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No Country for Old Republicans

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In this scene from the movie, No Country for Old Men Llewelyn (Josh Brolin) finds the drug money and makes the decision to keep it.
(Image by image: Miramax)
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Ethan and Joel Coen's 2007 cinematic masterpiece No Country for Old Men, like all classics, is considered a significant work of art because it paints a compelling portrait of the human condition.

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The film's two central protagonists are Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) and Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). It is in Llewelyn, however, that perhaps we best see ourselves and are forced to ask deep questions about the decisions we make.

The plot revolves around a drug deal gone bad in the West Texas desert. Llewelyn, out hunting, stumbles upon a scene of human carnage, the aftermath of a gunfight that presumably erupted when the transporters, sellers of Mexican heroin, and their buyers jumped the gun, literally leaving almost no one alive.

As he stands amid the corpses, weapons, and drugs, Llewelyn's alarm is palpable. He takes on the demeanor of a wild animal, senses alive, on high alert. He won't touch the drugs, he takes one handgun from the grasp of a dead man, and then he sees the suitcase with the two million dollars in cash. Heroin he wants no part of, he doesn't understand it. But the money has his attention. After all, money is money, right?

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Off he goes, suitcase in hand, with more money than he has ever seen and more trouble than he will be able to stop. The cartels, armed with automatic weapons, come looking for the drugs or the money, and a brilliantly psychopathic Chigurh, played by Bardem, comes looking for the money on behalf of the American buyers.

The beleaguered and overmatched lawman, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, played by Tommy Lee Jones, tasked with restoring law and order, at one point goes to his uncle Ellis, played by Barry Corbin, a retired Sheriff himself, and asks for advice. The warning he gets is ominous: "You cain't stop what's coming." Indeed, what is coming is a trail of violence and bloodshed that the quiet desert communities in the area are totally unprepared for. In the end Llewelyn, his wife, and a number of others are murdered.

Currency is currency, right?

Like a bag of money, Vladimir Putin has handed American Republican members of Congress more political currency than they or anyone else saw coming. They're not comfortable embracing Putin, but they're okay with the newfound currency he has bestowed upon them. After all, political currency is political currency, right?

Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and their supporters have a problem not unlike Llewelyn's. They're off down the road with a bag of ill-begotten political currency, and there's a crime scene they're running from.

Talking heads while talking often speak of Putin's interference in 2016 U.S. presidential election in the past or future tense. "It happened at that time ... and we don't want it to happen next time." Seemingly oblivious to the three-ring circus of foreign influence and national security degradation unfolding before their eyes.

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Putin's Godfatherly embrace of Trump, his family, and his wide circle of supporters constitutes a right-here, right-now, live, active national security threat to the United States. This is a smash and grab of our republic underway in full view.

When Donald Trump as president opens up the Oval Office to the Putin regime or snubs the NATO Alliance, he is recklessly ignoring the advice of every national security expert in the Western world. When Trump contemptuously refuses to reveal his business dealings or financial dealings with Putin's circle of oligarchs, he is leaving the door wide open for massive corruption and betrayal of his oath as President.

Of equal cause for alarm is what the Republicans themselves are buying with Putin's currency. A new "conservative Supreme Court Justice," no problem. The destruction of the U.S. healthcare system for the benefit of the wealthiest one percent, of course. Putin's currency spends well.

Evan McMullin, writing for the Washington Post, opined, Republicans are Risking Becoming the Party of Putin. Consider that done. There is still the matter of the bag of illicit currency and its consequences.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News: http://www.readersupportednews.org

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