The Moscow Primary: Trump Makes His Pitch

The following is part of The Moscow Primary, an irregular series on yours truly’s speculations regarding the views of the 2024 Republican nomination contest from the most important player: the Kremlin.

As I noted on Monday, Ron DeSantis became the first and only serious challenger to Trump for the Kremlin’s support. The former president made it clear he won’t give up without a fight (Ron Filipkowski).

It was quite a tour de force of tearing down America as we’re trying to help Ukraine defend itself from Russian invasion. It also blows up the numerous covers used by anti-anti-Trumpers and/or anti-anti-Putinists.

They have spent months, if not years, insisting Trump was about defending NATO and standing up to Putin. So much for that.

… we have to finish the process we began under my administration of fundamentally reevaluating NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission… Our foreign policy establishment keeps trying to pull the world into conflict with a nuclear armed Russia, based on the lie that Russia represents our greatest threat.

If you want an idea what Trump means by “reevaluating NATO’s purpose,” John Bolton and John Kelly provided context to the WaPo:

“In a second Trump term, I think he may well have withdrawn from NATO,” Bolton said. “And I think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin was waiting for that.”

Retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, one of Trump’s former chiefs of staff, has also been described as saying that “one of the most difficult tasks he faced with Trump was trying to stop him from pulling out of NATO.”

They also insist Trump would lead a government focused on the threat from the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, they even couch their opposition to helping Ukraine or angering Russia on the idea that it distracts from the CCP. I already debunked that. Now Trump has, too, from a … very different angle.

But the greatest threat to Western civilization today is not Russia. It is probably, more than anything else, ourselves and some of the horrible, USA-hating people that represent us.

Read that again. That is isolationism at its finest, descended almost directly from the “San Francisco Democrats” that Jean Kirkpatrick rightly blasted almost forty years ago. Her ringing axiom describes Trump, DeSantis, and their ilk perfectly: “But then they always blame America first.”

I wish this were a one-off. It’s not. This will be the norm as DeSantis and Trump fight for the Kremlin’s blessing. This, sadly, is the Republican Party of the 2020s.

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