Donald Trump’s infatuation with Vladimir Putin is well documented. Much of Trump’s Republican Party is similarly smitten. Recall the Treason Senators who felt the most patriotic place for them to be on Independence Day 2018 was Moscow: Shelby, Daines, Thune, Kennedy, Moran and Hoeven.
Why are Republicans so taken with Putin? Kompromat’s a possibility, especially for Trump. But Republicans have proven themselves, with the Capitol Insurrection and Trump’s acquittal by the Senate, quite willing to support dictators, so they probably admire Putin’s strongman tactics in Russia, especially in dealing with his opponents.
Consider Alexei Navalny, convicted in 2017 on trumped up charges (according to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)), but given probation. Then Putin had his goons try to poison Navalny to death before a long plane trip, but when he got sick mid-flight, a quick-thinking pilot landed at a nearby airport, and Navalny was rushed to a hospital and saved. He was then flown to Germany, given further medical care, and eventually recovered.
Putting his political movement above personal safety, Navalny flew back to Russia. Supporters awaited him, but his plane was diverted to a different airport, and he was detained, tried on new charges of violating probation, and convicted. This weekend, his appeal was rejected, although his sentence was slightly reduced to 2.5 years. What were his alleged violations? He failed to report in person to Russian probation authorities while he was in Germany recovering from being poisoned by Putin’s thugs! The ECHR ruled that Navalny must immediately be released, but Putin’s regime announced it would not do so.
Do you doubt that Republican leaders, who viciously attack Democratic rivals and fellow Republicans who dare to vote their conscience instead of following the Party’s dictates, would love to be able to treat their opponents like this?