Steve Schmidt is right: Republican regression began long before Trump

John McCain called his 2008 presidential campaign “Straight Talk Express.” But that was just a slogan. Indeed, McCain’s campaign was a desperately dishonest project in which candidates and corrupt aides lied to reporters and the American people. promotes false impressions of competitors, Give Sarah Palin a national platform and set the stage for the Republican Party to retreat into the anti-democratic coalition ever since.

The downfall of the Republican Party had a lot to do with Donald Trump, but it didn’t start after 45 years.One President. It had deep roots, intertwined with unprincipled strategists on the domestic front, as well as oligarchs sympathetic to Russian President Vladimir Putin. And it continues to haunt the party and the United States at the moment Putin’s forces wage a war of genocide against Ukraine.

This is the most important implication of the headline-heading declaration of McCain’s campaigning adviser who became Republican Steve Schmidt and not “Absolute Trump.” twitter war With Meghan McCain, the self-righteous daughter of the late Senator.

In interviews with various social media platforms and MSNBC, Schmidt’s arguments are full of shaky scores and too much grudge against insider gossip, making it easy to get lost in the political details. However, Schmidt In a tweet on Saturday, he recalled: During one of the many collapses of John McCain’s failed 2008 presidential run, “[the] The campaign was imploded due to a vicious infighting between Rick Davis and John Weaver. Weaver sent an ultimatum. No Manaport. No Davis. McCain chose Davis. The fight was against Ukraine and Deripaska.”

Weaver was McCain’s chief advisor for many years and an ally of Schmidt. Davis was McCain’s 2008 Campaign Manager and Business Partner for Paul Manafort. Yes, that’s Paul Manaport.

This is a striking detail that provides insight into how the Grand Old Party became a risky player at home and abroad. Manafort didn’t magically appear in 2016. Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Republican Party Code rewritten To get rid of the language that requires Ukraine to provide weapons to fight Russia. Manafort joined Trump’s team as a veteran Republican strategist who used his connections to expand the influence of Putin’s allies against parties that have historically been hostile to the Soviet Union and Russia. His manipulation will frame the story of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s most compelling part. report Russia’s influence on Trump’s campaign and the presidency. But they started a few years ago.

Manafort and Davis worked for many years as a team leading twin careers that took them to the top of the GOP’s political hierarchy. they are engineering Former Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole took over the 1996 election campaign Manafort served as convention manager and Davis served as deputy campaign manager. Famous for their incompetence when it came to the real work of politics, Manafort and Davis ended their Dole campaign with 40% of the national vote. The World War II hero candidate, which seemed obvious to the conservative South and borders, lost Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia, who have consistently supported Republicans in every election since. But failure is rarely punished at the top of American politics, and Manafort and Davis quickly became interested in another presidential contender, John McCain.

When McCain partnered with Davis to manage Arizonan’s failed 2000 and 2008 presidential bids, he connected himself with a pair of agents who over the years had been lucrative with a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska. . In October 2008 country, Mark Ames and Ari Berman described Deripaska as “a $40 billion aluminum tycoon blessed with Putin’s”, “holding an unwritten interest between Putin and the oligarchs.” As long as they support the Kremlin, they can operate without punishment.”

Until March of this year, Deripaska explained: guardian As “Putin’s favorite” oligarch.

Davis and Manafort had no qualms about putting McCain in the same room as Deripaska for an event the oligarch described as an “intimate” 2006 banquet outside the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In January 2008, when McCain ran for president again, Washington Post will report “Rick Davis, now McCain’s campaign manager, helped meet McCain and Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska in Switzerland at an international economic conference. At the time, Davis was working for a lobbying company and was seeking a deal with the billionaire.”

post It was noted that the work of Davis’ company (then known as Davis Manafort) placed him against McCain and Eastern European politics, who fiercely opposed Putin’s attempts to overthrow elections in former Soviet republics like McCain. Ukraine.” “Davis’s company provided political advice to Ukraine’s pro-Russian party during the 2006 general election, while McCain supported the western-oriented reformer Victor Yushenko who led the Orange Revolution in 2004. He and his allies were It overturns what the party that the company supported believed to have stolen the election.”

This is what Schmidt refers to in his book. recent twitter message To Meghan McCain for providing the link country The article and Schmidt’s commentary read, “Your father, through his relationship with Yanukovych, allowed his campaign chairman to do business and work for Putin.”

Schmidt “Yanukovich, you probably never knew, was Putin’s puppet in Ukraine. The story of U.S. corruption in Ukraine begins here. “It starts with the John McCain operation, not the Trump operation.”

It is true. And much more important than that. Nasty details of lies The 2008 McCain campaign talked about the fact that Senator had an affair with a communications lobbyist, but let’s not forget that corruption. What you have to understand is that Davis and Manafort eventually went their separate ways, but the seeds of Putin’s influence within the Republican Party were planted long before Trump took office. Trump has borne the seed with the help of Manafort, who led the 2020 report of the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee. finish, Manafort’s “high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely related to Russian intelligence” created a situation that represented a “serious counterintelligence threat” during the Trump campaign and presidency.

Permanent fixtures in American politics that leap from campaign to campaign and obtain additional cash through bidding from foreign powers and oligarchs are rarely considered in the United States. This lack of accountability obscures the ways in which elections as well as governance processes are corrupted.

While it is true that Manafort was briefly imprisoned in 2019 for his exaggerated maneuvers, he was pardoned by Trump in 2020. Davis split from Manafort after the 2008 campaign and joined a private equity firm. However, he is politically linked as a fiduciary. McCain Institute for International Leadership, a group that says its mission is “to advance character-centered leadership in our own communities and around the world.” Davis’s biography on the Institute’s website states, “In 2000 and 2008, Davis served as National Campaign Manager for Senator John McCain, leading all aspects of campaign activity.”

all aspects.

explain why Steve Schmidt now speaks., “The McCain Institute must immediately remove Rick Davis from its board, including General David Petraeus. The existence of a man who advanced Putin’s agenda and made millions along with Manafort, Deripaska and Victor Yanukovych was not implicated in an institute that existed to promote democratic values ​​while Ukrainians were killed by the Russians for whom Davis worked. Moral obscenity does not begin to explain it.”

Say what you want to say about Schmidt. Many of his former compatriots are attacking him now, and talk about Schmidt as some media ridicule him. But he did provide a real picture of the fall of the Republican Party, which long ago started the process of giving up its honor. Donald Trump has joined the ranks.


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