- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Politico, the online anti-Trump truncheon, has once again dived off the deep end into an empty pool, this time by deifying a GOP congressman for fighting against President Trump’s supposed reversal of the GOP’s anti-Russia “philosophy.”

“For 70 years, a fundamental precept of the Republican Party has been a deep skepticism, if not outright hostility, toward Russia,” Politico avers.

Wrong. The outright hostility felt by Republicans (and by Democrats until the party of Harry Truman and Scoop Jackson turned weirdly leftist) wasn’t toward 6.6 million square miles of land called Russia. It was toward the now-defunct Soviet Russian government, run by a series of mostly totalitarian communist-party bosses in Moscow.

Oblivious to that historical fact, Political says mid-dive:

Now, after biting their collective tongues during the opening months of Donald Trump’s presidency, congressional Republicans face an actual legislative test of whether their loyalty to their leader outweighs their fealty to their philosophy.

Really? Fealty to a philosophy called what? Anti-Russianism?

Politico continues:

Leading the forces for the latter is Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger [who] is “prepared to wage a rebellion and raise ‘holy hell’ in the face of new efforts by the White House and its allies to water down” tough sanctions on — you guessed it — Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government.

Politico has bestowed sainthood on Mr. Kinzinger not because Politio cares about Republicans — except to wish that the lice of a thousand dromedaries infest the hairy parts of any insufficiently anti-Trump Republican. (Psst, Bruce Bartlett, you’re safe.)

Who knows what’s in the mind of the “up and coming Congressman Kinzinger,” but if he doesn’t understand that the U.S. doesn’t need to make enemies in Beijing and Moscow at this or any other point, you have to ask yourself if Mr. Kinzinger is the great redeemer of true Republican anti-Russianism that Politio says he is. Actually, if you listen to the online recording of the interview with Mr. Kinzinger accompany the story, you see Politico used him to dump on Mr. Trump by the selective use of quotes.

Actually, at times Mr. Kinzinger can be insightful as a conservative House member. He’s impressed by Mr. Trump’s actions like bombing the Syrian airfield, though he also called the president’s foreign-policy rhetoric “narcissistic.” (But then so have some of Mr. Trump’s staunchest defenders, in private.)

“I’ve been happy with his actions, his words not so much,” Mr. Kinzinger told Politico.

So let’s save time and stipulate Mr. Kinzinger is not the great GOP redeemer, because there is not and never was such an “ism” as anti-Russianism in the GOP’s philosophy, which has always put America’s interests first. Vladimir Putin and his predecessors put Russia first. Xi Jinping puts China first.

The Donald (President Trump to you, Politico) has been putting America first with skill. Remember, he played China off against Russia on the Syrian front when China shocked the world by abstaining on a UN resolution condemning the chemical attack in Syria. That flabbergasted the professional Trump punchers. How, they asked, could it be that with Mr. Trump bossing U.S. foreign policy, China left Syria’s ally Russia as the only Security Council member to vote against the U.S.-led resolution? A historic first. A Trump win.

On Monday, Mr. Trump played India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi off against China’s President Xi Jinping by making Mr. Modi the guest of honor at the first Trump White House dinner for a foreign leader. Mr. Trump had given Mr. Xi a mere luncheon at Mar-a-Lago in April — and surprised him by announcing a U.S. missile attack on a Russian-infested Syrian airbase. A “Wow” moment for Mr. Trump. A deed instead of a hollow threat. Mr. Xi said he was cool with that. Another “Wow!” moment for Mr. Trump.

For those of you who have napped through the early 21st century, India is a nuclear power, has the world’s fastest growing economy, is China’s economic competitor and is Russia’s arms technology customer.

Calling Mr. Trump a “true friend,” Mr. Modi actually gave the president an affectionate bear hug in the Rose Garden on Monday. Wow! Name the last time an Indian prime minister showed such demonstrative affection for an American president. You can’t because there wasn’t.

Oregon Republican National Committee member Solomon Yue, who grew up in communist China, notes that “India is China’s strategic competitor and Russia’s ally. It is in our national interest to work with India and engage its ally, Russia.”

That’s why Mr. Trump wants a one-on-one Putin powwow in Hamburg for the 20-nation annual summit in July. Trump advisers’ knees reportedly wobble at the thought. How can he even consider a walk in the park with Putin with the whole world watching and with some Republicans joining the Democratic national chorus in singing the only song they know — about meddling and collusion?

Can an American president ignore advisers’ fears by meeting with Mr. Putin in Hamburg, and turn it to America’s advantage?

Can you say “Wow”?

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