*Doing something I rarely do, update, up front, to re-emphasize the meaning of this. As you read below, realize this. What this means, is that Republicans are not fooled. They know that Trump is a Putin Puppet and a danger on the world stage. Yet they are okay with it, because they get tax cuts, regulation cuts, and SCOTUS picks – they’ll deal with the world falling apart later, to get their “dream” here at home. Truly astonishing, truly un-American, all party-first.
I felt I needed to emphasize this more, because the article is more important than I realized at first.
Check out what Trump has been tweeting lately:
…Europe far more than it does the U.S. By some accounts, the U.S. is paying for 90% of NATO, with many countries nowhere close to their 2% commitment. On top of this the European Union has a Trade Surplus of $151 Million with the U.S., with big Trade Barriers on U.S. goods. NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
Many countries in NATO, which we are expected to defend, are not only short of their current commitment of 2% (which is low), but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made. Will they reimburse the U.S.?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS. Very Unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
You get the idea. Trump has been attacking NATO. In fact, if one calls “Tariffs” sanctions, which is what they are, in effect, Trump has sanctioned NATO FAR beyond Russia, when in fact NATO has run to the U.S. defense after 9-11, the only time Section 5 of NATO was invoked, when one attacked, all respond in defense.
As we have seen from the G-7, there is no reason to expect anything but Trump to continue to attack NATO. The attacks in the tweets above, have been described, as being exactly the type of words Putin would write – if he could write in the name of a president. And that has NATO terrified.
So, something happened today, rather extraordinary, and something that gives the lie to “Republican solidarity behind Trump.” Attached to a defense rider, Sen. Jack Reed, Democrat from Rhode Island, wrote a rider to the bill, affirming U.S. commitment to NATO and it’s critical importance to this nation.
the Senate passed a non-binding measure, 97-2, that expresses support for NATO, its mutual self-defense clause and calls on the administration to rush its whole-of-government strategy to counter Russia’s meddling in the U.S. and other democracies.
THAT, friends, is amazing. 97-2, the United States Senate, believed it important to tell NATO on the eve of Trump’s meetings with NATO leaders, that the Senate supported its commitment to NATO and defense of ALL NATO countries, against Russia, by a near unanimous vote. The two votes against? Sen Rand Paul who doesn’t believe in any foreign entanglements, and someone else who is not Mitch McConnell. I find that important. That when push comes to shove, things happen on the international stage that call for adult action, and the United States Senate can come together – under Mitch McConnell and vote overwhelmingly to REJECT the message of the United State president.
In any other context, this would be simply unthinkable and breathtaking. In THIS context, it is nothing more than reassurance that the Republicans are nothing BUT political tools at home, bowing before the ring of Trump to get their tax cuts and their dream SCOTUS picks, but when it comes to international relationships, where the rubber meets the road, they FULLY understand that their man represents a child let loose on the international stage.
In some ways this is so assuring, certainly we’re all glad that our NATO friends – who have helped us more than we’ve helped them lately – are assured that U.S. citizens still want their friendship and alliance, and pledge to defend them from Russia. On the other hand, nothing can be sadder, because it demonstrates clear as day that even people like McConnell know that Trump shouldn’t be president, that he’s not capable of enforcing U.S. policy, and needs to be slapped down by adults, immediately, hours before he sits down with NATO – so there’s no doubt.
How awful. It is practically an admission, “we don’t trust our president to speak for the United States when he speaks to you, so listen to us” – that is what they are saying. It also, if you listen really closely, belies that even Republicans know that Trump is likely compromised by Putin and may not be control of what he does with respect to NATO.
It’s a start, it’s important, and should find a wide wide audience, I encourage you to share this article.
*** We’ve really enjoyed the feedback on Twitter, I reply to all my messages, please feel free to follow me, it’s an honor, and I learn more from you than the other way around, so it’s somewhat selfish, but also wonderful. @MiciakZoom
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