Donald Trump is the most unpopular, obnoxious, arrogant and poorly informed major party nominee in U.S. history. His current status as the GOP nominee is a clear sign that there is something very wrong with the Republican Party. As we’ve discussed here before, it was the right wing media that created Trump and made his nomination possible. The orange hued-mogul won the GOP nomination because he sounds like the nasty talk show hosts Republicans have listened to on a daily basis for the last quarter century on Fox News and a.m. radio.
Many Republicans support and admire Trump because he is an obnoxious hater. They tell us they like Trump because he tells it like it is and isn’t PC. Many conservatives applauded when Trump falsely claimed that: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems…they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” The reality television show entertainer also called Mexicans “killers” and contended that Mexico was sending us their criminals.
Similarly, Trump’s supporters continued to back him when he called women slobs, pigs and dogs. Amazingly enough, support for Trump actually increased after Trump insulted Fox New entertainer Megyn Kelly by saying: “You could see blood coming out of her wherever.” He even retweeted somebody who called Kelly a “bimbo.”
Trump isn’t only an obnoxious jerk, he is also an ardent admirer of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. At the recent pathetic commander-in-chief forum with Matt Lauer, Trump said Putin “has been a leader far more than our president [Obama] has been.” At that same forum, Trump heaped praise upon Putin for his 82% approval rating in Russia – an approval rating artificially propped up by a compliant Russian media. GOP Vice Presidential hopeful Mike Pence doubled down on the ticket’s praise for Putin by saying: “I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country.”
What explains Trump’s sincere admiration of Putin are the deep financial ties he has to Russia. Since Trump’s four bankruptcies in the 1990s, he has been blackballed by U.S. banks and can’t get credit in this country. As a consequence, Trump has become highly reliant upon loans from Russia (and the government owned Bank of China.) According to reporting from Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo.com, Trump is heavily indebted to oligarchs with close ties to Putin. (Marshall reported that Trump’s overall indebtedness since he announced for President last year has grown from $350 million to $630 million.) As Donald Trump, Jr. said in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
Trump’s dependence upon Russian capital to finance his investments has translated into a pro-Russia tilt in Trump’s platform. The GOP nominee alarmed our allies when he talked about ending NATO’s guarantee of mutual defense to countries in Eastern Europe like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In addition, it was the Trump campaign that intervened at the Republican National Convention to re-write the platform plank on aide to Ukraine to adopt a position that benefited Russia. Experts on Russia have said that behind the scenes, Putin is probably rejoicing over Trump.
Even though Trump is a racist and deeply in debt to Putin’s allies, most prominent Nebraska Republicans still back the orange-hued mogul for President. Pete Ricketts and Don Bacon both appeared at Trump’s May rally in Omaha. Deb Fischer, Adrian Smith and Jean Stothert have all said they will vote for Trump. Fortenberry is trying to have it both ways (as usual) by declining to say he will vote for Trump but at the same time, the 1st CD Congressman said he “will do nothing to empower Clinton” and expressed admiration for Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again.”
Ricketts, Fischer, Fortenberry, Smith, Stothert and Bacon have all denied they are endorsing Trump but at the same time they say will vote for him. This denial is deeply disingenuous since the textbook definition of “endorse” is to: “declare one’s public approval or support of.” The bottom line here is that these leading Nebraska Republicans have endorsed Trump and support his candidacy. They can’t have it both ways.
The only prominent Nebraska Republican who has come out in opposition to Trump is Ben Sasse. I don’t doubt Sasse’s sincerity in opposing Trump – he is in good company in the GOP. Nevertheless, by refusing to back Trump, Sasse is shrewdly positioning himself to run for President in 2020. After Trump loses, Sasse will be able to say: “I told you so.” I predict that Sasse and Ted Cruz will be the front runners for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2020.
The continued support for Trump by Ricketts, Fischer, Fortenberry, Smith Bacon and Stothert is disturbing and an act of hyper-partisanship. These prominent Nebraska Republicans have put party over country by backing a racist hater with deep financial ties to Russia. These Republicans have said nothing about Trump’s budding alliance with Putin. The voters need to have some answers. Do Nebraska’s most prominent Republicans stand with Vladimir Putin or the U.S.?