The Party of Putin has an awful lot to answer for, but don’t hold your breath

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As Kirchick explains, Putin’s deliberate cultivation of the American right-wing—and ultimately most of the Republican Party—through the efforts of Russian intelligence, began in earnest in 2013:

[T]hey made a keen study of the American political scene and realized that, during the Obama years, the conservative movement had become ripe for manipulation. Long gone was its principled opposition to the “evil empire.” What was left was an intellectually and morally desiccated carcass populated by con artists, opportunists, entertainers and grifters operating massively profitable book publishers, radio empires, websites, and a TV network whose stock-in-trade are not ideas but resentments.

At that time the Russian leader’s tactic was to reinvent his corrupt, kleptocratic, mafia state’s image as a paragon of “traditional values.” Not coincidentally, these sentiments…

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