December 26, 2013
WELL, YES AND NO: The Cultural Conservative Love Affair With Vladimir Putin Is Quite Odd. I don’t think Pat Buchanan is a proxy for “conservatives,” unless your main goal is to make them look bad. But to the extent that some people admire Putin, I think they like him because he’s not politically correct, and he acts unafraid. The key word here, though, is “acts.” Putin is, in fact, rationally afraid of a lot of things, but has (also rationally) concluded that there’s no benefit in letting on. In addition, Putin appears to be comparatively competent, which strikes a sufficient contrast with our own rulers to inspire a degree of admiration in some, I suppose.
I, of course, am no Putin admirer. His KGB background colors his approach in various unsuitable ways, while his effort to squelch all opposition using the power of the state, and of para-state thuggery, seems far too similar to the Obama approach to inspire any rational admiration, from Americans at least.