To add my voice to all those who have criticized President Trump's pathetic performance in Helsinki would just be a case of "piling on". Sure, Donald Trump disgraced the office of President of the United States. He absolutely looked incredibly weak and powerless against the strong image that Vladimir Putin managed to project. But let's be honest about it, did ANYONE have high expectations for a Trump/Putin summit meeting? I think the answer to that question is incredibly obvious. We were warned about the potential for disaster of just such a summit meeting, so it shouldn't come as much of surprise that the disaster took place. We knew weeks ago that there was something a bit "off" in terms of the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Yes, Donald Trump is singularly and personally responsible for the debacle in Helsinki. But he wouldn't have dared to put on such a performance unless he was absolutely convinced there would be no long-term political fallout from his fellow Republicans in the Congress. To be sure, there are any number of Republicans who have vocally criticized the President. They have bandied about such words as disappointment and disgrace. But let's face it, these mere words are as far as they're going to go in responding to President Trump's surrender to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Why is that? How is it that Congressional Republicans seem to have had their collective spines removed? The answer is as plain as the nose on your face. Congressional Republicans live in mortal terror of the possibility that they might be challenged in a primary election for being something less than totally loyal to President Trump. There have been two Republican senators who have had the temerity to openly criticize the actions of President Trump, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona. Both of them were up for re-election this year and both were challenged by Trump loyalists in primary elections in their respective states. As a result of their criticisms, both were called out by the President. From that point their poll numbers dropped like a stone and both men subsequently decided to end their bids for re-nomination and re-election. Needless to say, their fellow Republicans have taken note of their fates and have done everything in their power to stay on the good side of President Trump!
Fact is, Republicans have benefited mightily from Donald Trump's election to President. They have already notched one Supreme Court appointment and will soon latch on to another. They are in the process of turning the federal judiciary into the legal headquarters of the Republican Party. Years of federal government regulations have been wiped out and staunch defenders of such regulations have been replaced with pro-business activists who put corporate profit above everything else. In other words, Republicans are so much better off with Donald Trump in the White House that they can't see it in their hearts to work against HIS best interests.
But in so doing, these self same Republicans have signaled to President Trump that they are willing to give him a free pass, that they are comfortable with a few of his "excesses" as long as they get something out of the deal too. This has emboldened the President. He may be pilloried by Congressional Democrats, but what does he care? From a legislative perspective the Democrats are impotent. They can say whatever they choose, but for all intents and purposes, they can do NOTHING! The only effective restraining force in Congress is on the Republican side of the aisle and as long as Congressional Republicans are intimidated by Donald Trump and his forces of darkness the threat of congressional restraint is practically nil!
So yes, President Trump is guilty of the most heinous foreign policy crimes against the best interests of the United States of America. But he wouldn't have been so anxious to rock the boat if it hadn't been for the complete and total impotence of the Republicans in Congress. We SHOULD condemn President Trump for his abject surrender to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. But we must absolutely remember that his Republican colleagues in the Congress are complicit in his guilt too!
Filed under: Politics