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How Trump is destroying the GOP

By Robert B. Reich, Tribune Content Agency on

They also complained a few years ago that Obama wasn't doing enough to deter Russia in Eastern Ukraine. "Every time [Obama] goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody's eyes roll, including mine," said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham. "We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression."

That was then. Now, despite explicit findings by American intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 election -- the most direct attack on American democracy ever attempted by a foreign power -- Republicans in Congress want to give Russia a pass.

They don't even want to take steps to prevent further Russian meddling. They've downplayed a January report by Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warning that the Kremlin will likely move to influence upcoming U.S. elections, including those this year and in 2020.

The reason, of course, is the GOP doesn't want to do anything that might hurt Trump or rile his followers.

The GOP under Trump isn't the first political party to bend its principles to suit political expediency. But it may be the first to jettison its principles entirely, and over so short a time.

If Republicans no longer care about the federal debt, states' rights or Russian aggression, what exactly do they care about? What are the core principles of today's Republican Party?

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Winning and getting even.

But as a year with Trump as president has shown, this is no formula for governing.

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(Robert Reich, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few," now available in paperback. His film "Inequality for All" is available on Amazon, DVD and On Demand, and his documentary "Saving Capitalism" is now on Netflix. His daily blog is at www.facebook.com/RBReich/.)

 

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