After Donald Trump, Bibi Netanyahu and Jean-Claude Juncker offered cringe-inducing congratulations to Vladimir Putin on his “election” “victory,” it was good to see Senator John McCain cut through the crap.
An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election. https://t.co/lcQTBi7CA1
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2018
McCain may be dying of brain cancer, but that doesn’t keep him from being clear-headed about what Putin is up to. As he so often does, McCain puts Trump (and by implication the others) to shame.
(I understand and largely accept the argument that a country like Israel doesn’t have the luxury of complete moral clarity. But would Israel’s national security really have been compromised if Netanyahu hadn’t written “Mr. President, please accept my sincere congratulations for your victory in yesterday’s elections”?)
Barack Obama didn’t do any better in 2012. I should have posted about that at Harry’s Place at the time, and I apologize for not doing so.
And related to the Russian election: Can anyone explain the apparently widespread ballot stuffing? With the only serious challenger to Putin banned from running, and the regime’s near-total domination of the media, that hardly seems necessary.
Update: The Russian state propaganda website Sputnik provides a handy list of world leaders who congratulated Putin. They include the leaders of China, Germany, France, Transnistria, Venezuela, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Japan and India.