Commentary, Defending Democracy

Editorials excoriate Trump’s traitorous behavior

Editorials across the country are expressing outrage this morning at Donald Trump’s shameful kowtowing to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. As a Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com put it:

“Acknowledging President Trump’s disastrous performance on the most prominent of international stages doesn’t require a partisan political perspective or ideological leaning. It is simply the ability to love a country that nurtures freedom over fear, participation over suppression and truth over propagandistic lies.

President Trump had the chance to show leadership, true guts and patriotism. Instead he wallowed in self-interest.

It was almost unimaginable. Standing beside the world’s foremost dictator, we witnessed an American president who wilted, and was limp and spineless.”

This is from an editorial in the Charlotte Observer entitled “Donald Trump’s disgraceful bow to Russia”:

“Donald Trump’s meeting Monday with Russian president Vladimir Putin was historic in all the wrong ways. It featured an American president siding with an enemy of the U.S. over his administration and intelligence officials. It was the first time in memory a president was this deferential, this weak, in the presence of an adversary.

If there was a bright side, it’s this: It might be the only way for some Americans to understand just how alarmed they should be about their president’s perspective on Russia….

Some Republicans in Congress were more tepid – Thom Tillis and Richard Burr focused their criticism on Russia and not Trump in statements late Monday. Most Republicans said nothing.

That’s almost as unconscionable. We don’t know if Trump’s performance at Monday’s news conference was a weak attempt at diplomacy or perhaps vanity about his 2016 election victory. We do think it’s reckless to suggest at this point, as Democratic leaders did later Monday, that Russia must have compromising info on our president.

But Donald Trump again gave Vladimir Putin a pass Monday for what amounts to an act of war. It’s time more Republicans started saying so.”

“It remains a mystery why the president, unlike any of his Republican or Democratic predecessors, is unwilling to call out Russian perfidy. He has no trouble throwing his weight around when he is in the company of America’s European allies, attacking them as deadbeats and the European Union as a ‘foe,’ or when he excoriates the news media as ‘enemies of the people.’ Put him next to Mr. Putin and other dictators, and he turns to putty.

All that’s clear is that a president who is way out of his depth is getting America into deep trouble.”

Meanwhile, the Winston-Salem Journal and Greensboro News & Record twins called on GOP members of congress to “stand up to Trump”:

“Sen. Thom Tillis late Monday issued a statement that decried Putin and Russia as adversaries but ignored Trump and the investigation. As of late Monday afternoon, Reps. Mark Walker, Virginia Foxx and Ted Budd, our other people in Washington, had said nothing, even as numerous members of Congress were asking questions and refuting what the president’s play-nice-with-Russia words implied.

Tillis showed some admirable backbone a couple of months ago when he sought in futility to protect Mueller’s role. Walker on Friday tweeted about the indictments but not the president. And that’s it.

Burr has done his piece and offered his insight. He is retiring in 2022. Tillis, Walker. Foxx and Budd have an option: They can line up behind the president’s unnecessary undermining of this investigation or speak out against him to protect the national interest. Even lame duck House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Monday that Trump ‘must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.’ Couldn’t Tillis, Walker, Foxx and Budd just once suggest the same thing? Couldn’t they represent our needs and not the president’s misplaced metaphors — and allegiances?”

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