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Sunday, January 08, 2017

They all like strong men. And they all hate liberals.

by digby

The New York Times asked some Trump voters in Louisiana and Indiana what they think of the intelligence community consensus that the Russians hacked the presidential campaign in hopes of swaying the election:
“Sour grapes,” explained Bob Marino, 79, weighing in on the recent spycraft bombshell from the corner table of a local McDonald’s.

“Sour grapes,” agreed Roger Noel, 65, sitting next to him.

“Bunch of crybabies,” Reed Guidry, 64, offered from across the table.

“From the parts of the report I’ve seen,” said Rob Maness, a retired Air Force colonel who twice ran for Senate here as Tea Party favorite, “it seems silly.” ...

Of the comments he had seen from fellow Trump supporters on Facebook and in emails, he added, “90 percent of them are like, ‘What’s the big deal?’”

“I don’t think the Russians posed as big a problem to the Clintons as the Clintons posed to themselves,” said Paul Emenes, 49, while he sold ribs, shoulders and chops at a frigid outdoor farmers’ market in Covington. Russian hacking was concerning, sure, Mr. Emenes said. He added that, as long as Mr. Trump was not involved himself, “it doesn’t change the way I view him.”

Tina Gunaldo, 44, taking blankets off the citrus trees in her Mandeville, La., front yard after the previous night’s frost, had a similar attitude.

“Trump is Trump,” she said. “Do I think he’s going to become more of a friend to Russia because of this? No I don’t. I think — I hope — his focus will be on making America great again.”

Ms. Gunaldo would not reveal whom she voted for, but she did say Mr. Trump’s slogan resonated with her. It apparently resonated quite widely in this parish, which he won by more than 50 points. But it was a quiet support, she said. She knew of only one yard in the whole subdivision with a sign.

That yard belonged to Thurston Yates Sr.

“I don’t believe it,” Mr. Yates, 78, said flatly of the intelligence report. He was standing in the yard under his “Make America Great Again” flag, which he bought at a gun show several months ago. “Why would Putin even want Trump?”

Mr. Yates, who is retired from a career in pharmaceutical sales, was not concerned about what Mr. Trump might do in office, but said he was deeply alarmed about what President Obama might do before he leaves office.

It was Mr. Obama who was too soft on Russia, who let Mr. Putin get away with things, Mr. Yates continued. Mr. Trump would be much tougher.

But Mr. Yates then added: “Why is everybody so afraid of Russia? I’m not against Putin.”

This last sentiment was not uncommon. Even among those who were troubled by the hacks, few felt that Russia was a serious threat. The country was “a basket case,” and not the powerful foe it once was, said Mr. Marino, from his seat at McDonald’s. Others said that North Korea, the Islamic State and China were the real threats. Russia could even be a potential ally in some fights, suggested Valarie Kubacki, 54, a real estate broker in Valparaiso, Ind.

Ms. Kubacki said she perceived Russia as “somewhere in the middle” between friend and enemy, but agreed with Mr. Trump that the United States could work with them to defeat the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. “We may have to line up with people who may not be our ‘friend’ to make that happen,” she said.
In Louisiana, David Gubert, 56, chain-smoked Eagle 20 cigarettes in the cab of his pickup, with stacks of firewood for sale behind him in the bed. Like the Willises, he ruminated on what it would mean if the Russians had gotten involved, and possibly even swung the election.

But Mr. Gubert came to a different conclusion.

“If that’s what it took,” he said, “I’m glad they did it.”
The Putin cult has been growing on the right for some time. Mainstream Republicans have probably come to see him as a benign figure because of that. It's not ideological for most, although they are certainly in favor of authoritarian measures against anything they don't like. It's emotional. He hates Obama and Clinton almost as much as they do. Enemy of my enemy and all that rot. I think this is a common feeling among a lot of Americans right now --- and not just Republicans.