How Did Republicans Become the Pro-Russia Party?

How Did Republicans Become the Pro-Russia Party?

So long, Mike Johnson.  It sure was nice knowing you, or not knowing you, as the case may be.  Turns out you weren’t around long enough to share a cup of coffee with, which I assume you do not drink for religious reasons.  By the time I go to publish this piece, I am guessing that you will already have been ousted as Speaker of the House, a position you have held for just over 6 months.  But don’t feel too badly about being only the second Speaker of the House to be removed from the post.  You almost lasted as long as the previous Speaker, Mike McCarthy, who was ousted just last October by the same pack of right wing nut bags who now want to remove you.  Yeah, that’s just what the Republican Party has become.  They are, if nothing else, wildly unpredictable and highly entertaining.  Breaking conventions and long-standing political norms like  basic government procedures, the peaceful transition of power, and quaint notions such as freely-run democratic elections, they have run ramshod over the very principles this country has always stood for.  Mike Johnson is just the latest poor sap to fall victim to their unhinged lunacy, as they wield power with all the tact and decency of an irate toddler with a pair of scissors.  But it’s why they are turning on the very man they installed into that position that is so deeply disconcerting.  Seems that Mike Johnson actually has a thing for democracy.  And that is one thing the Republican Party can no longer abide.

Yes, what has driven Johnson to come under scrutiny from his far-right colleagues is not his stance on abortion or immigration or anything like that.  It is his willingness to consider sending aid to Ukraine.  You know, because Ukraine is a sovereign nation fighting off an attack from an antagonistic outside force led by a dictator trying to take away their autonomous self-rule.  For those of you still being brainwashed by Kremlin-endorsed state propaganda like Tucker Carlson or Fox News, let me remind you of how this all started a few years back: Ukraine was minding its own damn business when Russia invaded them in February of 2022 in order to keep them from joining the ever-encroaching forces of NATO alliances.  Oh and as to any of that “Denazifying” Ukraine nonsense, that seems pretty laughable coming from the guy who acts a lot like Hitler invading Poland as he goes into a country led by a Jew.

Which leads me to the all-important question in all of this: Just when did the Republican Party start becoming so chummy-chummy with Putin and the Russian Communist Party in the first place?  Oh yeah- that’s right, it was right around 2016 when Russia interfered in our elections in order to help Trump win the presidency.  For some strange reason Trump has been sucking off Putin ever since.  Trump praised the Russian president as a “genius” and “pretty savvy” when Russia invaded Ukraine in early 2022, and has boasted he would end the war in a “day”, sparking critics’ fears that if he’s elected again Trump would help Russia achieve a favorable peace deal by cutting off aid to Kyiv.  

And of course to follow lock step with their venerable leader, fellow Republicans have climbed aboard the pro-Russia Express.  Marjorie Taylor Greene filed the motion to vacate because Mike Johnson joined Democrats and the sane remains of his own party in furthering legislation to provide further financial backing to Ukraine.  This has led even in some in her own party to question her patriotic loyalties.  Former Republican Representative Ken Buck has taken to calling her “Moscow Marjorie” for her anti-ukrainian stance, suggesting in a recent interview, “Moscow Marjorie has reached a new low…During the Russian Revolution, Lenin talked about American journalists who were writing glowing reports about Russia at the time as ‘useful idiots.’…I don’t even think that Marjorie reaches that level of being a useful idiot here.  She is just mouthing the Russian propaganda, and really hurting American foreign policy in the process.”  But don’t take my or Ken Buck’s word for it, listen to the comments of Kremlin state TV host Evgeny Popov who recently said of Greene, “She believes that Americans should help Putin win. Yes, you heard that right. To help him win in Ukraine.”  Yeah, something might be wrong when state-controlled Russian television likes you more than your own press does.

Because just that word there- “state-sponsored television”- should tell you all that you need to know about where any of us who truly are American patriots, those of us who actually believe in founding principles like “democracy” and “freedom” instead of just spewing them indiscriminately out of our mouths at Trump rallies, where we must come down on the subject of Russia.  You see, I’m old enough to remember when Republicans were actually the most vocally oppositional anti-Commie Americans out there.  I remember Ronald Reagan, once revered by many Republicans as the greatest American president, standing up to Russian aggression and employing a policy of “peace through strength” before having the unmitigated balls to look Michael Gorbachev in the face as he told him to “tear down this wall”.  Oh, but think Russian has changed since those wistful days of the 1980’s?  Yeah, it’s gotten worse.  Much, much worse.

Do you people not remember every single national intelligence agency coming out and telling us that Russia intentionally interfered in our national elections in 2016, leading a Senate panel to declare Russia’s meddling in our national politics a “grave” threat?  Or did we all just conveniently forget that Trump, in a 2018 press conference with Putin, then threw all of those same said intelligence agencies under the bus, instead suggesting that he believed in Putin?  Well, for any of you democratic hypocrites out there in the Republican Party who say you love freedom and democracy, but somehow find yourself on the side of Russia just because your boy Trump seems to have a thing for them, let me remind you that we are talking about a country where political dissidents find themselves mysteriously dead and where free elections became a laughing matter the day that Putin took office.  

They have a word for it when you have elections that have already been pre-decided.  It’s called a dictatorship.  And our country comes into the 2024 election with a stark decision at hand.  Stand with those who stand with a Communist dictator.  Or stand with those who still remember that what makes this country great are the principles of democracy and freedom we were founded on.

As for Mike Johnson, he’ll be standing on a street corner, somewhere on the mean streets of Baton Rouge.


Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works.  Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at