One wonders whether Republicans in the United States fear President Trump more than Russians fear their president, Vladimir Putin. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) finally congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his victory — only after Mr. Putin had done so early on Dec. 15. Is it possible that Mr. McConnell surmised Mr. Trump couldn’t do much damage to the Republican flock once Mr. Putin had thrown in the towel?

From that unseemly “Russia, if you’re listening” plea candidate Trump made in July 2016 to the disastrous Helsinki summit two years later — when Mr. Trump openly sided with Mr. Putin over our own intelligence agencies — we have never had a U.S. president so cowed by a Russian leader.

Given his fealty, Mr. Trump must regard Mr. Putin’s betrayal as an “Et tu, comrade?” moment, but then Russia has proved yet again that it is indeed listening at all times.

So, it’s a shame that Republican holdouts are proving to be more tone-deaf politically — not only on domestic realpolitik but also on how our democracy actually works.

Jack Nargundkar, Germantown