Donald Trump

Trump's Putin Summit Is Another Reminder He Prefers Dictators to Democratic Leaders

The president has a long history of admiration for authoritarians and strongmen.

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DAVID SILPA/UPI/Newscom

Among the most consistent characteristics of Donald Trump's worldview is his admiration for dictators, authoritarians, and political strongmen—not in spite of their most thuggish tactics, but because of them.

Trump often appears more comfortable in their company, and with their style of politics, than with the leaders of liberal democracies. This aspect of his personality was on display again today in his joint press conference with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

At the press conference, Trump refused to acknowledge Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. That Russia interfered is now well-documented in both a report by Republican lawmakers and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's recent indictment against Russian military intelligence operatives. Allowing that Russia interfered in the election is not equivalent to saying that Russia's actions swung the election in favor of Trump, but the president cannot seem to distinguish between the two.

Putin has maintained that Russia did not make any attempt at interference, and Trump appears eager to agree. Asked today about Russia's actions, Trump said, "I don't see any reason why it would be Russia." Apparently last week's announcement by Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general, that a group of Russian intelligence officers had been "charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election" does not constitute any reason whatsoever. Trump effectively sided with Putin over the conclusions offered by officials in his own administration.

Trump did not merely deny an allegation that at this point is seriously contested only by the Russian government and its close allies. He also responded to a question about whether he holds the Russian government "accountable for anything in particular" by drawing an equivalence with his own country. "I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we've all been foolish."

This is far from the first time that Trump has responded to questions about Russia's corrupt and murderous practices by suggesting that there is no meaningful difference between the two countries. In an interview with Bill O'Reilly early last year, Trump shrugged off O'Reilly's description of Putin as "a killer."

"There are a lot of killers," Trump said. "We got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country's so innocent? Take a look at what we've done, too. We've made a lot of mistakes….So, a lot of killers around, believe me."

This was not a diplomatic posture, adopted for the sake of a particular negotiation. This was an interview with a friendly, high-profile, American television host just weeks after Trump was sworn in. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the American president sincerely believes that there is no meaningful difference between the United States and Russia, a regime that regularly murders dissident journalists and which appears to have recently deployed a toxic nerve agent in an attempted assassination inside the U.K. America is not beyond reproach, but Trump's apparent inability to differentiate between the United States and murderous, blatantly authoritarian regimes is a worrisome sign about both the limitations of his judgment and his own affinity for autocratic power.

If anything, Trump's obsequiousness toward Putin suggests a kind of envy at the Russian leader's ability to exercise violent state power unchecked. Trump, who more than any other recent American president has made the press an enemy, and who has openly mused about curtailing freedom of the press to crack down on critics, seems to regard Putin as an equal. It is clear from Trump's recent conflicts with the G7, his inflammatory remarks about Britain, and his declaration that the European Union is a "foe," that that Trump does not reserve the same sort of esteem for leaders of liberal democratic nations that have long been U.S. allies.

As president, Trump's reverence for violent, nationalistic strongmen has been visible in his praise for President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines (specifically, Trump appears enthralled by the idea of extralegal killings targeting drug dealers) and his embrace of North Korea's Kim Jong Un, who reportedly executes those he dislikes—including some of his own officials—using an anti-aircraft gun.

That tendency was apparent long before Trump campaigned for political office: In a 1990 interview, Trump responded to the Chinese government's slaughter of student protesters by saying that "when the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak." Watching the U.S. president stand next to Putin, meekly accepting Russian propaganda over the conclusions of his own administration, I would argue that it is Trump who now looks weak.

As a leader, Trump has at times displayed his own authoritarian tendencies, encouraging violence at his campaign rallies and offering to pay the legal bills of those who harm protesters, even gesturing at the possibility of pulling broadcast licenses for media outlets that criticize his presidency. The consistent cruelty of his border policies suggest an indifference to politically caused suffering.

Still, for all his bluster, Trump has not governed as a violent despot. But the longer he remains president, the more clear it becomes that he admires and enjoys the company of those who do.

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  1. IS there a meaningful difference? The US killed al-Awlaki AND his 16 year old son AND his 8 year old daughter all of whom were American citizens.

    1. Remember when Obama was the absolute worst because [insert some totally normal thing he did]?

      1. Like kill al-Alwlaki’s son and then have his Attorney General defend his authority to kill Americans without any judicial or legislative oversight?

        1. The Bush anti-terra reactions and policies are why I’m a Democrat. Now that another Republican is in charge, things have gone back to being worse than they were under Obama (though at least they’ve not gone full Bushtard and started another ground war). Trump also voiced unequivocal support for torture. Life does not present us with perfect choices.

          1. FYI- President Obama (not Bush) was the first president to claim to have authority to kill Americans oversees on a secret kill list with absolutely no oversight.

            1. His attorney general justified this position at a lecture at Northwestern Law School.

              The number of protesters: 0

              Probably because Holder used correct pronouns, which we know is a more important concern than a president being able to kill Americans via killer robots

              1. The reason there weren’t any protesters was because Soros wasn’t willing to pay for any.

            2. Bad Obama! The good thing about being a freethinker is that you don’t have to agree with everything a president does. You just have to choose between two fairly distinct choices.

              1. I agree, Tony. And Obama was the preferable option in 2008, but not in 2012, in which there was no good choice.

                1. There’s something insidious, if not evil, about the Mitt Romney type. They are called “coach” by their children and such and think the other parents they meet at soccer games is diversity. They’re into politics because they hate seeing their vast wealth taxed so much. Just a very narrow view of the world that could be symbolized by the gate that prevents the unwashed from entering their neighborhood.

                  Now I much prefer hanging out with clueless patricians in real life. They have much nicer boats. But governing really isn’t what they need to be doing.

                  1. And there you go sounding stupid again

                  2. Lemme get this straight…Mitt Romney is evil because you think he hates getting taxed so much. Says the fucknuts living off a trust fund.

                    You really are a piece of work.

                  3. There’s something insidious, if not evil, about the Mitt Romney type.

                    Oh shit! That’s it! Brett Kavanaugh is the Mitt Romney type! Even his fucking first name is the Mitt Romney type!

                    So there you go. If Brett Kavanaugh makes it to the Supreme Court, it’ll be like Mitt Romney being there. Almost.

                    1. Exactly. He’s called “Coach.” John Roberts is the one who said he’s experienced diversity by going to his kid’s soccer games in The Hamptons. Again, nice boats, nice back yards, totally out of touch with real Americans.

                    2. As opposed to a kid born in Hawaii, schooled for a few years in Indonesia before being sent to private schools and Ivy League colleges? Is that what it takes to have a good idea of how the common American lives?

                    3. Diversity is only for the peasants who can’t afford to escape it. Those who can, do.

                    4. Romney was a plutocrat, totally out of touch with the American people.

                      Hillary Clinton, though, with her humble background and dutiful public service, taken with a vow of poverty, and a love of the traditional folk living: that’s the president Americans can really understand. She’s one of them.

                  4. See, you couldn’t be more of an unabashed mindless dogmatist. You’re literally making up shit out of thin air to justify hating Romney.

                    “There’s something, some aura, not a specific action, I can’t quite put my finger on it…” but who are you kidding: it’s that there isn’t a D next to his name. I think of this caricature of a person who thinks a person’s moral quality is primarily determined by his party affiliation. But you’re it, in real life. It seems like depressing state of mind.

                  5. Thats what you call insidious? Being a soccer coach and wanting lower taxes? Jesus.

                  6. What in the world are you talking about? Was Mitt Romney in the article or comments before you put him in it?

                    The last President we had that wasn’t a patrician was Andrew Jackson.

              2. Actually, you dont.

              3. And I’ve always asked you which election your vote changed the outcome of. Has there been dozens? A couple? Even one?

                But you just can’t ever answer that.

                At some point, being an adult means recognizing reality.

                1. And I’ve always asked you which election your vote changed the outcome of. Has there been dozens? A couple? Even one?

                  Every single one.

                  In every election that I’ve been involved in, there is a vote that flips a person over the winning margin. That is always my vote. Unless I vote third party.

              4. Free thinker? You? That’s a good one.

          2. LOL!!!!…..In terms of IMMORAL & ILLEGAL coups, interventions, drone strikes & overall War Crimes, Obummy & HildaBeast make Shrub #2 look like Mr. Rogers!!!

            1. Oh, they’re worse? Perfect, then everything Trump does is fine and dandy as long as it doesn’t cross your arbitrary threshold of “worse”. Thanks for solving politics for me!

        2. Like kill al-Alwlaki’s son and then have his Attorney General defend his authority to kill Americans without any judicial or legislative oversight?

          Sorry, Just Say’n, those killings were the fault of Osama Bin Laden.

          1. Oh, Cathy. I agreed on your bin laden point, but thought it stupid to then say that Putin is a real threat. To me, that makes absolutely no sense. Probably because it doesn’t

            1. He’s a massive threat to millions of people. Just because most of them aren’t Americans doesn’t make that less true.

              1. Where was your selective indignation when the president met with the Saudis? Or when the US slapped tariffs on China? Isn’t that good, since the Chinese are a far bigger threat than the Russians? Or what about when President Obama met with the Iranians?

                You can’t just recite Bill Kristol’s talking points and expecting everyone to just buy into your nonsesne

                1. You don’t have to want to bomb Putin to think he’s a threat to Ukraine, the Baltics, the Ossetians, etc.

                  1. And Venezuela is a threat to its own people; the Saudis are a threat to the Yemenis, and the Chinese are a threat to its Muslim minority and its own people.

                    What is your point here? Why the selective indignation?

                    1. I’d like to hear her reply. But it probably won’t resemble the truth, which is simply that most people are shamelessly unprincipled. They will say, and persuade themselves that they believe, whatever it takes to justify their position.

                    2. Why the selective indignation?

                      Because that’s what the article is about.

                      (When’s the last time Trump loved up Maduro in front of the international press?)

              2. A threat in the sense that he wants them to be under Russian governance rather than Ukrainian governance. Not the same as wanting to murder them.

                Here’s a tip: when you find yourself running interference for Osama, you’re probably on the wrong side of the issue.

                1. Here’s a tip: when you find yourself running interference for the George W Bush administration, you’re probably on the wrong side of the issue.

                  1. Here’s a tip: when you find yourself running interference for Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Obama, FDR, LBJ, JFK, and Wilson, you’re definitely on the wrong side of the issue.

      2. What the hell do you do on your weekends if 3 murders is a totally normal thing?

        1. Looks like you just answered your own question.

          1. Tony, for your sake you have to get your drinking under control.

            1. But Mondays suck.

              1. Are you Garfield? how much of your history changes keeping this revelation in mind?

                1. Lasagna might be my least favorite pasta dish.

                  1. You haven’t had it done right. I have an Italian friend who does. Makes the pasta fresh. Layered with delicious things he tells me about and which part of Italy it comes from but I am too busy eating to listen. Plus he makes his own wine and brandy so at that point I am already in heaven.

                    1. It’s always funny when you say you don’t like some food item then people show up to tell you that you haven’t done it right.

                    2. K?stur h?karl is great you just haven’t done it right.

                    3. Now that’s one thing that, if its edible, you haven’t done it right.

                    4. I’ve never not liked a lasagna dish. The long flat pasta is just not my favorite.

    2. IS there a meaningful difference? The US killed al-Awlaki AND his 16 year old son AND his 8 year old daughter all of whom were American citizens.

      How many opposition party leaders in the US are jailed regularly for protesting the administration?

      How many US journalists have been mysteriously murdered by the administration?

      How many Americans were bombed domestically by US security services to provide a pretext for those services to gain government power?

      1. Agreed that the president drew a false equivalency by trying to compare US domestic actions to Russian domestic actions. But, in terms of foreign policy, I don’t think the US behaves any better than any other actor on the world stage.

        1. In terms of foreign policy the US is worse than most. But not domestically.

      2. Well there was the Sedition Act of 1798.

        Google Micheal Hastings.

        3,000 died on 9/11 mostly Americans.

        1. So you’re a 9/11 Truther. Cool.

          1. Cathy, it seems to me that you have a lot of faith in The Narrative about Russia and Putin. Perhaps you’ve researched these events and come to the same conclusions put forth by The Narrative, but I’m rather cynical so I get the feeling that you’ve actually just heard the “official” story and believe it blindly. I mean, why would our trusted news and Intel services mislead us good folk about Putin and Russia?

            But, just in case you want to show your work, maybe you can point out the evidentiary basis for your belief that Putin definitely ordered the apartment buildings bombed, but it’s ludicrous to doubt the government’s verdict on 9/11?

            Why is one clearly a false flag while the other clearly not a false flag? It’s also possible that both were false flags or that both were face value.

    3. And so you tar Trump for the actions of Obama?

  2. Trump often appears

    Trump appears eager

    Trump effectively sided

    Trump seems to regard

    Trump has at times displayed

    One or two of these in an article would be bad. This is fucking embarrassing.

    Trump’s ability to turn his adversaries into babbling morons is fucking incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it.

    1. ^ This

      The article amounts to very amateurish armchair psychology…the kind one might engage in after emerging from a daily Two Minutes Hate.

      1. Half the article was the worst sort of special pleading. The other half was blaming Trump for agreeing w you.

    2. Suderman is one of the most fraudulent libertarians at an enterprise now infested with fraudulent libertarians.

      1. HOLY CRAP!

        You didn’t call him Suderweigel McArdoodle!

    3. “Trump’s ability to turn his adversaries into babbling morons is fucking incredible.”

      Possibly. But Peter was a babbling moron long before Trump came along. But hey, cut him some slack, since the election he hasn’t had much to do around here, especially since there is no more market for ‘libertarianish’ wonkery seeking to fine tune the massive affront to liberty and privacy that was Obamacare.

  3. I’ll take “things never said when an American president meets with the Saudis or Chinese for $500, Alex”

  4. That’s it, Suderman, you’re off the TEAM. If you’re going to point out every time the ignorant fat-headed windbag engages in ignorant fat-headed windbaggery instead of praising him for his intelligence and wisdom and clarity you’re obviously no true libertarian.

    1. If you think this makes sense then you have to ask yourself why now? Why didn’t Suderman or Reason write articles denouncing President Obama for meeting and praising the Iranian regime as “moderate”? They shouldn’t have done that, but now they have bought into the Russia bogeyman.

      You have to be profoundly stupid (and I mean PROFOUNDLY) to honestly believe that the president heeping praise on the Russians is somehow more unseemly than when he heeped praise on the North Koreans or Saudis. But, alas, you are dumb

      1. This is stupid. Reason has put plenty of articles criticizing aspects of Obama’s tenure. Funny thing is right wingers went apeshit over trivial stuff about whether Obama offended Britian with some churchill bust return or something else even more trivial. yet, Trump has shown a clear trend of being chummier with authoritarian type figures than leaders in many western democracies.

        Reason was pointing out a trend. The Russian press conference was probably a breaking point for the writer of this article. it didnt mean he was for Trump being chummy with N Korea. It seems like you are the dumb one here. This article wasn’t just about Russia alone.

        1. Man, you really need to learn how to read. At no point did I say that Trump is being treated differently from Obama. I asked why didn’t Reason assail Obama for meeting and praising Iran? Or why didn’t Reason assail Trump for praising North Korea or the Saudis? And then said “they shouldn’t have done that, but now they have bought into the Russia bogeyman.”

          Explain what makes Russia comparatively worse than the Saudis and North Koreans. But, first learn how to read, nimrod

        2. Did you just suggest Republicans focused on trivialities during Obama’s tenure- and then whinge that Trump is too “chummy” with certain world leaders- but fail to identify any substantive concerns.

          Were you trying to embarrass yourself?

        3. Reason has put plenty of articles criticizing aspects of Obama’s tenure.

          They were very critical of his continuation of the drone program, but that was pretty much it during the entire lousy eight years.

          Everything else, they either ignored or blamed on the republicans. Most of these jerks loved Obama.

          1. Yeah, they ignored the ACA.

            1. Do you not read Suderman? The guy has attacked every change to the ACA- even the short-lived attempt to just scrap the entire law

              1. I’ve thought his ACA coverage under the Trump admin has been iffy, but he wasn’t in favor of it passing under Obama and criticized a ton of aspects of it in that time.

                1. I’m with you on all points. Not saying that he is in favor of the ACA, but he has taken some rather odd positions recently

                  1. For a guy who was “not in favor of it” he sure spent an inordinate amount of paragraphs talking about how to make it better.

                    As opposed to, say, fucking eliminating it.

            2. Suderman loves the ACA, and would most likely love a western European style single payer system even more.

  5. Still, for all his bluster, Trump has not governed as a violent despot. But the longer he remains president, the more clear it becomes that he admires and enjoys the company of those who do.

    Still, for all his bluster, Suderman has not demonstrated any reason why the list of Trump’s Super Friends matters.

    1. I highly doubt you would have the same opinion if Obama behaved in the same manner with world leaders. Isnt Trump who kept whining “no one respect us anymore because of obama”. I wonder how much respect he gets from other democracies.

      1. Pretty sure Trump is more popular in Eastern Europe than President Obama was and a lot of that has to do with the fact that he put missiles back into Eastern Europe after Obama removed them and is arming Ukraine, which Obama refused to do so.

        Trump should be criticized for those actions, but the Russia fever dream chorus should also have to explain how those actions correspond with them echoing Bill Kristol talking points about Russia and the Trump administration

        1. Hell, some here claimed Trump broke protocol not bowing to the Queen. Outside of Obama, Presidents never bowed to other heads of state.

      2. Praveen, is your entire presence here for the express purpose of being an Obama apologist?

    2. Still, for all his bluster, Trump has not governed as a violent despot. But. Wait. For. It. Boom. This is terrible dipshit reporting. We get it. Reason is paid to hate Trump. Ok, just write some credible, persuadable commentary.

  6. Trump’s Putin Summit Is Another Reminder He Prefers Dictators to Democratic Leaders

    Given the sorry state of most modern democracies, you might want to explain why that’s an unreasonable position.

    1. We should probably address those western democratic leaders who he has thrown shade towards. He’s said stuff about Trudeau, the SJW who talks shit about him. He’s criticized Theresa May for how she’s been avoiding going through with Brexit. He’s criticized Merkel for Germany not living up to their UN agreement (and I think has mentioned their immigration stance.) I might have missed any statements about Macron (and Hollande if he was still in office). I’d be glad to see what all he has said to support the assertion that he is friendly with dictators and hates democratic leaders. I’d actually be willing to believe that assertion because democratic leaders couch every statement in layers of bs. Guys like Putin and the Norks are easier to read and speak more plainly with.

    2. Um, I have a few hundred million dead bodies from the 20th century that would like a word with you.

      I am happy that Trump has unmasked so many prople as the statist throne-sniffers that they really are.

  7. “At the press conference, Trump refused to acknowledge Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

    I guaran-fucking-tee you Russia has “interfered” in every election since ~1945.

    1. and its hard to hold another nation accountable for internal interference when this nation has been doing exactly that since its founding.

      1. You can certainly try. There’s a great scene in BlackAdder Goes Forth where they’re discussing the spies on the German side. British General Melchett takes an aside to talk about how dirty and underhanded the Germans are to even have spies. Then the conversation turns to the British Spying efforts, and he takes an immediate side to commend the loyalty, bravery and moral fortitude of the British spies.

    2. Statecraft and diplomacy are one thing.

      Spooks and spies are another.

      Both are important tools in international relations.

      Trump does not understand the value of either. He only understands the value of his own genius.

      Trump has assets he does not know how to use.

      By dismissing all US Intel assets and all reporting on the matter Trump loses to Putin. Putin is a master at using Intel, cyber, deception, and diplomacy to achieve his goals.

      1. The CIA has 10,000 spying programs that are on autopilot and are ongoing through multiple administrations.

        This idea that something unprecedented happened in the 2016 election, swinging it in Trump’s favor is laughable.

        1. Exactly.

        2. Many of those autopilot spys have no oversight and do as they dam well please no matter how it affects this nation.

          1. It’s that damn Jason Bourne.

      2. This is not to defend Trump in any way, but I have to ask, if Putin is so effective, why is his country a lawless shithole? Are his primary goals only to get rich through graft? That seems to be the primary purpose of his government, and Trump, a New York rwal estate developer probably does speak that language fluently.

        1. Putin is what he is. I don’t think Putin cares about those things so much as he maintains his own power.

          Putin’s not a good guy, and it’s important to remember that. I agree with the general premise that Trump likes ‘strongman’ type leaders.

          What I don’t agree with is that he needed to call Putin out for “interfering with the US election”. To do so would probably put the US in an uncomfortable position considering there are entire wings at the CIA whose primary mission is to do the same around the globe.

          I’m not trying to dismiss the whole idea with a ‘moral equivalency’ argument (aka whataboutism). But from a diplomatic chess strategy, continuously harping on something that both sides know the other side is doing might compromise your own future attempts to… you know, influence the Russian elections.

          1. Cool.

            I was responding to this line by Echospinner.

            Putin is a master at using Intel, cyber, deception, and diplomacy to achieve his goals.

            .

            1. Yeah, I know, I just made a decision to respond to you in the thread, because I like indented comments or something.

              1. Cool.

                I don’t get it.

  8. I suppose Trump could have wagged his finger at Putin. I don’t see how that would make any practical difference; I don’t expect Putin would have run home and disbanded the FSB and the GRU. In the end what the politicians say at press conferences doesn’t mean much. What we need is a realistic plan to defend ourselves against things like hacks to the election system (real hacks, not bullshit like Facebook ads).

    1. If you have a free press, you can’t defend against ads. It’s impossible. You have to pick one, freedom of the press w/questionable ads or a highly restricted press with ‘certified communicators’ coupled with heavy penalties for any ‘uncertified persons or entities’ that speak out.

      1. By “defend against” ads, I of course mean you can’t stop them from existing.

        1. the best defense against adds we don’t like are are adds we do like. and let the people decide. those who can’t tell the difference get what they deserve

          1. Confront speech with more speech? That’s free speech absolutism!!11!

  9. Two things:
    1)Trump has governed with restraint, not overreaching his Presidential powers in any sense of the ya his predecessor Obama did. In fact, most of the things he’s been pilloried for were orders to OVERTURN executive orders Obama used to govern by fiat like some kind of mini dictator! Why should his orders stand when the man has been demoted to civilian?

    2)For a Democratic government, influencing foreign governments is easier when the foreign country has a dictator. Then, all one must do is flatter and possibly bribe the dictator to win concessions for your own country. If they have a Democratic government as well, the ruling coalition is MUCH HARDER to influence! This is why Trump appears to prefer working with dictators, flattering them outrageously. He’s doing his effing job! Working for us! And he’s good at it.

    1. I disagree on your second point. There’s no guaranteed benefit from “flattering dictators outrageously”. You can be just as effective taking a hard-line against them. Perhaps you forgot how Reagan was roundly criticized in the press because he WOULDN’T flatter the Russians outrageously.

      1. Reagan had a great rapport with Gorbechev after meeting him.

        Nixon had a decent rapport with Mao.

        Putin responds to strength and does not respond to weakness. Obama was weak.

        1. Trump just spent this press conference publically fellating Putin. It’s fair and correct to criticize Obama as weak. It is ridiculous to suggest that Trump came out of this looking strong.

          1. I bet you that Putin does not invade any former Russian territories while trump is President for 8 years.

            Russia invaded The Crimea and Eastern Ukraine while Obama was president.

            Trump does not act like he “looks strong”. Trump is cock sure.

            If you dont know what that is, it means that Trump is sure that he has the biggest, blackest, and toughest swinging dick in the joint. It also means that everyone else in the room knows it too.

            The media is scared of Trump and not for the reasons that they say. They are scared of Trump because he represents a majority of America picking a strong leader that puts America’s best interests first.

            1. They don’t want to admit that though. And this whole article is just silly crap.

        2. He had a great rapport with Gorbechev because he had been identified as a probable reformer early on. He did not have a sunny disposition towards Brezhnev or any of the other slew of successors that ground through that position until Gorbechev was put in place.

    2. But that’s a problem w Putin. He’s overwhelmingly popular w the populace, & I see no evidence they’d prefer anyone else. Russians like strongmen, what can I tell ya? The problem isn’t Putin per se, it’s Russians generally.

  10. Trumptards swarming the comment sections everywhere lol. The Dotard let Putin grab his elderly pussy like a bitch, man.

    1. If opposing warmongering against Russia makes one a Trumptard, then Trumptards are the only sane people in this country right now

    2. Well Moo, we could have elected Mrs. Clinton who made it clear she would take provocative action against Russia that would have the chief benefit of bringing us closer to war with them.

      Would that have been preferable?

  11. Trump often appears more comfortable in their company, and with their style of politics, than with the leaders of liberal democracies”

    considering how the “leaders of Liberal democracies” have treated him and have continued to subjegate him I could understand why Trump would appreciate leaders who are upfront about their goals. You can work with a man when you know what he wants but you can’t trust a liberal leader who says they are for freedom while working against freedom

    1. Wasn’t Trump recently banned from some political jurisdiction?

    2. It should be noted that when Suderman refers to “liberal democracies” he pretty much just means Canada, Germany, France, and the UK. Trump is more popular than his predecessor in Israel, Poland, Hungary, and most of Eastern Europe- which are not “liberal democracies” despite all those leaders winning free and fair elections, because they don’t embrace “open borders” and the dictates from Brussels.

      “Liberal democracies” just basically means “countries that I like because they push policies that I like” nowadays

      1. Hungary isn’t much of a liberal democracy under Orban.

      2. I admit to skimming the article, but that is pretty much what I assumed. Trump has called out those socialist leaders for doing things he doesn’t like. The nations might have a tradition of “liberal democracy” but in the present those named countries (and leaders) have stamped down on free expression and advocated collectivism. Not a fan of how much reason has been applying labels and pushing forward on some silly narrative rather than substantiating the claims with facts and reasoning through the data.

  12. It’s important to understand that when we say “pee dossier,” it’s a metonym for the entire gamut of dirt Russia has on Trump. That’s probably the least shady of it all. Though I wouldn’t put it past Trump to be terribly concerned that he bragged a bit too much in that national presidential debate where he talked about his penis size. (He could be the most presidential of all … he just chooses not to.)

    1. These are the ramblings of a person who is unstable

      1. You mean the president who talked about his dick size at a nationally televised debate? No need to state the obvious.

        1. You’re not going to catch me referring to the president as “stable” or “smart”, but his adversaries are an equal helping of crazy (with few exceptions)

        2. That’s one way to deflect from someone pointing out that you’re a raving lunatic. Tell us about how Stanley Kubrick fakes the moon landing. Do you think he filmed the pee tape too?

    2. It’s amusing that you you like to insist that most people you disagree with are Obama birthers or pizza gaters while you gleefully exposit a conspiracy theory so childishly insipid it makes the other two sound balanced.

      Get back on your meds for your own sake.

    3. The dossier of the supposed dirt on Trump the Clinton campaign bought from the Russians through a middleman. That is what you are talking about, right?

      1. Middle man, in this case, being a British spy

  13. Amazing how many Reason writers were voting for Hillary because they thought Trump would start a nuclear war.. Now, the same folks are pissed off because he’s talking to these leaders diplomatically.

    1. Calling this diplomacy is like calling hookers peeing on each other “making love.” Probably just as much crying afterward too.

      1. What do you want him to do? Would you prefer he called Putin names at the press conference and refused to shake his hand? I don’t remember FDR and Churchill doing that with Stalin. Seems Reagan didn’t do that with Gorby and Nixon didn’t do that with Brezhnev. Are you mad because he’s being friendly with him or because he hasn’t started WW III yet and ruined your expectation?

        1. He’s signalling or outright saying that he doesn’t trust or like Western alliances that have made the world safe since WWII. Europe is the enemy. The free press is the enemy. Putin and Kim fucking Jong-Un? His kind of peeps. It’s bizarre at best, but either through sheer stupidity or coercion or some other reason, he’s setting out to accomplish what is known to be Putin’s desire to the letter (break up the West). For the aggrandizement of our 30th largest trading partner, a shithole with nukes run by an autocrat. Even experts don’t understand what the fuck is going on.

          1. He’s signalling or outright saying that he doesn’t trust or like Western alliances that have made the world safe since WWII

            Funny, your kind has been saying for decades that these alliances were enforcing the imperialist western hegemony. Now that Trump’s telling them that they need to put a little more money into the defense kitty, he’s now undermining those alliances you so despised?

            1. I don’t know whom you’re talking about but it ain’t me. I’ve been for a one-world government since I was old enough to hold a hammer and sickle.

              1. You see how Tony retreats to stupidity when he realizes he’s shit the bed?

                God why do you even bother posting.

              2. Stupid traitor bitch Tony.

          2. And then there’s the gobsmacking spectacle of him denying what his own justice department is finding in favor of Putin’s promises.

            1. How dare he not trust someone who has proven untrustworthy!!!

            2. Good. If it makes liberals and neocons screech, he should do that more often.

              In fact, any reaction of theirs is a good reverse barometer for national policy.

            3. “denying what his own justice department is finding ”
              You mean that justice department that has been trying, along with the intelligence community, to convict him of anything they could dream up since he announced his candidacy?
              Considering how “his” justice department and “his” intelligence services have treated him, it’s a wonder he doesn’t call for their abolition.

          3. Europe is the enemy.

            He’s never said that. Read the actual quotes.

          4. As usual you’re hallucinating. Trump said the EU was an for in trade, and said Russia and China were too. He wants us to produce things here rather than import from them.

            IOW, he’s a mercantilist. And that’s retarded. And So are Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi and Cory Booker and Warren and all the Dem elite, who have been demanding *stronger* tariffs from Trump.

            So what are you now? A free marketer?

        2. Are you mad because he’s being friendly with him or because he hasn’t started WW III yet and ruined your expectation?

          Any leftists who say they aren’t hoping for a recession and multiple hot wars breaking out to happen during Trump’s time in office are lying.

          1. You’re right. Trump having a good economy will cost Democrats many seats.

            The media loves dead soldiers in coffins and can use that image to hurt or help a president. The media hurt Booosh and helped Obama.

            1. Since the democrats appear to have no cohesive message going into the midterms, other than “Trump is a big dod doo head”, the only thing they can do is root for America to fail.

              That may play well for their base, and a few of the more deranged commenters here, but most people will treat them as toxic and vote republican, or in many cases, just stay home.

              I don know how this will cause the GOP to fare, but between that, and the DNC’s finance woes, the odds of a “blue wave” are less than Maxine Waters singing a duet of “All You Need is Love” with Trump.

      2. And you wonder why people think you’re a troll.

      3. Shouldve just shipped millions of dollars in cash as ransom. THAT would be Presidential.

    2. This is true, as this was Gillespie’s main argument in that debate against Walter Block- that Trump was not any less interventionist than Hillary. Now they’ve switched positions to #resist

      It’s amazing how beyond Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey, the entire Left has not reverted to a non-interventionist position.

  14. his inflammatory remarks about Britain, and his declaration that the European Union is a “foe,” that that Trump does not reserve the same sort of esteem for leaders of liberal democratic nations that have long been U.S. allies.

    He referred to the EU as a “trade foe”. This implies he suggested they were an existential military threat.

    “Now you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe. Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly a foe.”

    I know I know, fake but accurate.

    1. “We had much better defenses,” Mr. Trump told CBS, suggesting that the Russians could not hack the Republican National Committee. “I think the D.N.C. should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked.”

      And he’s absolutely correct about this. As Michael Moynihan correctly noted, this was not a sophisticated attack like… *clears throat* what the US did to the Iranian nuclear centrifuges… but a completely laughable hack which to quote Moynihan was the equivalent of *in thick, Russian accent* “Click link to get half off at Barneys in Midtowns!”

  15. Trump’s Putin Summit Is Another Reminder He Prefers Dictators to Democratic Leaders
    The president has a long history of admiration for authoritarians and strongmen.

    More nonsense from Reason.

    Politicians say things because of, well, politics.

    Trump loves strongmen yet he tries to gut Socialist strongman policies in the USA as much as he can.

    Trump stands up to foreign leaders unless he needs to play nice to manipulate them to do something.

    1. Furthermore, the “Democratic Leaders” that Suderman mentions are typically Socialist TOP MEN who use elections as a means to an end rather than some love of the People in charge and voting for their representative government.

  16. “There are a lot of killers,” Trump said. “We got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent? Take a look at what we’ve done, too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes….So, a lot of killers around, believe me.”

    I take one bit of solace from Trump. I admit it ain’t much to hang my hat on, but Dennis Miller said it best. I’ll paraphrase: Say what you will about Trump, his outer voice and inner voice are pretty much the same thing. But Hillary Clinton? I don’t think her outer voice and inner voice have ever even had a cup of coffee.

    1. I think its a pretty good point. Trump changes his mind so when he says what he things publicly and then changes his mind, the media latches on to that. Trump talks out loud a lot. He doesn’t really care how people to his public thoughts.

      Hillary would say stuff that she never intends to do, on purpose, to get the support she needs. Then she would add in some more Nanny-State rules. Hillary is one of those politicians that is cold and calculate and very concerned about what she says and how she acts so as to never upset anyone. She slips from that and it bites her in the ass. The “deplorables” comment was an example.

  17. Dictators? Democrat “leaders”? What’s the difference? Well… on second thought, dictators may be a bit more sane.

  18. ‘Member when Republicans went apeshit when Obama was moderately friendly to Cuba? I ‘member.

    1. ‘Member when Suderman wasn’t, because that was a stupid thing to get upset about? I ‘member

    2. ‘Member when Republicans went apeshit when Obama was moderately friendly to Cuba? I ‘member.

      Obama was nice to Cuban dictators because he likes socialism; there was no objective reason to deal with Cuba.

      Trump is nice to Putin because there is stuff we want from Putin.

      1. Yeah there is no objective reason to deal with Cuba except for the fact that we’re 90 miles away from them and have fucked with their country for 60 years and continue to do so even when their people are starving. “Trump is nice because we want” If only that made any sense and not at all contradicted by how he deals with people when he wants something out of them.

        1. Yeah there is no objective reason to deal with Cuba except for the fact that we’re 90 miles away from them

          So? Ninety miles or 7000 miles, they have anything we want?

          and have fucked with their country for 60 years and continue to do so even when their people are starving.

          Cubans are starving because they choose to live under a communist dictatorship. That’s not our problem or our responsibility.

          If only that made any sense and not at all contradicted by how he deals with people when he wants something out of them.

          Like what? The fact that he gave NATO and the EU a stern talking to and made threats against them? Being nice to European leaders obviously doesn’t work. For one, they have been screwing over the US for decades and European elites have been anti-American for centuries because America represents everything they hate. Furthermore, unlike dictators, they are elected and even if they respond to “being nice” with promises, they can’t deliver with them. With people like Merkel and Tusk, only clear and direct language works; being nice to them is pointless.

  19. Putin has denied any election interference. What would have been gained by President Trump calling him a liar at a joint appearance? Suderman should stop parroting the mainstream media’s anti-Trump drumbeat and think about what he is saying.

      1. I guess some people don’t even care about spoiling their dinner. Sheesh

  20. There are basically two objections to presidents working with vicious dictators to pursue American security interests: 1) Pollyanna idealism and 2) rigid ideological neoconservatism.

    If you want to argue that it isn’t in the best interests of the United States to work with Stalin, Pinochet, or Putin in any particular situation, I’m all ears, but anybody who thinks the president should never work with Stalin, Pinochet, or Putin–not even when it’s in our best interests to do so–should just grow the fuck up.

    1. I think the complaint is, Trump didn’t frown enough in Putin’s presence.

      1. They would refuse Putin’s help in fighting ISIS and countering Iran–because he’s Putin–in the same way that they oppose Trump’s policies–because he’s Trump.

        1. Pretty much this.

          These are not rational decisions, they are reflexes based largely on tribal affiliation and aesthetics.

          IOW, the ‘libertarians’ at

          1. Reason are affiliating themselves with entrenched statists while forsaking actual reason.

        2. And it is baffling. If Russia wants to deal with the tar baby that is Syria…go right ahead. There are no “good guys” there.

    2. “Not work with Pinochet?!!!” Hell, we demolished Chile’s democracy and installed the murderous, fascist dictator Pinochet. Of course we worked with him! Why wouldn’t we work with a murderer who attended more to American corporate interests than to the needs of his own people?

      1. Almost sounds like the US meddled in a foreign election.

      2. You make that claim as if it is beyond question. It isn’t:
        “The Church Report investigating the fallout of the Watergate scandal stated that while the U.S. tacitly supported the Pinochet government after the 1973 coup, there was “no evidence” that the US was directly involved in the coup.[34] This view has been contradicted by several academics, such as Peter Winn, who writes that the role of the CIA was crucial to the consolidation of power after the coup; the CIA helped fabricate a conspiracy against the Allende government, which Pinochet was then portrayed as preventing. He stated that the coup itself was possible only through a three-year covert operation mounted by the United States. He also points out that the US imposed an “invisible blockade” that was designed to disrupt the economy under Allende, and contributed to the destabilization of the regime.[6] Author Peter Kornbluh argues in his book The Pinochet File[35] that the US was extensively involved and actively “fomented”[35] the 1973 coup. Authors Tim Weiner, in his book, Legacy of Ashes,[36] and Christopher Hitchens, in his book, The Trial of Henry Kissinger [37] similarly argue the case that US covert actions actively destabilized Allende’s government and set the stage for the 1973 coup.”
        Your tin-foil hat is on inside out.

      3. :Pinochet killed commies, so he was okay.

        1. He killed trade unionists, students, professors, leftist priests, anti-fascists and nuns and women and children. That made him okay, too.

          1. Too bad you weren’t included in the mix.

            1. Ah, said like a true “patriot!”

              1. Commies contribute nothing of value to society, so yeah.

          2. So like Red Rocks said…commies

          3. He killed trade unionists, students, professors, leftist priests, anti-fascists and nuns and women who were commies

            And Chile is better off today because of it.

            The only good commie is a dead commie–because, unless they’re dead, they’ll be trying to destroy the world because Marxism does not work.

      4. Is there a global election the US does not meddle in?

      5. …yet he did more positive for Chile than anybody.

  21. A President should work with anyone and everyone. However, making public statements without disagreement with “the bad guys” and without public agreement with “the good guys” is problematic. I’m not sure what flavor of diplomacy this represents.

    1. It’s called pragmatism or realism.

      We’ve been operating under neocon assumptions on this for 16 years before Trump. What we’re seeing is a return to pragmatism and realism.

      It’s how we won the Cold War the way we did. Hell, it’s how we won World War II the way we did.

      See Stalin and Pinochet for examples.

      1. As one of the most pragmatic and realistic individuals around, I disagree strongly. I think Trump is a blithering idiot at best. The downside trends toward immorality. Winning the Cold War or WWII would not have been accomplished with a depraved narcissist in charge. I don’t know what the hell a neocon is, besides being skeptical of the opinions of anyone who bandies about the term. Kinda like RINO…words expressed by those who don’t wish to be taken seriously.

        1. Wow.

          “depraved narcissist in charge”

          What the fuck do you think FDR was??
          That’s an accurate description of anyone that would even run for office, but nobody comes close to FDR, Johnson, and Wilson at the top of the list of depraved narcissists.

        2. mchughjj|7.16.18 @ 9:17PM|#
          “As one of the most pragmatic and realistic individuals around, I disagree strongly. I think Trump is a blithering idiot at best. The downside trends toward immorality. Winning the Cold War or WWII would not have been accomplished with a depraved narcissist in charge. I don’t know what the hell a neocon is, besides being skeptical of the opinions of anyone who bandies about the term. Kinda like RINO…words expressed by those who don’t wish to be taken seriously.”

          As one who does his best to read what is posted, I’d say you are full of shit.
          WWII had FDR in charge and you’d be hard put to find more of a depraved narcissist. He also, for your information, allied the US with a mass murderer who put Hitler to shame, but I’m sure you’l find an excuse for that.

    2. Keep your friends close and you enemies closer.

      1. ^this. Pay atention dipshits, the game isn’t to posture to make the american plebs happy…

    3. “Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a rock”
      Many sources.

    4. Fuckin LOL at anyone calling the CIA and FBI “the good guys” without their sides going into orbit.

  22. Come on, give the guy a break. His next election will be his last, so he needs more flexibility now.

  23. Trump Tissues on Sale for your tears = Aisle 11 !!!

  24. ENB, Roave, Suderman, Dalmia, . . .

    I don’t know if it’s that TDS makes people write things that inadvertently make readers want to support Trump–readers who wouldn’t support him otherwise–but it seems like they’re actually trying to chase people out of the libertarian camp and into the arms of the populists, doesn’t it?

    Not enough to oppose Trump on free trade or immigration grounds–if you don’t share in their TDS, you don’t belong here, that seems to be the message.

    Maybe somebody wrote Reason a huge check. Maybe they just don’t give a shit about their grass roots supporters anymore. Assuming TDS is actually giving them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think they realize what they’re doing.

    1. ^THIS^

      Soros seems to fit the big money benefactor.

      Reason is to libertarianism as Scotts is to rectums.

  25. Hey suderman….the 1980’s called. They want their foreign policy back.

    Arent we now supposed to be friends with russia? What happened to the reset button? Heck, we didnt even blink when they annexed a couple little regions and went to war with Ukraine….that was just a small regional issue. Russia is our friend now right? Or does our foreign policy reverse when the left is out of power?

    Our relationship with russia has been made into a joke by rabid antitrumpers who grasp at ridiculous conspiracy theories with russia as the ‘boogieman’ to do anything to discredit the administration. Brennan, that weasel, is screaming “treason”, which is just a sad case of transference.

    1. ^ This is the thing to constantly bring up any time anyone says that Trump is especially idiotic in terms of foreign policy.

      If Russia is truly our enemy, than there is one man you can point to that directly led us to this precipice: Obama.

      Yet, as you no doubt note, there are still lots of people who will defend Obama’s foreign policy even while they insist that Trump is uniquely ignorant on the international stage.

      Ludicrous. It’s even more hilarious when you realize that the leader of Russia was the same guy under both Presidents.

      This isn’t a whataboutism or any other kind of deflection, it’s simply noting that people are partisan fucks and that no one actually believes that Russia did anything. I suspect that if Trump were impeached tomorrow, no one would say jack or shit about Russian interference again. The reason? It’s just a convenient cudgel to beat disfavored politicians with at the moment. It’ll go out of vogue as soon as Trump does.

      I’ll just be over here noting that no one is really talking about FISA anymore, wondering why people are all retards.

      1. I almost wish Clinton had won so we wouldn’t be hearing all this ridiculous shit about the prez. Give ’em what they want, just so they shut the fuck up!

  26. Apparently last week’s announcement by Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general, that a group of Russian intelligence officers had been “charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election” does not constitute any reason whatsoever.

    Nothing says ‘incontrovertible proof’ like someone saying a group of foreign nationals have been charged with crimes while being quite sure there’ll never be a trial for those people and so no actual evidence need be produced by a team staffed with agents openly hostile to Trump.

    Didn’t Mueller try that with three Russians only to cry ‘National Security’ when they responded with ‘see you in court, bring your proof’?

  27. Come on, is it really hacking when Democrats are so deliberately casual and unconcerned not only about their own political secrets but also important national secrets in their charge that they do NOTHING a responsible or reasonable person regards computer security? When the DNC is hacked, they avoid the FBI and continued to be hacked when their B team was unable to fix the problem.

    I guess they have their reasons.

    I wonder how Dems are going to play this slander they are creating against Trump when the real policy collusion has been Russia and the Obama administration both promoting the sweetheart (for the ayatollahs) Iranian nuclear deal and the often over-looked Uranium One transaction, which was a big Valentine for Vladimir Putin. Democrats love to slick through major treaties and trade deals and then justify themselves with mountains of manufactured virtuousness for doing so, when the truth of what happened is just another insider crony arrangement the real effects of which are not at all what the Fake News apologists for Democrats will claim them to be.

    1. Michael, it isn’t that they were so much lax as they were broke, and deeply in debt. They just couldn’t afford it. Plus Hillary’s campaign manager was so smart his email password was “password”.

  28. The advantage in dealing with dictators is that when you come to an agreement, they don’t (usually) have to run it by a “focus group” to see how it plays with the hoi poloi. They either stand by their word, or not.

  29. America is not beyond reproach, but Trump’s apparent inability to differentiate between the United States and murderous, blatantly authoritarian regimes is a worrisome sign about both the limitations of his judgment and his own affinity for autocratic power.

    It’s not just Trump. It’s most libertarians, including myself. When Russia’s bloodshed, murderous interventionism, and caging en masse begins to approach America’s, then we’ll talk.

    1. Amen!

      Russia can’t hold a candle to America’s murderous rapacity.

      1. “Amen!
        Russia can’t hold a candle to America’s murderous rapacity.”

        And I’m sure in your addled mind, there was a point to be made.
        Don’t bother; it’ll only make you look worse.

        1. I made my point pretty explicitly.

          And I’d make it even more explicitly, but I think you still wouldn’t get it.

          MLK said it in 1967: America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. He was right then, during the Vietnam War and our “dirty wars” in Latin America, and he’s still right today.

    2. Yeah… Actually we’ve killed a LOT more people in recent decades than Russia has. Orders of magnitude more. We’ve interfered in a lot more foreign elections too!

      And we’re unimpeachable. LOL

      This I would expect from CNN, but not from Reason. Reason should know that we’ve actually killed far more people, and that just because we did it with the stars and stripes flying, that doesn’t make it okay.

      Russia is shittier in terms of freedoms within their own border, I’ll say that no problem. But in international affairs, we’ve been faaar worse the last few decades.

      1. Russia is shittier in terms of freedoms within their own border, I’ll say that no problem.

        I’m not so sure I agree with this part. Although their laws are often more stringent (and sometimes more absurd), we have our fair share of that as well. But the difference is that we seemingly have unlimited resources devoted to enforcement, whereas theirs is spotty. Even if you normalize by population, we still cage more people than they do and we confiscate more property under the auspices of “criminal activity” than they do.

        1. That’s actually a fair point. In many countries the “in theory” laws on the books are fucked, but in practice they have more freedom just because of lack of enforcement. I suppose Russia falls into that category on many fronts. But they CAN bust you and screw you hard for some stuff that would be totally unacceptable here too. Like the cases of many people just speaking ill of the government etc.

          Frankly, on many things I am not opposed to “harsh” penalties either. Obviously there are victimless crimes, which shouldn’t be illegal… But treating ACTUAL criminals harshly… I have no problem with that. Murderers, rapists, thieves, etc should be treated like shit IMO. Whoever thought it was a good idea to get rid of hard labor for people in prisons (not jail) for real crimes can fuck right off. Prison shouldn’t be fun, and punishment shouldn’t be light for many real crimes.

  30. Another truly stupid article. The author conflates praise in the act of making deals with acceptance or even preference.

    As I say, that’ s just dumb. Mind reading? The author is no good at it and should stop trying.

  31. Where have the libertarians gone? Didn’t we used to want more talking, less blowing stuff up? How is de-escalating with a nuclear power bad? The concern about Russia’s internal governance is positively NeoCon in the most McCainian sense. I guess Trump was supposed to be mean to Putin on camera or something. “You’re a dick!” Yeah, that’ll show ’em! Just like the fomenting a coup in the Ukraine showed ’em.

    1. Which is exactly why it is called Trump Derangement Syndrome. Suderman and his ilk are so caught up with denying Trump any sort of success that they cannot see the long term implications of their arguments.

      1. Principles over principals is all well and good. It’s just that Trump is a principal too far for them.

  32. Is HyR ever going to return to normal? Once Trump’s left the scene, who’s next in their sights?

  33. If I’m being charitable – I would say that Trump (who has the persona and ideology of a firebrand conservative talk radio host) has always disliked European socialism / open borders policy. He spoke against China and their cheating long before he became president. He was never going to be chummy with most of their leaders.

    Trump was in good terms with Shinzo Abe, who’s also a nationalist but not quite a dictator. Abe made the point of being one of the first world leader to visit him, and Trump toned down his trade rhetoric on Japan. Trump gave a rather glowing speech in the Korean parliament the last time he was in that country.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0xEoKRHRi4

    Not long after that, he cut a trade deal with that country. Korean steel is now exempt from America’s tariff, while others remain.

    I suspect that Trump admires single culture societies or tough talking guys who crack down on crime and gets things done. When he brushes off strongman policies (“we do it too”) he’s protecting his inflated ego. That’s not presidential behavior, considering the real life victims of those policies.

    Does he enjoy the companies of dictators because he admires their brutality? Maybe, but I don’t think so. He called Kim a “Rocket man” and threatened to kill him not that long ago. I think we’re seeing some hardcore partisan politics. Putin is a useful ally to him now because he’ll back up his attacks on Mueller.

  34. What planet are so many of you on?! The USA has ALWAYS preferred tyranical despotic tyrants to democracies.

    We scuttled the elections that were guaranteed by the Geneva Accords for Vietnam in the 5o’s because we knew the “wrong” man would win, Ho Chi Minh. We demolished Iran’s democracy in ’53 to install the US corporate-friendly Shah, who ran the country with CIA/Mossad-trained torturers and death squads. We toppled the democracy in Guatemala in ’54 to install a series of US corporate-friendly fascist dictators. We toppled Chile’s democracy on 9.11.73 to install the murderous, corporate stooge, Pinochet, who, as per our custom, ran the country with torturers and death squads. We were staunch supporters of South Africa’s, anti-democratic apartheid regime, and Egypt’s murderous dictator, Mubarak, as well as the head-chopping, Saudi monarchy, etc.

    In 2009 Obama and Co. abetted the destruction of Honduras’s democracy and now, as usual, the country is run by tyrannical oligarchs who have spread terror throughout the land, leading to that north-bound caravan of refugees that’s winding its way through Mexico.

    The USA hates democracies because they can’t be counted upon to genuflect and bow and scrape when Washington or Wall Street calls. The tyrants we support can, and, simply, that’s why we like them.

    1. Shah, who ran the country with CIA/Mossad-trained torturers and death squads.

      Who runs the death squads now?

    2. “The USA hates democracies because they can’t be counted upon to genuflect and bow and scrape when Washington or Wall Street calls. The tyrants we support can, and, simply, that’s why we like them.”

      Gee, the world is just so simple! Or not.

      1. “US foreign policy has no moral factor built into its DNA,” William Blum writes in his book, “Killing Hope,” about American/CIA meddling in foreign countries.

        Blum examines nearly 50 years of the United Sates “intervening all over the world” to combat the permanently McCarthy-ist phantom of “International Communist Conspiracy” during the Cold War (p. 19).

        Blum presents 55 specific cases of American endeavours ? stretching from the Seychelles to Albania ? to “overthrow foreign ? governments, most of which were democratically elected” (p. 390). These are heavily and meticulously footnoted, substantiated by sources drawn from contemporary media outlets, de-classified archival material, and field research that yielded “personal experience” and “observations” (p. 423).

        Blum’s compilation is a poignant reminder of just how the Land of the Free sought to strangle democracy in the name of freedom and democracy. That these efforts just happened to enrich our multinational corporations is, of course, an unintended consequence.

  35. Democratic leaders are generally covert dictators, them and their cabals of advisors and bureaucrats.
    Nixon went to China, Trump went met with Putin.
    Imagine how the media would have covered this if Obama had dared to do it.

    1. “Obama Praises Putin, Ushers in New Era of Cooperation With Russia”

      That’s my guess.

  36. The Don is reciting his lines, namely, the Gee-Oh-Pee platform of 2016 for which he won both auditions. Anyone can read the platform and compare it with the NSDAP program of 1920. The parallels are ominous, but this says more about Republican National Socialism than about the Don.

    1. “The Don is reciting his lines, namely, the Gee-Oh-Pee platform of 2016 for which he won both auditions. Anyone can read the platform and compare it with the NSDAP program of 1920. The parallels are ominous, but this says more about Republican National Socialism than about the Don.”

      Hank, you are commonly confusing, often sutpid, here you are just full of shit.

      1. He really is an idiot. Very unoriginal too.

  37. . . . .Prefers Dictators to Democratic Leaders

    Serious question – how much difference is there between the two any more?

  38. What a dumbass article.

    OF COURSE authoritarians are easier to make deals with, and that’s obviously what Trump does: he’s a dealmaker. Does anyone prefer to attempt to make a deal with a committee? It’s very easy for Trump to focus his attention and considerable charisma on just one person.

    1. I can’t even. Whatever the title of the movie of this will be, it will contain the words “treason” and “stupid.”

      Fucking Stupid Treason by Paramount Pictures starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Vladimir Putin and Peter Dinklage as Donald Trump.

      1. Cry me a river

  39. Michael Hihn|7.16.18 @ 11:13PM|#

    Yeahm those fiuking traitors like Trey Gowdty, Paul Ryan, Fox News … the list grows longer .
    DAMN! George Soros went on a buying spree!!
    report spam

    Michael Hihn|7.16.18 @ 11:10PM|#

    The cold war was launched by … OBAMA ….before he was even born!

    If Russia is truly our enemy, than there is one man you can point to that directly led us to this precipice: Obama.

    …. and Hillary’s server
    ——————————
    This is what passes for comment from our resident Alzheimers victim.
    Fuck off Mike. You do nothing other than embarrass yourself.

  40. So the Russians got actual analytics from the Democratic party. “Hillary, stupid cunt, why didn’t you go to Wisconsin? That’s why yer lost!”

    I wonder if she’d have gone to Wisconsin if she had stolen Trump’s analytics.

    1. Tony|7.16.18 @ 11:33PM|#
      “I wonder if she’d have gone to Wisconsin if she had stolen Trump’s analytics.”
      I wonder if she could have possibly won, given that she was such a pathetic piece of shit that she lost to TRUMP.
      Loser.

    2. It’s silly, watching you pretend to know what analytics are.

      1. Useful data down to the individual voter level in this case. The Russians stole Hillary’s in this case.

    3. Why were Trump’s analytics different from Hillary’s? Were they specific to DNC/RNC? Don’t the analytics that pertain to independent voters mean a lot more?

  41. Still, for all his bluster, Trump has not governed as a violent despot. But the longer he remains president, the more clear it becomes that he admires and enjoys the company of those who do.

    Trump can give blowjobs to Putin for all I care, as long as he doesn’t start wars, doesn’t bomb civilians, and doesn’t make trade deals that are harmful to the US, all of which Hillary and Obama did.

    1. Well, Trump’s already been making trade deals that are harmful to the US . . .

      1. Like what?

  42. “Trump’s Putin Summit Is Another Reminder He Prefers Dictators to Democratic Leaders”
    Let’s cut the crap and parse the headline:
    “Suderman is Still Pissed that Trump Won and is Still Whining About It”

  43. Once again, we have the blithering collective idiocy screaming (with enough spittle which should short out the key board) that TRUMP IS A BIG POOPYHEAD SINCE HE DIDN’T (something)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
    While offering nothing of fact that, as POTUS, Trump did or didn’t do which is other than an opinion.
    IOWs, we have those suffering from TDS SCREAMING AND POSTING IN BOLD AND……
    Fuck off, Mike. Your act is tired.

  44. Hillary lost because she really wasn’t that likable, even when running against Trump.

    There: I said it. Let it sink in and move on. Christ, it’s been two years.

  45. An article criticizing Trump? Love it, watching the allegedly “libertarian” Commetariat indulge in tu quoque arguments and perform linguistic somersaults to prove Trump’s a cool dude and totally not a wannabe despot because… uh… TDS… and… uh… Shillary would be worse…and….uh…the media!

    You guys are hilarious.

    1. So Trump would have proven his lack of despotic urges by being bellicose and confrontational with Putin?

      Pretending that there are not domestic elements seeking to derail anything Trump does, especially anything involving foreign relations, is rather mendacious.

  46. President Eisenhower warned about the military/industrial complex.

    John Kennedy warned about secret societies and had already issued orders to begin exit from Viet Nam.
    JFK had already said he was going to breakup the CIA and had issued an order to begin printing US Treasury Notes to get away from the F.E.D. John Kennedy was moving not only against the military/industrial complex but ADDED the spy/international banking complex.

    We have now been in one continuous war for SEVENTEEN YEARS, if you don’t think the military/industrial/spy/banking complex is against the USA, you aren’t paying attention.

    The “shadow government” the “deep state” the military/industrial/spy/banking complex are ALL one and the same! New World Order Globalists!! And, they control the media.

    It is no coincidence that the most maligned men on the planet are “MY nation first” leaders. They are fighting the nation destroying, humanity destroying, Globalists, the NWO, so called “progressives.”

    Abraham Lincoln WARNED that if America falls, it will fall from within. THAT is exactly what the “deep state” Globalists want!!! I say America First, with the POTUS!!! Trump isn’t with anyone, he is against the Globalists!

  47. I’m sure that if N. Korea, Russia and China were run by Democratic Leaders, Trump would still be meeting with them. A president doesn’t really get to choose who he deals with.

  48. What is past is not only prologue, but also likely to be remade by Hollywood which not only rewrites history but also tends to do sequels of its own classics just so that they can screw up whatever was right with them the first time.

    Take MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, ANNIE, and TRUE GRIT, for example. In the first, the communists have to be erased as the bad guys to be replaced by a murky evil corporation. For a time, Hollywood was on a roll with that, but I forget the titles of the other classic movies so bastardized.

    Now the problem with ANNIE was that from the get-go lefty critics never liked a lighthearted white-bread treatment of capitalism. Never mind how brilliant the comedy and song and dance were, this movie had to be politically corrected.

    TRUE GRIT was probably re-made solely to deconstruct John Wayne, an icon of the right and ally of Ronald Reagan. Granted that Glen Campbell’s hair was ridiculous for a cowboy, the strength of this movie was its basically right-wing realism about what it takes to achieve even partial justice in a difficult world. The shoot-out at the cabin was exactly the way those events went down in the Old West. The unrealistic part that jumps out at me is when fat old John jumps the horse over the fence at the end.

    1. All that was just to bring into focus a word picture of bare-chested Putin on a horse and Trump the size of the London balloon looming over him.

      What kind of crime is hacking a Democrat, anyhow? It’s like taking candy from a brain-dead baby. And all that was gained was hypothetical blackmail material and ephemera which did not effect the election outcome.

      Now when Dems go full crony with the Russians they do major transgressions against American national interests, like the Uranium One deal and the Iran Nuclear deal (which Putin very much wanted and still protects.) Dems rely on their powerful Fake News allies to cover up those deals while they are being cooked.

      Here’s a new one–the natural gas that a company called Burisma (offices in Cyprus and Kiev) sells to Germany comes from gas fields in Eastern Ukraine, presently controlled by Russian allies. Who really controls Burisma is completely unclear, although there is an American named Hunter Biden on the board of directors.

  49. Sweet merciful crap! Reason has gone off the rails.

  50. Yes indeed. It’s the biggest reason why 90% of their old fans left a while ago, and most of their commenting is done by three or four quasi-professional trolls.

  51. Simple question, does Trump’s attitude make war between the US and Russia more likely or less?

    1. Putin is a liar and Russia is a captive state. Believing the official Russian narrative as Trump does is like signaling you’re a fucking idiot. Only the idiots believe this Russian State perspective. Putin understands most of the Russian perspective was invented by Russian intelligence services to serve a dictatorial state that disguises itself as a democracy.

  52. Putin has maintained that Russia did not make any attempt at interference, and Trump appears eager to agree. Asked today about Russia’s actions, Trump said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia.” Apparently last week’s announcement by Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general, that a group of Russian intelligence officers had been “charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election” does not constitute any reason whatsoever. Trump effectively sided with Putin over the conclusions offered by officials in his own administration.

    Perhaps allowing an independent investigation instead of a private firm they paid might have made the claims of the DNC more plausible.

  53. How exactly is Trump wrong to be bashing the EU? And all of its so called leaders, most of which are selling out their own countries knowingly? You can like or dislike the particulars of Trumps agenda, or Putins… But at least they’re both doing what they think is right for their nation.

    For any idiots that haven’t picked up on this yet, the Nationalist vs Globalist thing is really the BIG overarching sea change that’s going on right now. There are different flavors of nationalism out there, but they’re all standing up against the globalist system, which is in fact quite monolithic.

    And for you morons that think nationalism is a dirty word… Just ask yourself if we’ll have a better world with a single all powerful government ruling the whole planet. Any sane person knows that would be a disaster waiting to happen, EVEN IF it started out with the best of intentions… Which the people running the planet clearly don’t have. So I’ll take my nationalism, in both its good forms and bad, over that shit.

  54. I didn’t wade through the comments but….

    “But the longer he remains president, the more clear it becomes that he admires and enjoys the company of those who do.”

    Hasn’t this been a theme for every Presidency going back decades? What’s so different with Trump?

    Didn’t Obama like Chavez? Indeed, didn’t he play nice with Russia? Trudeau up here has made several comments about his admiration for China and Castro.

    Yet, I don’t remember (if I’m wrong I apologize) Reason taking Obama to task for his own cozying up to dictators.

    FFS, it was a common feature during Obama’s tenure. Now he’s in South Africa and I doubt he’ll say a damn word about the barbaric and murderous brutality blacks are engaging in against white farmers there. Look it up.

    https://bit.ly/2NoxmG2

  55. Many commentators on both the Left and Right believe the United States government represents the ‘good guys’ in the world against evil dictators and communists. I thought that also, until considering what our military has done in the relatively recent past.
    1) We have troops in well over 100 countries – seems like an empire in this regard.
    2) We (the CIA) have participated in the overthrow of at least 2 democratically elected leaders. First there was the overthrow of prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in the CIA sponsored coup in Iran in 1953. Second, there was the overthrow of freely elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. So, it seems highly hypocritical to scream at the piddling efforts of Russian intelligence officers to influence the 2016 US election. We seem to believe in democracy only when the outcome of elections suits our needs.
    3) How many innocents have we murdered with our drone attacks on perceived enemy militants in the Middle East? Oh well, those lives don’t matter, just the necessary evil to get a really ‘bad guy’.

    I love America which used to mean the country of individual rights. Today’s United States government no longer represents this philosophy in either the domestic or international arenas.

    1. I love America which used to mean the country of individual rights.

      It never meant that. It started off as a freedom-suppressing government, grew into a massive bureaucracy, and then became the empire you’ve been criticizing, oh, about a century ago.

      The reason this is important (and not just me sniping one of your lines in an otherwise good post…) is because the solution isn’t to go back in time and adopt old paradigms. I’d argue that the results we are seeing today are directly the result of the capitulation of the freedom movement centuries ago, the embrace of a puritanical culture, and the whims of the majority (including a mechanism to easily force it on others).

      1. Great shitty summary and strawman arguments. The worst thing the US did was give the federal government far too much power over the states, FDR turned his government into that of King Louis the 14th, turning the dukes into little more than playthings that revolved around his desires.

        1. The worst thing the US did was give the federal government far too much power over the states

          You mean ratifying the constitution? What you describe above was its centerpiece. And all this occurred much earlier than FDR. The US government sucked long before he came to power. See its rampant interventionism, out of control spending, and long history of human rights abuses that would make China look libertarian.

      2. “embrace of a puritanical culture”

        And what is wrong with this? I’m NOT a bible thumper by the way, just playing devils advocate here.

        I agree we shouldn’t have LAWS nanny stating it up… But what is wrong with a culture that doesn’t tolerate degenerate behavior? That’s acceptable in a libertarian society. It is pretty much an indisputable scientific fact, thanks to statistics, that all of the “boring/stogy” things create the most successful families and societies. Getting married instead of slutting it up, working hard, spending less than you earn, not drinking or drugging to excess, etc. These are ALL great for individuals and societies.

        Not having degeneracy being illegal is different from people accepting it, or even promoting bad things as if they were a good, which is a common thread in the modern left AND many libertarians now.

        Sure the USA had dumb laws on some stuff. Sodomy laws or whatever. But we were also MORE free with many personal freedoms back in the day, like prostitution, heroin, etc all being legal. Not to mention financial and other freedoms!

        We’d be a hell of a lot better off if we magically turned back to 1850 in all ways but with modern technology. Best of both worlds would be to take the good, and ditch the bad, of course. The world isn’t perfect, but the USA in the 1800s was about as close to perfection as any society has ever been…

  56. Consider the caliber of CIA people we had with John Brennan and James Clapper. Or is it James Brennan and John Clapper? Or is it Peter Strzok Clapper-Rosenstein and Lisa Page Brennan-Comey?

    Understand this: given the choice between the Kremlin controlling the White House and the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post controlling our nation we unwashed rednecks will gather at the barricades waving bloody shirts and tattered battle flags on our pitchforks until this Deep State sedition and its dark creature Mueller are exposed as the imposters they are and stopped.

  57. One comment I saw in a news article today made sense. “Trump cannot separate himself from his office”. For the same reason that he cannot distinguish between Russian interference in the election and the legitimacy of his presidency.

    It was a mistake to meet alone with Putin. Like in basketball. You can beat LeBron James if you play like a team but do not just go one on one with him. Let him get close enough and that right arm wil come up out of nowhere and destroy you.

  58. FUCK YOU REASON. What the fuck?! Aren’t you the ones who want a more “sane” foreign policy? One where we aren’t in every country and threatening every country around us? Looks like Trump derangement syndrome has hit “Reason” (more like “Un-Reason”) the “left” libertarian media outlet. Trump is trying to make peace with our enemies instead of shouting incoherent, neo con bullshit to goad them into war. I don’t know why I even read your bullshit emails anymore, because you guys stand for FUCKING NOTHING, you used to stand for something, now your just a rag like the rest of them that seeks to placate the regressive left.

    1. Your hero just got outfoxed.

      Now watch him and his people walk it back. Already started.

      Putin bested Bush and Obama. Now Trump.

      Kim has already outplayed him. Korea gave us nothing. Not even one dead body.

      If he were my CEO I would be working on my resume today.

      1. He’s not my hero, but I don’t exactly see how he’s been outfoxed… Putin and Trump more or less worked together to largely deal with ISIS/Syria. That’s a win for both, assuming you don’t want to go toppling dictatorships just to see the shit show that comes after.

        He’s actually been tougher on Russia in eastern Europe by re-ramping up the western military presence there which Obama had undone… A win for us alone.

        And he never said he believed Putin, just that he denied it.

        Any which way getting bested by Putin isn’t that big of a shame… He may be a dick, but Putin IS a far stronger, craftier, and better leader than anybody that has been at the helm of a western nation in a LONG time. He’s a genuine badass, love him or hate him. In a different era without nukes I could imagine Putin having become one of the “great” ruthless conquerors of history. He can’t do that nowadays, but he’s surely doing a pretty good job of punking countries where he can.

      2. Nice bullet points. Been cut and pasting from the last DNC memo?

  59. Your cheese has slipped off the cracker. You’re looking more and more like CNN and less and less like a valid news source for libertarians and other truth seekers.

  60. Well, he and Trudeau will have something to gush over at the next NAFTA/UN/NATO meeting, their penchant for totalitarian regimes.

  61. What left leaning authoritarian doesn’t? The left loved Obama as a savior. THey wanted their God King to rule forever as much as any Trumpster does for Trump. It’s a familiar pattern. The Israelites wanted a King and they got one. Now we want one too.

  62. As I stated previously, hacking the Democrats within several years either way of the 2016 election was about as hard as stealing candy from a brain dead baby. Nor was what the Russians did an exceptionally unusual effort at “interfering” with anything. All they were really doing is probing and doing their own oppo research exactly like our intel services are doing in elections everywhere in the world.

    Now granted, in this instance some Russian snoopers (who may well have been acting independently as free agents looking for insider info they could parley into profit somehow such as blackmail material, when the brain dead babies really began to pay off!

    To paraphrase what Putin said when Trump passed the mike to him to take the lead, “Hey, we didn’t make any of this stuff up. Don’t shoot the messenger! It is not our fault Julian Assange ended up being able to reveal to Americans things that the American FOIA can’t”

    What Democrats don’t realize is that by puffing up this huge Fake Narrative that Trump is in treacherous collusion with Putin now and mocking American democracy, they are also re-igniting Hillary’s delusion that the election was stolen from her. In turn, this reinforces her determination that 2020 should at long last she damn well shatters that glass ceiling for good!

    Is this Trump’s plan? He wants her in a rematch? The brilliance of it!

    1. That has always been my favorite part… It’s not that the Russians LIED about anything and threw the election… It’s that they released TRUE information that made Hillary and the Dems look like the pieces of shit they are! Whoever released that info, and it probably wasn’t the Russians, only brought the truth to light.

      If it had been a journalist with guts and integrity (LOL, like any of them exist anymore!) who brought it all to light, would they have been hailed as a hero??? Not by the left. I lean towards thinking the Russians didn’t do much of anything, but even if they did all they did was do the USA a favor, just as a good investigative journalist would have in past eras when the press wasn’t in the bag for the left.

  63. Its amazing to watch the mix of dem propaganda and the enormous number of people utterly losing their shite over of what amounts ton the worst case, a private organization being hacked.
    Talking heads and loons are publically comparing this to Pearl Harbor or 9/11. But yet, even if you completely believe the intelligence agencies, the attempted hacking was to both parties, it had no effect on the election, and to date, no evidence of collusion with us entities.
    Even then, you have Assange and others stating it wasnt a hack, but an inside job.

    Rand is absolutely right. The lunacy and tds is so virulent that rational thought has left the building. Its not even possible to engage in a discussion of is good and bad foreign policy and diplomacy.

  64. Episode 12984 of TDS induced Hysterical Pants Shitting at Reason

  65. Putin is in the news a great deal and the line Americans hear week after week during interviews with Washington’s politicians and those entrusted with protecting our security is that Putin is a thug and a bully. The problem with Putin may be linked to the fact that with blunt rhetoric he refused to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world under a system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders hell-bent on their New World Order. The article below explores this issue and his role as a statesman.

    http://brucewilds.blogspot.com…..esman.html

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