We said Pooty-poot was gonna go full-tilt paranoid and pull a Trump, and lo! He’s firing people left and right, looking for the leaker:
Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to be conducting purges of military generals and intelligence personnel, including arrests of FSB (Federal Security Service) officers, according to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, which cited Ukrainian officials and media reports.
The institute says that Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov estimated on Wednesday, March 9, that Putin had replaced at least eight generals “due to their failures in Ukraine” and authorities have detained personnel from the FSB’s 5th Service, which the institute says is responsible for gathering information on the political situation in Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian outlets and a report in an independent Russian outlet, the head of the 5th service, Sergey Beseda, and his deputy Anatoly Bolyukh were under house arrest on Friday.
Now, he’s never going to be as nutty as our own Stable Jenius Hair Füror, but he is also much more ruthless. But there is good news in all this:
…Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there’s no going back to “America First” as it was. That’s not to say the public is clamoring for a war with Russia. But the Trumpian worldview that embraced Vladimir Putin and threatened to abandon NATO has, for now, been repudiated. Republicans with their ears closest to the ground already know this…
…According to a Quinnipiac poll released last week, a majority of Americans—including 74 percent of Republicans—think Joe Biden “has not been tough enough” when it comes to punishing Russia for the invasion. Meanwhile, 64 percent of Americans—including 61 percent of Republicans—hold a favorable view of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
And the article goes on to report various anecdotal stories of Republican squirming to get away from their past statements in praise of Vlad:
J.D. Vance, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, last month tried to channel Trump’s nativist populism, saying that he didn’t want U.S. troops to fight and die over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. “I gotta be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine,” Vance said, to make the point perfectly clear…
…Ohio’s primary is May 3, a mere three weeks away. While it’s true that his campaign was already struggling, Vance has somewhat backtracked on his comments, a clear confirmation that he was not reading the room.
And then there’s this:
Vance isn’t alone. In North Carolina, Trump-backed candidate Rep. Ted Budd is on defense after praising Putin. “As Ukrainians bled and died,” former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory said in a video bashing his primary opponent, “Congressman Budd excused their killer.”
Budd is now trying to dig himself out of this mess by explaining that Putin is “intelligent” but “evil.” This clarification reflects a changing political reality on the right, as it pertains to Putin. As National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar colorfully put it, “Putin is less popular than syphilis.”
Even Der Tiger Beat auf dem Potomac (thanks Charlie and MPS Patron Saint Watertiger) morning email thingie has noticed a shift in the winds in re: Hair Füror’s grip on the fascists:
THE COOLING TRUMP EFFECT? — Republicans looking to run for president in 2024 once lived in fear of crossing DONALD TRUMP. That’s beginning to change. “Over the past few weeks, three would-be presidential candidates who hail from the conservative wing of the Republican Party — Arkansas Sen. TOM COTTON, former Vice President MIKE PENCE and Florida Gov. RON DESANTIS — have prodded at or even outright criticized the former president’s record,” Alex Isenstadt reports. “Taken together, they highlight how the prospective candidates are staking out calculated distance from Trump with an eye toward establishing their own political identities, making clear that they aren’t carbon copies of the former president and signaling to donors and party activists that they’re serious about running in 2024.”
Of course this is now and the 2024 Goat Rodeo will be later and a lot can change, but more and more it looks like Lord Damp Nut and his authoritarian ilk have overstayed their welcome, even in Possum Hollar.