I would love to know what
The Republican senator from Arizona is a conspicuously honorable man in a profession filled with people who sell their honor rather cheaply. There is nothing more important than honor to a third-generation military man like McCain. He proved that through five years of confinement and torture as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. While many, if not most, of his Republican colleagues in the
McCain has characterized Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election as nothing less than an act of war and he repeated that charge on Thursday during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that received testimony about Russian cyber-espionage from leaders of the intelligence services. As committee chair, McCain had called the hearing to inform the public about the hacking operation that stole data from computers in the campaign headquarters of
"Every American should be alarmed by Russia's attacks on our nation," McCain said. "There is no national security interest more vital to the United States of America than the ability to hold free and fair elections without foreign interference."
One very important American, though, is showing no alarm at all — at least not about the Russians.
What is going on here? Is this just one more defensive reaction from the hyper-defensive Trump? Is he obsessed with protecting the legitimacy of his presidency against the overblown rhetoric of some on the Democratic side who say the Russians skewed the vote and cost Clinton the election and from the more serious and unanimous conclusion of the intelligence agencies that the Russians' actions were intended to help his campaign? If so, he is putting his own self-interest ahead of the national interest.
Is there something deeper? Is his affinity for Russia a product of his longtime business ties with that country? Why has Trump been such an ardent admirer of Putin? Does he see him as a role model?
Putin has stifled democracy in his homeland, shut down independent media, neutered rival political parties, subverted elections in other countries, seized Crimea, conducted a proxy war against Ukraine, overseen a savage slaughter of civilians in Syria and stands accused of ordering the killings of political enemies and journalists. Why is Trump drawn to such a person, even as he questions the value of America's NATO alliance and the unity of Europe?
There is no question that if a Democratic president-elect were to show such a kinship with a Russian dictator while making so many disparaging remarks about the CIA and other American intelligence agencies, Republicans in Congress would be preparing articles of impeachment and the right-wing media would be screaming "treason!" Odd how that is not happening now.
Luckily, there is McCain — plus other old-school conservatives like South Carolina Sen.
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