The Spineless Vichy Republicans
Vichy Republicans Gave Us an Incompetent Administration
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, received the Russia Federation’s highest award possible for a foreign national. He opposes sanctions on the belligerent and repressive Russian state. For some reason, he refuses to call Vladimir Putin — who assisted Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s massacre and destruction — a war criminal. But Vichy Republicans made him the nation’s top diplomat.
Our intelligence agencies — the same ones Donald Trump decry as being akin to Nazi Germany — agree that Russian operatives aided the Trump campaign through email hacks, leaks to Julian Assange. Trump condemns, and his administration is complicit in condemning, such stories as “fake news.” Putin’s puppet sits in the Oval Office and Putin’s buddy serves a few blocks over in Foggy Bottom.
Senators all recognize Russia’s threat and they decry Putin’s attempts to sway our election and undermine faith in democratic institutions across the globe. They know Putin wants a neo-imperial Russian Empire that reclaims lands lost in Europe and the Caucasus. The legislators realize that through leaks portrayed as sinister and fake news that encourages ignorance while delegitimizing elected governments help elect far-right authoritarian administrations amenable and not threatening to Putin’s increasingly dictatorial state.
Vichy Republicans Won’t Stand Up to Trump
And yet, despite all that, Vichy Republican senators supported Tillerson’s Secretary of State nomination. The likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham — two Russia hawks — expressed fear about Tillerson’s Russia connections and his refusal to support actions that might challenge new Russian aggression, but voted for him, saying they wanted to give Trump the “benefit of the doubt” even as they refused to say they had confidence in Donald. McCain is obviously no longer a Maverick; Graham seems hell-bent on losing the respect some of bestowed upon him for his outspoken criticism of Donald Trump. Once they fold here, on one of their dearest issues, why should we believe they and their likes will oppose Trump on any grounds?
It’s not just McCain and Graham. All 52 Republicans, knowing quite well the extent of Russian influence on our election, voted for Putin’s friend, adding to the Trump administration’s already worrisome Russophilia. This only continues the shameful Vichy Republican streak of refusing to steadfastly condemn or stand up to Donald Trump since the fateful day he came down Trump Tower’s escalator to begin a campaign of ignorance and division.
Vichy Republicans will not stand up to Trump. They will offer no opposition even when they realize it is warranted and necessary. These unprincipled lawmakers — by no means statesmen and women — fear only his wrath and resultant electoral retribution. Sadly, they are not motivated by the country’s interests, just their own. Do not expect responsible acting — do expect to hold them responsible in 2018, 2020, and 2024.