Putin’s Paranoid, Isolated, and Trying to Bluff His Way Through
In a jam-packed new episode of The New Abormal, co-host Molly Jong-Fast rips into the “contingent of very stupid Republican congresspeople” who don’t want the U.S. aiding Ukraine before building a border wall here, which makes sense since “the country of Mexico is shelling Texas and they’re using cluster bombs and stud missiles—Oh wait… There is no war at our southern border, but no one has told Rep. Doug Collins.”
“This is part of a larger picture where the right is a little confused by the state of the world as it actually is, as opposed to how they had been describing it for the past six years or whatever, where Putin was a good guy and the kind of guy we should look up to. Now, they’re doing their best carnival contortionists to act to try and pretend like they never said all of that,” says co-host Andy Levy. While some Republicans have come around, Levy says, “others are not anti Putin, they’re anti–anti-Putin. They’ll do a lot of blaming America for this war…
“They keep saying, ‘This didn’t happen under President Trump. Well, no, because Trump was openly talking about pulling out of NATO and stuff like that. And if you’re Vladimir Putin, you don’t want to do anything to upset that. So you sit back and let Trump destroy NATO by himself and make things even easier for Putin,” says Levy. “But instead you get, ‘Well, this didn’t happen when he was president.’”
Plus, Melissa Moss of the 65 Project explains how that was “set up to protect democracy, by holding accountable lawyers who bring bogus lawsuits to overturn legitimate election results” to account, and breaks down the three sorts of lawyers her group is going after.
And The Atlantic’s Tom Nichols considers Putin:
“This guy is not a good strategist. He blunders into things… and bluffs his way out, or tries to murder his way out. I don’t know how this ends, if he were the strategist that everybody thinks he is, he would find an off-ramp.”
But since Putin is not the strategist people think he is, says Nichols, “I’m very worried about the reports that he’s gonna try and up the ante by using chemical weapons, because now he has a problem at home” with “thousands of people in jail” and millions of Russians looking at each other and saying (of him), ‘What the hell were you doing?’ while the Russian military apparently is having some serious morale trouble because they don’t want to kill their brothers and sisters. So in that circumstance, maybe he would try to create a false-flag chemical attack to say, ‘You see, now, now I’m fighting for the soul of Russia.’ I mean, he’s improvising. And when you have a paranoid, isolated, not very bright guy, improvising bad things can happen.”