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This one is for the lurkers

This is a video from The New Yorker YouTube channel that breaks down why putin invaded Ukraine into a quick and easy summary. You don’t have to read 600 page books or watch every Putin Files interview. This is it:

It’s also where we are headed. The US also has oligarchs and they are also busily stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. But what makes the US different from Russia is we don’t have any history of government by a suppressive tyrannous regime – except in the south where early American oligarchs managed to suppress an entire population for a couple of hundred years until the Civil War. Then after a brief interlude, they tightened their grip again until the civil rights era. They’re still at it, trying to take back their property and have thrown all their support behind a new type of tyrant. I have no doubt that promises have been made and favors extracted to keep the oligarchs happy and tax free and the Trumpists in charge of the military/security state so that the oligarchs can plunder where they left off and the rest of the US, including the white guys, get nothing for their slavish support but an American dream that is more and more elusive to them.

No matter how you slice it, the US will become like Russia, no, more like Alabama, if the Trumpist part of the Republican Party is not beaten in the next elections.

In other words, we don’t have to all live like Alabama if we don’t want to. We can go back to 2 party politics and force the genies back into their bottles. If we don’t, then everybody in the US loses when the oligarchs steal everything they didn’t get with the first Trump regime, Trump or DeSantis become president and install their own loyalists in the military and security apparatus, and suppression and bad stuff happens for real and not just in the fantastical imagination of Q.

That’s what’s happening. NATO didn’t provoke putin. He just needed an excuse. The US giving weapons to Ukrainians won’t provoke putin to drop a nuke. He’ll just use it as an excuse because he is losing and was always going to lose against what the Ukrainians and Zelenskyy have built.

That’s the summary. That’s all you need to know and any Russian would tell you this if putin hadn’t shoved a 15 year jail sentence sock in their mouths.

Part 2 is about fascism and how putin is a classic fascist. This is Jason Stanley who has a clear definition of fascism as a means to an end. Fascists use traditionalism, nationalism and propaganda on their followers so that they can take over countries and impose a tyrannous regime on it. In other words, tyrants get to power using fascism. Once they get there, they can govern however they please. That is what has made fascism so hard to define. It looks like different things in different countries but all of those countries went through the same set of steps to get there. Also, fascism is a right wing phenomenon that can come out of a democracy because democratic governments do not limit free speech.

Now, I don’t expect the lurkers to actually believe anything Stanley is saying. He’s a so-called elite in a fancy Ivy League school, Nevermind that he went to The State University of New York Binghamton as an undergrad which is anything but elite. But for once, look at Stanley not as some kind of condescending smarty pants and look at him as a messenger. He’s just delivering the bad news to you based on what he’s seeing. “killing the messenger” isn’t going to stop reality no matter what they’re telling you any more than refusing to get a Covid vaccine is going to stop you from getting sick.

Listen to what Stanley says putin is using to persuade Russians. It’s all about traditional values, restoring Russia to its former greatness, placing all the blame for their problems on outsiders, other countries, LGBTQ+ people, women. And to top it all off, they point at their enemies as the fascists. It’s the “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever I say bounces off me and sticks to you”.

Fascists use the same playbook and methods and that’s why they’re easier to spot these days. You can see where they are succeeding in different countries like in Hungary with Victor Orban.

It’s all about traditional values, curtailing the rights of women, and LGBTQ people and black people or immigrants. Anyone who is other than the favored group is a target of anger and suppression to make the once dominant group feel more powerful. This is how it works. If the fascists are lucky, they’ll have their own media working hard to pump out disinformation and propaganda. It’s how they do it.

Yes, it is happening here. When you can’t say “gay” in a public school, when states place even more draconian measures on women seeking abortions, when Mexican truckers are stopped at a border crossing to harass them and cause millions of dollars in fresh produce to go to waste and drive up the cost of food, fascism is at work.

Ok, those are the short, easy to digest summaries and warnings. You lurkers are probably not going to take any of this seriously because currently, the tyrants and the fascists are promising you dominance. But once they get into power, they will quickly make sure you can never vote them out and then they can plunder and rule however they please.

You’re not special. They don’t think you’re any different than the gay people or women or Mexicans. In fact, they think even less of you because they know you will believe anything they throw your way. And when they take over, you’ll see that they were just using you and it will be too late to do anything about it.


13 Responses

  1. RD- Last night Jost and Che on SNL opened with a serious, snarky, nasty put down of Biden underlining how supposedly deeply unpopular and not with it old man he is. What are they trying to accomplish? I seriously winced. It made me ill. Actually it made me scared for this country. The people who should know better turning on the people trying to save this country and, let’s face it, the world.

    • They should be taking their cues from Zelenskyy who had a brilliant successful career in comedy in ukraine. In fact, maybe Zelenskyy should give SNL a call and have a nice chat while the air raid sirens go off and the lights flicker.

    • And by the way, Biden *is* an old man. But he’s still ok better mental shape than trump is and since he’s all we’ve got at the moment, making fun of him is pretty stupid.
      DeSantis is waiting in the wings and would shiv Trump in a heartbeat if he could. Except DeSantis doesn’t have the same training in entertainment. His braggadocio has to be bureaucratic and suppressive, just like a Russian autocrat. All meanness without the fun.

  2. Angel of Death (who, for some reason, sounds like Cheech Marin):

    “Open up, man.”

    Angel of the Tomb (who for some reason, sounds like Tommy Chong):

    “Who is it?”

    “The Angel of Death, man. I’ve come to collect Jesus.”


    “Right, Jesus.”

    “Jesus isn’t here.” 😁

    Happy Easter! He Is Risen!

    • Happy Easter, IBW! I hope you got some tasty low carb treats in your Easter basket. 🐣

  3. You are so right. Zelensky is modeling moral leadership for the world. Love your suggestion of advising SNL from his bunker.
    And Biden is still doing the best he can which is pretty good. He is sincerely trying to hit the “right” note with all his actions and addresses to the nation and world. Why can’t the press give him any credit for doing something right. It reminds me of the rut they were in with Hillary. They were always so predisposed to finding fault. And how was that helpful to anyone, let alone fair.

    • The press is either on the side of the Far RIght, whether they realize it or not; or they want to show how hip they are by not being nice to Democrats; see we insult everybody. The end result, as you say, is nott at all good for America, but these guys are pulling in good paychecks, and I seriously think that they don’t care about much more than that, and being bigshots on TV.

      DeSantis says that he is glad that The Florida Department of Education rejected 41% of math textbooks, mostly for elementary school. He said that “they” were trying to slip in their agenda under a new coat of paint. I don’t even know what to say about this insanity, elementary school math books are written to indoctrinate students into some kind of CRT thinking? If I were running the DNC, I would put up a series of ads, all of which ended with a screen saying only “Farenheit 451.” Let people look it up.

  4. On topic: Yeah, they’re going to try to turn the whole country into Ye Old South 2.0–but they’re not going to succeed. If they were, they’d have won in 2018 and 2020.

    Wait until the indictments start coming out. Drip, drip, drip.

    Oh, and brilliant move, Abbott. Cutting off food supply and driving up the prices of what food there is? That oughta make you real popular with the voters this November. 😈

    Plus, think of how much the modern GQP depends on Russian money–which is getting restricted into oblivion, and hopefully seized.

    2016 was a Perfect Storm of Black Swan Events, not The New Normal.

  5. Former longtime congressional staffer Mike Lofgren has been writing some good ones lately imo. He wrote “The Party is Over: How the Republicans Went Crazy, the Democrats Became Worthless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted.”

    His newest explains why the Ukraine invasion is not our fault. Another pithy explainer in case someone doesn’t want to read one of the heavy books.


    • Who the f}#% says the ukraine invasion was OUR fault? We’re not a clueless autocrat raiding our innocent next door neighbor.
      I resent that the idea that we’re responsible for a reckless thug’s actions is even a thing.
      The fact that someone feels it is necessary to defend OUR honor is grossly irresponsible.

      • You know who. On the left: Stephen Cohen, Mearshimer, Chris Hedges, Katrina vanden Heuvel. On the right: Trump, Carlson, Bannon, Heimbach, Franklin Graham…

        Clowns to the right of me, jokers to left…

        At least Lofgren does a good job in disposing of their arguments.

  6. You know how we horrible liberals keep saying every accusation the reactionaries make against us is actually a confession?

    Look what I found a little while ago… 😈

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