Russia’s Victory Day Ain’t What It Used to Be
Plus: How Is George Santos Different from Donald Trump?
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CATHY YOUNG: Russia’s Victory Day Ain’t What It Used to Be.
In the run-up to the Victory Day parade on Red Square on May 9, the Russian government was clearly nervous about the possibility of a Ukrainian drone attack, especially after a couple of drones dinged a Kremlin dome in the early morning hours of May 3. In the wake of the embarrassing incident, the authorities in Moscow banned drone flights, introduced a new anti-drone police unit, and started jamming GPS, causing chaos for ride-sharing apps. In the end, the parade was completed with no drones in sight (though there were people with anti-drone guns). But Vladimir Putin and his regime didn’t need Ukrainian- or guerrilla-operated drones to humiliate them on Victory Day. They did that all by themselves.
A lot of commentary following the event has focused on the poverty of the truncated parade, which lasted barely 45 minutes (compared to an hour last year and an hour and 10 minutes in 2021, the last Victory Day before the start of the “special military operation”) and featured no airplanes, no shiny new missiles (although the old ones were trotted out), and, most remarkably, just one lonely tank—a World War II-era T-34.
BILL LUEDERS: The GOP’s Failing Politics of Retribution.
As is so often the case, Donald Trump set the template. He told the MAGA faithful gathered on March 4 at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, “I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”
Trump has always been animated by a longing to punish his enemies. But now this desire for vengeance seems to be catching on across the Republican spectrum. Retribution is all the rage, not just to punish political opponents but to crack down on internal dissent. The good news is that, in many of these cases, retribution appears to be backfiring thanks to both public aversion to tyrannical overreach and this crazy little thing called law.
Here are some recent targets of retribution efforts that have gone haywire, prompting backlash or even elevating the prospects of their targets in the process.
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PAUL ROSENZWEIG: How Is George Santos Different from Donald Trump?
How does George Santos lie? Let us count the ways.
It is far too easy to mock Santos. His serial fantasies seem, in some ways, more amusing and frivolous than serious and dangerous. Who, after all, lies about being a volleyball star? If you are going to lie, go big—at least claim to be a basketball star.
But mocking Santos in this way both trivializes his rampant criminality and obscures his potent symbolism. Santos is not just a criminal in his own right; he is also a Donald Trump Mini-Me, exemplifying the intersection of the “Big Lie” form of politics and serial criminality. In his indictment, there are lessons to learn about both the degradation of politics and the limits of criminal law’s ability to resist that degradation.
Happy Friday! And to all you mothers out there, we hope you have a special day! Please make sure and read our friend and former colleague Ted Johnson in the Post. His item’s titled: “I grappled with masculinity. My mother showed me the truth.” You can even listen to him read it!
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