The Republican Right and Russia: More Than Allies.

The Washington Post reports on the Republican infatuation with Russia, and it looks like there’s a blossoming of true love happening there. Conservatives are looking at Russia, and Putin, and seeing their dream of America. It’s one hell of a 180 from when I was growing up in the 1960s, when being like Russia was the American Nightmare™. Given the new love affair, it’s hard to see that the so-called investigation into the many tentacles of collusion is going to go anywhere.

Growing up in the 1980s, Brian Brown was taught to think of the communist Soviet Union as a dark and evil place.

But Brown, a leading opponent of same-sex marriage, said that in the past few years he has started meeting Russians at conferences on family issues and finding many kindred spirits.

Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, has visited Moscow four times in four years, including a 2013 trip during which he testified before the Duma as Russia adopted a series of anti-gay laws.

“What I realized was that there was a great change happening in the former Soviet Union,” he said. “There was a real push to re-instill Christian values in the public square.”

A significant shift has been underway in recent years across the Republican right.

On issues including gun rights, terrorism and same-sex marriage, many leading advocates on the right who grew frustrated with their country’s leftward tilt under President Barack Obama have forged ties with well-connected Russians and come to see that country’s authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, as a potential ally.

The attitude adjustment among many conservative activists helps explain one of the most curious aspects of the 2016 presidential race: a softening among many conservatives of their historically hard-line views of Russia. To the alarm of some in the GOP’s national security establishment, support in the party base for then-candidate Donald Trump did not wane even after he rejected the tough tone of 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, who called Russia America’s No. 1 foe, and repeatedly praised Putin.


“Is it possible that these are just well-meaning people who are reaching out to Americans with shared interests? It is possible,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired from the CIA in 2015 after managing Russia operations for 30 years. “Is it likely? I don’t think it’s likely at all. . . . My assessment is that it’s definitely part of something bigger.”

Interactions between Russians and American conservatives appeared to gain momentum as Obama prepared to run for a second term.

At the time, many in the GOP warned that Obama had failed to counter the national security threat posted by Putin’s aggression.

But, deep in the party base, change was brewing.


“There has been a change in the views of hard-core conservatives toward Russia,” a participant, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), said in an interview. “Conservative Republicans like myself hated communism during the Cold War. But Russia is no longer the Soviet Union.”

And there’s are bottom line: conservative assholes of all stripes can tell themselves that the love affair with Russia is dandy and okay because no longer the Soviet Union. Everything is great now, and Putin is a wonderful tyrant, we need one of those too! The Tiny Tyrant is not in Putin’s league, to be sure, but it’s clear enough that he wants to be. Trump has long demonstrated a taste for authoritarian despots, and that brings us around to the troubling business of Trump and Duterte. The Tiny Tyrant thinks Duterte is great, and really admires his mass slaughter parading under the ‘war on drugs’ banner.

Duterte is an evil person, the very definition of amoral, but the Tiny Tyrant wants to be best buddies with him because North Korea. There’s been no noise out of the white house condemning the mass amount of violations, but Priebus did have this to say:

“If we don’t have all of our folks together — whether they’re good folks, bad folks, people we wish would do better in their country, doesn’t matter, we’ve got to be on the same page” on North Korea, Priebus said.

Ah. So now the bad guys are okay. Right. I’m sure all manner of Filipino people will be fine with that one, because gosh, two maniacs getting together to gang up on a third one, well, nothing bad can happen there, right?

How the Republican right found allies in Russia.

White House defends Trump invitation to Duterte despite human rights violations.

Oh, and there’s right interesting information here: Why did Trump invite a murderous autocrat to the White House? Follow the money. A towering conflict of interest.


  1. says

    It is strange that they seem to find the state sanctioned homophobia, the authortitarianism, with excessive limits on freedom of expression and no free press etc. to be alluring features of modern day Russia.

    Those were the defining features of former USSR as well. Oh sure, now they are imposed under the name of the Orthodox Christianity as Christian VAluse and not by The Communist Party in the Name of the Ploretariat, but there is very little real difference apart from that.

  2. says

    They love that though, that’s what they want here, authoritarianism, no queer types, approved press only, and a theocracy. They view Putin as a highly moral, strong, christian leader. And really, that tells you all you need to know.

  3. says

    “What I realized was that there was a great change happening in the former Soviet Union,” he said. “There was a real push to re-instill Christian values in the public square.”

    Biggest failure of the SU, they didn’t eradicate that bullshit.

    They view Putin as a highly moral, strong, christian leader.

    While Samwise Gamgee would claim that pretty is who pretty does, modern US/Russian christianity isn’t so much about what you do but whom you hate.

  4. says


    US/Russian christianity isn’t so much about what you do but whom you hate.

    Yep, in a nutshell.

  5. lumipuna says

    I’m kinda curious on how the USSR was perceived in US at the time. Was there genuine criticism of human rights violations, or more framing of communism itself as antithetical to generic “freedom”? Did the image of communism get demonized in part because of Soviet Russian imperialism, or more the other way round?

    Also, when Americans discuss Russia they always talk like communism had just ended. Does that mean nobody paid any attention to new Russia during 90s and 00s?

  6. says

    Back in the day, the USSR represented the awful red specter of commie! So, yeah, it was all framed around communism, and how evil it was; that’s why McCarthy could get away with the commie hunt. I don’t know which way around the demonisation went. When I was young, it was Nikita Khrushchev in the news every 5 minutes, probably the one person who could have out tantrumed Trump.

    Perestroika and Glasnost weren’t ignored, they were celebrated and well, it was downright trendy for a while here. Everyone loved Raisa. But it didn’t really matter all that much, because Russia has always been placed as a cipher as well as an enemy, because they are powerful enough to wipe us out, and “America” doesn’t like that. When the arms race cooled down, people went back to the corners, and kind of forgot about each other. It wasn’t that many years ago that there was overwhelming disapproval and distrust of Putin. How things change.

  7. busterggi says

    Soviet Union used to be offcially atheistic.

    Russia now officially Christian.

    Religion poisons everything.

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