Republicans Kowtow to Trump … and Their Kremlin Script Writer
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Republicans Kowtow to Trump … and Their Kremlin Script Writer

The House Impeachment Debate Will Show the GOP Is Now the ‘Grand Old Putin’ Party

David Cay Johnston

As Congress debates changes in the articles of impeachment, we see on full display how GOP representatives have, for Donald Trump, abandoned any pretense of principle, rule of law and national loyalty.

House Republicans have embraced Trump’s win-for-Trump-at-all-costs philosophy.

Think of them as the kind of cowards who would never jump on a hand grenade, but would instinctively push the person next to them onto the explosive.

This is a political extension of the economic philosophy that we’ve-got-ours, tough-for-you, in Republican tax, spending and regulatory policy.

For Congressional Republicans, lying in defense of Trump is no vice, acknowledging facts is no virtue.

The impeachment hearing Monday reflected a three-pronged GOP strategy to protect Trump and thus themselves from being voted out. Voters can’t see them, they think, as being insufficiently subservient to the man who says–falsely – that our Constitution gives him the power to do anything he wants.

The strategy follows:

  1. Assume that voters, at least in GOP districts, are so lacking in critical thinking skills that they won’t notice that House Republicans offered no factual defense of Trump’s dishonest and disloyal conduct. As Trump said, “I love the poorly educated.”
  1. Lying for Trump is no vice; acknowledging  facts is no virtue. The GOP is using the perverted extremism justification concept put forth by the party’s 1964 standard-bearer, Barry Goldwater. House GOP impeachment lawyer Steven Castor falsely claimed Ukrainians didn’t know military aid was being withheld by Trump to argue there was no presidential extortion.
  1. Regurgitating Kremlin disinformation is fine so long as it helps Republicans win elections. Throughout the Judiciary Committee hearing, we heard Republicans repeat the Kremlin lie that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections.

This strategy shows that Trump has stripped the Republican party of any semblance of intellectual integrity and skepticism about Russia. Instead, GOP leaders have chosen to make themselves into what the old Soviet Union called “useful idiots” by spreading the lies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Trump says is more trustworthy than America’s intelligence agencies.

Mad magazine, 2016

The biggest lie is that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump. That lie is easy to sell to people who can’t point to Ukraine on a map. They don’t appreciate the geopolitical significance of Russia seizing the section of Ukraine called Crimea and Ukraine trying to repel the Russian invasion.

Useful Idiots

That Republicans now carry Kremlin water is an amazing transformation. For decades GOP operatives accused Democrats of being “useful idiots” who parroted communist propaganda.

The “better dead than red” Republicanism was your grandfather’s Grand Old Party. Now it’s “better to submit to Donald.”

In Trumplandia, winning is everything: money, power, favor.

Integrity, honor and loyalty are values unknown in  Trumplandia. Decency is for fools, idiots and schmucks.

Inviting Russian spymasters into the Oval Office without telling Americans, and then disclosing national security secrets including sources and methods, is AOK with today’s Republican lawmakers. They would have gone crazy had former President Barack Obama done the same.

Leopards don’t change their spots. Trump has spent his life cheating business owners, employees, investors, so-called students at his fake Trump University, novice roulette players at Trump Castle casino and even his own nieces and nephews out of most of their inheritances.

For those who have sold their souls to Trump, none of that matters. All that matters is that Trump won.

Win At All Costs

Now, thanks to the perfidy of Capitol Hill Republicans, win at all costs is the de facto policy of our government.

Putin, who has declared that democratic self-government is a joke, is smiling. Not only does he have an invaluable asset in the Oval Office, he now has the whole of the Republican Party in Congress helping his cause.

Featured image: Internet meme.

December 12, 2019