Recently at The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Putin's Most Useful Idiot.
SONNY BUNCH: The Joy of Violence.
TNL Podcast: Conservative Inc. Tries to Grapple with Ukraine. 🔐
Secret Podcast: Useful Idiots Redux. 🔐
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WILL SALETAN on how Tucker became the heir to Father Coughlin.
Eighty years ago, when a dictator rose to power in Europe and invaded his neighbors, he found an ally in the United States. The dictator was Adolf Hitler, and his ally was Charles Coughlin, a popular radio host. Coughlin belittled democracy, defended the Nazis, and opposed America’s entry into the war, arguing that the movement to enlist the United States was a conspiracy on behalf of a sinister minority: Jews.
Today, a new demagogue has taken up Coughlin’s mantle: Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Like Coughlin, Carlson has spewed venom for years. And, like Coughlin, he has gradually made his treachery, nihilism, and bigotry unmistakable. If anyone still thought there was an innocent explanation for his behavior, Carlson’s latest monologue, delivered on Tuesday night, rendered such generosity indefensible.
PAUL MASSARO writes on the U.S. and Allied Sanctions Are the First Pushback Against Putin.
The United States and the EU made up for the U.K.’s shortcomings. Both announced new sanctions on Russian sovereign debt—nothing to scoff at. If Russia cannot sell its debt, it cannot raise money. Russian primary debt was already sanctioned, meaning Russia could not sell its debt directly to Western entities. The new sanctions target secondary sales as well, meaning Western entities can no longer buy Russian debt secondhand. Both Washington and Brussels also hit government-controlled banks and took less damaging but highly symbolic actions blocking all transactions with the DNR and LNR.
The close coordination between the United States and the EU is a welcome surprise. Indeed, it is hard to believe that sanctions were not as closely coordinated with the UK. The United States and the U.K. both emphasized that sanctions will come in “waves” and “this is the first tranche,” respectively. President Biden even said that his administration would start targeting Kremlin elites tomorrow, which could very well mean targeting oligarchs. In that case, the rather limited sanctions by the U.K. Tuesday may be built upon as more and more oligarchs are hit by all partners.
In the middle of an international crisis, Trump is fawning over Putin, and the entertainment wing of the GOP loves it. But how will the elected wing respond? Is a pro-Putin party a bridge too far? Bill Kristol joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
Convoy Content 🚛
DANIEL N. GULLOTTA on The ‘Freedom Convoys’ and the Old Dreams of an American Revolution in Canada.
This praise for the Freedom Convoys can largely be chalked up to right-wingers’ admiration for anyone who “owns the libs,” and the belief that the truckers are natural allies in the rise of populism. Unsurprisingly, U.S. conservatives see Canadian politics through the lens of American politics.
And that’s not hardly new: It’s worth remembering that there is a long history of Americans supporting radical Canadian movements that seem to have some ideological or rhetorical overlap with movements or factions in American politics. Despite failed attempts to invade Canada during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, dreams of a union between the two countries, or at least twin republics free of British rule, have always held allure for an imaginative few in the United States, and Canadian revolutionaries have always held a special place in the hearts of some.
THOMAS LECAQUE argues: No, the Canadian Trucker Protests Are Not Comparable to Jan. 6th.
What has been happening in Canada is bad. There is no reason to downplay the damage done by weeks of occupation of Ottawa, the closure of numerous border crossings, and other disturbances. The Jericho Marches around the Canadian Parliament are reminiscent of the similar marches in Washington, albeit on a much smaller scale. For all the focus on the Canadian protesters’ hot tub and the DJs and pig roasts—designed to charm the media, to great effect—the “convoys” blockaded streets, forced businesses to close, and honked horns day and night (sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture). Groups accosted residents for wearing masks. The closing of border crossings was an economic assault on both countries, to say nothing of the extra expenditures on policing and governments services in Ottawa. The protests include Christian nationalists, displays of Confederate flags and swastikas, Trump 2024 banners, and other symbols reminiscent of Jan. 6th. And an American-style militia group reportedly plotted to murder police at one blockade to accelerate a civil war in Canada.
So, again: bad, ugly stuff.
But it is important not to obscure the differences between the Canadian Freedom Convoys and Jan. 6th.
FORTE11… Depending on when you get this, check out this link on FlightRadar. It’s one of the three RQ-4B Global Hawk drones that have been flying around lonely eastern Ukraine for hours. The Global Hawk drones are a feat of engineering. They can fly for over a day without refueling, have a range of 14,000+ miles, and a ceiling of 60,000 feet, almost twice that of where your average jetliner flies. Here’s a cool video about the NATO ones.
Yes, the Crazies Really Do Have Influence… A must-read Patterico deep dive.
The Scranton trucker convoy… Not going well, it seems. A thread. I guess there wasn’t room for the confederate flag now that Joe Biden is President. Some of them made it to D.C. just in time for rush hour. (Soundtrack for the thread.)
Nothing can prepare you for this ad… From Lauren Boebert’s opponent.
Be right back… Headed to Krispy Kreme for their new Twix long john.
Meanwhile, in Missouri… The state’s GOP may be as politically crazy as it has ever been, but at least they… have a dress code in Jeff City?
How fringe hopeful Martin Hyde backs the blue… Shameful. But what’d you expect from a guy who has the support of Roger Stone and Mike Flynn?
A"reputation-ruining event for the ages"… This column on the Ohio GOP Senate primary sure aged well!
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