Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Why Aren't Republicans More Pissed?

Dear Republicans,

There was a day in the not-too-distant past when, if there was even the slightest hint about Russian interference in our elections, you would have raised an enormous hue and cry over it and demanded that we get to the bottom of things. There would have been much pious hand-wringing and clutching of pearls over the integrity of our elections, in much the same way that y'all embrace Kris Kobach's voter suppression -- I mean, "integrity" -- efforts now. There would have been investigations, press conferences, truculent words exchanged with Moscow.

To be honest, you guys would have acted like this if the Kremlin interfered with your lunch order, much less our elections. So the obvious question, now that there is clear agreement in the intelligence community that the Kremlin got their meat hooks into our election in 2016, is this:

Why aren't you guys more pissed about this?

I can understand trump's unwillingness to acknowledge it, given his unwillingness to even acknowledge reality. I can even understand Mitch McConnell's seeming nonchalance about the matter, considering he and Vladimir Putin probably masterminded the entire thing in the first place. What I don't get, though, is how the rest of the Republican Party can dismiss this as no big deal, how they could spend months trying to downplay this, and how they could repeatedly stonewall efforts to investigate the matter.

Forget the partisanship. This is not about trying to score political points. It's just disturbing that the GOP can take this casual, hey-it's-not-a-big-deal-because-our-guy-won approach to it. After all, if the situation was reversed and it was discovered that Moscow had aided Hillary Clinton in an electoral victory, you guys would have immediately launched at least nineteen investigations. There would have been endless shrieking in the media about how she committed treason and should be imprisoned or hanged. There would have been calls to invalidate the election immediately. Independent prosecutors would have been appointed so fast the dust would have been visible in Google Earth. Your response would have made Henry VIII look calm and measured in comparison.
So what gives? Are you guys actually so craven, so beholden to the Mitch McConnell philosophy of "party before country" that you actually prefer a Russian puppet to a fairly elected president?

To be honest, this wouldn't have been as bad if you guys had at least nominated someone competent in the first place. Yes, it would have been annoying as hell, and there would definitely be agitation from the left to do something about it, but at least we would not be facing the possibility that we face today: that Russia helped elect the last President of the United States.

Look at what's happening in the world today. The United States, the leading voice in the international community as recently as seven months ago, is now being ignored, for the most part. Angela Merkel of Germany and Emmanuel Macron of France are stepping into the role of global leaders. North Korea and Iran are only the first of our adversaries testing the limits of their aggression to see just what they can get away with. Kim Jong Un is just begging for a fight with us because we have a commander-in-chief who couldn't find his own butt with both hands, a map, and step-by-step instructions.

Here at home, racially-motivated crime in the United States is on the rise. White supremacist groups are emerging into the daylight, emboldened by the general tenor of discourse coming from the White House. The administration is in complete disarray, having burned through three communications directors, two press secretaries, a chief of staff, a national security advisor ... and there's no sign of the carnage coming to an end any time soon.

When I try to discuss this with trump supporters of my acquaintance, I am told that it is fake news, there's nothing to see here, there's no evidence of collusion, collusion isn't illegal anyway ... in short, aping the "party before country" ethos.

Let's look at the meeting on June 9, 2016 at Trump Tower. Instead of simply saying "yeah, that doesn't look very good, does it? We had better look into this," you guys launched your GPS (GOP Positive Spin) system:
  1. The meeting was about the Magnitsky Act and adoptions, the only Russian there was the lawyer, and they never discussed the election beforehand.
  2. Okay, they did discuss the election beforehand, but it was in the context of completely innocuous good wishes.
  3. Okay, maybe they did say that they had some damaging information on Hillary, but we didn't need it so it's cool.
  4. Okay, so maybe we used it, but what's the big deal if a private Russian citizen gives us this information?
  5. Okay, so a couple of the Russians in the meeting -- of course there were three of them; we've been saying that all along, weren't you paying attention? -- were working for the Russian government, but this meeting wasn't in any official capacity.
  6. Okay, so maybe they were there as representatives of the Russian Federation, but only in the context of the adoptions issue; when they were talking about the election they were private citizens.
  7. You didn't see nothin'. Capisce?

So please, someone give me a clue. Why isn't the GOP more pissed about this? What is it going to take to get you guys to see that this transcends party politics and represents an existential threat to us as a country?

Yours truly,

The Blowhard Pundit

I gotta lie down.

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