Image adapted from photos of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump
Since Russia took over Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in early 2014 many have been concerned that Russia will gobble up more and more of the Ukraine in the future.
In response, President Obama imposed economic sanctions—and threatened more. But to most Republicans, this response fell well short, looking to them like yet one more example of the President’s weakness.
Vladimir Putin is only going to respond to action, strength and resolve," said U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, adding later in an op-ed that we must "supply lethal defensive weaponry to the courageous Ukrainians fighting for their territorial integrity and freedom."
John McCain went one step further, saying it was "criminal" of Obama to not be arming Ukraine. And Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker said that Obama not providing weapons proved he was—wait for it—"feckless."
You get it. Republicans near and far were unanimous that Obama oughtta stand up to Putin by arming the Ukraine. Now!
So what do you when you unanimously agree on something? You put in the party platform!
But then things got weird. Someone from the tough-talking Trump campaign said (in a thick Queens accent):
"you know that arming Ukraine stuff... forget about it... no, really... forget about it. Forget. About. It. Read me?"
And just like that, the language was whacked—err, erased.
Next you're going to tell me that Russian hacking helped Donald Trump by leaking embarrassing information about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. And Trump not only doesn't condemn the cyber attacks, but encourages more attacks in the future?
That seems just tooooooo crazy.
According to Chapter 18 of the U.S. Code, "whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere" is guilty of treason.”
Nothing says "aid and comfort" to the Russians like changing the official Republican Party Platform from arming Ukraine so it can defend itself against a Russian invasion to not having anything in there about arming Ukraine. And nothing says "adheres to their enemies" like green-lighting cyber attacks against U.S. officials.
All this time we've been worried that Obama was the secret Manchurian candidate—and all along it was the guy accusing Obama of being the Manchurian candidate!
Reality TV can’t hold a candle to this.
Jud Lounsbury is a political writer based in Madison, Wisconsin and a frequent contributor to The Progressive.