Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Putin/Tea Party Axis

Bill Maher targeted two right-wing Congressmen for defeat this weekend, but the candidate he really nailed was in a spoof on a potential GOP 2016 primary winner, Vladimir Putin.

As they unroll this year’s cuckoo’s-nest equivalents of Bachmann, Cain, Perry et al to contrast with Obama, the Russian premier is really getting under Democrats’ skin, first by bailing out Assad in the debate over attacking Syria and now by moving in on Crimea.

In headlines unsettling Americans, he has made the White House look impotent, giving Tea Party warriors ammunition while risking little in his own campaign to outmuscle Obama on the world stage.

Putin’s moves have made foreign policy the center of attention, drawing attention away from the President’s campaign to boost Obamacare enrollment, allowing even old Cold War warrior Lindsey Graham some hope in his primary fight against accusations of being “ambiguously gay.”   

Yet overall, the Russian media takeover is providing help to the Tea Party by making even sane voters jittery, reinforcing attacks on “moderate” Republicans like Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran for not being enough like Ted Cruz or Mike Lee.

What we have now is Vladimir Putin, who pocketed a diamond Super Bowl ring from an American capitalist years ago, now making mischief on our domestic political scene and stealing the spotlight from an already beleaguered White House.

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