Of all the twists and turns the Republicans have taken in recent years, playing it soft with Vladimir Putin is one of the most bizarre. 

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Jerry Bennett

Of all the twists and turns the Republicans have taken in recent years, playing it soft with Vladimir Putin is one of the most bizarre.

Even more baffling is that many of the right wing’s major figures — like Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson — are seemingly proud of it. This isn’t the same party as the “evil empire” years under Reagan, though it could be argued that Putin’s autocratic regime is a far greater threat to world peace than the final years of the Soviets leading to glasnost and perestroika.

Hell, it’s not even an argument. Russian military leaders have made unveiled threats about using nuclear force if things don’t go their way on the ground in Ukraine.

But even that brinkmanship hasn’t prevented officials from tiptoeing around Russia. In fact, Russia Today — a known propaganda arm — just used Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm’s (R- Broken Arrow ) words in a broadcast.

“The Pentagon is planning on sending Ukrainian troops to Oklahoma to train on U.S. missile systems. The last thing we need is them misfiring a missile into Oklahoma” is the exact phrase of Dahm’s they parroted.

To be fair, Dahm followed it up with this quote to KTUL in Tulsa: “I’m America First, I’m not on the side of Russia, I’m not on the side of Ukraine. I am on the side of the Russian people and the Ukrainian people because the people are the ones caught in this meat grinder that are having this loss of life because of the actions of both their governments.”

He’s not wrong and even recently proposed brokering peace talks for both nations on Oklahoma soil. That’s a far better idea than placating Russia or justifying Putin’s actions as so many of his conservative colleagues have been.

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