The Republican Party saw Donald Trump coming. While Trump was a registered Democrat longer than he’s been registered as a Republican, that wasn’t because he used to embrace Democratic policies; it was because it made zero sense to be a Republican in NYC where Democrats held the political power and therefore access to the public’s money. THAT is always what Donald Trump is about: getting his bloated orange hands on our stuff. Nobody with half a brain ever thought Trump was a good businessman or a good human. Trump may not have ever actually said if he ran for office he’d run as a Republican because Republicans are more easily duped, but he may as well have. And it’s not that Republicans are, in fact, measurably stupider and therefore more easily duped, it’s that Republicans WANT to be duped. How else to describe people for whom feelings will always matter way, WAY more than facts? How else to describe a political party that knew Trump was a grave national security threat a month before they nominated him in 2016 – but chose to nominate him anyway?
Make no mistake: Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and his invasion of the GOP are directly related.
We need to know when it all started – the whole tick tock of Putin’s approach not only to Trump but to the various members of the Republican Party’s hierarchy. When did Putin ice his ownership of the right wing’s money? When did he feel confident that he had Charles Koch and the Mercers right where he wanted them? That is how their relationship works. It’s why while the rest of the world is isolating Russia, Koch Industries refuses to abandon them. Koch’s ties run deeper with Mother Russia than with Uncle Sam.
We can point to a couple of hard dates – fixed in time – when we know that Russia had compromised various Republican players. When exactly did Russian intelligence draw a bead on Trump and when did he officially become their asset? Was it during the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013? When did Mitch McConnell become a full on asset? What did Mitch get from Deripaska for getting those sanctions lifted (the ones imposed on Deripaska for his work skewing the 2016 election to Trump) so that Deripaska could (pretend to) invest hundreds of millions in a Russian-owned aluminum factory in western Kentucky (that never, in fact, got built)? Did the Moscow Eight arrive for dinner July 4,, 2018 in Moscow already compromised or was that hook set between the vodka shots and the caviar? We can point to eight Republicans who refused to approve of our funding the Ukrainians while they desperately defend themselves against Russia’s brute aggression.
June 25, 2016 is a date demanding explanation. That’s the day current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered a meeting of GOP leaders by insisting “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” Kevin wasn’t kidding – that’s why he swore to God. And it wasn’t a joke – that’s why then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan shut the conversation down there and then. The subject wasn’t leaving the room, Ryan insisted. That’s how they’d know they were “family”.
Think about that! One GOP leader tells the others that he suspects their about-to-be presidential nominee has a problematic relationship with a foreign leader we know is hostile towards us. Not only is their relationship “problematic”, if the suspicions are true, it means that Trump is literally OWNED by Putin. The correct response to this shouldn’t have been how the GOP leaders in the room responded – by deciding to keep this a secret. Who benefits from that? Not We The People – that’s for damned sure!
Why would they have done that? We don’t have to wonder. Human beings aren’t that hard to fathom. Republicans are almost the easiest of all to comprehend. Greed and power lust motivate them, nothing else. Want to know why they do anything? Is there a greed angle? A power angle? Question answered.
The Republican Party has coalesced into a white grievance party dedicated to maintaining white hegemony at all costs – even if it means destroying America’s democracy. Democracy itself has always been a problem for conservatism because conservatism always serves a narrow political interest. In America, conservatism wants to drag America back to the 50’s – the 1850’s – back when everyone (Blacks, brown people, Asians, women, LGBTQ people) knew their places and knew to stay in them. Problem is – from a retail politics perspective – that’s hard to sell to a broad, diverse (and rapidly diversifying) electorate. We The People want true equality and true equity. We want a truly level playing field. Those things are all anathema to Republicans.
The Republican Party saw common cause with Vladimir Putin – the end of America’s experiment with self-government. Do you think Putin disapproves of GOP voter restriction laws? Do you think Putin disapproved of the January 6 insurrection? More to the point – do you really think Putin had nothing to do with it?
Here’s my bet – we will find that Russia, at the very least, helped pay for the insurrection. It doesn’t matter if anyone involved knew about it. Consider all the time, energy, money and effort that had gone into the Trump project. If, indeed, Trump’s presidency was entirely run from the Kremlin, then it stands to reason that the Kremlin wasn’t going to let go of their hold on American power easily. Russia actively worked to make the insurrection happen. Take that to the bank and prepare to get richer than an oligarch.
Or how oligarchs used to be.
America won’t solve what’s ailing it until we have completely cleaned house. I’m not sure that can ever really be accomplished. I think we can expunge almost all of Russia’s influence. The moment we begin prosecuting treason and traitors – which we will – and it dawns on all the traitors how conspiracy works – and how their failure to say anything (even if they only suspected it) will damn them for all time – they’ll begin ratting each other out in hopes of not dying on the gallows or in federal prison.
Sovereign countries that fail to punish traitors won’t remain sovereign for much longer. And political leaders that fail to call out traitors in their midst deserve to suffer every last bit of punishment the rule of law has in store for them.