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Part of the plan

Let’s take a look at how the #3 position for the Republicans in the House is framing the invasion of Ukraine by Russia:

Lordy, if Biden is unfit to serve as CiC, how do we rank TFG??

For Republicans like Stefanik, who has carefully studied the triggers and talking points for the Republican base, it’s all about weakness. There’s nothing the Republican base seems to fear more than to be thought of as weak and emasculated. Where did they get the idea that their manhoods are being threatened? Oh, Yeah. TFG. He’s always going on and on about how the rest of the world is laughing at us and white men somehow need protection of their way of life or some such nonsense about their tender snowflakyian emotional state. TFG played on the one thing these guys thought they had going for them and then gaslighted them into thinking they’re about to be castrated. Then he offered himself as a solution to all of that and they ate it up.

Now that’s salesmanship.

We don’t have any idea what TFG set up while he was still in the White House. By the way, does anyone remember that working group on cybersecurity that TFG set up with Vlad in 2018? Let me refresh your memory:

The two superpower leaders discussed a slew of topics, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters after talks ended, but one outcome has drawn particularly sharp criticism from observers: the development of a joint US-Russia coalition tasked with combatting cyber threats and boosting cybersecurity.

“Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded and safe,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. 

When describing the meeting to reporters on Friday, Tillerson said Trump and Putin had “acknowledged the challenges of cyber threats” and “agreed to explore creating a framework” so the two countries can cooperate to “better understand how to deal with these threats.”

I’ll give you a moment to stop laughing and catch your breath.

Adam Schiff commented that a US-Russia Cybersecurity working group “would be akin to inviting the North Koreans to participate in a commission on non-proliferation — it tacitly adopts the fiction that the Russians are a constructive partner on the subject instead of the worst actor on the world stage.”

If I’m not mistaken, the Russians did take a meeting with the FBI in 2017 focusing on cybersecurity. Something tells me it was related to ongoing investigations that happened before the 2016 election. But I can’t find the reference. I remember thinking that it was odd at the time since the Obama admin was out, TFG was in, and I’m not sure if the Russians got a stern talking to or our super secret passwords.

Whelp, I guess we’re about to find out! We sure do live in exciting times.

But it’s silly to accuse Biden of looking weak in this circumstance. Putin has always had the power to invade Ukraine. Russia shares a border, it’s bigger, has nastier weapons, and Putin seems to like provocative demonstrations of manliness. He *could* have done it when TFG was in office but that would have been a stupid move because TFG was just itching to drop some nukes. I mean, what are we saving them for?

Vlad might be a macho dude but he doesn’t strike me as having testosterone poisoning to the point where he’d allow some personality disordered man-toddler solve global warming with a nuclear winter.

Let’s stop the dick waving, shall we?


7 Responses

  1. At one time, as bad as Republicans were on virtually all issues, they had a basic loyalty to this country. They were often more bellicose, and they had this concept of American power being used to influence the rest of the countries, and that we had the right to intrude anywhere that we had a political and economic interest. Even with all that, they had some concept of right and wrong, and of good and evil. So the arguments were about political and military policies. And they did try to win all those arguments by calling Democrats soft and weak. And it was wrong and upsetting. But most of them cared about democracy.

    Now the Republicans have turned into a party whose only interests are power and money and destroying the Democratic Party. They are not loyal to anything else. In this situation, as in every other, they only look to score political points. They attack Biden for not letting Putin do what he wants. They attack him for not doing enough to fight him. The hypocrisy and irrationality do not bother them at all. Neither did the pandemic, they were much more concerned about somehow turning it to their political advantage. All those speeches in the past about dissent stopping at the water’s edge. and about patriotism demanding full support of Reagan and GHW Bush and GW Bush and Trump, is gone. They don’t care what happens to Ukraine or its people. All they want to do is damage the Democrats. I am not overstating it.

    Actually, the Republicans want a totalitarian state here, with no dissent. They don’t accept elections, and they don’t want any more elections where those who are not themselves, can vote. They are not susceptible to any argument which is about a higher purpose for America or the world. Every event is to them only a new opportunity to exploit fear, sadness, anger, into more power for them. The zombie eyes of Tucker Carlson, as he intones that the Democrats are worse than Putin, embody the absolute soullessness of the entire Republican Party.

    • The best thing that has come out of this, up to now, is that I have a much better answer now when I am asked: Why do I hate Tucker?

  2. If I understand correctly, the ruble has already collapsed in morning trading in Europe. 😈

    And the sanctions are only beginning.

    Military forces cost money. 💰

    Lots of it. 💰 💰

    Especially during wartime. 💰 💰 💰

    Deprivation on the home front will sorely test the loyalty of Russians–even the armed forces, even the secret police–to Putin. Growling bellies lead to grumbling subordinates.

    These are the world’s sanctions.

    The poor bastard at the end is Putin. 😈

    I will not be surprised if Putin has an “accident” or a “heart attack” before the summer solstice, if not the vernal equinox.

    Because even if he’s lost his mind, as I suspect he has, the other oligarchs and military leaders of Russia are probably still sane.

    Will they be willing to have their subordinates, the families of both groups, their people, and their nation all die for the ambitions of a mad dictator?

    Time for a Russian version of Operation Valkyrie, only a successful one.

    • It’s important to remember that, for all its military power (and for all its petroleum reserves), Russia’s GDP is smaller than Italy’s:


      It’s very weak economically. Putin may have some backroom deal with Xi to prop up the Russian economy (and Xi may exploit the Ukranian War as a distraction to move on Taiwan), but if he doesn’t the sanctions are really going to sting.

  3. In the short term Putin will likely get what he wants out of this, a restoration of the Russian sphere of influence in Eastern Europe; he has already annexed Belarus in fact if not name. He is not afraid of war because he has pretty much won every war he has waged: Chechnya, Georgia, Syria. He doesn’t much care about sanctions because he has built up a reported $600 billion in foreign currency reserves to serve as a war chest.

    I for one am sick of all the articles that tell us why Russia or China is making a “mistake” every time they do something that disadvantages the Western world. They are not ten feet tall but they do act from a standpoint that is rational from their point of view, and yes, they play a long game when our horizon barely reaches over the next election cycle. Too much reporting about China — and Russia — is all about complacency, waiting for our adversaries to make mistakes instead of developing our own strategy and anticipating the other side’s move.

    On the other hand I am heartened by NATO unity; let’s hope it lasts, because high energy prices will hurt Europe, too. In my view Biden has done a good job with the hand he was dealt, working with our allies, releasing information on Russia’s plans to blunt their attempts to blame Ukraine for the war and to blunt whatever strategic surprise they hoped to get. It’s a VERY pleasant surprise to see Sweden and Finland talking about joining NATO. But that doesn’t stop Putin from grabbing Ukraine.

    And let’s give Biden credit where it was due in Afghanistan. The media heaped blame on Biden for withdrawing from Afghanistan. But can you imagine if under these circumstances, we still had troops there, which depended on supply lines that ran through Russia’s back yard in Central Asia? They would have effectively been hostages, and Biden would have been very constrained to deal with Russia’s Ukraine campaign. No one gives Biden credit for his wisdom on that one, and THAT is utterly shameful.

    So what happens next? Can Ukraine mount effective resistance if it is overrun? I don’t know and I don’t think anyone else does. It was easy for the Taliban to fight America because they had very rugged, mountainous terrain plus easy cross border havens and sources of supply in Pakistan.

    The Ukraine is all flat terrain except in the Carpathian Mountains in the southwest. Will Poland, Slovakia, or Hungary provide havens for Ukrainian resistance fighters or allow guns to be run to Ukraine, in the face of Russian pressure? Will Ukraine be able to fight the Russians the way the Iraqis (in flat desert country) fought America? Big question marks all around.

    In another history lesson, Nazis pretty much crushed the “glorious” French Resistance, which in strategic terms was a non factor from 1940 to 1944. They finally got their chance to make a real fight behind German lines to support the D-day invasion, but couldn’t do much on their own before that. Resistance is by definition an underdog position.

    The FSB will try to smash any Ukrainian resistance movement as ruthlessly as the Gestapo did in Hitler’s Europe. Also the FSB has language skills, cultural familiarity, and contacts/ traitors(?) in-country that America did not have in Iraq. Putin has confirmed America’s asertion of a Ukrainian hit list.

    Meanwhile, what do we do if China decides to take advantage of our preoccupation with Europe and attack Taiwan??

    It would be nice if, as William says, the Republicans were actually loyal to the United States. Evil as Nixon was, I never worried about him a sellout to the Soviets…

    • McConnell said that the sanctions announced by Biden “were tepid at best.” This is someone who backed and praised Trump all along the way, and said nothing about Trump extorting Ukraine to announce an investigation of Biden if they wanted the U.S. to give them the javelin missiles they had paid for. This is someone who never questioned Trump being aided in the election by Russia, and who threatened Obama that he would accuse him of partisan interference with the election if he told the American people about it. He was well aware that the plank in the Republican platform which supported Ukraine was taken out in 2016 by Trump and Manafort. He never said a word about Trump making sure that there were no interpreter’s notes from the Trump-Putin meeting, in which Trump emerged with submissive praise of Putin. He strongly supported Trump against Biden. Now he has the arrogance, effrontery, and virtual disloyalty to this country, to criticize the sanctions on Russia. Just another episode in the spineless, hypocritical life of a Republican.

    • Welp, maybe it’s just as well that WordPress is making it no fun for me to post here (I can’t post links or pix on William’s threads), since it seems to be becoming another gloom and doom blog, anyway.

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