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Given a Chance to be Patriots, Too Many Republicans Bow to Putin Instead

Last updated on July 17th, 2023 at 09:45 pm

Read: Samuel Alito Is The Insurrectionist Threat To Democracy On The Supreme Court

With his official response to Russian hacking of the US elections – his “we ought to get on with our lives” and “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things” – Donald Trump did himself no favors. As Mother Jones’ David Corn quipped, he is not exactly FDR:

Corn went on to ask, because Trump’s statement begs the question, “What’s ‘bigger and better’ than securing the integrity of US elections? Trump’s continuing downplaying of the Russian hacking is suspicious.”

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wasn’t just more patriotic than the president-elect, he was mocking:

“I agree with the president-elect that we need to get on with our lives — without having elections being affected by any outside influence, especially Vladimir Putin, who is a thug and murderer.”

There you have it, the blunt truth Donald Trump is always claiming he will give you. McCain had a chance to be a patriot and took it. Far too many Republicans did not, from Trump on down.

Certainly the fact that Kellyanne Conway sounds more like a spokesperson for the Kremlin than an American should be a cause for concern. Putin said President Obama’s signing of the NDAA was directed at Trump, and Conway, interestingly, makes the same claim of the new sanctions, telling CNN’s Kate Bolduan,

“I will tell you that even those who are sympathetic to President Obama on most issues are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to quote ‘box in’ President-elect Trump. That would be very unfortunate if politics were the motivating factor here. We can’t help but think that’s often true.”

And it’s not just Conway and Putin. As David Axelrod noted, the Russian tweets are starting to sound eerily familiar:

There seems to be a constant and coordinated theme here and it is worrisome that our incoming president is taking the side of America’s long time enemy against the current president. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) failed the patriot test too, when he said his biggest concern was not hacking he was unconvinced Russia had committed, but President Obama’s failure to consult with Donald Trump before imposing sanctions.

Yoho might want to not only check his loyalties but the Constitution to better understand that the president is the president and the president-elect is not.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) in a comradely show of solidarity with Putin, did one better than Trump and Yoho, claiming that Russia’s attack on our democratic institutions was somehow a “public service”:

“If Russia succeeded in giving…info that was accurate…they merely did what the media should’ve done.”

Think Progress‘ Judd Legum certainly seems to think so, tweeting what we should all be thinking:

If it unnerves the Baltic States, shouldn’t it terrify Americans? When it is left to Marco Rubio of all people to say the things that must be said, we’re in real trouble.

At the very best, as Hillary for America‘s Brian Fallon said in a tweet, “Let’s acknowledge reality: Trump’s too insecure about his win to ever fully acknowledge Russia’s meddling. Congress must press ahead w/o him” and that “At this point, Trump officials interviewed as part of any Congressional investigation on Russia should be questioned as hostile witnesses.”

It might be Trump’s business ties in Russia causing Trump’s behavior. Or Vladimir Putin might very well have something on Donald Trump, something forcing Trump to support the Kremlin’s line. That explains Trump but it doesn’t excuse his treason or that of the Republicans who support his policy of appeasement of Vladimir Putin.

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