On Father’s Day Weekend, it is appropriate for Republicans to think of the man who is the Father of their Party today. No, not The Former Guy, whose most recent appearances reveal he’s as pathetic as the hollowed-out carcasses of cicadas that had surfaced to screech wildly for a brief moment in the sun, but, after being discarded, now just litter the ground.
No, the current father of the Republican Party is a man who was in the news this past week — Voldemort Putin – and, for once, it wasn’t for threatening Russia’s neighbors or killing one of his political opponents. Rather, he was basking in the reflected light of the new star on the international stage, President Joe Biden.
Republicans and their Official Media Sponsor, Fox News, who pose as purported patriots, exhibited a curious desire to puff up Putin and downgrade Biden’s performance — which certainly exhibited none of the supine sycophancy of Trump’s encounters with the Russian leader.
Why is the GOP so eager to prop up Putin? Its affinity for Russia is part of it. A few years ago, Ann Coulter declared that “In 20 years, Russia will be the only country that is recognizably European.” This was a bizarre claim about a country that sprawls across the Europe-Asia border, with about 77% of its land mass and 23% of its population occupying Asia. As democratic activist Jason Kander observed, “she means white.” Sad, but true.
Coulter’s glorification of Russia dovetails with the mission of the party that panders to a white supremacy base. Remember the aborted attempt by the 3G Network (Greene, Gaetz & Gohmert) to launch an “America First Caucus” to promote the “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political tradition”? That was abandoned only because of enormous public blowback, which required a rebuke by House Republican “Leader” Kevin McCarthy. File this under “Don’t say that part out loud!”
Like Republicans, Putin also despises gays, and, of course, enjoys ruling with an iron fist, public opinion be damned. And Republicans likely admire (and wish they could emulate) his propensity for dealing ruthlessly with his enemies.
The NRA arm of the Republican Party has odd, deep ties to Russia and Russian money — which they reportedly laundered and funneled to the Trump campaign. Remember how Maria Butina and her handler Alexander Torshin parlayed her relationships with NRA leaders into introductions to influential Republicans in order to prod them to favor Russia? She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as a Russian agent in the U.S. without registering with DOJ and was released from prison in 2019 after serving most of her 18-month sentence.
And as another holiday, the Fourth of July, fast approaches, let us not forget how Republicans, who recently lectured Vice President Harris on the proper way to observe Memorial Day, sent a delegation to Moscow that included Sen. Ron Johnson, for a unique way to celebrate America’s Independence Day in 2018. They apparently attempted to secure a meeting to suck up to Putin directly, but he sloughed them off to some of his lieutenants.
And, of course, Republicans have offered only a tepid response to Russian interference in our 2016 election – becoming energized only to claim falsely that it never happened, in order to curry favor with both Trump and Putin. Mother Russia and Father Putin are now revered by the Republican Party. Ever eager to be on the wrong side of history, the GOP now stands for “Groveling Over Putin.”