Sunday, 15 September 2013

American Right’s New-Found Love for Putin Should Not be Surprising…

… in fact, it’s easily explainable, and perhaps even over-due.

This is an interesting segment from Friday’s The Rachel Maddow Show (below). In it, she discusses how the GOP and American Conservative RIght has falled head-over-heels for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Maddow reports that Scott Lively, the evangelical who supported the Ugandan ‘Kill the Gays’ law, “is now suggesting American Conservatives should move to Russia, specifically because of Russia’s awesome anti-gay laws”.

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This right-wing love for Putin can be understood, though, when framed within the Republican Party’s existing pathologies. Specifically, their love of Manly Men. As chronicled in Glenn Greenwald’s Great American Hypocrites, the Right just loves male public figures who walk “tough”, act “manly”, or presents themselves as a “He-Man” (as one pundit mentions in the video clip above). Putin fulfills all of the stereotypes that sends the American Right swooning. George W. Bush adopted his Cowboy Aspect in order to distance himself from Kennebunkport and Northern prejudices, to inject testosterone into his campaign – interestingly, he spends his post-presidency years painting pictures of small dogs, which I can’t imagine would have gone over too well with the Red Meat Conservatives…

In the relevant chapter in Greenwald’s book (which is very good, if repetitive and slightly frothing), he offers a litany of Republican figures trying to up-man-ify themselves. So when I see the way Putin acts – everything from his near-endless flow of topless photos of his doing Manly things… It was only really a matter of time before the GOP fell head-over-heels for him, and especially during a major policy event that features President Obama and Secretary Kerry as their opposition – two American statesmen who certainly do not conform to the Republican Manly Man Ideal.

[I’m working on a review of the aforementioned Greenwald book. Hopefully in a week or two.]

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