Amidst all the recent news, we all seem to have forgotten a news story from a year ago.
Senior Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy knew, they KNEW, the Trump campaign was illegally receiving assistance from the Putin regime. They openly discussed it in conference, and they laughed about it. We know because there’s a tape.
A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin. […]
That’s when McCarthy brought the conversation about Russian meddling around to the DNC hack, Trump and Rohrabacher.
“I’ll guarantee you that’s what it is. . . . The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp [opposition] research that they had on Trump,” McCarthy said with a laugh.
Ryan asked who the Russians “delivered” the opposition research to.
“There’s . . . there’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said, drawing some laughter. “Swear to God,” McCarthy added.
“This is an off the record,” Ryan said.
Some lawmakers laughed at that.
“No leaks, all right?,” Ryan said, adding: “This is how we know we’re a real family here.”
“That’s how you know that we’re tight,” Scalise said.
“What’s said in the family stays in the family,” Ryan added.
There is so much news every day, that I’d almost forgotten it. Then I was reminded about it in an excellent article by Ryan Cooper which is well worth ten minutes to read. In it, Cooper is clear-eyed and devastating about what this scandal tells us about our country and its politics:
Russia is the proximate main actor here. But at bottom, this is a story about American corruption. The Russians learned it’s trivially easy to buy or suborn the American political establishment, particularly on the right, and perhaps even turn the vast power of the American state to their own devices. In a democracy, authority should be derived from the consent of the governed, but it turns out the Republican Party — in between purple-faced shrieks about defending the Constitution from liberal tyranny — will absolutely forsake the most elementary American political principles in a heartbeat for partisan advantage.
Russiagate is a story about a criminal-riddled presidential campaign that was positively eager to trade foreign policy favors for hacked oppo research from a foreign power; a story of a political party leadership that laughed over the idea behind closed doors and successfully intimidated the incumbent government from discussing the story fully; and a story of a party electorate that has fed on bilious hatred for liberals and nutball conspiracy theories for so long they have completely lost sight of basic democratic values. — theweek.com/…
Cooper closes by saying there must be a reckoning (another fine piece by him). Powerful people who have abused their power must go to jail for the crimes they have committed.
We cannot bear another round of the collegial amnesty that was bestowed on Bush administration torturers and senior bankers who knowingly abetted fraud.
If we are to recover from the current epidemic of corruption, there must be a reckoning. Yet, no reckoning is possible without a victory in the 2018 elections. So I implore you to find a campaign you believe in, and work to make it successful.