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How does the Connecticut GOP support a submarine-cutting Trump?

I guess I have given up on finding Connecticut Republicans on the ballot this fall who might renounce the divisive hater at the head of their ticket.

Even as President Donald Trump has made America's response to the pandemic a laughingstock of the world — Europeans won't even let us in — and continues to stoke the flames of racism, Connecticut Republicans have doubled down.

You can purchase Make America Great signs and other paraphernalia on the Connecticut Republican Party website.

They seem to have learned nothing from their Trump-fueled loss in 2018, and I suspect that Trump revulsion among many independents and mainstream Republicans has grown ever stronger here, as it has around the country.

One puzzle of this Trump loyalty among Connecticut Republican candidates is the many ways in which the president is the antithesis of the policies and values that used to make Connecticut Republicans appealing statewide to voters.

I would put honor, honesty, decency and patriotism at the top of that list.

There was a time when the Connecticut GOP actually sent people to Washington.

Sure, a lot of the measures in Trump's latest budget, which he sent to a still-deliberating Congress, had the usual staples that wouldn't rattle too many Republican cages, like cutting spending on health care, child care, food stamps, education and energy assistance.

But Trump's budget got skimpy, too, on crucial defense spending, not where Republicans have usually gone for big savings.

Most notably for Connecticut, Trump proposed ending the two-a-year production schedule for Virginia-class submarines, eliminating a $2.5 billion boat.

I look forward to local Republican candidates addressing this in the campaign. How do you defend the candidate at the head of your ticket that wants to put a crimp in the funding pipeline for the most important employer in your district? Do you support his plan to slow down submarine building? What do you say about the projected layoffs that could create or the damage to the submarine supply chain and infrastructure?

Is that part of the new GOP agenda for Connecticut? Is that what Connecticut can expect for the next four years, if your candidate for president wins again?

Curiously, in the game of bringing home the bacon, Connecticut Democrats have become the clear winners in harvesting defense dollars, hence the robust per-capita federal defense spending lavished on the state.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, called Trump's budget proposal to build only eight new ships, two of them tugboats, a "weak and pathetic request."

Thank you, congressman. I can't think of anything more likely to get under the president's skin than calling his policies weak.

I guess we shouldn't expect anything less than disengagement in the submarine arms race with China and Russia from a president who didn't do anything about reports of the Russians putting bounties on the heads of American troops or who asked the Chinese for help with his reelection.

That rumble you've been hearing a lot lately may not be summer thunder, after all. It could be Connecticut Republicans rolling over in their graves.

The House has put up a budget that preserves the two-Virginia-submarines-a-year schedule. A Senate version put only a deposit down on the submarine Trump wants to cut. We will have to see what comes out of reconciliation of the House and Senate proposals for building Virginia-class boats.

There's still a lot of campaign time left for Connecticut Republican candidates to explain their support of the racist, divisive, mean-spirited candidate at the head of their ticket, a president who seems more interested in his own reelection than safeguarding America, from our enemies abroad or the virus consuming us at home.

Any of you who are finally ready to renounce, call me.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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