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    Tuesday, February 27, 2024

    OPINION: Connecticut Republicans defend Trump

    You would think, as Donald Trump predicts that “death and destruction” will follow his apparently imminent arrest on charges of silencing a porn star to get elected, that Connecticut Republicans would cringe at the de facto leader of their party.

    Indeed, some of them have long become accustomed to running as fast as they can if they think a what-do-you-think-of-Trump question is coming their way.

    They are damned by his base if they don’t support him and reviled by all the rest of us if they do.

    Still, it surprises me, in this strange new phase of the Trump cult, as he remains the front runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, how many in the Connecticut GOP continue to prominently defend him.

    Just last week, Chris Healy, the former chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party and lobbyist for state Catholics, said on the radio that charges being contemplated against Trump in Georgia, where he was recorded asking for state officials to “find” him votes to overturn the election results, would be bogus.

    “I’ve heard those tapes, and all he says is what anybody says when they lose an election: Find the votes,” Healy told radio listeners. “I’ve done that. It’s not a crime.”

    Wow.

    Maybe prosecutors here ought to have a chat with the former GOP state chairman about his admitted experience in trying to find votes for a lost election.

    I guess I should not have been surprised to hear, on the same right-wing local talk radio station, our former Republican U.S. Congressman Rob Simmons of Stonington, defend Trump.

    But even I was startled to hear the former congressman casually refer to the former president’s call for violence, predicting for radio listeners that the protests that will follow a Trump arrest will be “mostly peaceful.”

    What does that mean?

    He also suggested that Michael Cohen, who says he delivered the payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels on Trump’s behalf, was probably the one who had an affair with her.

    Wow.

    Go ahead, congressman, smear someone else on the radio with wholly fictitious allegations in defense of your political idol. I guess that’s where a cult leaves you.

    Simmons, not offensive enough with that, went on to insult stroke victims, saying President Biden’s new running mate will be Sen. John Fetterman, still recovering from mental challenges from a stroke, because that ticket is a “no brainer.”

    Wow. We sent that guy to Washington to represent eastern Connecticut?

    The radio host, Lee Elci, also put in a Trump defense, suggesting the possible charges being considered are bogus, and predicted a Trump arrest will only make his popularity soar.

    He added that Democrats would be stupid to arrest Trump, as if charges would be brought by the political party and not authorities in the country’s legitimate justice system.

    My favorite among the Connecticut GOP who must cringe the most at the Trump question is Sen. Heather Somers of Groton, who has both fervent Trumpists and anti-Trumpers in her district.

    Somers declined a real debate in the last election season, saying she didn’t want to take questions on national issues, which I sure took to mean Trump-related.

    Somers has recently appeared on Trump-centric media, the “Fox and Friends” show and on Newsmax TV, where she promoted some of the Trump dark vision of America, in which Democrats enjoy setting murderers free.

    I wonder, as the country’s crazy Republicans flirt with a catastrophic debt crisis/economic default, and shrug at the notion of nominating an indicted, twice-impeached president for another term in the White House, how fast Somers and her GOP colleagues in Connecticut can run from the unfolding disaster.

    Maybe they can’t any longer.

    This is the opinion of David Collins

    d.collins@theday.com

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