Anton Leaves the Field, But We’re Still Here (in Opposition)

It was Michael Anton, writing as Publius Decius Mus, who famously declared that support for Trump was an existential necessity for conservatives in 2016: 2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how […]

America, Russia…

It’s true that a well-ordered society would not be governed by (an unrepentent) former KGB agent. It’s just as true that a well-ordered society would not be governed by a bigoted, autocratic, dissolute liar. Yet here we are, and there they are. .@tolokno was imprisoned for speaking out against Vladimir Putin’s presidency in Russia. She […]

‘Gradually and then suddenly’

David Frum, to explain inevitable failure, instructively quotes Ernest Hemingway on going broke: A famous line of Ernest Hemingway’s describes how a rich man goes broke: “Two ways … Gradually and then suddenly.” That’s how defeat comes upon a president as well. The live question for Trumpists in 2018 will be whether they can hold […]

Frontline: Putin’s Revenge (Part 1)

Watch the first part of “Putin’s Revenge” wherever you are tonight — on @PBS , on Facebook Live or on our website: https://t.co/GbH41aBls3 pic.twitter.com/MyGFa0oPD9 — FRONTLINE (@frontlinepbs) October 25, 2017

Truths About Trump

For supporters and those in thrall: It was a con. It was always a con. even people who thought they were in on the con were being conned. — Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) September 14, 2017 You know why? Because you elected a guy who has broken every promise he’s ever made to his wives, his […]

The Premature Question

Over at the Daily Beast, Joy Reid asks What’s Going to Happen When the Trumpists Realize the America They Yearn for Is Gone? It’s an interesting question, perhaps, but more importantly it’s a premature one. We’ve a long road ahead before Trumpism is finished, and you’ll excuse me if the time for pondering life after […]

“The Leader is the Party and the Party is the Leader”

Embed from Getty Images Trumpist Kayleigh McEnany has left CNN (where she appeared as a Trump surrogate), for both Trump TV and the Republican National Committee as the RNC spokesperson. Evan McMullin, a conservative opponent of Trumpism, rightly (but too optimistically, I think) observes that “[i]nstead of doubling down on Trumpism, GOP leadership would be well served […]

Amy Siskind’s Weekly Authoritarianism List

Amy Siskind, president and co-founder of The New Agenda, keeps The Weekly Authoritarianism List. She does so because, as she rightly observes, “experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.” (The list has been nominated for permanent keeping with the Library of Congress.) There are just […]

‘Very Brazen About It’

In the video above, Dr. Sarah Kendzior describes the brazen nature of autocracy: not merely does an autocrat flaunt norms, but he does so to remind others of his power, and to attempt to instill in normal, freedom-loving people a feeling of hopelessness in the face of power aberrantly exercised. In response to these tactics, […]

Rubin & Kendzior on Trump-Russia

Jennifer Rubin and Sarah Kendzior offer complimentary observations on Trump-Russia, that compound word for the evident association between Trump and Putin’s authoritarian state. Rubin’s remarks are from yesterday, Kendzior’s from May 20th. Rubin asks, of Trump, Would a spy for Russia be acting any differently?: By whatever means, Russia has reaped unexpected and unparalleled benefits from […]

Sarah Kendzior Ponders Foreign Affairs ‘In the Shadow of Putin’

Sarah Kendzior, an anthropologist with a background studying the dictatorships in the former Soviet republics of central Asia, speaks to Lindsay Beyerstein on Beyerstein’s The Breach podcast: This week on The Breach, journalist Sarah Kendzior joins us to talk about the weaponization of information in Putin’s Russia. The full extent of Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election […]