When you have nothing else, go for character assassination. And if you’re a Republican, toss in some anti-Semitism as lowest common denominator red meat.
Unable to counter the damning facts being presented, Republican Representative of Ohio and massive sexual assault enabler Jim Jordan accused an American Purple Heart recipient Lt. Colonel Vindman of being a leaker during Tuesday’s impeachment hearing.
Vindman responded by saying he would never leak, and read his recent performance review by President Trump’s former top Russia analyst Fiona Hill, which labeled him a top military official.
Will Goodwin, Director of Government Relations for Vote Vets, wrote that the “vile” attacks on Vindman left them truly shaken:
"We have never questioned the patriotism of Republicans, but today's vile attacks on Lt. Col. Vindman, for simply doing his duty as he saw fit, leaves us truly shaken." – @Will_P_Goodwin, Army veteran and Director of Government Relations for VoteVets #VindmanTestimony pic.twitter.com/eiD0wRc8ZA
— VoteVets (@votevets) November 19, 2019
Before that, Republican Counsel Steve Castor suggested Vindman had dual loyalty:
Castor suggesting Vindman has dual loyalty here?
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) November 19, 2019
This was blatantly anti-Semitic as well as anti-American and anti-immigrant.
ENOUGH of accusing Jews of dual loyalty. These blatantly anti-Semitic attacks on #Vindman have a direct line to the Dreyfus Affair, a chilling thought for every Jew and ally. How can @RepLeeZeldin stay silent on such blatant anti-Semitism?
— Perry Gershon (@perrygershon) November 19, 2019
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman opened his testimony by discussing his family’s immigration to the U.S. from Ukraine. Republicans know that Vindman’s testimony proves Trump’s bribery and they also know that what Vindman is describing Trump and his three shadow mob boss thugs did with Ukraine is a threat to U.S. national security.
Instead of siding with the U.S., these Republicans are doubling down attacking Vindman in the basest way possible.
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes tried this earlier by leaving off Vindman’s title and he also got shutdown with a reminder of how he should address the officer, “Ranking member, it’s Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please.”
As I explained when Trump and Republicans attacked former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, going for the cheap shot is what power-over believers do.
So, racism, bigotry, misogyny, ableism — these are all easy, cheap shots that cowards use.
Republicans use them because they work with their base – once they attack someone’s credibility via their skin color, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race or religion they don’t have to answer any tough questions. These things are never the real issue, they are a distraction tossed out to Trump’s voters.
It is only under Trump, however, that Republicans have been so comfortable attacking military personnel and Gold Star families.
Even though these baseless attacks are easy to see through for many of us, they are dangerous for the people being attacked and made others more vulnerable to hate crimes. So we are witnessing not only lame attempts to discredit a witness based on where he was born and that he is Jewish, but much more alarming is the way this anti-Semitism has taken firm root in the Republican Party.
Anything to ‘Keep Trump Out of Jail’, which is what their 2020 slogans should be.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.