Has Putin compromised the GOP too? by @BloggersRUs

Has Putin compromised the GOP too?

by Tom Sullivan

California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was among a group of Republicans that appeared to endorse a fictional program to arm toddlers on Showtime's 'Who Is America?' — Hollywood Reporter.

Former CIA Moscow station chief Daniel Hoffman summarizes Vladimir Putin's KGB tradecraft with a Russian expression, “What makes a person breathe?” Seeing how Donald Trump breathes, Putin knows Trump lacks the self-restraint to be a "controlled agent" of the Kremlin. Putin instead uses the U.S. president a “confidential contact,” a more technical term, writes David Ignatius, than "useful idiot." Thus, has he turned Trump into "a human wrecking ball against America’s traditional allies and trading partners."

European allies are "gobsmacked" by Trump's failure to stand up to Putin in Helsinki. That compounded his undermining of the NATO alliance last week in Brussels.

But as appalled as Trump's GOP colleagues are at his fawning over the Russian dictator, they have made no serious efforts at reeling him back in. But damage control? Congressional Republicans are getting a crash course in damage control. Perhaps because they have become useful idiots as well.

Sacha Baron Cohen found it too easy to co-opt prominent conservatives into supporting (and advocating on film) a phony Israeli program for arming schoolchildren, Matt Lewis writes at Daily Beast:

In one interview, Cohen, posing as an Israeli colonel and terrorism expert, gets former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh to advocate arming little kids.

“The intensive three-week Kinderguardian course introduces specially selected children from 12 to 4 years old to pistols, rifles, semiautomatics, and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars. In less than a month—less than a month—a first-grader can become a first grenader,” Walsh says on camera. On purpose. Amazing.

Russophile California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's duping in Cohen's Kinderguardian prank has already become a campaign issue. Do you think Vladimir Putin hasn't noticed credulity trips over itself on the right?

This week federal agents arrested Maria Butina, a 29-year-old Russian national and graduate student who had become a minor celebrity for the National Rifle Association. Butina is allegedly a Russian agent the FBI has been monitoring since she arrived as a student in the U.S. in 2016. She worked at gaining access to NRA and Conservative Political Action Conference circles by "touting her interest in U.S. affairs and efforts to promote gun rights in Vladi­mir Putin’s restrictive Russia." Only unlike Cohen, she wasn't fishing for laughs. A grand jury indicted her for conspiracy and failing to register as a foreign agent.