From The Hill
As investigations and scandals surrounding Trump Republicans in Congress may well doom the GOP in midterm elections, American politics increasingly resembles what a fourth Godfather film would look like.
Perhaps the great actor Marlon Brando would play the role of Vladimir Putin as Don Corleone in Godfather IV if he were here today. Many Republicans are as alarmed as Democrats watching Putin appear to pull the strings in his recent meeting with Trump in Helsinki, raising questions never before asked about an American president.
Putin targeted Hillary Clinton in his covert project to elect Trump in 2016. Now Putin appears to have targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), based on credible reports that Russia attempted to hack McCaskill's staff as part of Putin's plan to attack the midterm elections.
If Putin was the Don Corleone of American politics in 2016, working to elect the president of his choice, he now aspires to be the Don Corleone of 2018, working to elect the Congress of his choice, which would not be a Democratic majority.
The great curse of Republicans in the midterm elections is that on issue after issue, many of them appear to be playing the role of Fredo Corleone, the hapless, duplicitous and incompetent sycophant in the original Godfather.
George Will, the conscience of modern conservatism, recently lampooned Vice President Mike Pence for groveling before the extreme excesses of Trump. Will did not use the Fredo Corleone analogy, but he could have.
Pence is a leader of the Fredo Corleone faction of Republicans, going along with dastardly deeds to get along with those who commit them. Pence's groveling would be funny if the subject was not so serious and the dangers so grave.
Not all Republicans belong to the Fredo Corleone wing of the GOP. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) has shown integrity, honor and patriotism as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in contrast to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a leader of the Fredo Corleone Republican faction.
While Russia attacks America, Nunes attacks those who defend America from the Russian attack. While Don Corleone Putin attacks American democracy from Moscow, Nunes and the Fredo Corleone Republicans in Washington attack almost every leading player on the American team working to thwart the Russians.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is one of the most respected attorneys and great patriots of our times. The attacks against him by the president and various members of the Fredo Corleone faction are shameful, despicable and doomed to fail.
In the worst idea since Trump appeared to take the word of the Russian Corleone over the American good guys in Helsinki, some in the Fredo Corleone faction moved to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Others in the Fredo Corleone faction haplessly seek to take away the security clearances of former CIA Director John Brennan, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, among others.