Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, January 7, 2017

From Russia With Love

The overall divorce of the Republican party from empiricism is arguably the central fact of the past 30 years.  Global warming is a myth.  Racism is over.  Guns make you safer.  Obamacare is failing. Cutting taxes on the rich boosts the economy and doesn't add to the deficit.  Birth control leads to abortions.

Now we have the perfect distillation of this trend about to be sworn in as President.  On top of this he is a classic narcissist whose entire life is wrapped up in image protection.  Narcissists can never let an insult or a slight pass.

Trump got about as much of the popular vote as Michael Dukakis did.  Now, there is a great deal of question as to whether his very narrow victory was orchestrated by a foreign power historically inimical to America interests.

To be clear, Putin did not "hack" the election.  He didn't have his minions changing vote totals.  What he did is something Russians have been doing for decades; it's the classic form of Russian counter-intel.  They use proxies to spread disinformation and confusion in their foes.  This is now - or should be - established fact.  That it worked so well is an indictment of our media landscape, but that doesn't mean it isn't a fact.

However, the GOP isn't interested in "facts."  And Trump isn't interested in anything that shows him in a favorable light.  This is why you will see Republicans - especially the most partisan - disparage the reports and continue to flatter Putin and Julian Assange.  Winning elections and power are more important to them than American interests.

Much has been written about the growing importance of authoritarian impulses within the GOP.  Embracing Putin is partly admiration for his style of leadership, but now it is also about his efforts to help them win elections.

Remember this, the next time a Republican talking head starts blathering on about Freedom.

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