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    Thursday, July 25, 2024

    OPINION: Can Connecticut still vote for the GOP, party of Putin and open borders?

    It’s been a long time since any Republican was able to win any significant statewide office in Connecticut.

    One of the last congressional districts to send a Republican to Washington was our own, eastern Connecticut’s 2nd District, now represented by a very popular Democrat, Joe Courtney.

    And our former Republican representative, Rob Simmons of Stonington, in the time of the cult of Trump, has now devolved into a cartoon character on local right-wing radio, arguing not long ago that the Trump-inspired Jan. 6 insurrection was an “FBI operation.”

    As Simmons’ own hero, Donald Trump, might opine: Sad.

    It’s pathetic, really, that a former Congressman has sunk to such lows, publicly spreading conspiracy theories to protect a wanna-be dictator who has been indicted on 91 criminal charges and found guilty by a civil jury of sexual assault, forcefully touching a woman’s private area, in what a judge in the case said amounted to rape.

    That seems to be the sorry state of the Republican party in Connecticut, where party leaders have fallen into line with the new GOP, which is no longer able, as it once was, to attract moderate Connecticut voters.

    There was a time before Trump, when you could count on Republicans to at least support our allies overseas and protect the principles of post-World War II democracy, here and across Europe. Republicans were always steadfast in containing Soviet and Russian aggression.

    Now, as they torpedoed this week, on Trump’s instructions, a bill to help Israel, send aid to the Palestinians and help fight the horrible European war of Vladimir Putin’s making, there seems to be nothing left of Republican decency.

    Perhaps most alarming, the Washington Republicans proved this week they are willing to leave the southern border open, with the deadly fentanyl spigot wide open, just so they’ll have an issue to run on in the fall.

    I feel quite sure that a broad majority of Connecticut voters would like to see the kind of border spending and security that Washington Republicans selfishly rejected this week, and most here surely want their country to support Ukrainians in their teetering struggle to hold the line on Russian aggression and protect Western democracy.

    They are putting their lives on the line. All they need is some financial help.

    Shame on Republicans.

    I am also very tired of local Republican officeholders pretending that the R behind their name doesn’t mean anything, that they can cover their eyes, put their hands over the ears and pretend that they have nothing to do with their party’s despicable and alarming lurch toward dictatorship and away from democracy.

    If you run on the Republican ticket, you own it all. Nazism flourished in Germany because no one took a stand before it was too late.

    I am ashamed to be represented in the Connecticut Senate by someone who has voted hard-line Republican positions on issues like gun control, voting not to ban bump stocks, for instance, while pretending to be moderate.

    In announcing her campaign for re-election this week, state Sen. Heather Somers didn’t lift a finger to reject the Putin-loving, Israeli-aid rejecting Republican Trumpist party policies that she represents by affiliation.

    It’s a long campaign ahead, so be sure and ask her soon and often when she plans to forcefully reject Trump and Trumpism.

    I’d be glad to offer a full column of type here for her to do so.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.

    This is the opinion of David Collins.

    d.collins@theday.com

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