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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Media Should Call Out ‘Putin’s Puppies’

It’s eight plus months till election day. But former President Trump’s coddling of Russian President Putin’s Ukraine policy during his Administration and now the invasion of Ukraine may turn into a midterm campaign issue benefitting Democrats.

Stephen Collinson reports at CNN Politics, ” It took only 24 hours for Donald Trump to hail Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dismembering of independent, democratic, sovereign Ukraine as an act of “genius.”….The former President often accuses his enemies falsely of treason, but his own giddy rush to side with a foreign leader who is proving to be an enemy of the United States and the West is shocking even by Trump’s self-serving standards.”

It gets worse. Trump also said, “So Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper. That’s the strongest peace force,” Trump said. “We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. … Here’s a guy who’s very savvy. … I know him very well. Very, very well.”

Collinson notes, further, “Trump’s latest idolization of Putin is likely to widen the growing divide in the GOP between traditional hawks, who have sometimes praised Biden for standing up to the Russian leader, and pro-Trump lawmakers – and conservative media stars like Tucker Carlson – who have sided with Putin….The House Republican leadership, which is in Trump’s pocket, accused Biden of “appeasement” on Tuesday – the same day that their de facto leader described Putin as a “genius.”

No doubt many Republican candidates for the Senate and House are squirming today. But former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Putin for being an “elegantly sophisticated.” Mitch McConneell, along with some G.O.P. House members tried to deflect criticism to President Biden. Representing the sane wing of the G.O.P., Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted “Former President Trump’s adulation of Putin today – including calling him a “genius” – aids our enemies. Trump’s interests don’t seem to align with the interests of the United States of America.”

Bill McCann put it well at The Austin-American Statesman:

When Trump cozied up to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Trump’s allies, including members of Congress, mostly were mute. When Trump blabbed classified information about ISIS to Russian officials in the Oval Office, his supporters sat silent. When Trump took Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence experts regarding Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election, his supporters mostly kept quiet. But while hardline Republicans held their tongues as Trump regularly coddled Putin, they had no problem defending Trump’s often outrageous behavior or comments, including his dangerous downplaying of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MSNBC commentator and former Republican Congresman Joe Scarborough said “House Republicans, you should bow your head in shame as we move into one of the greatest crises on the global stage since World War II,” Scarborough said on the set of Morning Joe Wednesday morning. “You should bow your head in shame. You are a disgrace to America….Now that NATO is united, you have Trump Republicans actually elevating and lifting up Vladimir Putin in this time of crisis,” Scarborough said, “It is absolutely disgusting….We now have useful idiots on the trump right that are apologizing for Vladimir Putin. The term fits them tightly, like a glove.”

In their first presidential debate, presidential candidate Biden called Trump “Putin’s puppy,” and now that zinger looks even more accurate. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to describe Trump’s Republican supporters as ‘Putin’s puppies.’

One comment on “Media Should Call Out ‘Putin’s Puppies’

  1. Wade Riddick on

    Biden should take this opportunity to dust off the Build Back Better bill as it was before dismemberment, tack on $100 billion in Ukrainian aid, $200 billion in emergency oil and gas help for Europe – subsidies that juice the Red state fossil fuel economy – throw in $50 billion for more cops on the streets and borders, add a telescoping carbon tax, add some ventilation for schools, hotels and other public spaces, subsidies for domestic manufacturing of said UV lights, fans and air filters and – oh, yeah, drug price cuts and provisions to make said drugs in American factories employing America workers. And he should adjust up the immigration quota to show anti-Communist solidarity with Ukrainian refugees. Then dare the usual perp walk of egregious loots to vote against it.


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