It would appear we can add one more person to the seemingly inexhaustible list of the people who terrify the coward Greg Gianforte: Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to disapprove of Russia’s inclusion in future G-7 summits meetings, but despite bipartisan support for the measure, Congressman Gianforte sided with the Russian tyrant and against the people of Ukraine and his own country, joining only 70 other members of the House.
The resolution was introduced after President Trump, always eager to bend the knee to President Putin, argued for Russia’s inclusion in the summits in August.
Republicans other than Gianforte understood the importance of the resolution as a signal that the United States would stand with the people of Ukraine and against a Russian government still bent on interfering in American elections. From Republican House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Mike McCaul:
“As stated in this resolution, Russia should be not be readmitted to the Group of Seven until Putin respects the principles shared by the other members, relinquishes his chokehold over Crimea, and ceases his global attacks on democratic institutions. Maintaining the integrity of the Group of Seven is vital to the Group’s success, and Russia cannot be allowed to bully its way back in,” he said on the floor ahead of the vote.
The resolution simply called for Russia to be kept out of the G-7 Summits until it “respects the territorial integrity of its neighbors and adheres to the standards of democratic societies,” but Congressman Gianforte lacked the moral clarity and personal courage necessary to defend American values.
Gianforte’s craven abandonment of Ukraine is symptomatic of a Republican Party that has become, in the words of conservative analyst Max Boot, “the party of Russia.” As he wrote in the Washington Post today:
While Republicans are primarily motivated by Trump toadyism, there is also an element of ideological affinity for Russia. While all Republicans were staunchly opposed to the “godless” Soviet regime, some of them admire Putin’s fascist regime, which combines crony capitalism with ultra-nationalism. Putin has marketed himself to credulous conservatives as a champion of Christianity, traditional values and the white race.
White supremacy, toadyism, crony capitalism, and breathtaking cowardice. Perhaps Gianforte’s vote wasn’t that surprising at all.