Friday, February 23, 2024

Closing out Russia week here at the blog

Though we've already quoted from it in our previous post, there's one more point I'd like to highlight from Josh Marshall's A Bigger Story Than You Can Possibly Imagine.

Are we really supposed to believe that these Russian operations, which kicked off in 2015 and continued into 2017, were going full force through 2018 and 2019 with Rudy Giuliani and continue right up until today somehow played no role in the unbelievable story of Hunter Biden’s laptop? Of course they did.

In talking with David Kurtz before I started writing this David noted that we can’t really say Republicans and MAGA Republicans were duped. And that’s 100% right. The evolution of U.S. politics, egged along, skid-greased by helpful Russians, created a context in U.S. politics where these folks didn’t really have to be duped. The Russians under Putin are the good guys. If they’re making sure we have the most current information where’s the harm in that?

I don't believe that most commentators and quite possibly most political scientists fully realize how different politics is now and what the implications of those changes are. To the extent that history is a useful guide for what we face today, it is the history of the early and mid 20th century. Lots of analogies to the rise of fascism and the internal battles of revolutionary versus counter-revolutionary on the left. Not many to the standard examples we use to discuss modern politics.

As we've said before, one of the biggest and most consequential involves Russia. We have Republicans mooning over the ostentatious grandeurs of Stalin's USSR (look, chandeliers in the subway station!) like some leftist college student in 1969.

As more than one observer has noted on Twitter, it's like Senator McCarthy was right, only 70 years early and about the wrong political party. Of course, this time we've also seen a resurgence of pro-Putin leftists, making for some truly strange bedfellows.

With that thought, we'll end the week with a favorite scene from the best James Bond movie (Robert Shaw was a great Bond villain).

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