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.”




  1. He is white and hates America as much as they do. Not really that surprising.

  2. LD – Hating America is a virtue that the left has a monopoly on. For example, how long did it take for our First Lady to say she was “proud” of our country? Plus, it’s always the left that is constantly trying to re-write the Constitution into a “living document” because they don’t like the original intent.

    Second, the right doesn’t love Putin, they just despise anything done by the President. (And yes, Obama could cure cancer and discover the fountain of youth, and there will still be a good chunk of people on the right who will still hate him for it. I’ll readily admit such people are huge embarrassment to my side)

  3. Neftali says “it’s always the left that is constantly trying to re-write the Constitution into a ‘living document’ because they don’t like the original intent.”

    That’s sheer nonsense. The ink wasn’t yet dry on the Constitution when the Founding Fathers themselves began to disagree on the meaning of the document, and the disagreements have continued ever since — even among Supreme Court justices.

    There are too many Americans, especially on the political right, who like to pretend that our national charter is crystal clear on every issue it addresses. It’s not. That’s why we have courts to interpret the Constitution, and that’s why those courts often are divided, rather than unanimous, in their interpretations.

    Moreover, interpretations of the Constitution have evolved over the years. Certain court rulings made in the 19th century were reversed in the 20th century — without any intervening amendments that changed the document at it related to the issues under consideration. For example, Plessy vs. Ferguson, a nearly unanimous decision upholding racial segregation in schools in 1896, was overturned by Brown vs. the Board of Education, a unanimous ruling in 1954.

    Morever, the Founding Fathers intentionally wrote various ambiguities into the Constitution. They recognized that social and political conditions would change over time and that a little wiggle room — within certain fundamental limits — was required in the document.

    As Thomas Jefferson put it:

    “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

  4. Brian Opsahl

    It sure is refreshing to read honest dialog between both side’s…

  5. Craig Knauss

    nef says, “…it’s always the left that is constantly trying to re-write the Constitution into a “living document” because they don’t like the original intent.”

    Perhaps nef should read Article V of the U.S. Constitution which says:

    “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose
    Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the
    several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be
    valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of
    three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the
    other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress;..”

    If that’s not a “living document”, what is?

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