Maria Butina's cozy relationship with the Christian right:
I am particularly struck by the contrast between the article's assertion that the Christian Right has a "longstanding fondness" for Russia and even for Putin, and the "red scare", knee-jerk anti-communism that was far more characteristic of evangelicals in my salad days in the last quarter of the 20th century.
I have roundly criticized evangelicals for ceding whatever moral high ground they arguably once had by embracing and enabling Trumpism in exchange for a few tokens of temporal power -- mainly, SCOTUS justices of their liking. But now I'm starting to wonder if evangelicals, the gun lobby, and the GOP leadership, as well as Trump and his administration, haven't all been groomed for the past generation to embrace Russian-style authoritarianism.
Putin never was a fervent communist in the first place, and he has shed all vestiges of that ideology during the last 18 years in power. He has entered a fruitful symbiosis with the orthodox church , not unlike the symbiosis of the Christian Right and Trump in the US (although Putin sometimes feigns to be a good Christian)
I do not think that there are many people in the US who are genuinely in favor of Russian-style authoritarianism, except on the far right (but even the militias would hate any American Putin in the Oval Office).
As I see it (as and outside observer) most of those who support Trump do so for tactical reasons: The Christian right wanted a conservation rollback (Supreme Court!) , the GOP wanted tax cuts, the NRA no stricter gun laws... and up until now all of them got what the hoped for.