Anne Applebaum Profile picture
Staff writer @TheAtlantic. Senior Fellow @SAISHopkins and @SNFAgoraJHU. My new book is Twilight of Democracy: the Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism
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12 Jan
"The plan to surround the Capitol includes assassinating Democrats as well as Republicans who didn’t support Trump’s effort to overturn the election ― and allowing other Republicans to enter the building and control government." huffpost.com/entry/democrat… via @HuffPostPol
also, some members of Congress want metal detectors at the Inauguration, in case one of their colleagues tries to assassinate the new president
it's not over yet
Read 4 tweets
3 Jan
If the voters don't eventually punish the Republicans who are calling for a de facto coup, then we have to conclude that a substantial number of Americans no longer believe in our democracy either.
I should note that the decline in support for liberal democracy was pointed out by many, including @Yascha_Mounk and Roberto Stefan Foa, several years ago
journalofdemocracy.org/articles/the-d…
Also, the work of Karen Stenner, which is cited in my book, Twilight of Democracy, suggests that in any population there is a large percentage of people who are uncomfortable with democracy; she suggests that we ought to find ways to reach out to them
Read 4 tweets
23 Dec 20
Introducing Steven Yates, just named head of Radio Free Asia, the most important public diplomacy tool that the US has in China. He seems none too keen on our next president
Also not too fond of the next Vice President
Also, his grasp on recent history is...slim
Read 4 tweets
18 Dec 20
topics Republican politicians should avoid, lest they be accused of hypocrisy:

professional qualifications of the First Lady

business links of presidential children

appropriate background of cabinet members

politeness of language used by staffers
also:
size of deficits

use of presidential decrees

use of subsidies to placate supporters (farmers harmed by bad Chinese trade deals, for example)
"He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone"
Read 4 tweets
18 Dec 20
Time for Christmas shopping 2020! So many good books were published this year, despite everything. Everyone should read Putin's People by @CatherineBelton, on the deep roots of Russia's current ruling class. I reviewed it for @TheAtlantic here:
theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…
I also loved The Fifth Sun, by Camilla Townsend, which won the Cundill Prize. You think you know who the Aztecs are... but you don't. You think you know about the Conquest of Mexico...but you don't. mcgill.ca/newsroom/chann…
Really unexpected pleasure for me was Roderick Beaton's Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation, the history of the contemporary *idea* of Greece. There are lots of parallels to the modern history of other countries, you will be surprised
amazon.co.uk/Greece-Biograp…
Read 10 tweets
12 Dec 20
On a different subject: we just watched Russia With Love, and as the credits rolled, I realized that the great Lotte Lenya played one of the bad guys. Weimar seems multiple eras away from James Bond/the 1960s, and yet one lifetime encompassed both.
Here she is singing Mack the Knife, the song Kurt Weill wrote for her
And here is Louis Armstrong singing Mack the Knife, with a shout-out to Lotte Lenya
Read 4 tweets
29 Nov 20
Nobody wants to use the language needed to describe this kind of behavior, which belongs to the vocabulary of mental illness
washingtonpost.com/politics/trump…
Also, there is something deeply wrong with many of the people who are attracted to the soon-to-be-ex-president. Look at Powell.
washingtonpost.com/investigations….
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov 20
Under cover of the pandemic, while the outside world as distracted, the Venezuelan government is carrying out an evil act: It is seeking to destroy a pair of charities. One of them, Alimenta La Solidaridad, feeds more than 25,000 children every day...
The other, Caracas Mi Convive, fights against violence. I wrote about them both earlier this year:
theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
Both were founded by Roberto Patino, who tells me that his parents' home has been raided by one of the many Venezuelan police forces. The bank accounts of the organizations have been frozen.
Read 6 tweets
25 Nov 20
Poland and Hungary are threatening to veto the EU budget because they don't want to be forced to adhere to the "rule of law." If the EU caves in to the blackmail, the results may be dramatic. In Poland, the consequences of a politicized legal system are already with us...
A few weeks ago, police detained (and handcuffed) a prominent Polish lawyer, Roman Giertych. They searched his house - looking, he has said, not for documents to do with his "case", but for evidence he had been gathering about government corruption.
nytimes.com/2020/10/16/wor…
A few days later, however, a court refused to uphold the detention. The judge said he didn't see that a crime had been committed. An appeals court came to the same conclusion. Restrictions on Giertych - he had been suspended from the practice of law - and others were removed.
Read 7 tweets
22 Nov 20
"Trump failed because he picked bad people" is an insufficient explanation. In truth, he failed because his so-called populist project was a lie. He never wanted to drain the swamp, he wanted to profit from it. ft.com/content/cc5636…
Like Orban, Kaczynski, Duterte, Erdogan, Putin and so many others, Trump created fake culture wars to hide his real agenda: Personal profit, personal power, personal narcissism. Le Pen et al would be no different.
Also Chavez. The politics of greed and cynicism can be either Left or Right.
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov 20
Why are so many senior Republicans going along with this farce? Why are so many of their friends in the media enabling this assault on democracy? I've tried twice to explain this phenomenon, once in my book, published last summer:
penguinrandomhouse.com/books/621076/t…
Also in this article for the Atlantic, also published last summer:
theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…
Both have been criticized, from the right, as overly harsh accounts of people who are "just doing their jobs." But as Trump's clownish attempt to steal the election continues, as other Republicans imitate him, I wonder if they didn't go far enough.
Read 7 tweets
19 Nov 20
This headline repeats a lie. The EU is not 'punishing' PL and HU for their conservative policies. They are requiring those two countries to abide by the law. Orban and Kaczynski are throwing up smoke, trying to create a culture war where there is none.
thetimes.co.uk/article/hungar…
In fact the whole story is ridiculous. It quotes Polish and Hungarian officials without pointing out that they are lying. Same kind of reporting that led to Brexit.
Orban's main goal is to continue using EU money to stay in power and enrich his friends and family. Kaczysnki's goal is to keep undermining Polish justice so he can arrest his enemies and evade corruption charges. No point pretending this is about anything else.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov 20
Hungary and Poland have vetoed the EU budget because of a regulatuon linking payments to the "rule of law." Why was this linkage considered necessary? Because both countries are in violation of EU standards on apolitical justice.
Hungary is in trouble for corruption: the country misuses EU funds many times more than any other country. Poland has illegally subjugated its constitutional tribunal to party control. Other EU courts are now questioning the independence of Polish courts.
Now, how are the ruling parties explaining this issue to their voters? In Poland, the deputy justice minister has said "rule of law" means Poland would have to accept "children being sold at markets" and gay marriage
Read 6 tweets
14 Nov 20
Wrong headline. Should read: American business leaders fear Trump coup, hold call to discuss it. on.ft.com/32KGTRY via @FT
"There was great concern about the president’s words and the national reaction, that it was leading to more cleavage in the country rather than less. None of them wants a divided nation. They don’t want fractured communities. They don’t want hostile workplaces.”
Amazing that the Blackstone CEO was so uninformed, did not know that absentee ballots were being deliberately counted late in PA
Read 4 tweets
8 Nov 20
Remember: she was a birther. Lying about the legitimacy of an elected president was how she got to be First Lady
All legal votes are being counted, right now. There is no evidence -none- that anything is going wrong. Calls for "transparency" are designed to make people believe something untransparent is happening. It's not.
there are glitches and mistakes, as there are every year. No evidence of anything else. Trump's lawsuits are being thrown out of court, one by one.
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov 20
the commentary would be: "Biden's pulling away...it's not even close...Trumpism has failed..."
"the postal ballots are flowing in from California and New York....it's an incredible landslide..."
this kind of take, for example, would be impossible:

Read 4 tweets
4 Nov 20
Here we go: Trump just told us that he will stop at nothing to steal this election
"we want all voting to stop", he said
in other words: he wants to stop counting votes
Read 4 tweets
4 Nov 20
Every single serious analysis I read of this election said that it would be long and drawn out, and that Trump would try to steal the election by trying to discount late-arriving Biden votes. And now that it's happening...everyone seems shocked.
not late-arriving, sorry. late COUNTING
Read 4 tweets
2 Nov 20
Battalions of lawyers are preparing for Trump to try to steal the election. The president and his tame media put out reams of disinformation designed to make people lose faith in our voting system. How do elite conservatives respond? They pretend they don't know it's happening
and yet one more! it's as if it were an organized response ...and do note that my original tweet said nothing about all violence coming from the right. In case of a stolen election, I absolutely expect it to come from the other side.
Read 5 tweets
26 Oct 20
Bydgoszcz, right now
Thousands of people. Never seen anything like this here before
Protest is for reproductive rights, but not only
Read 6 tweets