Try to imagine the reaction from Fox News and conservative politicos and pundits if President Obama or any other Democrat lavished praise on a foreign dictator. Consider the severity of the tongue lashing that would ensue, with blistering allegations of collusion, betrayal, and even treason. Tea Party Republicans would be drafting articles of impeachment, and thinly disguised comments advocating assassination and secession would flood the Fox Nation website.
So how then to respond to yet another Fox News contributor expressing his admiration for Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin? Dr. Ben Carson wrote an op-ed today that honored Putin for criticizing the United States for “becoming godless and moving away from Christian values.”
Carson: While we Americans are giving a cold shoulder to our religious heritage, the Russians are warming to religion. The Russians seem to be gaining prestige and influence throughout the world as we are losing ours. I wonder whether there is a correlation.
In two sentences Carson has displayed two examples of acute dementia. First, where Carson gets the idea that Americans are giving a cold shoulder to religion is a mystery. For good or ill, this is still a deeply pious nation with a huge majority of professed Christians. Second, Carson is advancing an incomprehensibly absurd notion that Russia is gaining prestige at a time when they are being excoriated for their bungled Olympics, and their support for the brutal Syrian regime of Bashir Assad is straining their international relations.
Carson is no stranger to delusional hyperbole. He has recently equated homosexuality with bestiality, ObamaCare with slavery, and demonstrated that he isn’t afraid to tread on Godwin’s Law by warning that our government is “acting like the Gestapo.” But he isn’t alone in these detours from reality either.
A fool’s parade of Fox Newsies have jumped on the Putin bandwagon. They include military analyst K.T. McFarland, anchor Martha MacCallum, anchor Tucker Carlson, and commentator Charles Krauthammer. And the affection from the Fox crew did not go unnoticed in Russia. An article published in Pravda last year with the fanciful title, “Why Conservative Americans Admire Putin,” gives a pretty accurate account of the commonalities between the Tea Party and the Politburo:
“With no hero to save them they become frustrated and look to Putin, [whom they see] kneeling at Christ’s Holy Sepulcher which Obama never does when visiting Jerusalem. They see him going to church when they know Obama favors Muslims who attack Christians and their churches. They see Putin establishing laws to protect the church and laws against homosexuality. This they admire and this brings them hope. Hope in their upside down world where there is a leader willing to follow Christ. They have no Reagan but they see Putin whom they wish was their president.”
So really, what it all comes down to is worshiping Christ and demonizing gays. As the Russians fall in line on those priorities, the American right has fallen in love with the Russians. Putin can be their Zombie Reagan. But you have have to wonder how far this could go. There are lots of villainous tyrants and demagogues who meet some of these prerequisites. Al Qaeda, for instance, is as stridently anti-gay as they are pro-theocracy. Right-wingers should love that. And you know who else hated gays? Hitler! Plus, if they pray hard enough, they may convince God to bless them with this: