While most concerns about the US becoming like Putin's Russia focused on an authoritarian president, I'm starting to worry about an enfeebled Congress with extremist wings like Russia's: Nationalists and Communists!
Such extremes can push people toward a relatively reasonable sounding authoritarian. Putin had the nationalist ranting of Zhirinovsky and the Communist Zyuganov to make him look like the only sane choice.
As I wrote years ago about this radicalization trend, the "Spanish Civil War" model, this isolates the middle. But that presumes an eventual victory by one side. Instead, it can leave an opening for a opportunistic agnostic like Putin, who cares only for power.
Extremism isn't the only danger, dysfunction and stagnation are too. If Congress is increasingly seen as abdicating its powers as the first branch, people will continue to support the expansion of executive power when their party has power.
I wrote about the need for a "popular front" against Trump in Jan. The emphasis is usually on one extremist side winning the the winner-take-all prize. But discrediting the parliament and regular politics is a more subtle danger. nybooks.com/daily/2020/01/…
Putin cares more about the type of person who wins than their politics, and he supports extremists on all sides in his interference campaigns. Not just for chaos, but to delegitimize the system and make an autocrat more likely to rise.
Trump attacking the legitimacy of the election doesn't really end on January 20. It's an attack on the legitimacy of Biden as president. Trump is never going to stop saying he was cheated, and his GOP enablers are destabilizing the country with their silence.
Only 5 GOP Senators have acknowledged reality by my count. Cruz is tweeting pictures about Thanksgiving when he and his colleagues are the real turkeys. Constitutionalists? Rule of law? Or Trump? They have chosen and it won't be forgotten.
Right now it's high crimes and misdemeanors. But if Trump holds a rally on January 21, saying he's the real president, is that not treason? Aside from the violence it would likely lead to, it's an attack on the union itself.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Kasparov63

19 Nov
Trump isn't a fighting a legal battle, it's a war for reality, as it has been from the beginning. Attack anyone who reports the truth. First it was CNN and the NYT. Now it's Fox News. You cannot shame the shameless.
Vindman, Fauci, Krebs, et al, the long list of people and institutions Trump has slandered for telling the truth. Being a god to a small minority in a fake world is preferable to such a person than being a loser in the real world.
GOP complicity in this latest assault is why I and many others called for voting them all out, no half measures. They are selling their souls for pennies on the dollar and doing huge damage to the foundation of American democracy.
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
It's comforting to call Trump, Giuliani, and the rest clowns, but clowns with power are not funny at all. They won't overturn the election, but they are doing tremendous damage, which was always the goal.
As I wrote in 2018, Trumpism's goal is to split the country, to carve out enough supporters who believe whatever he says, no matter the evidence. Attacking the media and discrediting elections were always part of it.
When Trump continued to insist that the 2016 was fraudulent, many wrote it off as childishness and ego. Yes, but discrediting the system also had a point, preparing for an election he didn't win.
Read 4 tweets
12 Nov
Trump's attacks on the integrity of US elections is not ad hoc chaos. It is part of a plan from in 2016, when Putin expected Trump to lose to Clinton, but do as much damage as possible.
This time, Putin expected Trump to win, but the Dems surprised him by wisely selecting Biden, not Sanders or another far-left candidate. (And Covid happened.) Now it's back to Plan A, weakening trust in the system, but from a far more powerful position.
It looks ridiculous on its face, a president and other elected officials waging war on the system that put them in power, but the hypocrisy is irrelevant. Creating a generation that doubts the system can ever be fair is the goal.
Read 5 tweets
11 Nov
ICYMI, and are wondering what a renewed US leadership role in the world might look like, my long piece in the @dallasnews is out from the paywall: dallasnews.com/opinion/commen…
"Any post-Trump wave of goodwill must be put to good use by enacting policies that protect American democracy and promote its spread abroad... Follow the money and root out the corruption that is turning democracy into a charade."
"The left thinks that America has little worth contributing, and that the world will get along better without it. The right thinks America doesn’t need anything from anyone and doesn’t care what happens to the rest of the world." Both seem to agree on "Yankee go home."
Read 4 tweets
3 Nov
"Reason and Ignorance... influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."—Paine, Rights of Man
"The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected."—Thomas Paine, "First Principles of Government" (1795)
"The history of free men is never really written by chance, but by choice—their choice. It is a matter of national will, of political decision, of moral purpose."—Dwight Eisenhower. Speech, Pittsburgh, Oct 9, 1956
Read 5 tweets
27 Oct
Democrats participated in McConnell's charade of a confirmation instead of boycotting because they didn't want to "politicize" it. Now Trump has a party with Barrett, proudly desecrating the separation of powers.
The GOP wants tribalism, with no separation between Republican presidents and GOP in Congress and in the courts. This is not politics as usual at all. It's an attempt at one-party rule, a minority party at that, and it's dangerous.
Turning parliament and the courts into loyal servants of the president is the goal of every would-be autocrat. From Russia to Turkey to Hungary, this has been the roadmap. The US is far stronger, but not immune.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!