Washington Post editorial board: Vladimir Putin boasts of popularity ratings that Western leaders, Donald Trump included, can only dream of -- 85 percent and above since Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014. Yet Putin remains unwilling to test those numbers against real competition. ... What could explain Putin's seemingly self-defeating tactics? Some analysts argue that the authoritarian regime he has constructed requires not a credible democratic victory but a crushing show of strength. The message must be that there is no alternative. That is particularly true at a time when the regime is failing to deliver the rising living standards it once offered Russians in exchange for their passivity.
Putin now seeks popular favor with nationalist adventurism, such as the invasion of Ukraine; the election is scheduled for the anniversary of the Crimea annexation. But that, too, may be reaching a dead end; Putin's attempts to broker favorable settlements to interventions in eastern Ukraine and Syria have been floundering. In short, it may be that Putin has more reason to fear [Alexei] Navalny than the poll numbers suggest.
If the opposing candidate suddenly dies of radiation sickness then you will know Putin is as strong as ever and will be just fine.
Which is precisely why the Russian Election Commission announced that Navalny is ineligible to run, if there was a fair election, Putin would lose.
Navalny is calling for an Election Boycott, which the Kremlin says may be, "illegal".
Trump just wishes he had his own state owned media... and maybe one day he will.
"Trump just wishes he had his own state owned media... and maybe one day he will."
I doubt if he lives that long but he certainly is trying to lay the groundwork with that "the press is the enemy of the people" shtick.
I'm beginning to wonder when he's going to add the Constitution to his list of blockades to a dictatorship.
America's gullibility is legendary. The path to a dictatorship in America is right on schedule ~ if you compare it to how other dictatorships were foisted on a complaisant population that is more reactionary than pro-active. I learned a long time ago that too late always comes sooner than you think.
I still have faith that America has enough buoyancy to right it's own ship ~ just as we've always done when our domestic tranquility is under attack. What bothers me now is the lack of statemanship in Congress and their impotence to respond to the red flags that the Trump administration doesn't evenbother to hide.
Call it drama if you like. I prefer to think in terms of 'an ounce of prevention.'
I don't know what's going on lately with the GOP and the Constitution. Two Republican presidents in a row don't seem to show it any respect ~ George W. Bush and Donald Trump.
Bush shouted at one of his aides "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a --------- piece of paper!"
And now Donald Trump has made personal attacks on members of the press and has threatened to use the FCC to revoke a license. Not to mention his repetitious use of "Fake news" as if to indoctrinate the thinking of the public ~ along with his "the press is America's enemy" comments.
As for connecting the dots, that's only one of the many reasons I see Donald Trump as the creeping forerunner to a dictatorship.
"Putin May Be in More Trouble Than We Know"
Or maybe not.
He was smart enough to figure out that cyber war was less expensive than tanks and bombs. He was smart enough to figure out that patience would produce results. He had a dead lock on America's weaknesses and gullibility. Trump didn't materialize out of thin air. Putin spent years grooming the exact right person to carry out the mission. Finally, the time was right. America was consumed with hatred and divisiveness over a black man in the White House, Mexicans and Muslims. Fears were exacerbated, enemies were created, social media was exploited.
Putin finally had his man in the White House. He had a puppet on a string. Now if he could only figure out how to make the puppet keep his run-away mouth shut.
"Putin May Be in More Trouble Than We Know"
He is if he thinks Trump is going to stay in office long enough to help restore the power of the collapsed Soviet Union.
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