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 […]

Russian Journalist Yevgenia Albats on Putin

Concern about Putin’s interference in our elections springs from one’s love for American democracy. I’ve mentioned before the fine Frontline series on Putin, entitled Putin’s Revenge (Parts 1 and 2 are online). The series also includes the full interviews with those who appeared in the two-part program. In the interview above, Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats talks […]

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) on Trump

CORKER UNLOADS: He would NOT support Trump again; says Trump NOT a role model; won’t say if he trusts Trump w nukes — Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 24, 2017 Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee might have delivered these accurate, critical remarks earlier; it’s still worth hearing them now.

Sessions Stumbles, Again

In testimony before the U.S. Senate yesterday, Sen. Franken of Minnesota asked Attorney General Sessions about Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Sessions’s shifting statements about his contacts with representatives of Putin’s government. Sessions’s answers, in content and demeanor, are odd: he sounds hesitant, nervous, defensive, and almost beleaguered. Franken’s intelligent, but honestly one […]

Their Friends Are America’s Enemies

It’s not easy to stand up to Vladimir Putin, just ask Alexei @Navalny – a look at life in Russia’s opposition — The Guardian (@guardian) October 10, 2017 It’s no surprise, truly, that white nationalists who returned to Charlottesville chanted three main slogans: ‘You will not replace us,’ ‘Russia is our friend,’ and ‘the South will […]

The Erosion of Political Norms (Concluding Part 4 in a Series)

More than one small town has struggled for years under the debilitating influence of political & economic conflicts of interest, misguided priorities, and dodgy or grandiose claims. These conditions where those that  That Which Paved the Way for Trumpism. Those locally who carried on this way made Trumpism more likely, the way a moderate illness might weaken […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Limits of Cultural Shelter

In difficult times, some will retreat to apolitical, cultural matters. An apolitical approach is not one that I would take, but for others perhaps it seems the best that one can do. Indeed, in Whitewater, I’ve advocated that approach for those who would not take an overt stand on the principal political question of our […]

‘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, […]

Where Bannon fits in all this…

Yesterday, as a comment to a post entitled Sarah Kendzior: The Kremlin Spokesman’s Odd Referral, a reader kindly asked a key question: “Where do you feel Bannon fits into all of this?” It’s a critical question, to be sure. Steve Bannon’s no small figure, so to speak: he plays a role as ideologue, but that’s […]