Being in the minority in the House and Senate, Democrats can only make inroads against the Trump administration by finding wedge issues to separate Republicans from President-elect Trump. It looks like foreign policy might offer some very sharp wedges, since two prominent senators are already taking issue with Trump’s chaotic foreign policy signals.
John McCain has issued a strong statement about Vladimir Putin that can only be read as a warning against Trump’s solicitude of the Russian autocrat. Speaking of the recent Trump-Putin phone call, after which the Kremlin quickly hailed a new era of U.S.-Russian relations, McCain said, “We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.”
Meanwhile Rand Paul has indicated he’s not happy with the hawkish names being floated for secretary of state, including John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani. As Paul rightly notes, both men have supporting bombing Iran.
Interestingly, McCain and Paul are coming from different foreign policy wings of the Republican Party, with McCain an ultra-hawk and Paul an anti-war libertarian. But Trump’s foreign policy is confused enough to be attacked from many points of view—and the Democrats can join in both critiques.