The Hottest Take on Ukraine…

…belongs to Alexander Vindman. He is the former National Security Council staffer who played a role in the first Trump impeachment charade, and since then has made a modest television career bashing Republicans. Think of him as the Michael Avenatti of the national security establishment.

Yesterday, as a guest on the Rachel Maddow show, Vindman tried to blame Russia’s Ukraine incursion on conservative pundits in the U.S.:

Guest host Ali Velshi asked, “Are you a little bit puzzled at the responses coming from some right-wing American media, and now members of the Republican Party that seem to be implying that maybe this isn’t all that bad. There may not be a clear reason why we should be wary of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Vindman said, “I think these folks, these right-wing pundits, the head of the GOP that is supportive of it really frankly have blood on their hands because they’re encouraging and enticing this kind of opportunism from Putin. It’s not just plain rhetoric that you can say something without consequences like too often happens in the United States. This has real consequences. People are going to die because of this.”

I don’t know of anyone on the right who has “supported” or “encouraged” Putin’s Ukraine adventurism. I think opinion on the right is divided between those who take a hawkish view and stress the importance of blunting Russian ambitions in Eastern Europe, and those who emphasize the reality that we aren’t going to war over Ukraine; certainly not over the eastern regions that Putin has so far “recognized.” And if some think that what Russia has done so far “isn’t all that bad,” it may be because “the [breakaway areas were] already controlled by Russian-backed separatists and Moscow in practice.”

In any event, Vindman’s suggestion that Vladimir Putin takes his foreign policy cues from conservative pundits in the U.S., when our President is a Democrat and the entire Executive Branch is staffed by Democrats, is risible. The only takeaway here is that there is no depth to which MSNBC will not sink.

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