Roughly one year ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin was on the top of the world. He had just begun his aggression against the Ukraine, and certain American conservatives (i.e. the crazy ones) could spare him no end of praise:
1. This guy prolly shouldn’t be in charge of deciding who loves America
“[Putin] makes a decision and he executes it, quickly. And then everybody reacts. That’s what you call a leader,” – Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani
2. Someone’s Trying To Stay Relevant
“Look it, people are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.” – Former Governor Sarah Palin
“I don’t like Putin, but I respect that guy. He is tough. He delivers what he says he’ll deliver. He knows his people. He presents himself as a real He-Man….But he lives up to it! Our president talks tough, but in the clinch he’s gutless.” – Ralph Peters
4. Let’s Pretend Like That’s True
“Putin is the leader of the free world.” – Matt Drudge
5. Boardgames And Geopolitics
“Putin is playing chess and I think we’re playing marbles.” – Rep. Mike Rogers
6. Can We Wish For You to Go Away?
“Can I just make a special request in the magic lamp? Can we get like Netanyahu, or like Putin in for 48 hours, you know, head of the United States? I don’t know. I just want somebody to get in here and get it done right so that Americans don’t have to worry and wake up in the morning fearful of a group that’s murderous and horrific like ISIS.” – Kimberly Guilfoyle
7. Step One: Commit Egregious Human Rights Violations. Step Two: Suddenly Speak for Mankind. Got it.
“While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites, Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.” – Pat Buchanan (Former Reagan White House Official)
“The world has looked to America’s moral leadership and found it wanting. The climate under Obama has gotten so bad, in fact, that Russian leader Vladimir Putin feels emboldened to claim for Russia the mantle of world moral leader […] [and] out-Christian our once-Christian nation” – Matt Barber
9. And Other Religious Arguments That Make No Sense
“Which president is the lion of Christianity, the defender of Christian values, the president that’s calling his nation back to embracing its identity as a nation founded on Christian values? [It is] Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.” – Bryan Fischer
News outlets reported last weekend that Russia’s sovereign debt has been deemed “junk” by Moody’s Investor Service. Essentially, Russia has become that unreliable friend who can’t quite hold down a job and blows their limited savings on top-shelf vodka and excessive vacations. Will they pay you back? Maybe, who knows? Moody’s joins Standard and Poors in this designation, yet another credit ranking agency that labeled Russian debt as junk at the end of January.
The world over, there are piss-poor predictions for Russia’s overall economy. YLE News reports the following bleak overview:
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that Russia’s GDP will fall by 3 percent, while Russia’s own central bank predicts a 4.5 percent slump. Danske Bank says the Russian economy will shrink by nearly eight percent, the same rate that brought about an economic collapse in 2009. Heli Simola, researcher for the Bank of Finland, says it is more than just Western sanctions that are to blame, as there are also structural problems, a weak rouble, a paucity of funding, an aging population and the plummeting price of oil to consider.”
It is the leader of this crumbling economy that starry-eyed and stir-crazy conservatives were so eager to praise throughout the last two years. Russia now faces even more sanctions due to Putin’s brazenly hostile military maneuvers that seem to have no real discernable purpose beyond hardheaded pride.
Still want to swap, guys?