U.S. politics is a game of deception for the sake of control and manipulation. Over the course of foreign U.S. political involvement, there has arguably not been a single instance of success on behalf of the subject people. From committing murder in the Congo of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba to operating under the guise of world police in places like Vietnam (all the while duping the American public further into the constant stupor of self-righteous indignation) and creating vicious quagmires the world over, the U.S. has yet to show a willingness to play fair, even in someone else's backyard.
I do not think that the US should be a political player in Russia. We need to be worrying about our own politics right now. We have enough problems to worry about with out getting involved in someone else's problems. If there were more severe things happening than maybe but lets take care or us for once.
Russia is one of few countries (maybe two) that will literally do or support things for no purpose other than pissing off the United States. We can't be going back to the Cold War here but I don't think being buddies with Russia is still a possibility. The divide has been going on for so long and is as wide as its ever been, we can't cut off contact with them but we don't need to go out of our way extending the olive branch either.
Although we can express approval or disapproval of things we see happening there, it is not our country to govern and we should not be involved in their internal political process. Since we would never say that Russia should be a political player here, then why would we ever say the reverse?