“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names” – Old Chinese Proverb
“Back in 2012, the Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, had been virtually alone in both parties in portraying Russia as a serious problem. While competing for the 2016 Republican nomination, Ohio governor John Kasich…was quick to associate Trump with Putin…Even as Kasich…took a stand on Russian foreign policy…crucial Republican legislators surrendered in advance to Russian cyberattack. It was more important to humiliate a black president (Barack Obama) than it was to defend the independence of the United States of America. That is how wars are lost.” – Timothy Snyder, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia-Europe-America, 2018
“The Vietnam War was a crushing blow to all Americans–but most of all to working- and middle-class white men who had believed in the righteousness of the military’s anti-communist ideology…It suggested that the American government was not man enough to get the job done and to do it right…Beginning in the late 1960s and continuing throughout the 1980s and 1990s, rural men linked their quest for what Susan Jefford calls ‘the remasculinization of America’ to their age-old heritage of hatred, intolerance, and violence.” – Catherine McNicol Stock, Rural Radicals: Righteous Rage in the American Grain, 1996
“Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, is a rational actor who has miscalculated significantly,’ US president Joe Biden said in a clip of a CNN interview broadcast on Tuesday Oct. 11.” – Daily Kos, 10/12/22
“The real solution to Europe’s (and America’s) ills was, and still is, not a return to paternalism and Orthodox tradition, but the development of a responsible and self-disciplined sense of freedom under the guidance of…faith. A generation after Dostoevsky, and too late to retrieve what had been lost, Maurice Maeterlinck made the remarkable statement that the thinker continues to think justly only as he does not lose contact with those who do not think at all.” – William Hubben, Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Kafka, 1952
“Russia, an aging tyranny, seeks to destroy Ukraine, a defiant democracy. A Ukrainian victory would confirm the principle of self-rule, allow the integration of Europe to proceed, and empower people of goodwill to return reinvigorated to other global challenges. A Russian victory…would extend genocidal policies in Ukraine, subordinate Europeans, and render any vision of a geopolitical European Union obsolete. Should Russia continue its illegal blockade of the Black Sea, it could starve Africans and Asians, who depend on Ukrainian grain, precipitating a durable international crisis that will make it all but impossible to deal with common threats such as climate change. (It) would strengthen fascists and other tyrants, as well as nihilists who see politics as nothing more than a spectacle designed by oligarchs to distract ordinary citizens from the destruction of the world. This war, in other words, is about establishing principles for the twenty-first century. It is about policies of mass death and about the meaning of life in politics. It is about the possibility of a democratic future.” – Timothy Snyder, “Ukraine Holds the Future: The War between Democracy and Nihilism,” Foreign Affairs, September/October 2022
“Senator Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) aides were annoyed this week after his fellow senator from Utah, Mike Lee, pleaded with Romney to “get on board” and support his reelection bid…The strains over Romney’s decision to stay out of the contest underscore how the race is testing the GOP’s unity, as independent challenger Evan McMullin tries to assemble a big-tent coalition of Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans while running against “political extremes” and promising more centrist leadership similar to Romney’s…Romney wasn’t swayed by state GOP chairman Carson Jorgensen, who said he pressed Lee’s case with Romney early this year and again last week with Romney’s staff: “Republican candidates should be supporting their Republican colleagues, and that’s all there is to it.” – Hannah Knowles, Washington Post, Alpine, Utah, 10/14/22
Talk show host, Joe Scarborough, didn’t call Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “Moscow Mitch” for no good reason. The Senator from Kentucky is, and always has been, a Reactionary, not a Conservative, as he, and other GOP reactionary wolves in conservative sheep’s clothing, have long claimed to be. In his hatred of any meaningful progress towards pluralistic democracy, Mitch McConnell’s oligarchic elitism shares Vladimir Putin’s loathing of Ukraine’s embrace of Western democratic diversity and pluralism. As Senate Majority Leader in 2016, Mitch bared his wolf’s teeth in blocking Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama. This nihilistic, “the end justifies the means,” move was every bit as contemptuous of the rule of law as the violent insurrection of the January 6th rabble, still defended by the MAGA GOP Caucus as “peaceful protesters and tourists.”
In addition, Moscow Mitch has shared a willingness with Neo-Czar, Vladimir I, to use the serial criminal, Donald Trump, to their own reactionary purposes. As the world watches Vlad Putin’s dream of a racist Russian Empire go up in military smoke at the hands of President Volodymyr Zelensky and a pluralistic Ukraine; we are also watching Reactionary Mitch McConnell’s dream of a racist, chauvinistic, Corporate and Confederate Empire go up in judicial, executive and legislative smoke at the hands of Attorney General Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden, and Democratic Congressional leadership. These Democrats and Independents are getting substantial help from their genuinely Conservative friends, Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), and a pink wave of enraged American women; galvanized by the reactionary roll back of their fundamental rights. I could hardly wait to hear what my KGB animal informants thought about these developments.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends, why are the three Republican members of North Dakota’s Congressional delegation (Congressman Kelly Armstrong, Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer), like most of their GOP colleagues, more recognizable as cowards than as conservatives?
Chicago Dog: Moscow Mitch’s and (House Minority Leader) Kevin McCarthy’s GOP puppets have had their gutless strings yanked, and conservative cover blown by a reactionary, nihilistic, and now, as his legal jeopardy gets worse, Anti-Semitic Donald Trump and his MAGA minions.
Rasputin: This revelation of such naked GOP cowardice has come courtesy of tutelage from Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and Dark Money American Billionaires who have a common contempt for democratic values and procedures. Oligarchs of any nationality always have been, and always will be in cahoots against ordinary folks who desire freedom and equality.
Mr. Swamp Fox: As remorseful “southern strategist” Stuart Stevens, and others have pointed out; ever since the advances in racial equity and immigrants’ opportunities of the 1960s, under liberal Democrat, President Lyndon Johnson, with the aid of a genuinely conservative Republican, Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL), reactionaries began their takeover of the Republican Party with doctrines borrowed from the Confederacy, for so long embedded in the Dixiecrat wing of the Democratic Party.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Conservative Republicans who had thought that William Buckley, Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Bush the 1st and Bush the 2nd were on the level, and that Liberals were the deluded ones in the 1960s and 1980s, “woke” up in 2017 to find out that they had been the real dupes; that “their Party” had left them for trappings of power, and purposes of dark money, racist and misogynist Reactionaries. Their anger is as justified as that of women who have woken up to destruction of Roe v. Wade by the reactionary Roberts Court.
Cassandra Coyote: A more honest title for Senator Barry Goldwater’s (R-AZ) book, Conscience of a Conservative would have been Fig Leaf for a Reactionary Racist.
HPR: But why have the main stream media, and many U.S. historians for that matter, allowed Reactionaries to masquerade as Conservatives, without crying “foul?”
Schickelgruber: Because, unlike Professor Timothy Snyder, they have not paid attention to currents in European history that have driven Reactionaries from before and after the French Revolution of 1789. The French, not the American Revolution, was the big one: the one about equality and community, as well as freedom; human rights, not just rights of English Men.
Lena: The brilliance of the American experiment in revolutionary change was to be found in their dictating of rules for radical change, how much or how little, in their Constitution of 1787-1791, not the violence of rebellion and warfare, 1775-1783. Genuine Liberals and Conservatives alike among Democrats, Independents and Republicans nowadays are fighting to protect those rules, and the sane civic processes which define them. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy are now apologists for, as well as prisoners of MAGA Republicans who want to tear up all the rules by force or fiat like Vladimir Putin; replace transparency with lies; facts with fiction; tolerance with hatred; sharing with dominance; and knowledge with ignorance and stupidity.
Chicago Dog: Genuine conservative Republican Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) of the January 6th Committee put it best, when he said that Ukrainians are risking their lives for freedom while Americans are busy throwing it away.
HPR: I remember a Russian History Professor of mine at the U. of Wisconsin-Madison in 1964, come into afternoon class boiling mad at one of his American History colleagues who had asked him at lunch: “Who was Stalin’s speechwriter?” As if such transparency had ever existed in the Soviet Union.
Becky Badger: Fortunately, ivory tower naiveté no longer dominates academia to that extent, except in the mythology of manipulators of MAGA minds. Professor Snyder, like many of his colleagues, is a historian who recognizes the significance of engaged citizenship. That is why his perspectives are trusted in the inner councils of Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, the pages of Foreign Affairs, the airwaves of major media, and the classrooms of Yale University: beamed to public audiences on the internet.
Rasputin: The realities of Russian History are smashing apart Vladimir Putin’s genocidal reactionary romanticism. The great debate in 19th Century Russia between Westernizers: who favored emulation of Western pluralism and democracy, as well as modernization, and Slavophiles: who favored a reactionary devotion to things deemed “Russian,” was resolved in favor of Lenin and Stalin, using barbaric means to reach modern technological ends.
Omar Khayyam: Vlad Putin presides over a decrepit pool of oligarchs, who have cynically used Slavic nationalism to cover their greed and incompetence, just like American oligarchs using Conservatism. They have been exposed by Ukrainian- and Russian-speaking Westernizers, fighting with bombs and bullets in Kiev, Kharkiv, Donbas, and Kherson, etc. for a 21st Century pluralistic society; just as American women and men (Democrats, Independents, Conservative Republicans without a Party) are fighting with ballots in places like North Dakota and Utah, against a decrepit pool of oligarchs that dares to call itself a legitimate political party.
Teddy the Texas Trump Toad (Triple T+): Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), a recognizable Trump Toad, is angry that his fellow Senator Mitt Romney is more loyal to the U.S. Constitution than to the MAGA GOP.
Prudence Possum: Romney has a longer memory than Lee. He remembers having his life saved by the Capitol police from Trump’s howling mob on January 6th by showing him which way to run for shelter.
Triple T+: Mike Lee takes shelter in his hypocrisy; whining that Romney should not stand aside, while Independent Evan McMullin, a genuine Conservative, gives the voters a real choice in their Senate race between democracy and oligarchy.
Brenda Bison: Likewise in North Dakota, their voters are being given real choices between democracy and oligarchy by two women running for Congress: Democratic Senate Candidate, Katrina Christiansen, and Independent House Candidate, Cara Mund, both in favor of a woman’s right to choose her own destiny and dignity. They are opposed by “Good ‘Ole Boy GOP” (GOP GOBS), women’s dignity deniers like Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and Kevin McCarthy.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Incumbent Republican Senator John Hoeven well represents the “Cowards’ Caucus” in the GOP Senate which refused to convict Trump, the January 6th insurrection leader, despite overwhelming evidence. Hoeven spends his time posing for his “great achievements for North Dakota,” using money and resources provided by President Joe Biden and the Democrats; a standard NDGOP practice, while claiming it is Democrats who are “soft on crime.”
Jim Crow XV: The MAGA Republican in the Senate race, Rick Becker, is, to date, only guilty of arrogance and bluster, but he represents the truly reactionary forces unleashed by Donald Trump against women, science, diversity, and tolerance, the very things that Ukrainians are giving up their lives for; and Americans are being asked by the GOP to throw away.
Agatha Alligator: Most pathetic of all the three GOP GOBS is Kelly Armstrong, who voted twice in favor of Trump in impeachment proceedings, and continues to oppose women’s reproductive rights. Even worse than this tool of Kevin McCarthy, however, are the eight female Republican North Dakota Legislators and a Statewide office holder who defended Armstrong by attacking Independent Cara Mund in the opinion pages of the Bismarck Tribune, October 12th.
Prudence Possum: While the language of those Good ‘Ole Girls’ attack on Candidate Mund was dripping with insincerity, it may be that their fulsome support of GOB Armstrong is just as insincere. One of our swamp creatures found a discarded poem attached to some 1982 sheet music for “It ‘Ain’t Easy Bein’ Easy” by Janie Fricke, floating in the Missouri River near the Country and Western Bar, Lonesome Dove, in Mandan:
It Ain’t Easy Bein’ a Good ‘Ole Girl for the GOP……………………………..Millie Muskrat
When Good ‘Ole Girls forget their gender needs,
They all too often give up all their rights
To be respected by “the Boys” in fights
For equal standing in their words and deeds.
The State should never rule discussions that
Are better left to women’s wombs and worth.
Yet men who never bear the pangs of birth
Dare tell us where our dignity is at.
I hope that Cara wins, despite our lies.
I do not have to vote those words myself.
My ballot is still secret from the “Suits;”
Who might be in for quite a big surprise
From sisters; backed by brothers, and a wealth
Of folks; Done with Reaction’s grim recruits.