Back in the day, when I had considerably more hair and considerably less gut, I was often criticized for my personal politics and world view.

More often than not, it was suggested that I (and no few others of my generation) was a “Pinko,” and a “Commie,” and it was often suggested I should “go live in Russia where you belong.”

Sigh.

I still am occasionally tagged with the same labels. (One writer went so far as to suggest I was a “Neo-Communist”!)

Sigh, again.

Anyway, I find it absolutely amazing that the same ... er ... um ... type of people who suggested I should take my Commie bones and head back to Russia, are the same folks who now have an absolute crush on Vladimir Putin.

Putin is quite a character — and he is a former head of the much feared and hated KGB.

But, today?? Putin has become — for whatever odd reason — the darling of the right.

The former Communist regime enforcer now seems to push all the very best, and most excitable buttons for more ... um ... conservative Americans.

He’s exciting. He’s stimulating. He’s ... a bad boy.

Look. Let’s be realistic. Here’s a guy, a world leader, who is simply a bully — on a grand scale. A bully and a thug.

But right wing commentators and even GOP Congressional leaders get as flustered as tweenage Justin Beiber fans when they talk about him.

Oooooooooooooooooo ... he is SUCH a man! (Then they rather strangely obsess on President Barack Obama’s “mom jeans” in comparison. How ... odd.)

And keep in mind, gentle reader, the Vladimir Putin Fan Club is made up of our folks on the right!

Sean Hannity almost broke out in a cold sweat when he called Putin “... the great peacemaker out there.”

The great peacemaker??!!?? Do these guys watch their own news station?

Forget what is going on in the Ukraine and Crimea. Putin almost single handedly has managed to put the kibosh on any international humanitarian response to Syria. Do folks around this country really have such a short attention span that they have already forgotten about the hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians who have been killed in that country under a Russian-supported dictatorial regime?

Do the thousands of people suffering in Syria and throughout the border states of the former Soviet Union mean nothing to democracy loving Americans?

But, Putin is a hero to our own right wing pundits and politicians because he is “a man.”

Really??!!??

Even Michigan congressman Mike Rogers, the Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee, complimented the Russian leader saying that while Pres. Obama was “playing marbles” Putin is” playing chess.”

When Putin moved Russian forces into Crimea — invaded another country — Rudy Giuliani virtually gushed saying this is the kind of “decisive leadership” he wished we had in the U.S. Decisive! Decisive!?!

I’ll write this slowly.

Putin. Invaded. Crimea.

It would be like Canada taking over the State of Maine. Get it???

Nevertheless, Sarah Palin chimed in noting that Putin simply was more of a stud than our own president — and repeating the old “mom jeans” line.

“Look, people are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil,” she said. “They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates ...”

Sigh.

No one seems to remember that between his wrestling bears and drilling for oil, Putin is invading and subjegating neighboring countries - and blocking humanitarian aid of any kind to millions of desperate, suffering people.

Not too long ago, one of Fox News’ stellar team of analysts, K.T. McFarland breathlessly suggested that “... Vladimir Putin is the one who really deserves that Nobel Peace Prize.”

Seriously??!!??

Are these people simply nuts?

The man is a megalomaniac who invades neighboring countries — for no apparent good reason — and a vile human being who won’t even allow non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to distribute aid and relief in a devastated puppet state, and HE deserves the Nobel Peace Prize???

And it isn’t only McFarland.

A short while back, former drug addict and blithering bag of hot air Rush Limbaugh also opined “Vladimir Putin ought to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Limbaugh also suggested that the United States would be better off under the leadership of Putin saying: “Putin ought to be addressing the American people tonight on TV, not Obama.”

Oh. My. God.

OK. Look. I understand there are folks who simply do not like President Barack Obama.

I understand it.

But ... can anyone seriously hope, wish, or claim — as did Matt Drudge — that Putin be “... leader of the free world.” ?

Even Pat Buchanan has come out as a Putin fan. “While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites, Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.”

Traditional values???

A spokesman for ALL mankind???

Not for me, Pat. Not me.

God bless America ... without the likes of Putin.