Pro-Putin GOP: We've seen you before
If Zelenskyy is a corrupt dictator, what does that make Putin? Or Trump and the extremists who are physically aroused by Putin's masculine genius? It's the German American Bund come again.
Among the pro-Trump GOP, there have always been Putin admirers. Led by Trump himself, the man- (and woman-) crush on the neo-Tsarist in Moscow is palpable, like middle school girls fawning over a coveted Tiger Beat heartthrob. They wish the U.S. was under the thumb of such a masculine figure, who isn’t afraid to jail, poison, and murder his opponents, blow up his own apartment buildings to whip up support for the destruction of Chechnya, lie, cheat, and engage in every indecency the world has to offer. They revel in his undisguised ambition with an almost sexual attraction. For those of us who know history, we’ve seen this before.
On February 20, 1939, four score years and four days before Putin’s savage invasion of Ukraine, the German American Bund held a large rally in Madison Square Garden where a crowd of 22,000 feasted on Nazi imagery mixed with Americana they called “true Americanism.” Just shy of seven months later, Hitler invaded Poland, followed by Stalin. By the end of September, Warsaw was in Nazi hands, while the world sat on its hands.
The American Nazi-lovers were not popular in 1939, drawing 100,000 protesters to the streets in opposition. Communists were equally unpopular; two sides of the same extremist coin. Today, we have 5 percent of Republicans aligning with anti-Zelenskyy, pro-Putin extremists, according to a recent Economist/YouGov poll. Trump voters represent the highest pro-Putin number at 7 percent, though the extremists can be found throughout the political spectrum.
We have seen the extremists before, like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who just said she agreed with fellow traveler Rep. Madison Cawthorn that “Zelenskyy is corrupt and the Ukrainian government is corrupt.”
Sure, the Ukrainians have their share of corruption. On a scale of 1-100, perhaps Zelenskyy is a 9 or even a 10. In 2019, Zelenskyy won his election in a landslide. The Russian-controlled areas of Crimea, Donestk and Luhansk did not vote; Zelenskyy took all but one of the other regions, winning over 70 percent of the vote. Election watchers and foreign observers proclaimed the election was fair: “Ukraine pulled off the March 31 election with no major hitch. Voting and ballot-counting proceeded smoothly.” Zelenskyy’s election was not stolen.
Let’s look at Donald Trump on the same corruption scale. Subjectively, considering his ouvre over the decades, I give him a 90+. Trump has repeatedly cheated every business partner, lender, contractor, customer, and rube who dares to hand actual cash over to anything with the Trump name on it. From Merv Griffin to Roger Stone, to Stormy Daniels and Marla Maples, Trump has screwed them all. But for Vladimir Putin, Trump only has kind words.
Putin is probably the most corrupt, cold-eyed death dealer Russia has seen since Josef Stalin. On the corruption scale, he maxes out at 100. The corruption flows down from him like anointing oil, touching every aspect of Russian life. This is why Putin’s army is failing, because at every level, in every contract, for every item, in acquisition, maintenance, sustainment, logistics and supply, someone is taking a cut. Everyone with a stake has their pinky in the pushka. So instead of good rugged tires, Russian vehicles have Chinese factory seconds that shred in the Ukrainian Rasputitsa (mud). Russian soldiers have MREs that expired in 2004.
Russian tanks that are vaunted for having reactive armor on the turret tops have none. The turrets are easily penetrated by Javelin and NLAW missiles. I daresay “Russian tanker” is probably the most deadly job description anyone in the world can have right now. Russian tanks are matchboxes with ammunition stored in auto-loader carousels in the crew space, waiting for western ATGMs to ignite it and immolate everyone inside. Putin sends more to die.
This is the man that Trump, Cawthorn, Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Peter Navarro, Rep. Mary Miller, Charlie Kirk, Laura Ingraham, Dinesh D’Souza, Mike Flynn, Arizona State Sen. Wendy Rogers, the execrable Nick Fuentes, and others say is somehow better than President Joe Biden. They make jokes about the Clintons, or talk about our southern border. There is no comparison. What is happening in Ukraine is no joke, and it’s more deadly than any war America has fought since Vietnam.
I suppose you could say about corrupt crooks, “it takes one to know one,” or perhaps, if one if so intellectually and morally bankrupt to resort to pandering, like J.D. Vance, “I gotta be honest with you. I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine one way or the other,” then those who nod heads in agreement deserve to be lumped in with the German American Bund.
Trump and his coterie still claim the 2020 election was stolen. Ukraine’s election was fair, but somehow Zelenskyy is more corrupt than Putin, who just had his puppet courts add years to Alexei Navalny’s prison sentence. Remember, Navalny ran a party in opposition to Putin; his party was outlawed, he was poisoned, and now he will rot in a gulag until he dies.
Yes, Zelenskyy is operating under martial law. He decided to nationalize all television news under that power. He banned 11 political parties with links to Russia. He did things that dictators do. As heavy-handed as that is, it’s not corrupt. Zelenskyy isn’t doing it to retain his position—he won in a landslide. He could have taken Biden’s “ride” and ruled in exile, while his people fell behind a new Iron Curtain. He’d have been fêted and celebrated by globalists and probably gotten a fat contract with MSNBC or CNN. That’s what a more corrupt leader would have done, take the prize and leave the rubes.
If I may compare with another ruler who took extreme measures: Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, among other dictatorial, unconstitutional measures. You could say Lincoln did this to hold on to power, so the Union would not fail. Some say Lincoln was corrupt. Most say he was a statesman.
Putin is not a statesman. He may resort to nuclear war if he loses. He doesn’t care if his people perish—if the whole world perishes—as long as he wins. Winning is a great strategy…I wonder who agrees?
Oh yes, we’ve seen the MTGs, the Cawthorns, the educated trust fund private school boys like Carlson, the snake-oil sales staff like Kirk, Owens, Ingraham, and D’Souza. We’ve seen the former generals who get physically aroused by visions of strong dictators commanding men to die in glory. We’ve seen the Mike Flynns before. Twenty-two thousand of them gathered in Madison Square Garden on a February day 84 years ago.
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