The East End’s member of the House of Representatives did what he had to do this week, falling in line to support the courtroom-regular former president’s re-election. Nick LaLota’s staff released a statement after Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary, that, among other things, praised Mr. Trump for not cozying up to Valdimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping. Putin, Xi, and Iran, he added, have been “emboldened” since his guy departed for Mar-a-Lago.
You have to feel a little sorry for Mr. LaLota, a first-term member of Congress who would like to return to Washington and can’t risk upsetting the party’s meal ticket. Yet suggesting that the Biden administration has been soft on Russia, China, or Iran is the kind of self-projection that Republicans do these days when attacking Democrats. When Republicans say that Democrats are blocking voting, they overlook the dozens of racially repressive laws they have been able to get through various state legislatures.
Projection is a big thing with the MAGA Republicans. When leading G.O.P. figures suggest the other side is involved in sexual misconduct, they are mostly talking about their own friends and colleagues, such as the head of an anti-human-traffic organization who was a Trump ally and quit in a rush after an investigation found he had allegedly coerced women into sharing a bed or showering with him on business trips. A former Trump aide was sentenced to 12 years in prison for child pornography. Rick Wilson, a founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project and former Republican operative, puts it this way “. . . when they say someone is a criminal, it’s because they’re criminal. If they say someone is corrupt, it’s because they’re corrupt.”
As for Iran, President Biden has authorized military strikes against Iran-linked militias in Iran and on Houthi anti-ship missiles in Yemen with Britain’s cooperation. While he was president, Trump’s decision to assassinate a top Irani general over an unsubstantiated attack plot nearly set off a war and forced allies in the European Union and Saudi Arabia to scramble to head off escalation.
But hey, it’s all Joe Biden’s fault, right, Nick?