Flirting with the other side |

Flirting with the other side

Richard Carnes

If I didn’t know better, I would almost swear that a hefty percentage of Republican males have a man-crush on Vladimir Putin.

From emails flooding my inbox to comments on news stories covering our president’s decision to pull out of a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart (before the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg next month), the bro-mance is more obvious to me than who the starting QB will be for the Broncos this season.

Luckily I think I know better, but I also know that this current crop of vocal representatives for the GOP are on a different planet from the GOP I grew up with.

These folks appear to respect and admire a communist leader more than the president of the United States. Although I suppose they still wave flags and call themselves patriotic Americans, I’m not sure why.

President Putin, a former KGB officer, shoots big guns, poses with dead animals, practices judo, rides horseback shirtless, goes fishing shirtless, and for some reason these pretend patriots giggle with excitement and heap praise upon the man whenever they can, but especially whenever it appears he has in some way snubbed the president of the United States.

Support Local Journalism

The more comments I read, the more I realized those promoting the cagey commie were the same who have now turned on Paul Ryan, John McCain, Tim Cockburn, Marco Rubio, Lindsay Graham, John Boehner and just about any GOP member who dares to utter the word “compromise.”

And then it hit me ­— if I didn’t know better, I’d say the vast majority of them are tea partiers.

Lusting after a man that any real republican would be ashamed of, these tea party members are apparently in favor of a mucho macho man that is terrified of teenage girl bands and rainbow flags.

Putin’s juvenile antics are a perfect draw for the homophobic crowd. This is the man that George W. Bush affectionately called “Pootie-Poot” and said, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. … I was able to get a sense of his soul.” And we all know what a wonderful judge of character he was (“You’re doing a heckuva job, Brownie …”)

Anyway, Putin treats gays and lesbians like Hitler treated Jews, yet his manly acts apparently rate him a perfect 10 on the tea party Tough Guy scale, especially if his acts can be perceived in any way, shape or form as an insult to the president of the United States.

Never mind that homosexuality is found in more than 400 species across the planet, but homophobia is only found in one — ours — yet at least it is somewhat limited to communists, theocracies and certain fanatical factions of certain political parties.

I suppose if viewed from the correct (always to the right) angle, it does help to explain how and why these pro-commie, anti-American windbags could have such an infatuation with the Russian thug, despot-wannabe Vladimir Putin.

But I’d still like to think I know better.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

Support Local Journalism