Putin the Conservative Superstar

This is an older article but so relevant. See previous post on Putin’s address.

The conservative right sees areas to praise Putin. If I told you a few years ago this would be the case, would you have  believed me?

Now he’s riding high on conservative steam.

 

Why Are American Conservatives Praising Putin?

Russia’s anti-gay policies deserve the scorn of U.S. conservatives.
Cathy Young | August 22, 2013 | Reason.com

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, the career KGB officer who has presided over the rollback of his country’s post-Communist freedoms and revived Cold War-style anti-Americanism, is an unlikely hero for American conservatives. Yet the Kremlin strongman has lately found some fans on the right who see him as a defender of Christian values — most recently, in the imbroglio over Russia’s new legal ban on gay “propaganda.” It is a sad misjudgment that does a disservice to the causes of conservatism, freedom, and religion alike.

Take a minute to inhale that. Its a good article too, aside from the subheading. But there is a point many miss. Sure, I have praised some of his moves myself. Does it make him a stalwart conservative? Put in relative terms, is he more conservative than Obama? Without doubt. I don’t think Putin is worried about his approvals either.

What amazes me is Putin’s theatrical disagreements with Obama on several fronts. He could be accused of hypocrisy too, but why bother when Vlad says stuff which makes sense to conservatives? That’s the point.

Putin can be crude and slick at times, and ruthless at others. He can rally the support of his people. Obama could take a lesson on that. Putin can appear conservative on fiscal and cultural issues. In other words, in areas Obama would never dare to venture.

It might demonstrate that the new American Left is more openly Marxist than Putin. If it were a political campaign, in many ways it is, Putin can run to the right of the progressive Left. But that is not hard to do. Hillary ran to the right of Obama – while darling Edwards ran to the Left — creating an illusion Obama was in the middle.

Consider that for decades  cultural Marxists were natural allies to ‘mother Russia’. Visions of Ted Kennedy and Andropov come to mind. They stuck it in our faces when they could. This is a different twist. Moscow knows the American Left’s record. So should conservatives. It was conservatives who actively opposed communism. (it was even popular to some Dems in the JFK era) Today is different. The mask is off for the Left.

On to Putin. He has made inroads with the people who historically were the most opposed to Russia. Just how could he do that? This article like others points it out. When he bagged the big Pike in the summer, fish was not the only thing biting. If conservatives are comparing his policies to ours, he’s come a long way. He knows it. Meanwhile, he appears less like the new Democrats, despite former alliance.

Spokesmen for several right-wing groups including the American Family Association have praised the Russian law, which prohibits any pro-gay speech or expression that could be accessible to minors. Veteran columnist Pat Buchanan has joined the Putin cheerleading squad. And, shockingly, the usually thoughtful author Rod Dreher, who blogs for The American Conservative, has added his own “1.5 Cheers for Putin.”
While condemning anti-gay violence and authoritarianism in Russia, Dreher praises Putin’s willingness to speak up for Christianity and laments that “post-Soviet Russia, for all its grievous flaws, is . . . more conscious of its Christian history and character than the United States.”
This is a truly grievous misunderstanding of the reality of religion and politics in 21st Century Russia. Russia today is outwardly far more religious than most of Western Europe, but it’s a religion of state more than church: Orthodox Christianity has taken Communism’s place as the new official ideology, with church membership an official badge of patriotism and loyalty.

More at Reason.com

It’s good politics for Putin. His staunchest chief enemy, conservatives, have suddenly been smitten by his moves. Who changed Putin or conservatives? We know Putin hasn’t changed his stripes, he changed the rules to allow him to regain power. (something some of us are leery of Obama doing) So he’s no hero for the rule of law. Yet he has won over some conservatives with his gimmickry.(and politics) He’s still that same Putin Obama promised more flexibility to. Now Putin seems to flirt with American conservatives. Age-old enemies. Like people play the dating game: present yourself as a noble partner while courting, then after the commitment the truth comes out.

Don’t be fooled, Putin is still the Russian bear. I think its dangerous to draw too many parallels. Pat Buchanan should know better than making very cordial comparisons to Russia and Putin. It’s too easy to take a few positions for common sense agreement with Putin. And still as easy to disagree on his traditional values and anti-gay stance we are supposed to condemn. But there is more lurking beneath the skin, just like Obama.

It is a fascinating change though. I leave you with Putin recently sounding more FDR:

Vladimir Putin pointed out the well-known attempts in recent years to impose an allegedly more progressive development model on other countries. But the result was invariably retrogression, barbarity and a high price in blood. On the other hand, the situation around Syria and now around Iran, too, proves that any international problem can and must be settled exclusively through political means, without ever resorting to the use of force, which, the Russian leader is certain, has no future and provokes rejection in a majority of world nations.

Recent address

Related https://rightring.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/new-bear-is-the-traditional-bear/

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