now browsing by category
In the closing months of the 2016 presidential campaign President Obama went to Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to see if they could release a bipartisan statement informing the public in detail about Russia’s intrusion into our election. President Obama wanted to send a message to Russia to let Putin know that their attempts to divide our country would not work. Unfortunately “Moscow” Mitch rejected President Obama’s request and told him if he went ahead with the Russian disclosure he would look at it as President Obama using his office to help Hillary’s campaign. President Obama was very sensitive to being seen as using his office to help Hillary so he decided to release a very vague low key press release with very little information about how large the Russian operation was and no information about which candidate they were trying to help.
Fast forward three years later, Trump was caught withholding $400 million in security assistance from the Ukraine until they agreed to help his reelection campaign. To get the aide Trump wanted the Ukrainian President to announce publicly that he was investigating Trump’s political rival and potential campaign opponent Former VP Biden for corruption.
To the detriment of our democracy “Moscow” Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republicans are defending Trump and saying he did nothing wrong. But the Obama McConnell incident from 2016 shows how disingenuous he and his colleagues are. How can you say Obama wanting to alert the American public about the actions of Russia was improper during an election but Trump’s efforts to extort a country at war for personal political gain is ok?
Most voters are smart enough to see the hypocrisy in the arguments being put forth as a defense. Once again they have to try to defend the indefensible. Is this really what they want for American presidents? Are they going to let the next president who may be a Democrat engage in the same behavior?
What if Biden wins and instructs his attorney general to investigate Trump Pence and the former attorney general William Barr? What if Biden decides to give his son Bo a cabinet position and a top secret clearance despite the FBI’s recommendation to deny his application. Are they going to be ok with that?
What if Elizabeth Warren wins and decides to put pressure on the Chinese government to investigate Mitch McConnell and his wife’s family? What if Warren ask China to make a public statement about it right before McConnell’s reelection and in exchange we would ignore China’s human rights abuses and support their violent policing in Hong Kong? Would “Moscow” Mitch object to that?
What if Bernie Sanders wins and decides to divert money approved by McConnell’s Senate to help mid-western farmers and instead use it to combat climate change? Or holds the money until farmers make statements praising Sanders climate change initiative. Will they be ok with that?
What if Corey Booker wins and decides to sign a presidential order barring every executive branch employee from speaking to congress about anything. Barring them from complying with legal subpoenas for testimony and barring them from turning over any documents about anything? Will Republicans be ok with that? Will they say any attempt to investigate the executive branch is a partisan witch hunt? Will they call routine congressional oversight an attempt to overthrow the president?
What if Kamala Harris wins the election and decides to halt immigration from European countries because she thinks America has too many white people? What if she hires Louis Farrakhan to oversee this new immigration policy? Will they be ok with that? Will they say her immigration policy has nothing to do with race? Will they say she just wants the Europeans to come legally and wait their turn?
Republicans are going to be 100% fine with a Democrat president embracing the actions and ideas Trump modeled. And not only be 100% fine with it, but also defend it with their enthusiastic support and approval.
If the republicans believe everything they’ve been saying over the past 3 years there’s no way they would be against any of the actions I just used as examples. All of the hypotheticals I posed are things Trump actually did with the support of his party.
They’ve spent the last 3 years saying those same types of actions are legitimate and proper prerogatives of a president. When we elect a Democrat as president I suspect republicans will start to care about the rule of law and our image internationally again. But I also wonder if Trump’s corruptive influence will continue to shape the Republican party even after he’s no longer in office. Can we de-program the Trump cult and make them see right from wrong again or is this the new normal for them? Is Trump showing us the model of future Presidents to come?
I’m interested to know what you think. Leave me a comment below.
Russian President Vladimir Putin presented his case for caution in Syria directly to the American people. Putin wrote an op-ed for Thursday’s New York Times that went live online Wednesday night. In the article he titled “A Plea for Caution From Russia” Putin warned that a potential strike by the United States in Syria could unleash a new wave of terrorism, increase violence and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. He goes on to list a number of other possible negative outcomes resulting from a US missile attack, but everything he wrote in this piece has already been said. There was absolutely no new information in this article at all. After I finished reading his list of helpful warnings, to me the whole thing made him look like a slick opportunist trying to snub the president while taking advantage of America’s current foreign relations dilemma knowing that our president is in a tough situation domestically. Although Putin makes a few good points in his op-ed and on the surface he may seem sincerely concerned, we still must remember who this man is, and what he is capable of. Putin is a former KGB thug who behaves more like a dictator than an elected president. He talks about respecting international law and norms but rarely does this himself.
Remember the name Paul Klebnikov? He was an American journalist writing for Forbes Magazine. Because of his knowledge about Russian business Forbes reassigned him to Moscow to head a Russian version of Forbes. While he held that position he published a number of scathing articles about Putin and other Russian billionaires and soon after started to receive death threats. After a year in his new position he was found murdered and authorities said it looked like a professional hit. President Bush appealed directly to Vladimir Putin for help in finding those responsible and Putin refused. That murder was never solved and after that there were no more scathing articles written in Russia about Putin. So even if President Obama wanted to write a response op-ed to be published in Russia, he would have a very hard time finding a publication to publish it. Things like this occur in Russia every day but Putin sits on his high horse to lecture us Americans about what’s right and just.
Putin’s op-ed also makes a case for nonintervention when it comes to foreign governments. This is almost laughable coming from him because he refused to extradite NSA hacker Edward Snowden (who stole US government secrets) so he could face trial by the American Justice System. This does not sound like a man who wants to help Americans out of the kindness of his heart. I’m not even going to get into the atrocities Putin has bestowed upon his neighboring country of Chechnya and their ongoing contentious sometimes violent relationships with Latvia, Lithuania. And I don’t remember Mr. Putin and his government calling on the UN security council in 2008, when they decided to intervene in Georgia. The intentions and motivations of this stubby 3ft little man is to embarrass our president and make us look like war hungry aggressors. You don’t write a piece like this if diplomacy is what you’re seeking. Granted President Obama’s perceived indecisiveness opened the door rather wide for foreign critique but when it comes from someone like Putin the hypocrisy is inescapable.
There was one point in Putin’s op-ed that I did agree with, it was the part about “American Exceptionalism”. Every time former President Bush would bring this up in a speech or press conference I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. When President Obama said it in his address to the nation last night it made me cringe. Coming from an African American president who’s witnessed the dangers of elevating one race over another to justify inequality, he should know better. No matter who you are or where you were born, we were all created equal in the eyes of God.
My position on Syria has not changed or wavered one bit. I think it’s a mistake for us to bomb them for using chemical weapons. Diplomacy diplomacy diplomacy, we have to give it a chance. Launching missiles to bomb a country who does not pose an immediate threat to our country is absolutely positively the wrong thing to do. I can sympathize with the president’s position and I understand why he feels so strongly about punishing Syria for gassing all of those children and innocent bystanders. I’ve seen the video footage and I agree that no human should be able to do that without consequences, but we must exhaust every possible avenue before we try to solve it with our military. I want to see the senator Barack Obama from ten years ago when he was anti-war and voting no on the war in Iraq. Where did that guy go? When you or I watch the news and see horrible things going on around the world there’s not much we as average citizens can do about it. But when you’re the president of the most powerful nation on earth and you see senseless suffering, I’m sure that need to do something is even stronger because you have the power to do something. That moral obligation weighs heavy on every US president. But there are limits to American power. The rest of the world understands this… we as proud American citizens are slowly realizing this as well.