Trump called Putin a "genius." How idiotic does the GOP look?
After claiming Biden was "weak" on Putin, GOP senators who bow to Trump are caught flat-footed.
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On the same day that GOP Senator Rick Scott of Florida announced that the GOP had to follow Trump’s MAGA agenda if the GOP wins back the Senate, Donald Trump pronounced Vladimir Putin “a genius” who’d done something “wonderful” by recognizing three breakaway provinces in Ukraine and commencing an invasion.
It wasn’t a shocker, of course, as Trump sucked up to Putin every chance he got as president, completely awestruck by the authoritarian. But it still was ludicrous and threw the GOP messaging into chaos:
“I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of Ukraine — Putin declares it as independent. Oh, that’s wonderful,” Trump told a conservative podcaster in an interview published Tuesday.
"I said, 'How smart is that?' And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. ... We could use that on our southern border," the former president said, describing Putin as “a guy who’s very savvy” and whom he knows “very, very well.”
This happened as the Republican National Committee and GOP senators were continuing their attacks on President Biden — who imposed escalating sanctions on Russia yesterday, and spoke out strongly against Putin’s absurd revisionist history and his military aggression — calling Biden “weak” in the face of Russian aggression.
You really can’t make this up. GOP senators, the RNC and much of Fox News had staked everything on calling Biden soft on Putin for not imposing sanctions earlier. Meanwhile, their candidates are running as Trump clones and Scott put out his radical, extremist 11-point MAGA plan outlining what Republicans will focus on if they win back the Senate.
The capper of the Scott plan is to complete Trump’s insidious wall on the border with Mexico and name it after Trump:
The document outlines Scott’s vision for America, one shared by other prominent figures on the far right, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The plan is a campaign document, not a practical governing agenda.
If enacted — something that stands no serious chance of happening — the plan would radically downgrade the federal government, drastically cutting spending on social services, raising taxes on the poor and instituting “race-blind” policies.
The plan also calls for completing Donald Trump’s border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and naming it after the former president; declaring “there are two genders,” part of the anti-LGBTQ push on the right; eliminating questions about race on government forms.
But then Trump comes out and calls Putin a “genius,” showing once again how following Trump and the MAGA movement is the road to hell for the GOP, and giving Democrats all the ammunition they need.
What’s more is those same Republicans can’t now criticize Trump because not only would he go ballistic on them; there’s an entire contingent of their own, led by Fox’s Tucker Carlson and Marjorie Taylor-Greene — who have a lot of support in the GOP base — who are saying the U.S. should be on the side of Russia, not Ukraine. Trump now only emboldened that base further.
So the GOP senators like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham will be cowardly silent about it or excuse Trump’s praising of a U.S. adversary and an authoritarian’s brutal aggression, looking like complete idiots, and as the true appeasers.
The big question are, Will the media rightly hit them over and over with questions on the hypocrisy? And will Democrats go in for the kill on the complete disarray and contradictions while President Biden is exemplifying strong and strategic leadership?