Putin’s fifth column of fellow travelers in the personality cult of Donald Trump


I have castigated the craven cowards in the Congress who will not defend America against Russian asset Donald Trump’s traitorous act of betrayal of the United States at the Surrender Summit.

These craven cowards are more afraid of upsetting the sycophant supporters in the personality cult of Donald Trump than in performing their constitutional and patriotic duty to defend the national security of the United States.

Max Boot makes a critical observation at the Washington Post. The stench from Trump’s execrable performance grows ever more putrid:

Even Russian state television admits that Trump “really smells like an agent of the Kremlin.” The only question is whether he is a witting or unwitting agent. But if Trump is, at best, a “useful idiot” for the Kremlin, what does that make Trump’s useful idiots? All of the “conservatives” (I use the word loosely) who serve as the president’s enablers should understand the price of their partisanship: They are weakening U.S. security and facilitating foreign aggression.

The most useful and idiotic enablers are at Fox “News” Channel [aka Trump TV]. The propagandists (a category that excludes genuine journalists such as Chris Wallace) were in fine fettle after Helsinki. Tucker Carlson, seemingly intent on making America a safe space for xenophobes, claimed that Mexico is guilty of far worse election meddling than Russia “by packing our electorate.” Sean Hannity praised his idol for being “very strong,” thereby raising the epistemological question of whether strength in supinity is possible. Jeanine Pirro rebutted Trump’s critics by demanding: “What was he supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?” (Was that the only alternative?) And Lou Dobbs, with elementary-school eloquence, dismissed all naysaying as “stupid stuff.”

This brainwashing is as effective as it is preposterous. In a recent Economist/YouGov survey, only 40 percent of Republicans said the United States should stay in NATO and 56 percent said that Trump’s (borderline treasonous) relationship with Putin is a good thing. In the course of my lifetime, Republicans have gone from denouncing useful idiots to becoming useful idiots.

Indeed. In new polling since the Surrender Summit, the sycophant supporters in the personality cult of Donald Trump (useful idiots) are demonstrating that they are perfectly OK with a traitor, maybe even with an act of treason.

A Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll on Tuesday showed that 71 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s handling of Russia.

A clear majority of Republicans — 70 percent of them — approved of how Trump performed in Helsinki, according to a new CBS poll.

Most Republicans were okay with Trump’s original comments, according to the CBS poll. That’s likely, in part, because only half of Republicans (51 percent) believe U.S. intelligence over Russia. Overall, the majority of Americans — 70 percent — believe U.S. intelligence over Russia.

Most Republicans’ confidence in Trump’s ability to stand up to Russia has increased or remains unchanged following the Surrender Summit, despite the national and international freak out by literally everyone else.

Anew Axios/SurveyMonkey poll demonstrates 79 percent, a Huge GOP majority backs Trump’s Putin performance:

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And despite U.S. intelligence reports that Russia is a threat to interfere in future elections, the majority of Republicans in the CBS poll — 61 percent — are not concerned about Russian attempts to interfere in future elections.

In fact, some Republicans are perfectly OK with such Russian interference in our elections, so long as it benefits Republicans.

As Daniel Drezner points out at the Washington Post:

[M]any Trump supporters have made the same call: better to side with the Russians than with fellow Americans of a different political persuasion:

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To paraphrase Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us” — the sycophant MAGA supporters in the personality cult of Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin has a fifth column of fellow travelers in the Party of Trump, formerly known as the Republican Party.

Daniel Drezner continues:

Does this meet the constitutional threshold of [treason]: “adhering to [America’s] enemies, giving them aid and comfort”? Maybe, but maybe not!

Based on the actions of the Trump administration this week, reasonable people can disagree over whether treason is being committed. Let me repeat that: Reasonable people can disagree over whether treason is being committed by this White House.

I do not want to be writing those words. Much as I may have disagreed with previous administrations in my lifetime, I never doubted that the people in those administrations were trying to advance the national interest the best way they thought possible. After this past week, can that case be made with Trump and his national security team?

At some point, Trump will no longer be president. It will be tempting for whomever succeeds him to turn the page on history, declare bygones and move forward. Not me. The behavior of the Trump administration this week has been suspect. It demands a reckoning. A former CIA chief of Russian operations tweeted, “From a counterintelligence perspective, something is going on behind the scenes. Before Helsinki I was less sure; post Helsinki, I feel sick.”

I feel sick typing these words. But the words and actions of this president, his administration, and his loyalists sickens me even more.

Which leads to this post by Mark Sumner at Daily Kos, There are but two parties now, traitors and patriots:

In 1861, many areas of the North were sympathetic to the cause of slavery and southern independence. If that seems astonishing now, the reason seems entirely too easy to understand in 2018: Pro-slavery forces had long conducted a campaign warning northern workers that if slavery ended, millions of black former slaves would move to their area and compete with them for their jobs. That 19th century version of “economic anxiety” was enough to lead to pro-South rallies in several northern cities, and even to riots when the US government suggested the idea of imposing a draft to raise an army.

For a long moment, it seemed that the South might just … slip away. That, even though the Northern states had every advantage of numbers and economic might, they could not just lose the conflict, but surrender before it even began. Because of racism. Because many Americans were willing to ignore any injustice, even slavery, rather than face up to the consequences of equality. The closest the South came to carrying the day wasn’t after some moment of “strategic genius” or through some example of battlefield bravado. It was before the fight began.

That all changed with Sumter. In a moment, the South opened fire … and shot themselves.

Racism didn’t disappear from the North. But it became, for the moment at least, subsumed to a greater cause as all across the nation people turned to a greater threat. For at least a little while, they packed away other concerns.

Ulysses S. Grant: There are but two parties now, traitors and patriots. And I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter and, I trust, the stronger party.

In 1861, many people didn’t even realize that they believed in the Union … until it was threatened. And there’s absolutely no doubt that many northern soldiers turned up for muster just as laden with racism as they had been the day before. Many of them were concerned about what winning the fight might bring. But they were terrified by what it would mean to lose.

In 2018, Donald Trump stood on a stage next to the leader of a hostile foreign power and meekly acquiesced to his every demand, It was a moment that didn’t just confirm every fear built up since Trump entered the race for the White House, it compounded them. It showed definitively that the stakes are greater which party hangs its sign higher or even who gets to name judges to the court.

Once again, there are only two parties. And the time for choosing sides will very soon be over.

Now is the time for all patriotic men and women to come to the aid of their country.