Rock and a hard place


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On Wednesday, Russian state media, not well known for its truthfulness, announced the sudden death of Yevgeny Prigozhin in a plane crash. Prigozhin, as you might recall, led a short-lived insurrection against Vladimir Putin and received surprisingly lenient treatment for openly defying a notoriously autocratic world leader, getting asylum in Belarus after calling off his Wagner Group from marching on Moscow.

The social media reaction from Twitter conservatives was largely a joyous one – which begs the question that if Prigozhin was truly fighting fascist forces in Ukraine, why are they so happy that he’s dead?

In the last decade, we’ve seen the GOP go from an all-out love fest of Putin (even before his collusion with the former guy), to just slightly mild criticism when he crossed the line and carried out a full scale invasion of Ukraine. Republicans haven’t had a whole lot to say about the crash, but when approached for comment, President Biden didn’t hesitate to answer that he wasn’t surprised.

He didn’t directly implicate Putin but he said that not a lot happens in Russia that Putin isn’t behind – a not so subtle reminder that he has his sights on the Kremlin, and forcing the GOP to take a stand on what just happened. For this reason alone, it’s good to have Joe Biden as president – as his comment has helped ensure that future Republican presidents are unlikely to have a cozy relationship with the Russian autocracy any time soon.

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