Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Putin Love Isn't Anything New

This is a small point that I keep coming back to, because I really wish Democrats would get off their 'ZOMG TRUMP LURRVVS KGB COMMIE PUTIN!!!' kick. It was stupid during the campaign to think that it mattered, and it's stupid now. I'm not talking about what should matter, but from a pure "get voters to give a shit" perspective, they don't give a shit. Conservatives have loved Putin for some time. Democrats mocked Romney in 2012 for trying to make Russia a serious foreign policy issue. We're 20+ years into Western propaganda (and, yes, it is) about how Russian's transformation to capitalism is The Greatest Thing Ever. It was a victory for Capitalism and America and even when it predictably all went bad all the Very Serious People were so tainted (and enriched - when the "consulting" fees weren't enough they just joined in the looting) by their involvement in the whole project that we all just agreed to not talk about it again, because Capitalism (except for crazy lefties, because they are always wrong even when they're right). Even with recent events in Ukraine and Syria, neither party really tried to make Putin into A Bad Guy Who Threatens The West And America.

It isn't hard in the US to turn someone into the Hitler of the Week (deserved or not). That's how we get into all of these lovely little wars so easily. But it's like the Democrats woke up in July and decided that everyone already agreed that Putin was the Hitler of the Week without even bothering to make the case. They don't. And no matter how much people deny it, it was a clumsy attempt to bring back the red scare/invoke cold war era tropes, complete with hammer and sickle flags and constant references to Putin as the head of an domestic "intelligence" agency that doesn't exist anymore. There were regular references to "Soviets" and "communists." Nobody under the age of 50 has any idea what the fuck they're talking about. Also, too, however bad Putin and the Russian state are, that's, as the kids today call it, "fake news."

Again, I'm not defending Putin or arguing about what should be important, I'm just saying that Democrats keep thinking that saying "Putin yarglebargle!!!!" is going to win them votes. It didn't and it isn't.