Right-wingers’ crush on Putin gets increasingly weird
Here are a few excerpts from love letters to Vladimir Putin from Obamaphobic Republicans:
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, yesterday:
“I do think Putin is playing chess and we’re playing tick-tack-toe,” Mr. Rogers, Michigan Republican, said.
Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, yesterday:
“Putin has now come forward as a leader, and he owns this now, and I believe that gives us the greatest ability to get this thing done.” [...] “I quite frankly think what won the day here is that Putin looked in his own backyard and realized that the policies that he saw in Egypt and Libya [were] going to happen in Syria. … He decided that it was time to step in and fix the problem,” McCaul said. “I would … caution this administration to not do a victory lap here.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), yesterday:
“You have Putin playing chess and Obama playing, frankly, a very lucky game of tic-tac-toe,” Gingrich said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” … “We are now relying on the Russians,” said Gingrich, now a host of CNN’s ‘Crossfire.” We’re now following from behind — not leading from behind. This is not a good long-term position.”
Washington Times columnist Joseph Curl, this morning:
The kids have a word for it: pwned. Used in a sentence: Barack Obama got hard-core pwned by Vladimir Putin. Pronounced: Powned. Definition: Completely dominated by an opponent.
Ugh. It was ugly. Vlad drove the lane and dunked in BO’s face — then dissed his mother.
And HERE‘s Steve Benen’s reaction to all of this swooning:
Um, wow.Social conservatives’ love of Putin at least makes coherent sense. They hate gay people; Putin is cracking down on gay rights; so it stands to reason that that the right’s theo-con wing would swoon over the Russian leader.
But for the rest of the party, this conservative cheerleading for the Russian president is getting creepier by the day. If the right’s arguments were accurate, it’d still be a little unseemly to watch so many Republicans draw hearts on their Putin photographs, but therein lies the bigger problem: the GOP talking points don’t even make sense. Obama got what he wanted last week, and then got more of what he wanted.
Indeed, it was hard to miss the president gloating just a little on ABC yesterday, saying of Putin, “I welcome him being involved. I welcome him saying, ‘I will take responsibility for pushing my client, the Assad regime, to deal with these chemical weapons.’”
As for the larger phenomenon of the right celebrating Putin as the new Republican hero, which we explored in detail last week, I think Rachel Maddow summarized the issue quite nicely on Friday’s show:
“It`s one thing for the right to fall in love with its own politicians, to make Ronald Reagan a saint, to make Sarah Palin their collective fake girlfriend. But the president of Russia, you guys? He is not that into you.
“Seriously, I know you guys hate President Obama, so it feels good to have a man-crush on somebody else, but this guy is a president of Russia. Zip it up, you guys, seriously. Have some respect.”