Best Buddies: Trump, Austrian Neo-Nazis, and Putin

In the process of pointing out that their flirtations with John Birchers and other general “rightwing nutballish” behaviors are quickly turning the Trump administration “into the grease trap of American political history,” Charles Pierce stops to notice that incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is still in league with the Russkies. To wit, the lunatic far-right Austrian Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache traveled to New York in November to meet with Flynn. The Freedom Party presidential nominee, Norbert Hofer, just came within a whisper of winning an revanchist Anschlussian political victory in the early December election. He had hoped to do better, saying just prior to the vote that he was drawing “encouragement from Donald Trump’s presidential victory in the United States.”

So, Strache, Hofer, Flynn and Trump are best buddies, it seems, and now Strache and Hofer have decided to balm their political wounds by sidling up to the Kremlin:

Heinz-Christian Strache, Freedom Party leader, and Norbert Hofer, the candidate who narrowly lost Austria’s presidential election earlier this month, signed a “working agreement” on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party, according to a statement from the Freedom Party.

Pierce’s response is laconic:

At the risk of being called a neo-McCarthyite, may I point out that this smacks an awful lot of the incoming administration’s involvement in a worldwide right-wing movement at the center of which is our good friend Vladimir Putin.

Of course, this is impossible because liberals who lived through the Cold War keep telling me that all this Russia-bashing is just so much Dulles Brothers flimflam designed to distract the plebes from their rightful destiny at the head of the dictatorship of the proletariat. To bash Russia is to bash the left here at home in order to crush the left everywhere from Ho Chi Minh City to Buenos Aires.

It therefore cannot be that our president is in the thrall, if not the control, of a “worldwide right-wing movement” to restore the purity of essence to the European bloodstream and bring Christianity back to its former central and crusading glory.

Or, in other words, you need to check that “grease trap of American political history” carefully, because a few of the roles have been reversed.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.