Monday, March 06, 2017

RussiaGate: WTF Has Happened to the Republican Party?


I’m old enough to remember a couple of critical things about politics and national security: that, historically, the Republican Party was always resolute in its fear of the Russian threat to American democracy and in defending us from it. The second is that when it came to this threat, both parties put partisanship aside and were united against an enemy state. No more. Republicans have gone mad.

The Trump administration acts more like a division of the Kremlin than the impenetrable Reaganesque patriotic defender we’d experience with any other Republican president. But this is not where the madness ends. Trump’s bromance with Vladimir Putin, and his cabinet’s dalliances with Russia’s Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (believed to be Russia’s top spy), is not only being tolerated by GOP leadership and voters, but excused and justified. This tacit acceptance of Russia’s tampering in our government, influence in our elections and tainting of our leadership makes no sense on any conceivable level. 

Perspective is critical here. Consider Benghazi, the 2012 insurgent attack on our embassy in Libya, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Republicans rabidly insisted she was to blame and went on an investigative feeding frenzy over two years, with 37 hearings and a $7-million cost to taxpayers. The embarrassing climax was Clinton’s 11-hour grilling before the House Select Committee which ultimately revealed nothing and put a long overdue end to the biggest, most wasteful witch hunt in Congressional history.

Also consider “the emails.” Oh, those pesky emails. Ya know, the 3 or 4 possibly classified ones she either sent to and/or were received by members of her own team. Her own team! And let’s not forget that server either. That ominous little digi-beast in her basement. The one which supposedly put America’s security in such grave danger (btw, we’ve now learned that VP Mike Pence’s use of a personal email account while Indiana governor has, according to experts, posed the same security risks… but no one on the right seems to care about that). 

Benghazi…emails…server. So much more threatening to America than the U.S. president, vice president, top national security advisor, top law enforcement officer, top advisor(s), former campaign manager and perhaps others lying about meetings with Russian operatives and possibly conspiring with Putin to steal the election, right? 

It’s time for Republicans to cut the shit. Seriously. Enough of this unconscionable partisan gamesmanship. It’s un-American. It’s time to start acting in the best interest of the United States. Time to put country before party. Time to appoint a special prosecutor to conduct a full bi-partisan investigation of RussiaGate. Time to indict Attorney General Jeff Sessions and anyone else who’s proven to have perjured themselves. Time to demand that Trump release his tax returns, which might reveal improper and/or illegal financial dealings, obligations and conflicts of interests with Russia. Time to reign in Trump who, over the weekend, committed the unthinkable by calling former President Obama “sick” while accusing him, without a shred of evidence, of tapping his Trump Tower phones last Fall. Congressional Republicans must start fulfilling their Constitutionally mandated checks and balances role. The American people, and our beloved democracy, deserve nothing less.

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