GOP has an odd comrade for 2017

As the Republican Party looks back at a successful 2016 in which it reclaimed the White House, kept its stronghold on Capitol Hill and dominated in statehouses across the country, many in the GOP are strangely at odds with its traditional hardline stance on foreign policy.

President-elect Donald Trump’s bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin has members of the Republican Party cozying up with their former Cold War rivals at a time when Russia is accused of attempting to disrupt the 2016 presidential election in what some lawmakers have referred to as a "political Pearl Harbor."

Trump dismissed the allegations as ridiculous.

The battle today is far different from our longstanding concerns with the former Soviet Union. We are battling not over political ideology, but continued global influence. This is a battle America cannot lose and not one Trump can rationalize after running on a "Make America Great Again" platform.

Republicans have criticized – rightly, at times – President Obama and his entire administration for a spineless approach to foreign policy. And while it is wildly inappropriate for him to take this level of action in his final month of office, leaving a massive mess in U.S. relations with Israel and Russia, he was nevertheless justified for expelling 35 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions on the country for its alleged interference in our elections.

Multiple outlets have reported Russia has denied any involvement. U.S. agencies such as the FBI and CIA, however, determined the hacked information was made public to damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

"I strongly support the steps the (Obama) administration announced today to respond to Russia’s outrageous interference in our November elections," U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said in a statement on Thursday.

"The new Congress must come together in bipartisan fashion to investigate what happened and determine what additional legislative steps should be taken in response. The next administration should welcome and support all efforts to combat foreign interference in our elections and hold accountable those responsible."

She isn’t alone – John McCain and Lindsey Graham, both Republican hawks in the U.S. Senate, support taking action against Putin’s Russia.

"I would say that 99 of us (senators) believe the Russians did this, and we’re going to do something about it," Graham said, later telling reporters the country is "trying to break the back of democracies all around the world."

The fact that so many close to the president-elect continue to ignore Russia’s blatant attempts to kick sand in the face of Uncle Sam is disturbing. For Trump and others who lack experience and credibility in international relationships, it’s clear party loyalty has superseded the country’s best interests.

How can a Trump administration get tough on ISIS if it cannot review Russia’s aggressive anti-democratic activities? The party faithful was more than eager to waste millions of taxpayer dollars to investigate the Benghazi incident to harm Clinton, but consider Obama’s claims on Russia baseless.

It is time for Trump and those who champion his no-nonsense toughness to show some patriotism and stand up to Russia.