Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Ronald Reagan Must Be Spinning In His Grave But Will Trump Cost The GOP Congressional Seats? In Utah?


Utah is a very red state-- but it isn't exactly a Trump red state. The PVI is R+20 but in 2016 Trump only wound up with 45.5% of the vote. That's right More Utahans voted against him than for him. Hillary won the biggest county in the state, Salt Lake-- 175,863 to 138,043 (with McMullin pulling 79,880. Shocking as it may sound to people who aren't aware of Utah politics, Trump only took 33% of Salt Lake County. and in the 4th Congressional district-- where incumbent Republican Mia Love is considered vulnerable in November, Trump pulled 39% of the vote. Now that he's president, he's even less popular than he was in 2016. His popularity has sunk precipitously.

Robert Genrke, a columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune is no Trump fan to begin with. His column Tuesday was addressed to Utah favorite son Jon Huntsman, who served as ambassador to China under Obama and who Trump appointed ambassador to Russia in 2017. The paper's owner and publisher is Paul Huntsman, brother of Ambassador Huntsman. Salt Lake's Fox affiliate asked if Huntsman would resign after the Señor Trumpanzee contradicted his assessment of Russia as a "malign" actor on the world stage? Huntsman assessed the Kremlin on Fox News Sunday: "trying to influence other elections, not only our own but those in Europe, tampering with the Brexit vote, funding nefarious political movements within Europe. The list goes on and on and on." His daughter Abby, an anchor on the Fox News Channel told him that "No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus."

Gehrke's column, Come home, Ambassador Huntsman, your country needs you, is what everyone in Utah is talking about. Gehrke addressed him directly: "Ambassador Huntsman, you work for a pawn, not a president. It’s time to come home."
As Utahns, many of us were a bit stunned last year when you accepted the job as U.S. ambassador to Russia, but your explanation made sense: It was a role you took on, much like your tenure in China, out of a deep sense of duty.

But that duty is to your country and the best way now to serve your country is not by holding on to some title and being the emissary of a president who doesn’t share your values, or American values, for that matter.

It’s by resigning immediately and speaking out against a president who attacks our allies, gives comfort to our adversaries and undermines our moral standing, our commitment to democratic ideals and our interest in human rights every time he opens his gaping mouth.

For Trump to simply accept at face value Putin’s assertion that Russia played no part in the plot to meddle in U.S. elections is a tragic disservice to the U.S. intelligence community, those diplomats who work in your office, and the integrity of our democracy and justice system.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people,” Trump said (which he has demonstrated again and again is a lie). “But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Was his denial stronger and more powerful than the unanimous assessment of the entire U.S. intelligence community-- the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the director of national intelligence-- as well as the Senate Intelligence Committee, which all agree Russia meddled in the elections??

Was it stronger than the charges laid out in shocking detail just three days ago by Trump’s own Justice Department that a dozen Russian military and intelligence agents orchestrated the hacking of Democratic computers, compromised election offices and stole voter data, and worked with WikiLeaks to release damaging information?

...Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave.

Mr. Ambassador, members of your own Republican Party are condemning Trump’s shameful sellout of our country.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) said Putin “gained a tremendous amount” from Trump’s validation. “I would guess he’s having caviar right now,” Corker said.

“I would never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian president and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Your friend, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said the soccer ball Putin gave to Trump should be checked for listening devices and never allowed in the White House.

...To remain silent and continue to serve this president would be complicity in the undoing of our nation and its status as a world leader.

Come home, Mr. Huntsman. Your country needs you.
Mia Love's district includes the southern part of Salt Lake City plus the city's southern suburbs, like West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton and shoots south through Lehi and Nephi as far south as Moroni, Spring City and Yuba Lake. She and Blue Dog Ben McAdams are all tied up in the money-raising race. As of the June 30 FEC report she had $1,233,151 in the bank and he had $1,249,035. And in the latest polls they are in a statistical tie. Will Trump hurt Love's reelection chances. McAdams told the media that he joins "Utahns of both political parties in expressing my frustration over what transpired in Helsinki. By interfering in our election, as all of our intelligence agencies have concluded, Russia attacked our country and our ideals. While we must find a way to live with our enemies, we should never confuse our adversaries with our allies. And we must resist Russian attacks with all the tools at our disposal. Democrats and Republicans should stand shoulder in this. Patriotism knows no party."

Love, like Republicans in tight races everywhere in the country, was clearly on the defensive and unable to defend Trump. In fact, she went as far as she could to distance herself from him: "Despite what was stated at today's summit, there is no question that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Both the Intelligence community and the House Intelligence Committee have demonstrated that fact. Unfortunately, Russia continues a long and persistent track record of hostility towards our nation and values. There's a reason that I, as a Member of Congress, have consistently voted to sanction Russia for its behavior. President Trump must understand that the world counts on our nation to set the tone and hold thugs accountable. Today he failed to do so."

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At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So that's how it's going to be now? We're going to hold up Utah republicans, some of the most regressive and religiously insane Nazi conservatives, as a beacon?

This is a looooong way to sink, wouldn't you think?

Reagan won't be spinning. He was all about power over country. He always said the right things that you'd want today's Nazis to be saying wrt Russia. But all he did was to commit treason and employ racism in order to win the election, provide arms to Iran (and lie about both under oath), invade sovereign nations that were not a threat, destroy the 4th estate, turn millionaires into billionaires while trebling the debt, and start the trend of building monopolies and trusts that created megacorps that will destroy the economy (for good... 2008 was a precursor).

Reagan would love this guy.

At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I briefly considered the idea that Jon Huntsman would at least be a reasonable choice for the nation when he ran for president (not that I supported him). Then I checked out the details of his positions, which ended that thought completely.

Now he's been challenged to stand up to a domestic enemy of the nation by resigning his ambassadorship and no longer being a part of the Trump (mis)Administration. Whether he heeds this plea or not determines where he really stands in relation to his publicly professed values.

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The day trump claimed his inauguration crowd was the biggest in history, every even minimally responsible Nazi party functionary would have resigned.

The only ones who have left were fired or indicted. A few Nazi congresswhores retired because they were going to lose anyway.

Nobody took the high road. Ponder this and then consider the treasonous realignment of this shithole away from NATO and western allies toward Russia, NK and other right-wing dictatorships.

And still nobody takes the high road.

nobody should have had to be begged to resign. they should be resigning in droves every day. nobody has.

'nuf said. period.


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