|The leader of an incredibly shrinking state. Heckuva job, Vladie!|
Paul Krugman gets it right this morning:
There are good reasons to worry about Mr. Trump’s personal connections to the Putin regime (or to oligarchs close to that regime, which is effectively the same thing.) How crucial has Russian money been in sustaining Mr. Trump’s ramshackle business empire? There are hints that it may have been very important indeed, but given Mr. Trump’s secretiveness and his refusal to release his taxes, nobody really knows.
Beyond that, however, admiring Mr. Putin means admiring someone who has contempt for democracy and civil liberties. Or more accurately, it means admiring someone precisely because of that contempt.
So, there you are. Now, a funny thing happened on the way to the bromance between Trump and Putin: Putin thinks Trump is a wimp. Didn't see that coming. Of course, these are unidentified sources within the Kremlin, easy to dismiss. Let's see if Putin truly tips his hand.When Mr. Trump and others praise Mr. Putin as a “strong leader,” they don’t mean that he has made Russia great again, because he hasn’t. He has accomplished little on the economic front, and his conquests, such as they are, are fairly pitiful. What he has done, however, is crush his domestic rivals: Oppose the Putin regime, and you’re likely to end up imprisoned or dead. Strong!