Another Explanation For GOP Sycophancy To Trump

For quite a while now, I have been wondering why the press doesn’t really take the possibility or even probability of GOP complicity with the Russians seriously. There is certainly plenty of evidence to support that theory. From Ryan and McConnell’s decision to choose party over country when confronted by evidence of Russian interference in our election in October, 2016 to down-ballot Republicans requesting, receiving, and/or using hacked DNC materials from Wikileaks to GOP-aligned PACs receiving large flow of Russian money to the consistent complicity of House Republicans in obstructing the Russia investigation and Devin Nunes’ recent admission of same, the evidence is already out there.

But the refusal of other GOP members of Congress to put any restraint on Trump has been a sight to behold. Bob Corker, an early supporter now turned critic, is not running for re-election but has really only offered verbal resistance. Ted Cruz is now actively seeking Trump’s support. And Lindsey Graham has gone from a never-Trumper to one of his biggest supporters.

Today on AM Joy, Sarah Kendzior floated the theory that, rather than receiving Russian support, some of these legislators are potentially being blackmailed. Kendzior notes that we know that the RNC was also hacked but we still know nothing about what was taken. But some of what was taken could potentially contain certain derogatory information on GOP candidates as in some the of the hacked DNC material.

Kendzior specifically points to Lindsey Graham, one of the most vehement never-Trumpers before the election who has made a remarkable 180-degree turn and become one of Trump’s most vocal supporters. Graham has also admitted that his own personal emails were hacked. According to Kendzior, “Graham’s radical change in rhetoric is reminiscent of the behavior one sees in autocratic regimes when potential political opponents are mollified or threatened into compliance”, specifically with the threat of blackmail.

If we know anything about Trump, it is that he is essentially a racketeer, specializing in extortion, bribery, and money laundering. Using Russian-supplied dirt to threaten and blackmail his Republican colleagues would be perfectly in character with what we know about Trump. And having dirt on his Republican colleagues would be far more important right now because, with control of the House and Senate, they are the only ones who could restrain him.

Kendzior has no specific proof to support her theory, just circumstantial evidence and her own expertise in the functionings of autocratic regimes. But it was nice to hear at least one member of the press try to explain some of the bizarre GOP sycophancy to Trump, especially for those who no longer need to fear the GOP base.

Originally published at on August 12, 2018.