In midterm disaster, Fredo Corleone Republicans back Trump on Russia

In midterm disaster, Fredo Corleone Republicans back Trump on Russia
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As investigations and scandals surrounding Trump Republicans in Congress may well doom the GOP in midterm elections, American politics increasingly resembles what a fourth Godfather film would look like.

Perhaps the great actor Marlon Brando would play the role of Vladimir Putin as Don Corleone in Godfather IV if he were here today. Many Republicans are as alarmed as Democrats watching Putin appear to pull the strings in his recent meeting with Trump in Helsinki, raising questions never before asked about an American president.


Putin targeted Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces DHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats ABC chose a debate moderator who hates Trump MORE in his covert project to elect Trump in 2016. Now Putin appears to have targeted Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-Mo.), based on credible reports that Russia attempted to hack McCaskill’s staff as part of Putin’s plan to attack the midterm elections.



If Putin was the Don Corleone of American politics in 2016, working to elect the president of his choice, he now aspires to be the Don Corleone of 2018, working to elect the Congress of his choice, which would not be a Democratic majority.

The great curse of Republicans in the midterm elections is that on issue after issue, many of them appear to be playing the role of Fredo Corleone, the hapless, duplicitous and incompetent sycophant in the original Godfather.

George Will, the conscience of modern conservatism, recently lampooned Vice President Mike Pence for groveling before the extreme excesses of Trump. Will did not use the Fredo Corleone analogy, but he could have. 

Pence is a leader of the Fredo Corleone faction of Republicans, going along with dastardly deeds to get along with those who commit them. Pence’s groveling would be funny if the subject was not so serious and the dangers so grave.

Not all Republicans belong to the Fredo Corleone wing of the GOP. Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHoekstra emerges as favorite for top intelligence post Trump casts uncertainty over top intelligence role Trump withdraws Ratcliffe as Intelligence pick MORE (R-N.C.) has shown integrity, honor and patriotism as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in contrast to Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Juan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America MORE (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a leader of the Fredo Corleone Republican faction.

While Russia attacks America, Nunes attacks those who defend America from the Russian attack. While Don Corleone Putin attacks American democracy from Moscow, Nunes and the Fredo Corleone Republicans in Washington attack almost every leading player on the American team working to thwart the Russians.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE is one of the most respected attorneys and great patriots of our times. The attacks against him by the president and various members of the Fredo Corleone faction are shameful, despicable and doomed to fail.

In the worst idea since Trump appeared to take the word of the Russian Corleone over the American good guys in Helsinki, some in the Fredo Corleone faction moved to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Rosenstein10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Why the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing MORE.

Others in the Fredo Corleone faction haplessly seek to take away the security clearances of former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats MORE, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperConservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Former DHS, intelligence leaders launch group to protect presidential campaigns from foreign interference MORE, among others.

Brennan, Hayden and Clapper are fervent patriots of the highest order. They have worked to protect the security of our country over decades of service, but the Fredo Corleone Republicans, performing a great service to the Don Corleone in Moscow, say they are unworthy of a security clearance.

I wrote earlier this week that blockbuster scandal news would rock Republicans in the midterm voting.

Since then, we learned that apparently, before close Trump associates met with Russian agents at Trump Tower to further the Russian Godfather’s plot to elect Trump as president, the beneficiary of this plot knew about that collusion meeting in advance.

Matt Drudge recently referred to Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenCapitol Police advised Gaetz against holding open events I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Wyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations MORE, the source of this blockbuster information, as a “rat”.

Drudge, appropriately using a word that is common in Mafia movies, might have suggested that Cohen went from being a Fredo Corleone rat who supported Trump to being a Fredo Corleone rat who could destroy Trump.

According to Cohen’s alleged version of events, when Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor PETA billboard in Baltimore calls Kushner a 'rich pest' Dick Cheney to attend fundraiser supporting Trump reelection: report MORE told Donald Trump Sr.Donald John TrumpStocks close with steep losses as Trump, China escalate trade war Andrew Yang: News coverage of Trump a 'microcosm' of issues facing country Democrats should stop infighting and start attacking Donald Trump MORE about the collusion meeting, there were others, who may soon expect subpoenas, who were present as well.

Meanwhile, we also learned that Trump’s long-term CFO, Allen Weisselberg, has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury about matters involved in the Cohen case and possibly more. 

What dirt might they dish on Trump under penalty of perjury when Trump’s fixer and consigliere Cohen and Trump’s moneyman Weisselberg are questioned by Feds before the grand jury?

As scandals multiply, evidence mounts, midterms approach and our modern Godfather saga unfolds before voters, the Fredo Corleone faction of Republicans is increasingly the brand of the GOP.  

Even the modern Godfather in Moscow must be worried that too many rats will abandon the sinking ship, and Democrats in Congress will ultimately end this sad saga with a massive victory over the Fredo Corleone Republicans.

Brent Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.