Putin tried but failed to justify his war to the West. He did fool a lot of people leading up to the conflict, but since then he’s been overmatched; Europe has learned to fear and mistrust him, and much of the United States loves an underdog too much to want to believe him. In another article, we dealt with a few of his claims (and some others from across the internet), and the actual truth behind them. The bottom line is, there’s just not much truth to them.
But if not the plight of expatriate Russians, what could possibly motivate a modern dictator to get involved in a land war in Eurasia?
Fox News is blaming Biden; MSNBC’s blaming the war in Ukraine. CNN is talking about sanctions on Russia that aren’t even in place yet, and pundits are bringing up factors ranging from COVID restrictions lifting to supply chain economics. There are even some perfectly reasonable references to the now-defunct Keystone XL pipeline.
Regardless of how reasonable it all sounds, none of this is responsible for gas prices spiking almost $2 a gallon in the past month, and saying it is diverts attention from the real problem, and what it is we actually can do about it.
If you missed the headlines over the weekend… well, as usual, you didn’t miss much. To no-one’s real surprise, the threat of filibuster was only a threat, and Mitch and Chuck have arrived at a power-sharing agreement. Later today, the Senate will convene as a court rather than a deliberative body, and Senator Patrick Leahy — the President Pro Tem, by tradition the longest-serving member of the majority party in the Senate — is expected to preside over Donald Trump’s second impeachment.
One could write volumes about Donald Trump the celebrity, the business mogul, the particularly slimy real estate developer, and so on. I’m giving that a miss. As a public person I find him odious and in business I’d resort to extreme measures to avoid him (I haven’t ruled out self-defenestration). Beyond saying that, it’s entirely immaterial for our purposes. Our subject is Donald Trump as president: the pros and cons of his tenure, his chance at escaping unscathed from impeachment to run again, and his likelihood of winning in 2020 based on the issues. That should be enough for one article.
(What: You didn’t honestly think I would give him a pass just because he’s the Evil One, did you?) (more…)