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?
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.