Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Republicans appear to have discovered that there are limits to how brazenly they can attack Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who's testifying today in impeachment hearings.
One pundit on Fox News went as far as to suggest that Colonel Vindman had engaged in “espionage” against the United States, prompting an unusual rebuke from a Republican member of Congress....

“Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest,” Ms. Ingraham said. “Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?”

Her guest, John Yoo, a former top lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, agreed. “I find that astounding,” Mr. Yoo said. “Some people might call that espionage.”

The accusation by Mr. Yoo was decried by left-leaning pundits and, on Tuesday, by Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, a Republican lawmaker. “It is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this country,” Ms. Cheney said, calling on critics to stop questioning the colonel’s loyalties.
But that's how the con works: One person (or in this case two, Ingraham and Yoo) smear Vindman, then Cheney -- a Republican attack dog of the old school, which means her brand requires her to be unfailingly pro-military -- calls Ingraham and Yoo out, thus reassuring everyone in the so-called sensible center that Republicans are actually fine people and -- with rare exceptions! -- won't smear a war hero to get what they want.

(Voters in the Trump/Fox base are far less pro-military than Cheney these days, but they give her a pass as long as she spends most of her time attacking liberals. Cheney obliges.)

So now the mainstream media cries of "Republicans have gone too far!" are quieted -- but the smear is out there.

Con successfully worked.

Republicans are so good at this two-handed con that one GOP con artist is playing both parts.
New CNN hire Sean Duffy launched an extraordinary attack on Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, saying the fact he was born in Ukraine may have been a factor in his decision to report concerns about President Trump’s July telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky....

“It seems very clear that [Vindman] is incredibly concerned about Ukrainian defense,” he said. “I don’t know about his concern [for] American policy, but his main mission was to make sure the Ukraine got those weapons. I understand it: We all have an affinity to our homeland where we came from. Like me, I’m sure that Vindman has the same affinity.”

Asked if he would put the defense of his ancestral homeland of Ireland ahead of America’s, Duffy ignored the question and said: “He’s entitled to his opinion, he has an affinity, I think, for the Ukraine, he speaks Ukrainian, he came from the country, and he wants to make sure they’re safe and free.”
Shortly afterward, on Twitter, Sean Duffy insisted that he has nothing but the highest respect for Colonel Vindman.

What a reasonable-sounding young man! Surely he would never besmirch the reputation of a wounded veteran (even though he just did a few hours ago).

Republicans -- they get you coming and going....

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