Putin tries a new Big Lie.
"Meanwhile, statements from political figures such as former President Trump, radio talk show host Charlie Kirk, and FOX News host Tucker Carlson seeking to excuse or explain Putin’s behavior were overwhelmingly rejected based on a blind test where statements were anonymized."
The key point from this excerpt is that the statements were anonymized. Just proves something that I've observed for the last 5 years on Fox. The MAGAs are partisan first; facts last. The whole "What if Obama said/did that? (Referring to DJT's words/actions) is a real thing. It's still debatable whether the MAGAs are actually subconsciously self-aware of this character fault. I tend to think they have some self-awareness but the brainwashing prevents them from acting on these tiny impulses of honesty/objectivity.
After the famous words of Richard Nixon when referring (1950) to Helen Gahagen Douglas, Tucker's pink [i.e., Communist/Russian stooge/fellow traveler] right down to his underwear. He's as fascist as fascist can get. And for what reasons? The fame and the bucks.
Oh....also because he's an abjectly racist POS.
Amazing podcast yesterday, Charlie! General Hertling was a riveting interview. No critiques here, I feel like the Bulwark’s Ukraine analysis has been spot on.
I'm beyond disgusted at these traitors and propaganda mouthpieces spewing out their poison on a daily basis. Lie after lie in service of tyranny and war crimes.
Per the survey info from Citizen Data, "...statements from political figures (by Trumpites) were overwhelmingly rejected based on a blind test where statements were anonymized."
I have always been a fan of asking in a survey reactions to statements without attribution. I think MAGAites would be stunned as to how many Democratic pols they would agree with on the basics of American life, without the culture-tilt.
Headlines from today's (more than) Daily Trump Report:
"Russia Tells the U.S. 'We Have Found Your Biological Weapons' (WATCH)"
"Deleted Web Pages Show Obama Led Efforts to Build a Ukraine-Based Biolab"
"Tucker Confirms LIVE On FoxNews: U.S. Biolabs In Ukraine Are REAL!"
I've mentioned that DTR (which links to WeLoveTrump.com) is the one grift/lunacy I don't block, out of combined penance and morbid curiosity. Keeping a toe in the dreck helps me prebunk certain rumors for my closest loved ones, which I hope is helpful.
In your intro quote from David Frum...
“Everything they wanted to perceive as decadent and weak has proven strong and brave; everything they wanted to represent as fearsome and powerful has revealed itself as brutal and stupid.”
Is he referring to Putin and the Russians or the ReTrumplican't Party?
You know, you should stop referring to D'Souza, Carlson, Ingrahm "useful idiots". They are useful but not idiots. "Useful idiot" implies some at least partly exculpatory deficiency in reasoning, understanding, and naivety of motivation.
"Thug nasty", the martial arts "regular guy" from Arkansas Tucker Carlson pretends to interview, is a useful idiot. He has no idea what he is doing or saying. His remarks don't reflect any comprehensible thought process or worked out set of values, and are substantively no different from what a random phrase generator AI would produce from a training dataset of belligerent and incoherent word associations.
Tucker and Bannon and D'Souza and all the rest are entirely different. They are rendering service for compensation. A person who takes compensation in exchange for providing service is a contractor or agent acting on behalf of, and for the benefit of, another. In their cases the beneficiary is a foreign adversary endeavoring to destroy NATO and harm the countries in that alliance. The service provided is to assist that foreign power by fomenting fifth columns in the United States sympathetic to, or even taking direction from, that entity.
Whether they do this because they are actually starry-eyed followers of a Napoleonic hero, sober idealogues acting out the dialectic by direction of the new Comintern, or nihilistic opportunists grabbing money and power for themselves by sowing confusion and discord at home, is almost beside the point.
What they are not is in any way confused about what they are doing or for whose benefit. Which makes them no different morally from the Rosenbergs or Robert Hanssen.
We need to stop calling them useful idiots. Don't even call them fellow travellers. They are willing agents of a foreign country whose dictator considers himself at war with their country and acts accordingly.
a. What kind of pompous azz has a their own quote in the background of their videofeed?
b. You know who asks lots of questions? Toddlers. That doesn't make them smart or clever or informed.
c. If you take Carlson seriously, you might be a mouth reader.
The attempts to show that Ukraine is really the malignant force and the cause of its own devastation at Putin's hands is comparable to the desperate efforts to prove that 1/6 was a false flag engineered to hurt Trumpers.
In both cases we see an unwillingness to believe overwhelming evidence in front of one's own eyes, an eagerness to ascribe deep corruption to American institutions, and a failure of moral discernment.
I know this much: no matter what Putin does, Trump will never say anything critical of him. We can wonder why this is the case. Maybe Putin really does have pee tapes. Maybe Trump owes him money. Maybe they really did collude to a greater extent than is already on the public record. But Putin has brutally invaded a sovereign democracy with absolutely no justifiable pretext, not to mention innumerable crimes that preceded that, and the worst thing Trump can think to say about the man is that he's "smart." I don't know what's going on between those two, but there's definitely something going on.
As for Republican office holders joining the fight for democracy abroad with false bravado, I think that will last for about two seconds. You can't champion democracy abroad while your agenda at home is dismantling democracy. Though I'll admit, hypocrisy is kind of their brand.
I have to give Hannity a little credit for having Jennifer Griffin on right after Tucker's show, where she inevitably called him out on his entire 8 minutes of bullshit and meticulously demolished it. Alas, this is probably why Tucker beats Hannity in the ratings.
Putin is setting the stage for using chemical weapons like he did in Syria. This is the "information preparation of the battlespace" phase, where you release supporting propaganda ahead of the false-flag attack. Anyone who paid attention to Syria will recall how Russia & Assad tried to blame Syrian rebels for stashing chlorine bombs inside of rebel bunkers when chemical weapons went off inside of densely-populated urban districts. In reality, he was dropping chlorine bombs from helicopters onto high-rises after they had been leveled by traditional high-explosive ordnance. This is a sickening version of the "shake'n'bake" airstrike tactics we used against the Taliban in Afghanistan where we'd hit a compound with a 500-lb JDAM, then the second bomber 20-seconds behind the first one drops an air-detonated 500-lb JDAM over the target site to cut down anyone who survives and runs out of the leveled structure with air-detonated shrapnel. Instead, what the Russians like to do is level a building, then drop a chlorine bomb on top to kill anyone who made it out of the initial blast via oxygen deprivation. This is done intentionally to terrify the civilian populace in the hopes of forcing capitulation. Brace yourselves, chemical weapons are coming.
Two things. One, it's amazing how quickly Qanon talking points end up going from the fringe to Carlson's mouth. The talk of biolabs is a direct qanon talking point. And while you didn't mention it, last nights pivot to 'democrats and all lgbtq people are groomers' is also straight qanon.
But let's talk about something I mentioned before when we debated finding common ground on here some time ago: there is a lot of overlap between left and right on various issues, but the reasons for it are often in conflict. For example, the left and right mostly agree on Ukraine being good, and Russia being bad. For the right it's mostly because of xenophobia mixed with old school anti-russia sentiment left over from the cold war, mixed with a heavy dash of pro-america militarism. For the left, it's mostly about how Russia is a right wing autocracy and Ukraine is a democracy, and war is almost always a thing to oppose. These are major generalizations, obviously. But the point I'm trying to make is that while the reasoning differs, they end up at the same place: Russia bad, Ukraine good. Perhaps this is why supporting Ukraine monetarily has been bipartisan.
I think this can be applied to a lot of foreign policy. Despite Trump and his sycophants talking of 'America First' isolationism, it doesn't appear most of the party is actually that far along. What most seem to be for is fewer one-sided commitments, a sentiment that the left shares even though it's often for different people. And yet, there is still some agreement there. For example, both left and right particularly dislike nations like Saudi Arabia, again for different reasons. But focusing on the actual policy, there's a lot of overlap.
I sense that, if Biden is savvy enough, and I do not doubt that he is, that he'll be able to cut through this. We should, I think, focus less on reasons and more on results; there's a decidedly healthy amount of bipartisanship between us. To use another example: the left views Europe as mostly cultural kin, whereas the right likes to have America at the head of the table, and both views require healthy American commitments. 'America First' in actual reality, would basically be a return to healthy international commitments like we've seen from Biden. America is first, but we're not alone.
Anyway, I fully expect in the coming days that this position around Biden as a leader of foreign policy will harden, if only because Americans love having an external enemy. It's been argued that things like the cold war spurred on the civil rights movement, because we disliked having the Soviets lord things over us. Americans will do lots of things for selfish reasons; American pride is a hell of a beast. Politicians really should just make the arguement of 'we're better than this' on a whole host of issues, because while shamelessness is a super power, shame is abhorrent to most Americans.
New nickname for the Great Orange One (aka GOO): Don Quixote - the guy just can't stop tilting at windmills............
D'Souza comparing Putin to Biden reminds me of when Bin Laden once referred to the West as "the far enemy" and the Saudi Royal Family as the "near enemy." Bin Laden spent most of his time attacking "the near enemy" before moving on to "the far enemy." It's also a lot like the pro-Nazi "America First" isolationist movement in the run up to WWII, declaring that FDR was a greater threat to American freedoms than Hitler. There it goes again, history rhyming.
Thank you for that last nugget of hilarity; just when I’m at near total bleak outlook, TFG never fails to give me my morning coffee spit take.