Good roundup of the anti-Zelensky right, but I think it misses one additional point: the importance of the musclebound, thuggish Russian soldier in right-wing iconography 1/

Before Putin's war, lots of people on the right, from Ted Cruz on down, idolized bicep-flexing Russians who were supposed to be much tougher than our supposedly pampered service members 2/

Even now you see people saying "a woke military is a weak military" — in the face of the definitely anti-woke Russian army's string of disasters . And how many times has Tucker Carlson declared that Russia is winning? 3/

You don't have to be a military expert to see that while courage and endurance are as important as ever, a modern military also needs smart people who can act on their own initiative 4/

And that recruiting people from as wide a pool as possible, and with the promise of decent treatment, is going to work better than brutalizing and hazing. But admitting that would undermine the whole RW world view 5/

So Ukraine must lose, and Russia win, to vindicate the worship of thuggishness 6/


@pkrugman As the son and nephew of men who were in the US Navy during WWII, and as a younger friend of men who fought in Vietnam, I can't reconcile the RW promotion of thuggish warriors with the reality of who has gone to war, and who has returned home to resume regular life. The RW world view is awash in fantasies.

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@phoenixdoglover @pkrugman
PhoenixDogLover is right: the Republican narrative of the US Military is fantasy. Even when I enlisted, I was a minority as a white boy. I was surrounded by color. I adapted and grew as consequence. Sure, most senior leaders are white males. But the proportion has changed. Good for us.

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