Tuesday 1 March 2022

Russian Assets

I can't stop being angry about this. While Putin has spouted nonsense about Ukraine's Jewish president running a neo-Nazi state to justify his air raids on civilians, scenes from the last five years of watching the Republican party suck up to Putin while sidling up to actual neo-Nazis here in the United States keep flashing before my eyes. 

If Putin felt emboldened to wage war on Ukraine because of an entire chain of "yes men" telling him what he wanted to hear, then let's not forget his man at the top here in the US, those private meetings Trump had with Putin trying to get his Russian hotel deals approved on our dime, nor how Trump dangled Ukraine's military aid over Zelenskyy after the RNC backed down from supporting Ukraine in their platform in 2016. Ukraine has been asking for our help for years, seeing this mess on their doorstep, and Trump tried to turn that into an extortion racket for his own political gain. 

The GOP is a stronghold of ahistoricism, insecurity and white nationalism--and all of those things are inherently related. As recently as last week, Trump was still calling Putin "a genius" and Tucker Carlson was engaging in full-throated Putin apologism. Fascism is on the march in Europe and here at home, and rightwing rhetoric increasingly frames it as normal and preferable to functioning democracy. 

Watching Republicans conveniently forget everything about the Cold War except their feverish, misplaced squawks of "Socialism!!" has been a study in sycophancy and spinelessness. American domestic policy has suffered for it, and now we're back to the most dangerous escalation since the Cold War itself. Biden is left to de-escalate, to refrain from any talk that might inflame the situation further, and to quietly rebuild alliances and diplomatic strength that were gutted in the insanity of the Trump years. 

Zelenskyy isn't messing around when he says that Ukraine is fighting for all of us. If you're inspired by his bravery, and the bravery Ukrainians are showing in this war, make sure you're resisting Putin's allies here at home, too--and I'm not talking about Russian migrants, most of whom fled these horrors hoping for something better. 

The call is coming from inside the house, kids.