By Jason Taylor
Today’s Republican Party is the party of Trump. It fawns over murderous dictators; it seeks to tear down institutions and suppress votes; it approves of a philandering, sexually-assaulting, moral wreck as their godly spiritual leader; it seeks to afflict the poor in order to comfort the wealthy; it lies at will, repeatedly, shamelessly. Congressional Republicans could stop the madness at will, but they refuse — and every day of inaction is a day of complicity.
The Trump campaign was willing to conspire with Russia to get its opposition research on Hillary Clinton because Russia wanted Trump to win. The weird revelation of these things — while Trump, his lawyers & the creeps around him try to normalize this, make it a ‘nothing burger’ or point out yet again that Hillary Clinton deleted ‘33,000 emails’ — is shocking. In their eyes, there’s nothing wrong with this. Stuff like this happens every day.
Andrew Sullivan, a Republican, published a column today supporting impeachment. He said impeachment isn’t about proving the president committed a crime. The provision in the Constitution for impeachment is to remove a president who is unfit for the office, who doesn’t have the best interests of the American people at heart. Sullivan wrote that in saying anyone would have taken this meeting, Trump has proven he is willing to put his own interests above those of the country he has sworn to serve and protect.
That’s the standard. Not that Trump or Jr ‘colluded’ or committed a crime. This week has been about the smoking gun that proved the Trump campaign was eagerly willing to accept help from the Russians to get elected. That is now beyond dispute. The Trumps are surrounded by bizarre, freakish, disgusting, corrupt compromised people. Many of them are Russians who are tied to the Trumps through money, politics, sleazy behavior, none of this is what we want to see around a President Of The United States.
Michael Flynn was forced to resign and may yet be charged with one or more criminal offenses for having misled government officials and offering incomplete information about foreign contacts. Now we have two advisors to the president — one informal (his son) and one a formal advisor (his son-in-law) are both doing at least the same thing as Mr. Flynn. A third — Mr. Manafort, who is the president’s former campaign manager — has registered as a foreign agent. Trump claims complete ignorance of any damaging conversations between them. Ahem.
It’s hard to understand why this isn’t already conspiracy to collude with a foreign country to violate U.S. election laws. Whatever came of the meeting, even if nothing, doesn’t seem the key element. If a bank robber drops the loot on the sidewalk while fleeing the bank, the cops don’t say, “Well, no harm in trying.”
The really interesting question is whether the Russians, having helped Trump get elected, are now using leaks and other subterfuge to help undermine his presidency and thereby further weaken the United States.
Perhaps Putin favored Trump not only because Putin had a grudge against Hillary Clinton, but because he saw him as a weak and ineffective leader whose antics, vulnerability, and inexperience would reduce the power, credibility, and political effectiveness of the American government, thereby creating further opportunities for Russia to undermine the US. Let’s hope Mr. Mueller, the Special Counsel, is looking into this possibility.
The fact that this Russian lobbyist who is suspected to be a ‘former’ intelligence office volunteered the information that he was present at this meeting between Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort and the Russian lawyer confirms my suspicions: the Russians helped to elect an incompetent and then are bit by bit taking him down, putting our entire government at risk of complete dysfunction. That was most likely their plan from the start.
I don’t know if Putin plays chess, but he certainly was at least four moves ahead of the Trump clan when plotting out his strategy. I can only hope that the Republicans in Congress and in state government wake up to the fact that the Russians will continue to provide bits of information to create mayhem and do something morally and politically positive about it. Otherwise, it looks like Russia owns the board.
We are all aware that the base of the GOP wants to go back in time, say the 1950s. For them, and their leaders, Putin is a savior, the myth of which has been perpetrated by Evangelical Ministers, Fox news, and talk radio. Even Lindsay Graham and John McCain helped coddle this ongoing disaster by criticizing Obama as feckless while claiming several years ago, Putin was strong.
It is a fact that nearly all of Trump’s support came from white voters — both men and women. This is why the devotion of the media to the collusion story is of no consequence to them. And, if it is of no consequence to them, it is of no consequence to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and other GOP leaders. At this point, the entire GOP’s leadership structure and power to govern rests on Trump. This should be of no surprise. In fact, Trump could kill someone on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and the perception of 40% of eligible voters (or 80% of the GOP) would still support his tenure as President.
To Trump’s credit, he didn’t get here by accident, and this disaster is not his alone. The GOP crafted this mess for many years, bringing it to a fever pitch during the Obama era. We reap what we sow. I have to wonder how much suffering and pain we all will have to endure because of the cynical and crafty ways of the Republicans today.