Update from the Moscow Primary

As much as Virginians might like to consider our state legislative elections in 11 months, the first nomination contest of 2024 is already under way – and it’s not in any of the states that Joe Biden rearranged on the Democratic calendar.

For the GOP, the Moscow primary is well under way, and Donald Trump took the early lead with his call for “for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” Sure, that might infuriate people of honor on this side of the Atlantic, but the Kremlin was sure to be thrilled that Trump is willing to take down any guardrails which remain standing.

The only other candidate in this primary has been mostly silent, preferring to continue his culture war plodding in the hope Moscow notices the alignment. That said, Governor Ron DeSantis did get a boost from across the ocean.

A bill that outlaws “LGBT propaganda”—defined so broadly as to cover not only gay or transgender rights advocacy but potentially all public expressions of “nontraditional” sexuality or gender identity—passed the State Duma on November 24 and was approved by the upper house of Russia’s fake legislature, the Council of Federations, last Wednesday. There’s not much suspense as to whether Vladimir Putin will sign it.

So Vladimir Putin can choose between his old asset still pining to undermine American democracy or the quiet fellow who’s exacerbating the divisions Moscow uses at home and abroad. One could call this the Flaming Hare versus De Tortoise.

Lest anyone think this first primary is unimportant, Trump will be more than happy to sabotage a DeSantis-Insert-Name-Here ticket in a general election unless he’s told not to do so. For that to happen, the Florida Governor needs to get the Kremlin on-side.

Stay tuned.

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