He is not engaged in treason or anything like treason. He is engaged in hypocrisy and moral illiteracy. He is a frank admirer of caudillos such as Vladimir Putin, because in his mind ruthlessness, grasping, and amorality are associated with effective leadership. Hence the praise for Kim Jong-un.

Trump is a boob of a familiar sort: The guy sitting on the barstool (though Trump does not drink) saying, “I’m not saying I approve of Hitler, but he got things done.” The president finds much to admire in autocracies and police states, and in foreign affairs he makes that plain enough. The insistence that Putin must have kompromat or financial leverage over Trump is, in the absence of evidence, only a conspiracy theory, and no responsible person in public life should be trafficking in those—not even late-night comedians. Civilization went awry when we stopped socially classifying actors and related entertainers with prostitutes and tinkers, but even Stephen Colbert owes some public duty.

Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin. There’s plenty to criticize in that without making up ridiculous claims about treason. Trump, and many of his Republican enablers, are irresponsible. Unhappily, they are not uniquely irresponsible. Whatever depths they sink to, the Left is ready to meet them there with a steam shovel.