NOW WE'RE ACCUSED OF MCCARTHYISM? I'M SO OVER THIS BULLSHIT!
The Right’s Jarring Drift Toward Russia
By E. J. Dionne
The Washington Post
April 3, 2017
It is jarring to see pro-Trump conservatives indifferent or even hostile to investigations of Russian intervention in the 2016 campaign. Just a few years ago (it feels like an eternity), conservatives were jumping all over President Barack Obama for his Russian “reset” and his first-term eagerness to negotiate with Moscow.
Even further back, conservatives hailed President Ronald Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union as “an evil empire.” Reagan ran a brilliant ad during his 1984 reelection bid that showed a bear roaming through the woods. Without mentioning the words “Russia” or “Soviet Union,” an announcer intoned:
The drift on the right toward Vladimir Putin is remarkable. An Economist- YouGov poll in December found that while only 9 percent of Trump voters had a favorable view of Obama, 35 percent had a favorable view of Putin. In February, Gallup reported that the proportion of Republicans viewing Putin favorably rose from 12 percent in 2015 to 32 percent this year.
Not surprisingly, given what Putin did to defeat Hillary Clinton, his favorability among Democrats dropped, from 15 percent in 2015 to 10 percent now. But note how unpopular Putin was with Democrats in both surveys. What’s striking is that a three-point gap between the two parties in 2015 is now at 22 points.
It’s true that Moscow’s intervention in Western politics goes back a long way. Throughout the Cold War, the Soviets gave strong support to communist parties around the world.
Putin, of course, will lend support to any political movement — right or left, separatist or nationalist — that disrupts the West. But he seems especially interested in creating a new international political alliance focused on conservatives and the far right.
He is casting himself as a strong supporter of religion and conservative values, and as an opponent of gay rights. Late last month, Putin staged a highly public audience in Moscow with Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate in this spring’s presidential election in France. Of course, Putin denied he was trying to influence French voters.
Putin is active in the United States, too. In a recent Time magazine article titled “Moscow Cozies Up to the Right,” Alex Altman and Elizabeth Dias reported on Russia’s efforts to build ties with America’s Christian conservatives and the gun lobby.
Moreover, the problem with McCarthyism was not that it was directed against a totalitarian regime. Liberals, social democrats and democratic socialists were overwhelmingly anti-Soviet, too. McCarthyism was about lies and false charges — often against those on the left who were actually opposed to the Soviet Union. Doesn’t that sound a bit like the fake news stories aimed at Clinton?
It is not in the least hysterical to wonder about the behavior of Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was once paid by Putin’s propaganda network Russia Today. It is not McCarthyite to ask why Trump has spoken with such warmth about a Russian autocrat or taken so many positions (on NATO and the European Union, for example) that can be fairly seen as more in line with Russia’s interests than our own.
And as Clint Watts of the Foreign Policy Research Institute told the Senate, Trump’s choice to “parrot” Russian-inspired conspiracy theories made Putin’s disinformation campaign all the more effective.
Yes, there is a bear, and we need to know what it has done to our democracy.
NOTE: I haven't tuned into Rush in over a week but I'm guessing he's mouthing the McCarthyism bullshit too. And, natch, that the media is just paying far too much attention to this Russian thing. But what's most disturbing is the number of people who actually admire Putin among Republicans and Trump voters.
Here's my question: When do we get to start calling these dolts "TRAITORS!" because that's just what they are!
Have A Great Day!