If you watched the impeachment hearings you saw Devin Nunes throw shade on the claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He kept doing this, over and over again, never mind he has SEEN the evidence. It was as if he were coming from a tear in the time-space continuum. Indeed, the universe of facts that Nunes spoke about can be summarized in one thing. Ukraine hacked the election in 2016. Russia, if we were to believe the Congressman, had nothing to do with it. They are victims, and for that, Moscow was immensely pleased.
It matters little what the intelligence community has said. Yes, it was Russia. Or that Republicans in general, he in particular, were rebuked by experts during the hearings. It was Russia.
So we must ask, why are Republicans attached to this alternate view of the world? Why are they insisting on putting their narrow political goals ahead of the Constitution and the nation? Remember, this is the red-blooded, pro-constitution, national security party. Or at least it used to be.
There are several reasons why this alternate reality is happening. None of them are nice.
- The modern Republican Party seeks political power and it matters little how they obtain or maintain it. To be fair, this is a reality of any political party, but Republicans are going to extremes unseen in modern American history.
- The party is part of a global shift to far-right politics.
- The party does not believe in democracy.
- Overall the party is afraid of the transformation of the United States into a diverse country.
- Alexandr Dugin, a Russian nationalist, is popular with the far right, including the Republican Party. the arguments made by Dugin about the nation and the role of it in the global space are popular with the far-right in both Western Europe and the United States. If you have not heard of him, it’s important.
- The party has radicalized over the last decade or more. Some elements of the party are openly white supremacists.
These are just some of the elements of where the modern-day Republican Party is. We also have another factor. Republicans are getting money from the Trump campaign and are reluctant, to be nice, to put the nation before their narrow partisan needs. It has a name. It’s called bribery.
We know Nunes went to Eastern Europe when Republicans still had the House searching for Joe Biden dirt. This is the CNN reporting on this:
A lawyer for an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani told CNN that his client is willing to tell Congress about meetings the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee had in Vienna last year with a former Ukrainian prosecutor to discuss digging up dirt on Joe Biden.
The attorney, Joseph A. Bondy, represents Lev Parnas, the recently indicted Soviet-born American who worked with Giuliani to push claims of Democratic corruption in Ukraine. Bondy said that Parnas was told directly by the former Ukrainian official that he met last year in Vienna with Rep. Devin Nunes.
”Mr. Parnas learned from former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin that Nunes had met with Shokin in Vienna last December,” said Bondy.
Shokin was ousted from his position in 2016 after pressure from Western leaders, including then-vice president Biden, over concerns that Shokin was not pursuing corruption cases.
What we saw was at the very least the perception of conflict of interest. I think we crossed over into overt conflict. And this is one reason Republicans keep repeating this Russian born conspiracy. This is why Fiona Hill told this to Congress, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A former White House official said a theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections was a “fictional narrative” fueled by Russian propaganda, rejecting President Trump’s rationale for pushing Kyiv to investigate the matter and arguing the effort amounted to a “political errand” outside formal diplomatic channels.
But now we know that there is a clear conflict of interest. In the end, this should go to the Ethics committee. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy should remove Nunes from the committee. This writer expects none of that, and allegations that this is a witch hunt on Rep. Nunes. This is part of the pattern we have seen over the last three years. Distract, confuse, throw shade, which is a tactic used by Vladimir Putin as well.
We are also finding how vast the tentacles of the Rudy Giuliani dirt seeking operation were. And we will continue to see denials from Republicans since they have conservative judges take over the courts. For the moment, these may extend to money laundering and Venezuela.
This is making previous political scandals seem like small potatoes. Partly it is the distance of history. Most Americans have never heard of the Tea Pot Dome scandal. For that matter, Watergate is a distant thing younger Americans.
However this saga ends, it will change the nature of the country. Likely not in the best way, at least in the short term. Americans need to do more than just rebuke Donald Trump at the polls. It is clear the Senate will act in a partisan fashion. The modern-day GOP needs to lose their shirts, at all levels of government. And yes, people like Representative Nunes need to lose their seats, as well as Leader McCarthy.
They are both in California, which has less gerrymandered districts. So we shall see. However, all this needs to filter down to voters. And that is difficult at best in a highly dysfunctional media environment in which tribes go to their chosen message.
The 2016 election was histórica. The 2020 election could determine the future of the country for generations to come. It could also set the pattern for the end of American democracy. This is what is at stake.