If you haven’t heard already, Donald Trump has a new buddy… a new BFF… a new bro… a new admirer. His name is Vladimir Putin, and apparently the two have begun a
mutual admiration society circle jerk recently. The GOP seems a bit flummoxed by the new bromance. After all, Mitt Romney has spent an inordinate amount of time pointing out that he was right about Russia being our biggest geopolitical foe. After all, the current administration has spent a lot of time and resources sanctioning Putin for his forays into Ukraine and Russia’s attempts to infringe on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbor.
Was Romney actually correct about or biggest adversary? I discussed this a bit with Sean on the Gun Blog Variety Cast a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t listened, you definitely should. It’s got something for everyone. Romney was correct about some things, including the fact that Russia was getting more aggressive, and that a resurgent Russia is definitely a national security concern, especially if Putin starts threatening his neighbors, which he has. But really… anyone with half a brain could have projected this, given the fact that Russia has never stopped considering us and NATO (but really us) as its primary national security threat.
I think that’s part of the reason why Republicans are oh-so-shocked by the Trump/Putin bromance. The GOP has been – as a party – toeing the Romney line about Russia, and I can’t say I blame them. I’ve written several times on the disturbing trends I’ve seen in Russia during the past couple of years, including the fascist tendencies of some highly-placed advisers and the return of some definitively Soviet tactics when dealing with the “enemy.”
That said… anyone who has listened to Trump and Putin during the past year should’t even be remotely surprised that these two megalomaniacal narcissists are fellating one another on the national stage.
I’ll give you a minute to wipe that image from your mind. Go on. I’ll wait. Done?
It’s not surprising in the least bit that Trump is stroking Putin’s ego, while the rest of the GOP presidential hopefuls are calling Putin everything from a “thug” to a “bully.”
They’re very much alike. Trump is a narcissist. Note, he’s funding his campaign on his own – buying himself a country, so to speak – and furthermore attacking anyone who dares to claim that his fortune is smaller than what he claims it is! This is a guy who has taken issue with journalists and even sued them for underestimating his wealth. He doesn’t just want to be a billionaire. He wants to be a BILLIONAIRE, BITCHES!
“Forbes says $2.7 billion. I can tell you that’s a very low number. It’s much more than that,” Trump said, adding if he decides to run, he would provide a financial statement. “I think people will be extremely impressed.”
In addition to his wealth, which he obviously believes to be a sign of his alleged “greatness,” Trump has a very skewed perception of himself and a need to constantly tout himself as the greatest thing since chocolate!
“I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created,” he claimed publicly.
“On social media, I’m the one that’s beloved,” claimed after his famous feud with Fox’s Megyn Kelly.
And when he is criticized, he immediately blows up and then is forced to walk back whatever ridiculous statements fly out of his maw at the time of rage. He’s like the Incredible Hulk of stupid! He gets angry, he spews dumbassery, he cools down, and then has to mitigate the damage with “Oh, that’s not what I meant!”
Putin is not as stupid, hotheaded, or outwardly ridiculously bombastic as his buddy. But as Masha Gessen points out in her Putin biography “The Man Without a Face,” Putin, even as a child, took immediate offense at perceived insults and lashed out physically at the offender. Sound familiar?
This is a guy who wants to be the leader of a superpower. Sure, he’s a patriot and wants a strong Russia, but at the same time, his love for his country is overshadowed by his desire to be the head of a strong Russia, and he’s taken definitive steps to show Russia’s strength by threatening its neighbors, by fomenting nationalist tendencies and sticking his thumb in the eye of those nations that have placed sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, even going as far as to burn food while his countrymen suffer under the economic downturn. He wants to show how strong Russians are, how virtuous they are to suffer for their country, and how Russia doesn’t need the rest of the world! All of this under his leadership!
And I won’t even get into the half naked photos, wrestling bears, flying with the eagles, or whatever the hell else Russia is doing to promote the image of its dear leader in the vein of Kim Jung Un!
So while Trump wants to show how gloriously wealthy he is by purchasing a nation, Putin wants to show how gloriously powerful he is by bullying his neighbors to increase his country’s stature. Not a whole lot of difference there. We can only thank everything that’s holy that Trump hasn’t decided on a half naked photo shoot yet!
Both love authoritarianism. A recent National Review article listed in lurid detail Trump’s authoritarian tendencies.
Trump has threatened to ignore those who are carping about free speech and shut down parts of the Internet; he has promised to summarily deport those who are suspected of being illegal immigrants, without due process of law; he has endorsed extensive campaign-finance regulations that fly directly in the face of the First Amendment; he has vowed to restrict the Second Amendment rights of those on the terror watch list, again without due process; he has praised Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of American citizens, suggested that natural-born Americans can be deported against their will, and proposed that American Muslims be barred from reentering the country; he has described as “wonderful” a Supreme Court ruling that obliterated the “public use” limitations on the invocation of eminent domain; and he has refused to rule out registering Americans on the basis of their faith. Worse still, he has responded to the criticism that these positions have generated by channeling his inner Nancy Pelosi: “Are you serious?”
Meanwhile, Putin has accused NGOs that happen to receive funding from outside the nation of subversion, cracking down on them if they oppose his agenda, essentially threatening their very existence, which negates any objectivity they may have.
He has criminalized art critical of him or his leadership, as well as “gay propaganda.”
And, of course, there are those inconvenient deaths of journalists who were critical of Putin and his regime, but of course, if you ask Trump, there’s no proof that Putin had reporters murdered. Nobody’s proven it. Never mind that reporters seem to die in strange circumstances at high rates in Putin’s Russia. No one has proven it, and Putin has denied it, so therefore it MUST not be true!
In 2011, three journalists dead (including newspaper editor Khadzhimurad Kamalov, shot 14 times as he left his office). In 2010, two killed; in 2009, five more (including a young reporter from Novaya Gazeta, caught in a hail of bullets). Add four for 2008, one in 2007 and then 2006 as Anna Politkovskaya, the most famous victim of them all, is murdered. But she wouldn’t forget Yevgeny Gerasimenko – found in his Saratov flat with a plastic bag pulled over his head and computer missing – and nor should we.
Politkovskaya was poisoned, but no one has been able to prove this, since the medical staff was mysteriously instructed to destroy her blood tests.
Ivan Safronov of the magazine Kommersant somehow dropped from the fourth floor of his apartment building in 2007, killing himself. The prosecutor’s office claimed there was no link between his death and his recent work researching Russian arms sales to the Middle East. But those close to Safronov said he was not suicidal.
Between 2000 and 2009, there were five journalists murdered from the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, including Politkovskaya. And if Trump has a doubt that the murders had anything to do with the journalists’ work that was critical of Russia’s government, he’s either naive, outright stupid, or blind.
But no, Trump hasn’t seen any proof that Putin killed any journalists. Indeed, the only person Trump seems to insist be afforded due process is Vladimir Putin.
Everyone else? Deport, take away guns, ban them from traveling, and relieve them of their property!
At least with Hillary Clinton you know what you’re getting, and Republicans wouldn’t be so willfully blind to her wrongdoings as some of them seem to be with Trump.