConnell painted the debate as a civil one, "the very basis of representative," and said parents "absolutely should be telling their local schools what to teach." "I hope you agree with me that the kind of grassroots interest parents have shown throughout the country in both the methods and substance of their children's education is to be commended and encouraged," he wrote.
But McConnell didn't stop at praising the parents pushing back against their local education officials. He also criticized those officials, particularly in Virginia, for launching "shocking efforts ... to organize the intimidation and harassment of parents who have the temerity to want a better education for their children."