Ted Cruz Gonna Ride That Trump Train To End Of The Line!
After a few weeks of the Sunday shows dealing with the C-level Trump lackeys, we got the appearance of some of the "All-Stars" this week from the House and the Senate. So we begin with Texas Senator and second-string Ulysses S. Grant cosplayer Rafael "Ted" Cruz. Appearing on "Meet The Press," Cruz was there to give us a preview of how Republicans in the McConnell-led Senate are going to handle their constitutional duty: like the cynical, partisan hacks they all are!
Chuck Todd began by outlining how the Trump administration's "tough" foreign policy rhetoric doesn't seem to jive with their actions, citing as an example Trump wanting Russia to return to the G7 WITHOUT returning the annexed Crimea (you know, the reason they were booted to begin with!). Cruz immediately deployed Republicans' well-worn talking points, and we were off:
CRUZ: By any measure, the president's policy and this administration's policy have been tougher on Russia and, actually, better for Ukraine than Obama's was. Let me give you an example. You just mentioned Ukrainian aid. The Donald Trump administration gave lethal defensive aid to Ukraine, Javelin missiles, to take out Russian tanks. Do you know what? Throughout the Obama administration, I repeatedly pressed President Obama to give lethal aid to Ukraine. I traveled to Ukraine. I went to the Maiden Square, in Kiev. And they needed lethal aid. But the Obama administration, they sent, teddy bears and MREs.
This talking point is a perfect example of how Republicans hear one "clever" retort and repeat it like the uncle who tries to perform Chris Rock jokes he heard.
Between 2014 and 2016, the United States committed more than $600 million in security assistance to Ukraine. Under the Obama administration, the federal government started the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which sent other kinds of US military equipment to the country. In the Obama administration's final year, Congress authorized lethal aid, but it didn't include the Javelins. The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (which became law in November 25th, 2015) called for "lethal assistance such as anti-armor weapon systems, mortars, crew-served weapons and ammunition, grenade launchers and ammunition, and small arms and ammunition."
So where does the "Obama only sent blankets and MREs" (and now teddy bears, apparently) come from? In 2015, the late Senator John McCain attended the Munich Security Conference where he objected to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's objections to sending lethal aid to Ukraine (which the Obama Administration was considering then):
MCCAIN: The Ukrainians are being slaughtered and we're sending them blankets and meals. Blankets don't do well against Russian tanks.
Yep! and just like that, every Republican hack has repeated a variation of this thinking they are the witty or clever one. And it changes to suit the mood of whomever is speaking, just like Hunter Biden's salary with Burisma, which even Chuck Todd pointed out.
CRUZ: And there was serious evidence of real corruption concerning Hunter Biden on the board of Burisma, the largest natural gas company in Ukraine. You know how much Hunter Biden was paid every month? $83,000. That's $1 million a year.
TODD: You know that number keeps changing. So far, there hasn't been a lot of confirmation on exactly all of that.
But the highlight is when Todd takes Cruz down memory lane to ask him a simple question.
TODD: Look this is -- Senator, this sort of strikes me as odd. Because you went through a primary campaign with this president. He launched a birtherism campaign against you. He went after your faith. He threatened to, quote, "spill the beans" about your wife about something. He pushed a National Enquirer story, which we now know he had a real relationship with the editors of the National Enquirer --
CRUZ: And Chuck, I appreciate you dragging up all that garbage. That's very kind of you, go ahead.
TODD : No, but Senator is it -- let me ask you this. Is it not possible that this president is capable of creating a false narrative about somebody, in order to help him, politically?
Cruz then sputtered and made his weakest case yet for why he agrees with Louisiana dumbfuck senator John Kennedy that, despite bipartisan experts saying it's Russian propaganda, Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election when a Ukraine ambassador wrote an op-ed criticizing Trump. This leap of logic was so sad, even Chuck Todd called it out.
TODD: They wrote an op-ed. That is the difference -- what you're saying is, you're saying a pickpocket, which essentially is a Hill op-ed, compared to Bernie Madoff and Vladimir Putin. You're trying to make -- you're trying to equal -- make them both seem equal. I don't understand that.
Here's the full Ted Cruz interview in all it's slimy smugness "glory":
We conclude oOn ABC's "This Week," we were treated to Sean Hannity's undercooked clone, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz. While talking impeachment, George Stephanopoulos asked about the wisdom of Rudy Giuliani taking a trip to Ukraine this week. Stephanopoulos quoted a Trump donor who said, "The fact that Giuliani is back in Ukraine is like a murder suspect returning to the crime scene to live-stream themselves moon dancing. It's brazen on a galactic level." Gaetz decided to instead argue the literal quote.
GAETZ: I would never compare Mayor Giuliani to a murder suspect. Let's remember, this is the guy who took down the mob in the '90s and who was out there leading a lot of -- the city of New York during the terrible events of 9/11. So, I think he gets the benefit of the doubt that he's not akin to a murder suspect.
Except also in the '90s, the FBI investigated for alleged Russian mob ties a major Giuliani campaign donor. While Rudy "took down" the Italian mob, this is not the first instance of sketchy dealings with former Soviet bloc mobsters. Rudy also likes to tout his "on the ground" leadership during 9/11 (which Biden famously used to end Rudy's 2008 presidential run), but it was Rudy who moved the NYC Emergency Command Center to the World Trade Center in 1998 ... 5 years AFTER the bombing on the World Trade Center! So Rudy is not exactly the smartest politician or criminal. Although it does explain why Gaetz sees a kinship with him.
Here is the full Gaetz interview video.
Now let's watch Nancy Pelosi wrangle this impeachment lightning to the finish line! Have a Week!
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Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.