Graham and McCain won’t stand idly by while Trump cozies up to Putin

Who might step out of the crowd to stand up to Russia?

Who might step out of the crowd to stand up to Russia?

One of the seemingly less alarming headlines in the days right after the election was this one:

Trump, Putin agree in phone call to improve ‘unsatisfactory’ relations between their countries, Kremlin says

And what’s wrong with that? We might even applaud it, were Trump a normal POTUS-elect. Of course one chats with foreign leaders after winning the election, and of course one expresses hope for good international relations, even “resets.” Kumbaya, and all that.

But since we had ample evidence during the election that Trump is putty in Putin’s hands, and since Putin’s international goals include expanding his territory toward more Evil-Empirelike boundaries and propping up Bashar al-Assad in Syria, it’s quite natural to be creeped out by such an otherwise vanilla headline, because it tells you that it’s already begun.

Fortunately, people who know better than Trump are serving notice they won’t stand idly by while this bromance develops.

First there was this:

Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent his first shot across the bow of President-elect Donald Trump’s national security plans Tuesday, saying that any attempt to “reset” relations with Russia is unacceptable.

“With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladi­mir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States,” McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement released by his office.

“We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies and attempted to undermine America’s elections,” he said….

Then, McCain’s pal Lindsey Graham weighed in:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday said he wants Senate hearings to investigate whether Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the U.S. election, casting doubts on President-elect Donald Trump’s desire to improve relations with Russia.

“Assuming for a moment that we do believe that the Russian government was controlling outside organizations that hacked into our election, they should be punished,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Putin should be punished.”…

They are hardly alone, as the House demonstrated yesterday:

On Tuesday, the House passed a bill imposing mandatory sanctions on anyone that financially, economically, or technologically supports Syria’s government in the civil war there – a category that chiefly includes Russia and Iran. Trump’s supporters didn’t stand in the way, and the measure was passed unanimously.

“Regardless of perspectives on Syria, there’s some unanimity of opinion in sending a message on this kind of conduct,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said prior to the vote….

Here’s the part where we find out whether we should have believed all those reassurances we heard from Republicans about how our checks and balances would rein in the inevitable foolishness of a Trump administration…

6 thoughts on “Graham and McCain won’t stand idly by while Trump cozies up to Putin

  1. Doug Ross

    Are we going to measure Trump on the things he said he would do that Congress will not let him do?

    Which has a more likely effect of making the world unstable? Trying to work with Putin or calling him a murderer? And if he’s that bad and there is evidence of the hacking already, what was Obama waiting for to do something about it before the election?

    The challenge of pursuing peace is that there are too many entities that depend on there being a war mentality.

    1. Doug Ross

      Graham and McCain are cut from the same cloth. Their talk changes based on the election cycle and the results.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I don’t know if they were cut from the same cloth, but they usually agree, and I usually agree along with them.

        And in what way, shape or form does this statement fit the facts: “Their talk changes based on the election cycle and the results.”

        Really? They weren’t always wanting to take a tough line with Putin? They haven’t always opposed Trump’s worldview?

        I could see you saying that if they were meekly kowtowing to whatever Trump wanted to do with his buddy in Moscow, but they are doing the precise opposite.

        So, I’m just not following you…

        1. Doug Ross

          Their talk was muted in the weeks prior to the election. Why didn’t Lindsey call for Senate hearings two weeks ago? Because he’s a good little soldier.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Well, I already complained about him and McCain not doing enough to stop Trump before the election.

            Of course, I suspect they both thought, like most people in the country, that Hillary was going to win without their help.

            Anyway, rather than sitting about mourning what happened, they’re standing up to Trump.

            I’m sorry you can’t see that…

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