Republicans versus the Republic

If the controversy over the firing of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, has done anything, it has confirmed my decision on Nov. 9 to leave the Republican Party after a lifetime as a loyal member.

While the president has the authority to fire the F.B.I. director, to do so under these circumstances and for these reasons is a gross violation of the trust citizens place in the president to ensure that the laws “be faithfully executed.” If this is not a prima facie case of obstruction of justice — an impeachable offense — it’s hard to know what is.

Republicans would understand this and say so if these actions were taken by President Hillary Clinton. But when it comes to President Trump, they have checked their principles at the Oval Office door.

Are there even three principled Republicans left who will put their devotion to the Republic above their fealty to the Republican Party?

Max Boot: When Will Republicans Stand Up to Trump?

Signs point to no. If Trump bragging about serial sexual assault wasn’t enough to keep them from supporting him, legal abuses of power seem unlikely to do so.

The Same Kind of People

“My fear is that this is probably the first time in my memory that it seems we have the same kind of people on both sides — in the Kremlin and in the White House. The same people. It’s probably why they like each other. It’s not a matter of policy, but it’s that they feel that they are alike. They care less for democracy and values, and more for personal success, however that is defined.”

The New Yorker: Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

A Useful Idiot

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Washington Post: Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House

Furthermore, “Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack”