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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The International Stakes

 Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses foreign influence and Trump's attack on democracy.  Russia helped Trump through 2020.  As Russia began its latest invasion of Ukraine, Trump lavished praise on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. 

Jonathan Swan, Charlie Savage and Maggie Haberman at NYT:
For 74 years, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been America’s most important military alliance. Presidents of both parties have seen NATO as a force multiplier enhancing the influence of the United States by uniting countries on both sides of the Atlantic in a vow to defend one another.

Donald J. Trump has made it clear that he sees NATO as a drain on American resources by freeloaders. He has held that view for at least a quarter of a century.

In his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” Mr. Trump wrote that “pulling back from Europe would save this country millions of dollars annually.” As president, he repeatedly threatened a United States withdrawal from the alliance.

Yet as he runs to regain the White House, Mr. Trump has said precious little about his intentions. His campaign website contains a single cryptic sentence: “We have to finish the process we began under my administration of fundamentally re-evaluating NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission.” He and his team refuse to elaborate.

In interviews over the past several months, more than a half-dozen current and former European diplomats — speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution from Mr. Trump should he win — said alarm was rising on Embassy Row and among their home governments that Mr. Trump’s return could mean not just the abandonment of Ukraine, but a broader American retreat from the continent and a gutting of the Atlantic alliance.

Julia Davis at The Daily Beast:

Republicans voted to block a $110.5 billion emergency spending bill to aid Ukraine and Israel Wednesday night, sparking celebrations in Moscow where they believe the U.S. will withdraw support for Kyiv allowing them to win the war.

A classified briefing with administration officials reportedly devolved into a meltdown on Tuesday afternoon, making it clear that the measure would fail. “We are about to abandon Ukraine,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy told the press as he left the briefing. “When Vladimir Putin marches into a NATO country, they will rue the day they decided to play politics with the future of Ukraine’s security.”

These developments prompted jubilation in Moscow. During Wednesday’s broadcast of a state TV program 60 Minutes, Evgeny Popov said Ukraine was now in “agony” and it was “difficult to imagine a bigger humiliation.”

During his morning show Full Contact on Wednesday, top pro-Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov joyfully noted: “[Janet] Yellen screamed, “Don’t you dare!” [Joe] Biden screamed, “Don’t you dare!” but Republicans said, “Go to hell! We won’t give your khokhols [slur for “Ukrainians”] any money.” The segment was entitled, “No one needs Ukraine anymore—especially the United States.”

Appearing on his program, America analyst Dmitry Drobnitsky noted, “The downfall of Ukraine means the downfall of Biden! Two birds with one stone!”

During his appearance on 60 Minutes, Dmitry Abzalov, president of the Center for Strategic Communications, predicted that the fiasco with the funding for Ukraine will spell the political demise of Biden. Host Olga Skabeeva added, “We’ll have no pity for him! To the contrary, we’re ready to hammer those final nails right in!” With a happy grin, Skabeeva said, “Well done, Republicans! They’re standing firm! That’s good for us.”