Sunday, December 8, 2019

As GOP Channels Putin: Commentary on Republican Long Game in Cozying Up to Russia's Strongman Autocrat

Heather Cox Richardson, "Letters from an American, 7 December 2019":

In June 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that democracy is obsolete. He believes that a few oligarchs should run the world while the rest of us do as we are told, and he is doing his best to destroy both American democracy and the international structures, like NATO, that hold it in place. The interests of reactionary American leaders and Russian president Putin run parallel. Astonishingly, that affinity has recently come out into the open. Some of our leaders are publicly echoing Putin’s propaganda, apparently willing to work with him to undermine the principles on which our nation rests so long as it means they can stay in power. 
Will we permit the destruction of American democracy on our watch?

Earlier in Trump’s presidency, many Republicans sought to distance themselves from his warm tone toward Putin. But just this week alone, a number of Republican lawmakers, the official House Republican report rebutting impeachment, and the Fox News host Tucker Carlson have repeated Kremlin lines on Ukraine. … 
Impeachment is now providing a new test case to measure how far Trump has steered congressional Republicans toward greater accommodation of Russia.

The percentage of Republicans who view Russia as an ally has nearly doubled since Trump took office. The party’s transformation into a Russian lickspittle makes me sick; "GOP" might as well stand for "Gang of Putin."
That so many Republicans are just fine with it is yet another sign of how a once-grand party has lost its way. By turning into apologists and advocates for a Russian dictator, the Republican Party has become all that it once despised.

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. 
While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members.

The American white supremacist movement has long looked to Russia and Putin as friends and allies. They see Western Europe as engaged in destruction of the white race through liberal immigration policies, of male dominance through embrace of feminism, of rural fossil fuel power through embrace of policies designed to fight climate change, and of conservative Christianity through cultural secularization. They see America as destined to follow along on the same path, and they see Russia (as well as a few former Eastern Bloc countries like Poland and Hungary) as the only major world power to be moving in the other direction, asserting the privileges of wealth, patriarchy, orthodox fundamentalism, and fossil fuel extraction industries. There is nothing they would like better than for an America in a conservative counterrevolution to abandon NATO and align wholeheartedly with Putin. Trump’s hostility to Merkel and Macron is seen as a feature, not a bug: his subservience to Putin an advantage. 
In this sense, Trump is not just pushing the military toward favoring a rival nation-state that is actively sabotaging our own for his own personal and political benefit. He is attempting to align the military with a global white supremacist, patriarchal fossil fuel-backed mafia syndicate. It’s almost certain that he is also hoping that in a Constitutional crisis pitting Western secular liberal values against said syndicate, that the military will help overthrow democracy itself on the syndicate’s behalf.

And can the following be unrelated to this discussion?:

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