The GOP has a Putin Problem

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While they’re all saying the right things now, pounding their chests about how tough they are on Russia, the GOP has a Vladimir Putin problem. And it’s up to us to speak out, as well as force the mainstream media to recognize this lame attempt at revisionist history.

As Putin continues to butcher innocent civilians and destroy Ukraine for no legitimate reason whatsoever, the blatant hypocrisy exhibited by a large number of the Republican apparatus is astounding. This group includes current and former politicians and members of right-wing media and continues – as if we all have short memories.

Unfortunately, in America, that’s precisely the case. We have short memories here, but there’s also a more troubling aspect: many of us simply do not pay attention to world events or domestic politics. Republican politicians know this to be true; thus, they have no problem lying to people’s faces. The only way to hold them to account is to confront them on their previous statements or press them on their continued support for the leader of their party, who never misses an opportunity to praise the brutal dictator of Russia.

So with the 2022 mid-term elections fast approaching, it’s time for a refresher course in how the political posturing we see right now from the GOP differs from their stances and statements over the past six years.


Let’s go way back to the 2016 election when Donald Trump continually praised Putin while ultimately accepting his help defeating Hillary Clinton for the presidency. Some in the GOP will say that the whole thing about collusion was a hoax, parroting the rhetoric from Trump. It was all a witch hunt, he said over and over.

Sorry, but it was not a hoax. We must never forget that Russia did help Trump in 2016, and we have the Mueller Report as proof. Several members of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Kremlin-linked company headquartered in Saint Petersburg, were charged with crimes related to the massive disinformation campaign waged on social media throughout the campaign. Without a doubt, it was a blatant attempt to help Trump, as Mueller clearly pointed out in his report.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager for a brief period, was indicted, as was his deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates. In all, Mueller’s team indicted or got guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies during the investigation.

I read the report. I realize not many Americans have the time or even desire to read a 400 plus page report. If they did, however, they’d realize that while Mueller never could conclude that there was a conspiracy, which would have led to indictments, there were, nonetheless countless contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. In other words, collusion.

Mueller also pointed out in the report that when it came to proving a conspiracy, they encountered uncooperative, evasive, and incomplete information from members of the Trump campaign. Thus, they could not charge anyone with that particular crime. But make no mistake, Russia interfered, and they interfered to help Trump win. It’s an inconvenient truth most GOP members of Congress would like everyone to forget.

And when they were in charge of Congress, they couldn’t care less to find out what happened with Russian interference in the 2016 election. Instead, they focused on the investigators of the interference themselves. That’s right; they investigated the investigators. Most of them had more contempt for the FBI than they did for Putin and his thugs.


And while Ukraine is fresh in everyone’s mind these days, let’s remember that they were at the center of Trump’s efforts to win reelection in 2020 and led to his first impeachment. His infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, asking him for a favor in lieu of vital military aid, represents quite the contrast to today’s GOP chiding President Biden for not doing enough to help Ukraine.

Back then, of course, they didn’t think it was enough to impeach their leader for withholding that aid. Trump wanting Zelenskyy to dig up dirt or simply announce an investigation into Biden’s son Hunter wasn’t enough to impeach. But you can bet they’ll nail Biden at every possible turn for being “weak” when it comes to Russia.

And by not impeaching him, they inevitably put the stamp of approval on Trump’s head. It essentially was that way for his four years in office. We saw the capitulation and lavish praise Trump gave to Putin, and for the most part, complete and utter silence from the GOP while he did it. There were denunciations here and there, but it was never sustained and usually forgotten within days. The wrath of a Trump tweet was a bridge too far for most of them.


To that end, Republican Representative Liz Cheney made some news this past weekend when she asked the following question: “Is there a Putin wing of the GOP?” You’d be hard-pressed to say no, quite frankly – the present chest-thumping and cries for more sanctions on Russia notwithstanding. Yes, they’re talking tough and agreeing with the rest of the world now. But it’s hard to take any of them seriously when they stayed ominously silent when Trump was cozying up to Putin and denigrating NATO as he did for most of his presidency.

Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas couldn’t even find the words to condemn Trump for his earlier comments praising Putin for being “savvy” and “smart” for going into Ukraine. George Stephanopoulos repeatedly tried on his ABC Sunday show to get him to call out Trump for the comments, to no avail.

Cotton, for one, was one of the most outspoken critics of Democrats trying to impeach Trump over his Ukraine strong-arm tactics, minimizing the pause in aid as nothing more than looking into a realistic possibility of corruption within the Ukrainian government. Which, by the way, was a completely ludicrous assumption. There was no evidence then, or now, that Ukraine was involved whatsoever in the 2016 election – a talking point initiated by none other than Putin himself.

None of it was a big deal for Cotton or most of the GOP, for that matter. They had a chance to make a statement and make it known that a sitting United States president should never enlist the help of foreign governments to get reelected. Instead, they let him get away with it, just as they did when he was impeached a second time for inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

We can also not let former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s praise of Putin go by without calling him out, or our buddy Tucker Carlson and others at Fox News who can never seem to blow enough kisses at the Russian President. After all, he’s the authoritarian hero many conservatives admire. It’s also why they love Trump so much.


The bottom line is this. Republican politicians and right-wing media pundits will be doing their best to make us all think they are the toughest of the tough regarding policies toward Russia. We simply cannot let them get away with it. Reporters need to press them repeatedly as to why the leader of their party continues to have a hard time being critical of the brutal dictator from Russia. And why is it that they cannot denounce Trump vociferously for not doing so?

Revisionist history is a hallmark of the Republican Party. In this election year, an enormously important one at that, we cannot allow them the opportunity to establish their newly discovered anti-Russian rhetoric. Let’s hope the American electorate is wise enough to see through these political games.

The evidence is clear. The Republican Party enabled Trump for four years while he did his best to suck up to a tyrant. There’s an old saying that says, if you permit it, you promote it. And many of them are still doing it to this very day.

26 comments

  1. Excellent analysis, partner! It is long past time that we hold those responsible for all the lies, for the cheating, and for the attempt to destroy this nation to account. Trump, Manafort, Gates and a host of others belong in prison, but the media is too cowardly to speak the truth, and the Republican Party cares only about winning … at any cost to We the People. The Republican Party no longer has a shred of credibility among those of us who read, study, and research current issues … too bad, for they were once a respectable party.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Jill! I fear for November, don’t you? These idiots are probably going to win back control. Either both Houses, or one. You and I both know they don’t deserve it. But, depending on how things are going at that point, people will either sit out or vote to punish Democrats because they’re pissed off. Ughhhh. Do you agree?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am concerned about November, but more and more I don’t think it’s going to be the bloodbath the Republicans and even some Democrats believe. More and more I’m seeing little things that give me a ray of hope. The things that concern me most are the illegalities that are being done in a number of states, such as “election police” and replacing secretaries of states with blatant partisan hacks, PLUS restrictive voting rights measures that will disenfranchise many poor, young, old, and Black people. But, in a fair and honest election, I think the Democrats stand a decent chance. Fingers crossed, anyway!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, I totally agree. This was all too obvious. There was a reason that they got nicknames such as “Moscow Mitch” and “Leningrad Lindsey”.

    We could use some good investigative journalism to look into the extent to which the GOP were funded by dirty money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Neil. The journalism now, however, is more focused on what negative story they can promote the most to get more clicks. At least that’s what it seems to me. Yes, there is good journalism going on. But, it seems to get drowned out by the hysteria. Truly frustrating.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeff, well said. I recall Senator John McCain writing after the Helsinki press conference that the former president betrayed his intelligence people’s trust by siding with Vladimir Putin over them. As the Mueller report bore out, they had reason to be concerned. I recognize Putin has taken better advantage of social media to disinform people, including his own countrymen. Yet, to call him a genius and elevate him to exalted status betrays one fact – in two weeks, Putin has thrown his well crafted credibility away by invading a country that included family and friends of Russians calling them evil. And, doing it poorly. He has shown the world exactly what he is – a malevolent and untruthful acting autocrat. But, the poor planning part should get as much press as the other. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Keith. Boy, we sure do miss McCain’s voice in times like these, do we not? If a few more of his colleagues would have been more willing to hold Trump accountable we could have been rid of him for good, at least as it pertains to him running for office.
      Putin is now a certifiable war criminal. I hope the world holds him to account. He should never be allowed on the stage with any world leader. Unless, of course, it’s the maniac in North Korea or maybe China. They’re all cut from the same cloth it seems. My only hope, Keith, is for the people of Russia to rise up and get rid of this guy once and for all. I know it’s a pipe dream. But I’m hoping.

      Like

    2. Quite so Keith, Putin has burnt his façade of credibility.
      As the current phrase goes.. ‘A toxic brand’.
      Maybe the Republican Party should awake start to viewing him like cigarettes. Socially unacceptable and bad for your health.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As with Trump, critics are feeling more empowered to openly criticize Putin. At some point, even for a gas lighter, it is hard to hide the truth from folks. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Getting the real info to the Russian people seems to be one of the most important solutions to all of this. He’s got the whole media to himself and can spin, lie, and just make stuff up. At some point, body bags will be coming home. If it’s true that thousands of their military have already been killed, it’s going to get back to the people. Frankly, it’s our best chance of getting rid of him.

        Like

      3. There are those in the Republican Party and their supporters who have invested so much public capital in their stance, they cannot imagine backing down.
        Something of an allegory with Hitler and his High Command’s stance on Stalingrad.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s amazing Nan that lying is what makes them such a formidable party. That, and all the phony culture wars they keep starting. I do my best to call them out. Mostly, though, I’m shouting to the wilderness. They’ve got such a machine behind them it’s hard as hell. Dems are so damn pathetic at this.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good question Vic. The Dems always seem to be a step behind in this area. The R’s excel at lies, disinformation, and catch phrases. Dems end up playing catch up and are always on the defensive. We just don’t have the media infrastructure to deal with these crazy people. They, of course, have Fox and other outlets throughout the country. It’s a dilemma. No other way to describe it.

      Like

      1. I think its a lack of focus and over-reliance on grass roots. You can’t win by playing defense, and we don’t have to be on defense all the time. We can make Tucker a huge liability for the GOP with relatively little effort. It just involves a small team (4?) dedicated to making the GOP look preposterous in every way possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A clutch of the Republican party seemed to have got so high on an Anti-Democrat, Anti-Progress mix of political drugs, they were willing to do anything for their next fix… Putin’s political harem.
    And now we have the ignoble sight of them being ‘dancing girls’ past their prime doing public shows for the rowdy crowd, anxious to get capital for their next high, only the ‘stuff ‘ ingested is getting more toxic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Roger, their latest lie/misinformation centers around the notion that we are in cahoots with the Ukrainians to make lethal biological weapons. This is blatantly false but Fox News is taking things out of context and making it look nefarious. In other words, they’re helping the dictator Putin with his talking points. Roger, we would never have won WW11 if Fox were around back then. I sincerely believe that.
      BTW, there is an element of truth to being in cahoots. But, it’s an agreement we had with them many years ago to safeguard these dangerous weapons so they would not get out or be stolen by terrorists. This is what they do Roger. It’s dangerous. Two Australian PMs called Rupert Murdoch out when they said he was a cancer infecting Australian democracy, or something to that effect. I could not agree more. It’s the same here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Back ‘in the day’, there was a kind of nervous understanding; whatever one side said in public the other side would say to themselves ‘Well. That’s for the public,’ and get on with the usual Realpolitik business, which also involved proxy wars in some hapless Third World nation.
        Fox News would appear to have stepped way out of its depth here. We are into the realms of The Big Boys and Girls in a pre- rumble turf war.
        ‘Just because Biden says it, we are against it,’ doesn’t cut it in this world.
        Out there…
        One false step, one stumble, someone sneezes and hits the wrong switch (not a nuclear one), someone is having a bad day and says ‘What the hell,’ and Fox like the rest of us will go down and all their editorials, commentators, share holdings won’t mean a damn thing.
        Like kids playing with fire.

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  5. As they’ve admitted in court, in a libel lawsuit against them, Fox, and their hosts-specifically Tucker Carlson-should not be taken seriously. He should be looked upon as nothing more than “entertainment.” In other words, Roger, they know it’s all nothing but a bunch of BS. But that BS is a danger to the public because so many are gullible enough to believe it.

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    1. Besides, the only ones aware of it being referred to as “entertainment” are the ones involved in the lawsuit. The dedicated Faux News audience is absolutely and totally convinced whatever is broadcast is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. After all … the station supports tRump!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not much different than Putin’s manipulation of all media in Russia. That’s why they love him so much at Fox. He’s their kind of guy.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The excerpt below shows how Ukraine was being set up by the former guy for a future attack by his lover Putin. Can you just Imagine the GOP outcry had this been Obama or Biden or better yet Hilary? Shameful

    And while Ukraine is fresh in everyone’s mind these days, let’s remember that they were at the center of Trump’s efforts to win reelection in 2020 and led to his first impeachment. His infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, asking him for a favor in lieu of vital military aid, represents quite the contrast to today’s GOP chiding President Biden for not doing enough to help Ukraine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course. They all would have been impeached. Hundreds of hearings. You’d hear about nothing else for months. And, I do think enough Dems would have also voted to impeach, given the same circumstances.

      Like

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