Trump’s weird submission to Russian President Vladimir Putin — on international television! — and incoherent bumbling in Helsinki set his own forces against him: Fox News “commentators,” most of the GOP machinery and most importantly, if we can extrapolate from anecdotal newspaper reports, with voters who perhaps feel as if the final leg has been pulled from under the stool.

Forget for a minute that our moron in chief just hand-delivered to Putin the best press conference the dictator ever had in his life, and throw away the ridiculous “double negative” explanation and Trump’s eventual, begrudging “acceptance” of the findings of every national security division within the federal government over the word of his pal Vlad.[pullquote]If they were real patriots, we’d never be in this spot in the first place.[/pullquote]

Let’s keep our eye on the midterm election, just a couple Mueller indictments away: 35 Senate seats, all 435 seats in the House. The Republicans hold a majority they hope to keep, and the district lines have been drawn in their favor.

So now, while most of the country is trying to decide if the president committed treason, the political animals are trying to figure out how to run on it — or against it. And that is the trick.

Because sure, tough-guy Trump just committed what Newt Gingrich called “the biggest mistake of his presidency,” forcing most legacy Republicans to at least disagree with the sentiment if not outright condemn it. But how, exactly, will that play out with the voters?

Come stump season, Republican candidates will be forced to either stand by their man — no matter how much like borscht he’s beginning to smell — or play the patriot card and start paying attention to what US authorities, including Mueller, are saying, distancing themselves from Trump in the process.

We should allow them no middle ground.

Ultimately, most candidates will likely fall on whichever side the prevailing wind favors as the election looms near. Because if they were real patriots, we’d never be in this spot in the first place.

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