Look, I know this is crazy, but....I've had this odd feeling for awhile now that Republicans were either knowingly or unintentionally moving toward a complete breakup of the United States. Weird conspiratorial stuff.
But when Gov. Scott Walker ran for president, his big idea was to do away with many of our federal agencies and shift them to the states. That would create a nation of little republics, similar to the Soviet Union. Of course, they eventually broke up into individual countries...so could that happen here? If you're a Republican, sure, who cares, and anyway this is something very very long term...and crazy.
But still, we've already seen many GOP state's tinker with the idea of seceding. What I didn't see coming was this Politico story tweet by GOP pollster and propagandist Frank Luntz :
More outrageous still? This is all coming out of Trump's favorite best friend, Russia:
The Dialogue of Nations Conference, which attracted separatist-minded contingents from Ireland, Spain and Italy, was hosted by a man named Alexander Ionov, whose group had used money from the Kremlin to pay the travel expenses of Russian Louis Marinelli’s pals from Red Square: Nate Smith. Smith is one of the leaders of Texas Nationalist Movement that’s pushing to—you guessed it—break away from the United States.
Jed Wheeler, the general secretary of the California National Party. “YesCalifornia is a movement whose optics are all designed for a Russian audience to reinforce [Vladimir] Putin, by talking about…how terrible America is, and reinforcing [the idea that] Putin is this great guy who is admired all over the world.”
It would be easy to dismiss all this as nonsense driven by publicity-hungry amateurs, but people who know the Russian political playbook say winking at these fringe movements—and even giving them a boost—is a part of a very real strategy. Not only is this a way of puffing Russia’s domestic claims at turmoil in the U.S., but it fits firmly within the Kremlin’s modus operandi of cultivating fringe groups in the West—including, most especially, those who would fracture the United States in a reprise of the Soviet Union’s demise, over a quarter-century later.
That's not all:
Trump booster and Silicon Valley mogul Peter Thiel told the New York Times last week he is a proponent of secession. (“I think it would be good for California, good for the rest of the country,” Thiel said. “It would help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.”) And thanks to the efforts of both Marinelli and Ionov, California now has its first, if unofficial, “embassy” abroad—located in, of all places, Moscow.Thanks to Trump, Russia's Putin is riding high. WaPo:
Backed by photos of Putin, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Muammar Qadhafi, Marinelli and Ionov officially unveiled the “embassy” in mid-December, pitching it as “bridge between California and Russia” and a way to “gain Russian support for California independence.”
Putin heads into 2017 on a strong note, having brokered a cease-fire in Syria that sidelined the United States and having won the praise of President-elect Donald Trump by declining to retaliate in response to the Obama administration’s decision to punish Moscow over its alleged interference in the U.S. election.
“We are working, and working successfully, and we are achieving much,” Putin said in the nationally broadcast address. “I would like to thank you for the victories and achievements, for your understanding and trust, and for your true, sincere care for Russia.”