A resolution passed by the State Duma yesterday compared the ban of Russia's track-and-field athletes from this year's Summer Olympics for doping to -- get this -- "the Spanish Inquisition."
Really, the Spanish Inquisition! You know, the one where they tortured people with thumbscrews, broke them on the rack, and burned them at the stake. Yeah, that's the one.
A bit over the top? Well, sure. But it's also par for the course.
Back in early 2000, shortly after Vladimir Putin came to power, a Foreign Ministry official in Moscow told me with a straight face that Estonia's treatment of ethnic Russians constituted "apartheid."
During Russia's war with Georgia in 2008, Russian state media persistently accused Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili of committing "genocide" in South Ossetia
And, of course, when a popular uprising in Ukraine overthrew the corrupt pro-Moscow regime of Viktor Yanukovych, the Kremlin described it as a "putsch" by a "fascist junta."
Inquisitions, apartheids, genocides, and fascists -- oh my!
By using the most odious terms available to describe its adversaries, the Putin regime is not only demeaning the victims of actual inquisitions, apartheids, genocides, and fascist juntas -- it is also speaking volumes about itself.
The Kremlin is demonstrating its complete and utter disingenuousness.
And it is also exposing the degree to which it has completely lost the plot and is now residing in its own manufactured reality -- one where Russia is always the victim and its enemies are always monsters.