Trump loves Putin

As Russia begins invading another sovereign European country, let’s not forget that Trump has a longstanding infatuation with Putin.

The Republican presidential nominee told the forum the Russian president “has been a leader far more than our president [Obama] has been”. . . .

Quizzed by NBC host Matt Lauer on his previous complimentary remarks about Mr Putin, Mr Trump responded: “He does have an 82% approval rating.”

“I think when he calls me brilliant I’ll take the compliment, ok?” added the businessman.

He said Mr Putin had “great control over his country”. . . .

It is not the first time Mr Trump has made admiring comments about the Russian leader.

Last December he said it was “a great honour” when Mr Putin called him “a talented person”.

It’s no surprise that they like each other—both are authoritarian strongmen with a contempt for democracy. They even share a childish obsession with looking macho.

I’ve received a lot of criticism in the comment section for arguing that Russia is the greatest threat to world peace. Yes, China has an authoritarian nationalist government that is a threat to Taiwan. But Russia has an authoritarian nationalist regime that is a threat to many different independent nations. If there is a nuclear war in the next 50 years, it’s much more likely to be started by Russia than China (even if only accidentally, as Russia has far more nukes.)

Ever since WWII, there’s been widespread agreement that it’s not OK to invade another sovereign country and annex its territory. Almost all countries accept this basic tenet of international law—even China. Indeed, since Iraq’s failed 1990 attempt to annex Kuwait, only Russia refuses to abide by this rule.

Russia is a rogue nation with the world’s second most powerful military. And yet significant segments of our GOP are effectively pro-Putin. They see him as a protector of “Christian culture”, even though Russia is not even a Christian nation.



84 Responses to “Trump loves Putin”

  1. Gravatar of Rinat Rinat
    23. February 2022 at 20:36

    Another bizarre post. Let us take a look at the facts.

    1. All donbas wants is the right to self determination, and the right to self governance.

    2. The Ukranian government calls the 2014 riots a “liberation”, but the people living in Donbas call it a “coup”. President Victor Yanaukovych was forcibly removed from office (by an angry mob) after refusing to sign a political association and free trade agreement with the European Union. In response to the mob pressure, the Ukraine parliament called for an early election, and the following day Yanaukovych fled from the capital. In a 328-0 vote (out of 450), the parliament relieved him of his duties. Is that a liberation? Is it a coup? If a subsection of the American people forcibly removed a sitting U.S. President, then could we imagine a scenario where some states decided to secede? Would they have a moral right to secede? If so, does Donbas?

    Obviously, the west sides with the mob that overthrew the president. But the people in Donbas don’t! And the only thing that matters is what they want.

    That is an accurate depiction of events, not a bucks game + nacho narrative that you thought of on the couch after watching CNN between the bucks commercials.

    3. We have been told that Putin is orchestrating a massive invasion, and that Russia is conducting a false flag operation.

    But the problem is that whenever the American people demand proof, they get a messy pile of poor rhetoric, hearsay, and promises. Just recently, an associated press reporter asked Ned Price for hard evidence that Russia is engaged in a false flag operation. In response, Mr. Price did what poorly educated political hacks – like Sumner – tend to do; he stumbled and mumbled, looked perplexed, and ended with the childish and illogical retort – “I’m sorry, you don’t like the content”…” I’m sorry you are doubting the information that is in the possession of the U.S. government…”

    If Russia is guilty of these sweeping allegations, then show us evidence not rhetoric.

    This is just more ad hominem, social science ranting, that is common amongst the Sumner crowd. There is no substance.

    He doesn’t think for himself, and he has a very hard time placing the shoe on the other foot.

  2. Gravatar of nick nick
    23. February 2022 at 20:44

    Hey fucktard, sumtard….

    Where is the proof Russia involved?

    People in Donbas want freedom you fuckin boomertyrant.

    Fuck a sumner. Fuck a boomer. Bring out the gallows.

  3. Gravatar of jayne jayne
    23. February 2022 at 20:49

    He’s still talking about Trump, lol
    He blames this on Trump.
    He blames everything on Trump.
    When he wakes up tomorrow with a headache, it will be Trumps fault, lol.

    It’s comical.

    Sumner will retort that Russia provides weapons to Donbas, without once considering that America exports weapons to Keiv.

    Our own border agents get shot from cartels who buy our weapons. America is the #1 exporter.

    But this is boomer logic. It’s okay for Americans to export weapons, but not Russians. Russian companies can’t sell them without being sanctioned. It’s okay for us to destablize Syria, under Obama/Biden, but we should worry about the warmongering Trump. What war did Trump start again? I forgot. more boomer logic!

  4. Gravatar of Harry Harry
    23. February 2022 at 20:57

    yeah, good luck getting Sumner to care about evidence. He’s a radical.

    Trump commits “thought crimes”. This is the same guy who tried to impeach him over a “thought”, or who “thinks” that Trump was “thinking” about stealing the election, despite asking the protestors to be peaceful. But of course, that wasn’t enough. Because he was “thinking” bad thoughts. As if we know what he’s thinking. It’s so weird.

    Thank god Dershowitz still has a brain.

  5. Gravatar of Janice Janice
    23. February 2022 at 21:20

    Not Pro Putin, but I am pro reason. It’s been seven years. stopping shelling those people.

    The people in Donbash don’t want to be a part of Ukraine now that their president was removed. They voted for Yanukovych. They didn’t vote for the mob.

    So yeah, in this case – I hope Putin wins. and I hope Keiv backs down. And I am pretty sure they will, because Biden has his own problems to deal with at home. He’s bluffing. The whole world knows it. The U.S. is weak right now. It needs to fix its own problems, and that starts with removing radical leftists from the government.

    And stop talking about freedom. We are not that stupid. We supported Keiv over the oil. Essentially all leads back to burisma. And Donbas is loaded with oil and minerals. It was never about freedom. If it was we’d be in the DRC, and 75 other countries.

  6. Gravatar of Johannes Johannes
    23. February 2022 at 21:41

    Since when has China respected International law?

    Your history is a bit fuzzy. This is a country that steals islands from Vietnam and Philippines, and land from India. They’ve threatened more than just Taiwan. In the last year alone, they’ve threatened Australia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Canada, Germany, Australia, and the Philippines. They have also annexed Hong Kong. They’ve consistently broken WTO laws when it suits them, laws around due process, etc, etc. The two Canadians held hostage in a Chinese cell, with no access to family, embassy, or otherwise is a violation of international law.

    You are so one-sided when it comes to the Russia/China debate. Don’t even try to back peddal now.

  7. Gravatar of MIchael Sandifer MIchael Sandifer
    23. February 2022 at 21:53

    Unfortunately, this seems to be more support for power transition theory in IR. Russia is dangerous, because it’s a nuclear state with a large military, but with its power in decline. China is on the rise, and the US is in relative decline.

    Couple this with culture wars within borders, decades of bad economic policy and ignoring the discontent of large swaths of society, and we have an increasingly dangerous world, in terms of the potential for relatively large scale military conflict.

    Perhaps only MAD will save us.

  8. Gravatar of Trying to Learn Trying to Learn
    23. February 2022 at 21:57

    Not related to Putin, but @Scott what do you make of this John Cochrane post critical of the Fed’s actions during Covid?

    It seems that the severity of the Fed’s actions was key to the quick recovery in NGDP and employment (even if they’ve gone a bit too far). Is John right that it was too much and unnecessarily bailed out creditors?

  9. Gravatar of MIchael Sandifer MIchael Sandifer
    23. February 2022 at 22:07

    What I mean by “bad economic policy” is not that neoliberal economics is bad, but that it was badly executed in some ways. Inflation was obviously too high during the Great Inflation, but it was brought down too quickly, in my view. The average unemployment rate, even recessions aside, was higher than necessary in most developed countries.

    This was the problem I had with Rajan as he chaired the Indian central bank. Of course inflation had to come down, but he was bringing it down too quickly, and hence many politicians turned against him. He was smeared and treated very shabbily, of course, but he was the wrong man for the job.

    I think the move toward neoliberalism in the 80s and 90s was extraordinarily positive overall, but the monetary policy was bad(though improved), and I think we ignored the economic insecurity many feel, in addition to the indignity many feel they suffer in their daily jobs.

    Tyler Cowen makes the best case for appreciating corporations that I can imagine being made, but I think he’s extremely naive. Had he worked for a large corporation recently, for a good long while, with little hope for anything better, I think he might understand why corporations are so hated. And yes, they are hated. They treat employees like commodities. They are incapable of treating people with dignity and respect.

    That said, yes these are first world problems, but as societies get wealthier, expectations rise. Expectations for intangible measures of quality of life have not been met for a very long time.

    I think corporations are too top-down, and need serious reform. I don’t imagine at this point that government can provide much help here. The technology of corporate governance needs to advance. Perhaps some type of republic or quasi-republic model would not only give employees at the bottom more say, but could also improve bottom-up information flow, and make large corporations more adaptive.

  10. Gravatar of Ankh Ankh
    24. February 2022 at 00:30

    Russia has support amongst the GOP for several reasons:

    1. Your party, and also you, went banana’s — absolutely bonkers — over DJT winning the presidency. The entire Russiagate was a clinton funded project, even worse than watergate. Not only did you spy on his campaign, but you also created a fake report that simply wasn’t true. Your 24/7 fear mongering scared the bejeezes out of people. Some even tried to kill trump supporters because they really thought that people like you were telling them the truth. They thought these supporters were actually Nazi’s.

    2. You tried to impeach him, twice, for nothing. You call him, and the people who support him, fascists, xenophobes, and Nazi’s. Clearly you don’t have 70M fascists in your country. His supporters are none of those things. The people who support Trump are mostly working class folks, worried about their freedoms and outsourcing, because globalisation hasn’t increased the paychecks for the working class. Those at the top are benefiting, because their profit margins increase. But the average american is either losing his job, or having his salary reduced. Your people cannot even save money. The average american has less than 1000 in their bank account. Thai’s have more than that.

    3. Your party cancels voices on campus, including academics with an opposing view. And you teach that all white people are oppressors. I haven’t seen any white oppressors in Thailand, and we get about 40M white tourists every year. Where are all these white oppressors? I see lazy blacks in Thailand selling drugs.

    4. You ignore bodily autonomy, and data from sources not named the CDC. And then you wonder why the conservatives gravitate to Putin?

    Putin is bad, but your party looks worse. You are freezing your own citizen’s bank accounts because people protest. You worry about fascism and totalitarianism, yet you only have to look at your own party to find it.

    Of course they gravitate to Putin. Anyone who has the guts to stand up to the nut case totalitarians threatening people’s bank accounts, telling them to choose between a job and a jab, and being called an oppressor and a racist, must be my friend! The videos of horses running over citizens in Canada with police thugs on them. You are sick.

    The democratic party looks more and more like the CCP. And Putin is the one guy who doesn’t buy into that nonnense. He may or may not be conducting a false flag operation, but he’s not a woke radical and he’s definetly not a communist. His politics, and Russian politics in general, is relatively moderate in 2022. The russian people don’t like the CCP, and they don’t like democrats in the USA either!

    People Donbas just want to be free. They are tired of the shelling. And Putin is protecting them.

    Instead of worrying about a Ukranian civil war, maybe you should stop canceling your citizens and calling them racists and oppressors. Stop treating them like garbage, simply because they like Trump who stands up for them.

  11. Gravatar of nick nick
    24. February 2022 at 01:40

    Boom, Boom!

    Sumner’s Ukraine thuggish control centers destroyed.

    You in your bunker yet, Sumtard? Can you stay there and leave humanity alone? Can you let us be free please?

    Stop mortaring Donbas, you tyrannical commie.

    Also return money to old ladies who gave $50 to convoy. Stop stealing old lady bank accounts, you little petty tyrant.

    And stop posturing. You are weak, feminine man, who sends other peoples boys to war because you are too chicken shit to go yourself. 80% of the country hates you boomtards. No american wants to die over Biden’s burisma objectives. Leave Russia alone. Leave the people in Donbas alone. Get your little petty tyrant hands away from the oil. It doesn’t belong to you, or biden. And stop using freedom and human rights as your cover. Its getting old there boomertard. Nobody believes your thugger anymore. You cannot control the narrative anymore.

  12. Gravatar of Harry Harry
    24. February 2022 at 04:15

    Sumner, your own policies are leading us to war. The whole reason Nazi Germany became powerful, was because it was isolated and indebted, by bullies. And here you are, doing it again. Isolating Russia, sanctioning Russia, and 24/7 anti russia hysteria – mostly from boomers, makes us less safe. If you care about peace, then you had seven years to negotiate. You refuses. The idiots said the same about N.Korea. dont talk to him, they said. It will give him legitmacy, they said. This is stupid talk by idiots. Only morons think cutting off communication and refusing to reach an agreement, while at the same time sending 1.5B in weapons to Kiev to use on donbas is insanity. You are asking for war, not trying to stop one.

  13. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    24. February 2022 at 04:57

    5y inflation expectations at 3.34% as of thursday morning. This will be a nice test of whether we actually have an independent central bank.

  14. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. February 2022 at 05:52

    Trying to Learn, I agree that the Fed shouldn’t be bailing out creditors.

    Michael, You said:

    “Expectations for intangible measures of quality of life have not been met for a very long time.”

    Like forever?

    Effem, You are right about inflation, but in this case I don’t see the issue as “independence”. The Biden administration has been leaning on the Fed to reduce inflation. The Fed did this all on its own.

  15. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    24. February 2022 at 06:16

    How much like the stagflation of the 70’s will the 20’s be? My guess is that there are a lot more technology to shift power generation and car fuel from oil and gas so it won’t be as bad, and that the Fed will act more quickly than the 70’s.

  16. Gravatar of TravisV TravisV
    24. February 2022 at 06:45

    Hmmm, SF Fed President Mary Daly said this and it sounds wrong to me….

    “These create a lot of uncertainty and uncertainty, as we know, is a demand shock,” San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly told reporters on Feb. 23 — before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the attack on Ukraine. “And how big the demand shock is depends on how high the uncertainty is and how long it lasts.”

  17. Gravatar of TravisV TravisV
    24. February 2022 at 06:55

    Re: what I just said above, what might actually be going on is that, due to this supply shock, the “neutral” rate of interest is crashing, leading (counterintuitively) to a fall in inflation expectations.

    Something similar happened as the Covid supply shock emerged and inflation expectations (counterintuitively) fell…..

  18. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    24. February 2022 at 06:56


    Yes, such unmet expectations are part of the human condition, but some times are worse than others.

    And, perhaps ironically, we also have a very decadent, narcissistic, nihilist society in which the extreme right and left are willing to burn everything down rather than try to understand what’s going on and to try to work together to make things better.

  19. Gravatar of Classical Liberal Classical Liberal
    24. February 2022 at 07:53

    “3. We have been told that Putin is orchestrating a massive invasion, and that Russia is conducting a false flag operation.

    If Russia is guilty of these sweeping allegations, then show us evidence not rhetoric.”

    Well I guess Putin showed you the evidence.

    Of all the bizarre politic a developments that have occurred over the past 10 years, so called “conservatives” becoming pro-Russia and pro-Putin surely takes the cake. Why do you guys defend Putin? Because Trump and Tucker tell you to? It makes no sense at all.

  20. Gravatar of Anon Anon
    24. February 2022 at 08:16

    Sometimes I think you are acting like how a nonprofit worker would see the world. I agree with you that Putin is a evil thug, and his invasion of Ukraine is not to “denazify” the country as he dishonestly claims, but to add to Russia’s population after low birthrates and COVID deaths. We should all hope for innocent Ukrainians get though this with their families intact. However, your interpretation of the situation is very wrong.

    For Trump, Putin didn’t invade when he was President and so why should Trump feel ashamed of anything? Obama lost Crimea and Biden is going to lose Ukraine. Trump consistently stated that if you don’t invest in your own self defense, you will have your country stolen by hostile forces. He was trying to force NATO to invest in self defense from the start. Putin invested in defense despite Russia’s economic collapse in the 90s, and is now reaping the rewards of those actions. Why wouldn’t Trump be impressed by Putin?

    As for the Right Wing, Putin has a non-diverse country with a lower homicide rate in the USA. Why shouldn’t the right wing support him? What matters is not utilitarianism, but people’s self interest. Russia is safer than the USA, while our “liberalism” has gotten our murder rate elevated from the 1950s for over 70 years.
    Meanwhile Biden is very bad as well, since he supported BLM which got 10k additional people killed in this country last year, a death total that might not even be reached in Ukraine. His campaign convinced lots of liberals that tens of thousands of unarmed black men are shot by the police, when the number is 13:
    Just because you have good intentions does not mean you will produce good outcomes, and the GOP is right to warm up to Putin, whose policies have created a social situation in terms of demographics and crime is much better than America.

  21. Gravatar of Classical Liberal Classical Liberal
    24. February 2022 at 08:44


    “As for the Right Wing, Putin has a non-diverse country with a lower homicide rate in the USA. Why shouldn’t the right wing support him? What matters is not utilitarianism, but people’s self interest. Russia is safer than the USA, while our “liberalism” has gotten our murder rate elevated from the 1950s for over 70 years.

    GOP is right to warm up to Putin, whose policies have created a social situation in terms of demographics and crime is much better than America.”

    Yes, that’s why Reagan and Nixon were always so pro-Russia.

    honestly, who ARE you people?

  22. Gravatar of David S David S
    24. February 2022 at 08:53

    Can I be the first person to encourage Putin to annex Alaska? They owned it once, and we’ll get the oil regardless of what flag flies over Juneau.

  23. Gravatar of MIchael Sandifer MIchael Sandifer
    24. February 2022 at 09:05

    Much of this pro-Putin, Sumner-is-an-evil-commie stuff seems like cut and paste propaganda. Those attacking the author here don’t seem to ever actually read what he writes.

  24. Gravatar of Tacticus Tacticus
    24. February 2022 at 12:38

    I enjoy talking to you, Professor, but is it possible to maybe get rid of these bots? Kinda ruin the whole comments section :/

  25. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    24. February 2022 at 12:56

    I agree that Putin is a brutal, murderous dictator (I’m saying this for years), who is incredibly afraid of democratic governments in ex-USSR countries. This is also the main reason why he invaded Ukraine. He wants to overthrow the democratic government there and replace it with a pro-Russian dictatorship because Putin thinks that this is the only way he can secure his power.

    I agree that Russia is at least as big a threat to world peace as China. It is correct that Russia has been much more aggressive on the world stage for a number of years, just think of Syria, Libya, and so on. Areas that are far outside the ex-USSR.

    China is not doing that currently. Of course, what Scott is a bit silent about is that CCP China was more aggressive in the past, up until about the late 1970s, for example, in the Vietnam War, when China sponsored the aggressive part of the Vietnamese communists and the USSR sponsored the more moderate part.

    I well remember that it was the Democrats and 95% of the Western left-liberal press who completely ridiculed Romney in 2012 when he correctly stated and predicted that Putin’s Russia is and remains the most dangerous adversary.

    I agree that Trump is a would-be dictator with strong autocratic tendencies.

    Where I am not so sure is that Trump supports Putin. I neutrally note that Putin’s highly aggressive actions and invasions have all occurred under very left-liberal leaders like Obama, Merkel, and Biden.

    Under apparent Putin friends like Trump and Gerhard Schröder, Putin has been surprisingly tame. This is just a neutral observation.

    What are the possible explanations for this? Does Putin really just want “respect” as a senior German naval chief put it. There are more explanations: Putin is very paranoid, if you brush and stroke his belly just a little bit now and then, he simply does not feel threatened.

    And there is another point I have concerns about: will we really win the “war” against states like Russia and China with left-liberal “super-democrats” like Biden and Obama? How so?

    It is, unfortunately, the sad truth that the war against psychopaths like Hitler was won not with liberal philanthropists like Coolidge and Chamberlain, but with people who were very authoritarian by democratic standards: FDR and Churchill.

    When the world goes dark, you seem to need people who know about the dirty rules that are being played by in the darkness.

  26. Gravatar of Anon Anon
    24. February 2022 at 13:37

    Classical Liberal,

    What is your point on Nixon and Reagan? When they were President, Russia was communist and has worse socio-economic metrics in every category than America. Being pro-Russia at the time would have been stupid. Today, Russia has nearly the same life expectancy and a lower homicide rate than America, with less CRT. Therefore, there is a growing movement that is pro-Russia. Russia is also no longer Communist, as Putin’s speech a couple days ago so plainly indicated.
    it. Are you retarded?

  27. Gravatar of Trying to Learn Trying to Learn
    24. February 2022 at 13:46

    @Scott, you said the Fed shouldn’t be bailing out creditors. But isn’t that indirectly what happens when the Fed buys bonds (and especially other assets) to stabilize NGDP? How can you have stable NGDP growth without bailing out creditors during a recession?

  28. Gravatar of sarah sarah
    24. February 2022 at 14:55

    As an economist, I’m sure that you know sanctions don’t work.
    It enriches banks and other companies that can move Russian assets at a premium.

    The rich are not effected at all, because they have many other ways of moving money through shell companies.

    And that little guy is hurt on both sides. It hurts americans at the pump, and it hurts the Russian poor by increasing the price of imported goods.

    So I have to agree with some of the previous comments. This wound is self inflicted. And you are creating the very tyrant that you claim to want to avoid.

    My impression is that this is about Biden’s business interests more than anything else. He is heavily invested in Burisma.

    There is still no hard evidence of a false flag operation, despite years of allegations. And I’m sure the people in Donbas see Putin as their hero, not their oppressor. There are always two sides to the story.

  29. Gravatar of LC LC
    24. February 2022 at 15:26


    Good comments you have made and another data point in the “21st Century Sucks So Far” category.

    However, with Putin having crossed the Rubicon, the situation now demands US do all it can to stop China from crossing the Rubicon on Taiwan too. To win in that long strategic struggle requires unity, patience and sound economic policies from the United States. Though things look terrible now, I am still hopeful US will find a way out of this funk. (I could be naively optimistic and way off but I am hoping we come to our senses.)

  30. Gravatar of vince vince
    24. February 2022 at 15:39

    ssumner wrote: “Ever since WWII, there’s been widespread agreement that it’s not OK to invade another sovereign country and annex its territory.”

    Iraqi’s might consider our nation-building attempt a form of annexation attempt. The history of the CIA provides many similar examples.

  31. Gravatar of vince vince
    24. February 2022 at 15:45

    ssumner wrote: significant segments of our GOP are effectively pro-Putin.

    The linked article says: the GOP is near-unanimous in its support for Ukraine.

    Also, what does pro-Putin even mean?

  32. Gravatar of Jayne Jayne
    24. February 2022 at 16:21

    Oh, no not sanctions.

    Said nobody ever!

    Good to see that the President of Ukraine is so afraid that he had time to chat with Sean Penn. Must be a real war zone over there.

    I hope all that “diversity and inclusion training”, is prepared to defend Ukranian liberty. Better yet, perhaps we could mind our own business and not send American boys to die in a ukranian war. Let me know when they get further west, like Poland or Germany. Then, I MIGHT consider it a threat to America.

    Btw, something tells me that weak ladyboys and 100 pound woman, are probably not going to measure up to the big, agressive, intelligent Russian bear, but what do I know. The feminists reap what they sow.

    Weak men = a weak country.

    And do tell me – just for good laughs. Is China going to make our military equipment Sumner? Will we outsource our hacking defense to India?

    Do you see the problem here with Sumner’s outsourcing logic? Logic that has weakened us severely.

    Russia doesn’t care about sanctions because they are self sufficient. They also, of course, have Mongolia and China to the east to produce whatever they want. NATO sanctions is a big comical joke. Putin and the Russian people could care less. It just inspires more hatred, animosity, and eventually war.

  33. Gravatar of Ankh Ankh
    24. February 2022 at 17:03

    Today, we see a lack of logical consistently among the American left.

    When they pulled out of Afghanistan, they gave refugee status to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

    But when people in Keiv ask for refugee status, they “might be given that status”, according to the administration. It begs the question: “is it because they are two white”?


    I think anyone connected to Ukraine’s military should not be given refugee status, because they have been bombing and killing people in Donbas for seven years. They should pay the price for their action, and that means facing down RU now. If you bomb weak people for seven years, and then a big country gives you a little payback, you should not be able to run. The bully is now being bullied. They need to be real men now. And learn a lesson.

  34. Gravatar of rinat rinat
    24. February 2022 at 17:26

    I share those sentiments, Ankh.

    I know people in that region. If you wake up every day to the sounds of shells, some of them landing on your porch, then that is not worth paying taxes for. That is taxation without representation.

    You cannot fire on civilians for seven years, and not expect retaliation. RU is now protecting their liberty.

    Zelensky thought he could bully those people into submission because of NATO’s economic interests in Ukraine, but he miscalculated. NATO is not going to protect him. Now he must negotiate and end the shelling.

    He has no choice. I’m pro American, but I’m also pro common sense. I’m not brainwashed. I look at both sides of the argument, and in this particular case Keiv is the aggressor.

  35. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    24. February 2022 at 18:46

    I was on a zoom call once that was hacked by teenagers who started posting dirty pictures and screaming racist insults, not even bothering to notice that none of us were of the race they were slandering. I see they’ve moved on to trolling economics blogs with equal eloquence and precision.

  36. Gravatar of Classical Liberal Classical Liberal
    24. February 2022 at 19:20


    If you’re into socio-economic metrics, the broadest one is GDP/capita. Russia’s is less than 11,000 compared with 59,000 for the US and 40,000+ across all of Western Europe. Over the last 10 years, Russia has fallen further behind the West. Every single advanced economy has a higher life expectancy than Russia and lower crime that the US. And CRT is a largely American phenomenon. So if you don’t like CRT, there are plenty of places with less crime than the US and MUCH higher living standards than Russia (57th in the world) not to mention far lower levels of corruption. Why pick Russia as a role model? Why would conservatives start idolizing a corrupt underdeveloped backwater run by a dictator? Or is the fact that he’s a dictator part of the attraction?

    Also, US crime rates were much higher 30 years ago and then came down – and I don’t recall Rudy Giuliani saying that his crime reduction strategy was to emulate Russia. I’m pretty sure it’s possible to argue in favor taking of measures that reduce crime (as I would) while also realizing that Putin is a thug (as I do).

    Up until 2015, the GOP was reliably hawkish, or at least weary, of Russia and Putin – it was the Dems that were squishes. Since then, even though Putin has become much more of a threat, the GOP seems to have developed a pro-Russia contingent. And it is very bizarre to see (to anyone over 40 years old anyway).

  37. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. February 2022 at 19:41

    Christian, I was hoping that you’d finally admit I was right about Russia being the bigger threat. I guess that was too much to ask.

    “I agree that Trump is a would-be dictator with strong autocratic tendencies.”

    First they mock you as suffering TDS; in the end they say they knew it all along.

    Vince, You don’t think Trump is a significant part of the GOP? And Tucker Carlson is more influential than 50 GOP Congressmen.

    Classical liberal, I’m not sure if these people are paid by RT, are robots, or just morons, and don’t really care. Their comments are so loony they aren’t even worth reading.

    trying to learn, You said:

    “@Scott, you said the Fed shouldn’t be bailing out creditors. But isn’t that indirectly what happens when the Fed buys bonds (and especially other assets) to stabilize NGDP?”

    That would be like saying that a bus driver who tries to drive down the center of the highway—avoiding going into the ditch and crashing—is bailing out passengers.

    It’s really pretty simple; the Fed should have a stable monetary policy. Anything else is crazy. Why would you want to intentionally create economic instability to punish borrowers and lenders? No, NGDP targeting does not bail out anyone; it merely avoids needless damage to the economy.

  38. Gravatar of vince vince
    24. February 2022 at 19:55

    ssumner wrote: You don’t think Trump is a significant part of the GOP? And Tucker Carlson is more influential than 50 GOP Congressmen.

    Then why not specify SOME followers of Trump and Carlson? I’m still not sure what you mean by pro-Putin. Willingness to work with him?

  39. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. February 2022 at 19:55

    Lizard, The problem in the 1970s was not stagflation, it was demand side inflation, pure and simple.

    Travis, The Fed needs to raise rates sharply. This doesn’t change that fact.

    Michael, Yes, I’d say about 90% of the time when the trolls say “Sumner believes X”, I actually believe not X. It’s like they confuse me with someone else. They are 10 times more socialist than I am, as they support massive government intervention in many areas of our economy.

    Tacticus, Right now I’m too lazy to ferret out all the trolls. Maybe at some point in the future. I actually think it’s kind of funny that they (he?) thinks this stuff is effective.

    LC, Our China policy contributed to this fiasco, by pushing Russia and China together. The China of ten years ago might have opposed the Russian invasion; now China feels like Russia is its only friend.

    By the way, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be really bad, but this is far worse. So if we aren’t going to do anything about this, how do we stop China?

    Let’s accept 100 million immigrants from China. That’s the best way to stop China from surpassing the US. And punish Russia by letting Iran sell a few million barrels/day more oil.

    That is, if we were smart. But of course . . .

  40. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    24. February 2022 at 19:58

    Vince, You said:

    “Then why not specify SOME followers of Trump”

    How about the 70 million plus who voted for him? If you don’t think there’s lots of support for Putin in the GOP, then I suggest you do a bit more research.

  41. Gravatar of LC LC
    24. February 2022 at 20:25


    Fareed Zakaria made the same point about US China policy, but still China should be prudent and behave like rational adults to restrain Russia. We also make it clear that Taiwan is not to be treated like Russia treats Ukraine.

  42. Gravatar of tom tom
    24. February 2022 at 20:29

    The American people are not sane anymore.

    RU has been asking for Ukraine to declare neutrality for thirty years.
    RU has asked Kiev to stop shelling Donbas for the past eight years.

    They did neither.

    This war doesn’t help RU economically. There is zero economic benefit. Putin attacked because he felt he had to. He had to ensure security.

    If he stays and occupies, then he is wrong. If he leaves, then he is probably right to do what he did. History will eventually decide, but as long as he leaves after ensuring security for Donbas, history should view him favorably.

    America – and predominetly the left – must stop this aggression. We’ve seen this aggression at home and abroad now. ANTIFA/BLM was not a wonderful peaceful protest. It was the radical left hoping that if they inflicted enough damage politicians would take a knee. Some did!

    That is very similar to the mob that overthrew the president in Ukraine in 2014. The west is mentally ill right now, and it needs to come back home.

    Horses running over people in Ontario is not normal behavior folks.

    Wake up!

  43. Gravatar of vince vince
    24. February 2022 at 21:26

    ssumnmer wrote: How about the 70 million plus who voted for him? If you don’t think there’s lots of support for Putin in the GOP, then I suggest you do a bit more research.

    Voting for Trump is equivalent to support for Putin? Still not sure what Putin means–not looking for a war with Russia?

  44. Gravatar of janice janice
    24. February 2022 at 22:28

    More evidence that the left is suffering from an illness.

    Middleschool teacher believes people of another political party (conservative) and religion (christian) need to “get covid and die”.

    That does sound a bit like Sumner’s “They need to go to hell” remark.

    That type of intolerance, for people’s religion and party preference, leads to totalitarianism.

  45. Gravatar of David S David S
    25. February 2022 at 01:00


    I’m interested in your position on to what degree the Fed should factor in evolving conditions in Ukraine. My opinion is that they should “stay the course” with respect to tightening and stabilizing. PCI will probably spike but a series of rate hikes are still needed to bend PCE. I’ll even venture to say that a downward glide path for inflation will be steeper–but only if there’s a quick resolution to the war.

  46. Gravatar of sarah sarah
    25. February 2022 at 06:56

    You shouldn’t be talking about international law. We have no right to talk about any of those things. Yesterday. we bombed somalia. A clear violation of international law.

    We invaded Iraq, raped iraqi, and bombed afhanistan. That is a violation of international law.

    If Putin occupies, then we can start talking about a danger to America and to the world. But if he cuts off the head of the regime that bombed Donbas for eight years, and then leaves, he’s in the right not the wrong. Have you seen the documentary of the people in Donbas? Have you seen what Kiev did to them?

    Its disgusting. We should all be ashamed, and just shutup and fix our problems at home instead of yelling “human rights” and “international law”.

    None of which we follow, unless of course it helps our business interests.

  47. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. February 2022 at 09:15

    LC, You said:

    “We also make it clear that Taiwan is not to be treated like Russia treats Ukraine.”

    What does that mean? The US recognizes Ukraine as an independent country. We recognize Taiwan as part of China (our one China policy). Is that the difference you are referring to?

    Vince, The media is full of stories of rising support for Putin in the GOP. If you are too lazy to look them up, I’m not going to do the work for you.

    And don’t act like Trump is just another Republican; he’s the leader of the GOP. Indeed the GOP is nothing more than a Trump personality cult.

    David, I don’t see it affecting monetary policy very much—it’s still too expansionary.

  48. Gravatar of Nick Nick
    25. February 2022 at 09:26

    Sumner still goes to bed at night shaking and trembling over big bad Russia. It’s so pathetic.You can see the epic meltdown of the septugenarian class of losers as they throw around useless 1950’s epithets like “russia spy”, at Candace Owens and Tulsi Gabbard. Nobody under 40, regardless of party, who actually reads, believes in your war mongering Big bad RU propaganda.

    Please tell your boomertards to stop their B.S. and go die somewhere. But if you want to go swing your dick in Ukraine, then go yourself. I will even volunteer to buy your weapon. In fact, I will buy your ticket too. You can go scream “human rights”, bomb somalians, and then have a dick fight with Putin. Maybe you can sell tickets to the dick fight too. I’ll watch it.

    The rest of us are going to watch netflix, and have some nachos. We don’t give a flying fuck about Ukraine. Especially after that comedian dummy prime fucktard bombed his own people, imprisoned his political opponent, and smoked crack and fucked prostitutes with Biden’s bitch boy son.

    Also, I’m white. So that means I’m an oppressor. I don’t want to “oppress” those Ukranians. I think having Nachos is a non oppressive way to spend the afternoon, right. What you think?

    But you know what. I love freedom. If you want to go fight for the bankers, and for the Biden crime family, go ahead. Wave your flag and your dick, do the hippies chants, all peace and love, whatever. Have a blast over there.

  49. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    25. February 2022 at 09:53

    Why now?

    “Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said his nation will have every right to become a nuclear power, citing a document signed by leading world states back when Kiev agreed to get rid of Soviet nuclear weapons in exchange for security assurances.”

    “If we look at the sequence of events and the incoming reports, the showdown between Russia and these forces cannot be avoided. It is only a matter of time. They are getting ready and waiting for the right moment. Moreover, they went as far as aspire to acquire nuclear weapons. We will not let this happen.”

  50. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    25. February 2022 at 10:18

    Look, look over there at the ‘wicked’ Russians.

    Don’t look over here at the plutocrats and the M.I.C. there’s nothing to see?

  51. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    25. February 2022 at 10:18

    Christian, I was hoping that you’d finally admit I was right about Russia being the bigger threat. I guess that was too much to ask.

    Yes, it’s too much to ask because it’s just childish and factually wrong. They are both unbelievably brutal regimes. Seriously wanting to recognize significant differences in dangerousness only falls back on the one who belittles the situation.

    The differences are not relevant enough, it’s like stating that a crocodile is less dangerous than a tiger.

    It doesn’t make sense, especially since both regimes work very closely together and constantly cover for each other and adopt argumentations almost 1:1. The voting behavior in the UN is almost identical. It would be like trying to tell a significant difference in dangerousness between Heydrich and Himmler. Seriously? It doesn’t make any sense.

    First they mock you as suffering TDS; in the end they say they knew it all along.

    The question for me was never whether he has autocratic tendencies, but first, whether this is an unnatural development in a world that has become increasingly autocratic since CCP China’s rise. My answer to this: No, it is an expected development. If an autocratic country like CCP China has such success, then other electorates in other countries will react accordingly, as happened all over the world in the 1930s, which then ultimately led to figures like FDR, de Gaulle, Churchill, Patton, MacArthur, Truman, Eisenhower and so on.

    Second, there was the question of whether Trump can exercise his autocratic tendencies. Again, my answer was and is: No, the strong American democracy can withstand someone like Trump. Denying this is and painting the devil on the wall all the time to me is TDS. Trump is an easily foreseeable development, a symptom, a reaction, nothing more and nothing less. It gets stronger the more aggressive Putin and Xi become. It will disappear when Putin and Xi disappear.

  52. Gravatar of vince vince
    25. February 2022 at 11:04

    ssumner wrote: The media is full of stories of rising support for Putin in the GOP. If you are too lazy to look them up, I’m not going to do the work for you.

    The media?? That bastion of objectivity and truth?? LMAO. I suggest reading Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent.

    I’m still not sure what pro-Putin means, or even rising support for Putin. I doubt surveys make the question clear.

    Does our military-industrial complex have an interest in war with Russia? Is Biden trying to deflect his domestic problems? Why do we care more about the Ukraine border than our own?

  53. Gravatar of Henry Henry
    25. February 2022 at 12:39

    Canadian news published an article today.
    Article claims Biden gave intel to China, hoping that China would “stop russia”.

    Instead of stopping Russia, they gave Russia the intel.

    Someday Sumner, and I do hope it is very soon, you will realize that the CCP is not your friend. They don’t like you. Praising them won’t help you. Kissing their feet won’t help you. The fact your wife is Chinese won’t help you. They don’t care!

    They have one goal, and one goal only. Destroy America. It’s written in their constitution.

  54. Gravatar of vince vince
    25. February 2022 at 12:54

    ssumner wrote: Indeed the GOP is nothing more than a Trump personality cult.

    Consider that maybe some would vote for Trump with reservations, but prefer him and the GOP over a corrupt Democratic party and a candidate who would do better in a rocking chair.

    A third party would be a nice alternative anyway. But our winner-take- all voting system prevents that. Approval voting would help.

  55. Gravatar of Tom M Tom M
    25. February 2022 at 13:28

    Scott there is just so much wrong with this post. I suggest YOU do some research here.

    1) The GOP/Republican party, as well as the general public via recent polling is FAR more critical of the current invasion than the democratic party. This isn’t even up for debate- every single major congressional member has called for a vastly stronger response. It doesn’t seem link you read or grasp the article you linked above… has absolutely nothing to do about “Christian culture”, has everything to do with isolationists in the GOP. Being isolationist isn’t “pro-Putin” if that were the case, there are FAAAAAAAAAAAAR more people in the democratic party / population that are “pro-Putin”.

    2) Trump sayin Putin is smart and Biden is dumb is just an objective fact, stop trying to change the narrative here.

    3) Trump/GOP pushed for MULTIPLE policies to avoid exactly this:
    a) A push to have German support NATO in greater detail.
    b) Push to have the Keystone pipeline completed.
    c) Push to have a trigger for removal from SWIFT.

    4) Let’s not forget that when Mitt Romney called Russia the major geopolitical adversary of the US during the 2012 campaign- the ENTIRE democratic establishment and media called him crazy. Obama famously offered to be more accommodative to Russia post his election… then they invaded Ukraine. By your logic, most of the country would have been “pro-Putin” in 2012.

    5) Vince makes a lot of good points.

    6) Ukrainians when polled prior to the 2020 election, vastly supported Trump when compared to Biden. What does that say?

    I could literally type for days, there is so much wrong with your perspective. I think you really need to step back from your priors and look at this from a different perspective.

    Anytime you jump into this area for your posts, it’s always so cringe I almost feel like you’re doing it on purpose for traffic.

  56. Gravatar of Tom M Tom M
    25. February 2022 at 14:13

    NATO should add Sweden and Finland ASAP 😀

  57. Gravatar of Anon Anon
    25. February 2022 at 14:58

    Classical Liberal,
    Ok, so let’s emulate a country with a great per-capita GDP like Singapore or Japan.
    If America adopted Japan’s immigration and crime policies, the liberals like Sumner would cry endlessly. The reason everyone supports Putin is because it is a White country that is doing the policies, of which the liberals seethe endlessly about it. Since the liberals attack it, the conservatives support it. It’s not that complicated. Many rich countries have adopted rightwing policies regarding immigration, crime, and race, but all of them are nonwhite or non-Christian like Israel or Japan or Singapore. If America or Poland tried to adopt those policies, they would be attacked endlessly, so they adore Putin who got away with those policies.

    You said “If we were smart, we should import 100 million Chinese”
    One of the things I find very interesting is social scientists will say the stupidest shit possible that has never been implemented in any country, and then act like it is a valid proposal. I find it hilarious that America is expected to import millions of people who hail from countries who don’t share with anyone else. We are supposed to import millions of Chinese, but the Chinese in (authoritarian) China or (democratic) Taiwan wouldn’t let anyone from America immigrate there.

  58. Gravatar of LC LC
    25. February 2022 at 15:40


    Good question on what US can do to make the point clear on Taiwan. I would say these are some of the steps:

    1. China’s dollar reserves would be confiscated if China invades Taiwan without provocation
    2. Sanctions including SWIFT access would be enforced. We may not have gone all in for Ukraine but we are willing to risk a depression
    3. US will share real time intelligence with Taiwanese forces to counter Chinese attack
    4. US is willing to supply Taiwan via sea lanes and submarines if needed to sustain Taiwan’s ability to fight

    In other words, US is willing to go much further than it did on Ukraine.

    We have not done all we can on Ukraine and it’s a stain on us. We should not let it happen again,.

    It might not deter China in the end but shows the cost will be higher than Russia is paying for Ukraine.

  59. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    25. February 2022 at 16:18

    ” . . . the strong American democracy . . . “??
    What ‘democracy?

    “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
    Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page
    Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. “

  60. Gravatar of Russ Abbott Russ Abbott
    25. February 2022 at 17:00

    I read the first few comments and then skipped around. You have my condolences. I didn’t think you had readers like this. Good post, by the way.

  61. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    25. February 2022 at 17:40

    Scott, keep up the good work. I’m somewhat amazed that the trolls or bots or whatever are in such full force here.

  62. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    25. February 2022 at 19:27

    even though Russia is not even a Christian nation.

    Hard to say what you’re trying to say with that, Scott.
    Depending on how one counts, 60-71% of Russians identify themselves as Christians. That’s more than in many other European countries. And they are serious about it.

    We have a lot of immigrants from Russia here. These people are usually quite conservative and very Christian, in quite conservative way. No comparison to non-immigrants. It does not get more Christian than that. It’s quite hardcore.

    Putin himself is also said to be very Christian: After a fire in his dacha in the 1990s, he had a “Christian revival experience,” and since then he believes quite strongly in a Christan God.

  63. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    25. February 2022 at 19:45


    I think frankly we are doing the right thing staying out of Ukraine directly. We are not the world police anymore.

    @Russ A:

    Those aren’t ‘readers’. They show up in every thread saying the same things, that have nothing to do with the posts. Probably a bot, definitely one person not many.

  64. Gravatar of MIchael Sandifer MIchael Sandifer
    25. February 2022 at 21:11


    US intervention in Ukraine would have nothing to do with policing the world, and everything to do with maintenance of the balance of power in Europe, what’s left of international law and the world order, and the NATO alliance. And, we must stand up for republican government and self-determination.

    It is at least as true as it was in the interwar period that American national security cannot be defended with an island mentality. We are forever, ever connected to the world, whatever our preferences, and we should do our best to make sure we are shaping the world more than it shapes us, at least as long as we have sufficient relative virtue.

  65. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    26. February 2022 at 03:25

    I should provide broader context so I’m not misunderstood.

    I do think NATO, led by the US, doomed Ukraine, by openly dangling the possibility of NATO membership circa 2008, while implicitly admitting all along that we saw no vital interest in defending it. We refused possible formal deals to establish Ukraine as a neutral buffer state, presumably because Putin has never been trusted to adhere to such an agreement.

    The reality is, the US has too often failed to adhere to agreements, such as the ABM treaty and the Iran nuclear deal.

    And, of course. I think the invasion of Iraq was a senseless war of choice and a violation of international law, and hence, an abuse of the world order.

    But, we are where we are, and having stupidly dangled the possibility of NATO membership for Ukraine in front of the world, we should do far more to prevent Ukraine’s dismemberment.

    If you ask me, awful US foreign policy, meaning not evil, but stupid, really set the table for much needless conflict since the end of the Cold War. We really seemed to believe in thr silly End of History thesis in some ways, ignoring balance of power geopolitics.

  66. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    26. February 2022 at 03:41

    Further, I now think we must do what we should have done in Ukraine, given the implicit red lines drawn 14 years ago, and station American forces in every country bordering Russia that could come under threat. We now must commit to a limited war with Russia to try to ultimately cut a deal to de-escalate the situation, and save other countries from future dismemberment.

    Ironically, we must now give Finland, for example, a parallel NATO-like guarantee, to ultimately negotiate a neutral status for it. The only way we have the leverage to negotiate such an outcome in this case, is to have American forces either there or credibly deployable there at a moment’s notice.

    This is a very bad place to be, but here we are, and idiotic foreign policy since at least the early 1990s has brought us here.

  67. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    26. February 2022 at 05:46

    Michael Sandifer,

    Thank you, finally a good analysis. The West’s mistake was obviously to leave Ukraine in this intermediate status for many years. They were promised a strong Western alliance, but no relevant steps were taken in that direction. Politicians like Merkel and Obama were extremely naive and unfortunately also incompetent. The media have played along with this for years and have not named wrongdoings in any way.

    On the contrary, the media even presented these politicians as wise and extremely competent, while politicians like McCain already said right after the Minsk agreement: He is ashamed of this extremely incompetent agreement and without massive rearmament of Ukraine, Ukraine will fall.

    Putin has been told, in effect, for years, “If you invade this country, you can do whatever you want with it, there will basically be no help whatsoever from the West.” — that, of course, was an invitation that Putin took. It’s almost surprising that he waited so long.

    And punish Russia by letting Iran sell a few million barrels/day more oil. That is, if we were smart. But of course . . .


    sometimes I’m really glad that your foreign policy thoughts aren’t picked up at all. We have learned that Kleptocracies like Russia and Iran use their natural resource sales primarily to enrich a very small power elite, and to terrorize their own populations, and not least to massively arm their own militaries, which are then used to brutally invade other countries. And your answer: “This is just great, let’s do more of that.” — This is just pure madness, sorry.

    Your immigration idea is a bit better, but it’s also a double-edged sword. It can work like it worked with Cuban immigrants to the US, who are often very critical of the Cuban regime. But it can also go down like it did with Russian-German immigrants to Germany, the majority of whom are very strongly supportive of Putin and who are helping to turn Germany into an in-between state that no longer really fully supports the democratic, Western alliance.

    The same thing has happened, by the way, with Turkish immigrants to Germany, who actually support Erdogan more in percentage terms than even his own (!) population in Turkey. So one would have to take a closer look at who exactly is coming.

  68. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    26. February 2022 at 06:07

    I will admit the following. Trump’s calling Putin a genius was absurd and exactly idiotic and incorrect. We do not know what it is——-I think it was a major stupid move——but if he “wins” without consequences it will have been to his benefit.

    But Trump he was against Russia’s actions and bragged he would have prevented it——which even if he couldn’t have would be no worse than the the moron in the White House has done.

    Now to you. You are a complete jackass and a click bait monger. The GOP is not pro Putin. Who is president Now? Who is in charge now? Who moved too slow—-who failed to be more than a reporter. Who invented Russian collusion. I no longer like you—-and I assume you feel the same. Plus you have lost your mojo on monetary policy. You are sickening and an embarrassment. Have a nice life

  69. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    26. February 2022 at 08:59

    Ukraine, by its courage, is humbling people like me who feared expansion of NATO might bring us into great power conflict more than I feared the subjugation of a free country. I looked to the example of the time before the First World War when, in this case, the time before the Second World War may have been the better example.
    That said, the war is expanding outwards, and Putin is hinting at nuclear options. If Putin and his nearby allies were stronger, that would be terrifying. But Ukraine has exposed him and his grip on power and has now made it more likely he will be overthrown than that he will take Ukraine.

  70. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    26. February 2022 at 09:02

    Michael Rulle, (and everyone else).

    “Trump’s calling Putin a genius was absurd and exactly idiotic and incorrect.”

    What is wrong with you people? There’s no harm in Trump calling Putin a genius. Heck, Hitler may have been a genius for all I know. The problem was Trump saying he was honored to be praised by Putin. Trump clearly likes and respects Putin. They are two peas in a pod.

    Christian, So now you are saying that Trump is merely a symptom of the general move toward authoritarianism, something I’ve been saying for years in all my “banana republic” posts. Glad to have you on board.

    Trump should hire you to do his campaign commercials. “Trump probably won’t succeed in totally destroying democracy in America, so vote for him!”

    Vince, You said:

    “Consider that maybe some would vote for Trump with reservations, but prefer him and the GOP over a corrupt Democratic party and a candidate who would do better in a rocking chair.”

    How can any thinking person not see that the GOP is a personality cult? It has nothing to do with people preferring Trump over Democrats, they prefer him over much more sensible Republicans. They replaced a solid conservative in the House leadership with a moderate woman who voted against Trump’s key policies. The GOP is 100% about loyalty to Trump; they couldn’t care less what political views you hold.

    BTW, you might think the rocking chair metaphor is clever. It’s not. Yes, Biden’s a senile old man, but Trump’s an even more senile old man. The fact that you can only see the truth about one of the two speaks volumes.

    Tom, You said:

    “Let’s not forget that when Mitt Romney called Russia the major geopolitical adversary of the US during the 2012 campaign”

    LOL at citing Mitt Romney as an example of Republican opinion. He’s on the verge of being expelled from the party! BTW, it’s a tragedy that Romney was never elected president.

    At least we agree about Sweden and Finland.

    Anon, You said:

    “We are supposed to import millions of Chinese, but the Chinese in (authoritarian) China or (democratic) Taiwan wouldn’t let anyone from America immigrate there.”

    I understand that you want us to behave like the CCP. I do not. We are better than they are. We should welcome immigrants.

    LC, You said:

    “In other words, US is willing to go much further than it did on Ukraine.”

    This makes absolutely no sense to me. The invasion of Ukraine is a far worse crime than the invasion of Taiwan would be, and it’s not even close. So why a tougher response to a Taiwan invasion?

    BTW, shouldn’t we ask Taiwan to at least TRY to defend itself? Right now, it’s not even trying. Look at their pathetic military budget.

    Taiwan’s own constitution says they are part of mainland China. Yes, an attack would be immoral, but it’s not like Taiwan is recognized by anyone as an independent country. In contrast, Ukraine is widely recognized as an independent country.

    Michael Sandifer, This is not about NATO. Putin could care less about NATO, he’s just using that as an excuse. He didn’t complain when the Baltic states joined NATO. He knows that NATO won’t attack Russia.

  71. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    26. February 2022 at 09:05

    Michael Rulle, You said:

    “I no longer like you—-and I assume you feel the same. Plus you have lost your mojo on monetary policy. You are sickening and an embarrassment. Have a nice life”

    With all due respect, is this good for your mental health?

  72. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    26. February 2022 at 10:25


    Putin is actively trying to undermine NATO, and his concerns with NATO have more to do with the security of his regime than with Russian security, in general.

    But, it’s naive to think NATO expansion doesn’t weaken Russia’s hand in foreign policy, and inflame nationalist sentiment at home. We’ve spent more than a generation now poking the Russian bear, and now that it’s run amok in the village, we don’t want to take it down.

    Putin was never okay with NATO expansion, but felt he had a relatively weak hand in the past and has bided his time as he tried to decrease his dependence on the west(except for strong mutual dependence, as with petroleum), and strengthen his military. I think Russia has legitimate national security concerns given the reckless way the US has conducted foreign policy.

    Putin is evil, of course, and wants a sphere of influence, if not outright satellite states. That’s obviously unacceptable. But, our rhetorical checks bounce.

    We drew a red line in Bucharest in 2008 when we publicly invited Ukraine and Goergia to begin a process that could lead them to be NATO members. An obvious implication is that we have vital interests to defend in these countries. Of course, our actions demonstrate otherwise.

    I hate Putin, and I favor a war with Russia at this point, because I think we have no choice if we don’t want NATO, the EU, and the international order challenged more broadly. That is, unless this invasion is sufficiently costly for Putin. If Ukraine can surprise the world and bloody Russia’s nose, precluding the need for further confrontation, so be it. We should prepare for war though.

    Unfortunately, we won’t. And now the world is significantly more dangerous than it had to be.

  73. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    26. February 2022 at 10:28

    Christian List,

    Thanks. I’m just trying to understand the world as well as a dilettante can, without the mental prowess and free tome I wish I possessed.

  74. Gravatar of LC LC
    26. February 2022 at 11:18


    You’re correct in your points, assuming US actually honors a “One China Policy”. US policy in the last decade has actually been “One Taiwan Policy”, with US actively pushing the narrative on Taiwan’s nationhood, actively blocking countries from breaking relationships with Taiwan and recognizing Taiwan, actively encouraging Taiwan to change their diplomatic mission to Taiwan instead of ROC. Well, now it’s put up or shut up time on Taiwan. Either we decide we go full Taiwan route and guarantee Taiwan’s safety, or we shut up and back off. However, I don’t expect the US to be that clear and will continue to muddle the waters, which is the worst path to take because the uncertainty it creates.
    I haven’t commented on Trump’s comments, but these were an absolute disgrace. What’s so smart and “genius” about a reckless move that wrecked Russian economy and sapped Russian military strength and caused large number of death and suffering? The Trumpian wing of GOP is an embarrassment to conservative movement everywhere.

  75. Gravatar of MIchael Sandifer MIchael Sandifer
    26. February 2022 at 11:25

    I honestly fear that not only will we not take the Russian bear down in Europe, but that China will see this and be emboldened to attack Taiwan. Why would anyone think the US would do enough to defend Taiwan at this point?

  76. Gravatar of postkey postkey
    27. February 2022 at 03:46

    The stupidity of the europeans?

    “when ronald reagan found out about abel archer 83 he went pale ronald reagan mr evil empire went pale”

    it’s able archer 83 there’s a nato
    it almost brought about the end of the
    because nato was was testing their
    nuclear command and control
    and the russians looked at that and said
    we don’t think this is a test we think
    this is the real thing
    and so as the as nato started issuing
    launch codes
    for training purposes the russians went
    full alert
    and all it would have taken was a bird
    to hiccup
    and the missiles would have flown and
    the world would have ended and abel
    archer when ronald reagan found out
    about abel archer 83 he went pale
    ronald reagan mr evil empire
    went pale and that’s when he said we
    have to change this calculus
    so do we really want to recreate a
    situation so that an american president
    goes pale to before we disarm or should
    we have already invented that wheel
    and just say we don’t need these weapons
    well that’s the situation in the world
    today it’s a very dangerous situation”

  77. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. February 2022 at 12:36

    LC, You said:

    “and will continue to muddle the waters, which is the worst path to take because the uncertainty it creates.”

    This is the point I keep making over and over again. Ambiguity caused the 1990 Gulf War, for instance.

  78. Gravatar of gofx gofx
    28. February 2022 at 08:31

    NY Post 2019:

    Pop Quiz, Scott: Who supplied those Javelins killing Russian tanks/vehicles today? Obama/Biden? or Trump? Actions > Words.

    …Team Obama feared that lethal aid would provoke Moscow….So what did the administration give him? Instead of rocket-propelled grenades, we provided food rations. As one frustrated former Pentagon official put it at the time, “What kind of message does that send anyway?”

    When Trump took office, he delivered a message of strength. In December 2017, the new administration announced that the United States would send the lethal aid to Ukraine that Poroshenko requested and Obama and Biden refused — the sale of $47 million worth of Javelin antitank missiles.
    In May 2018, after Ukraine tested its new Javelin missiles, Poroshenko exulted on Twitter “Finally this day has come!” and personally thanked Trump “for supporting Ukraine and adopting a decision to provide Javelin antitank missile systems.”

  79. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    28. February 2022 at 10:08

    Remember why Trump was impeached the first time? Hint: it involved withholding military aid to Ukraine.

  80. Gravatar of gofx gofx
    28. February 2022 at 11:13


    You mean the $400MM they got a little more than one month later after “the call”. That’s faster than any Hunter or Joe Biden bribe transaction in China or Ukraine. Funny how inquiring about corruption in a country receiving US aid only became a problem under a certain president.

  81. Gravatar of gofx gofx
    28. February 2022 at 12:59

    And of course:

    Joe Biden bragging about threatening to withhold a billion dollars in loan guarantees to Ukraine if they didn’t fire a prosecutor who happened to be investigating Hunter:

    VP Biden, not impeached? Amazing.

    Joe Biden 2018:

    “I remember going over and convincing our team, others, to convince that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

    So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b-tch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

  82. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    2. March 2022 at 07:23

    @ Scott Sumner

    Given that I called you a “click bait” monger——or a troll—-I thought it obvious my comment was a troll “back at you”. I guess it worked!

  83. Gravatar of Lizard Man Lizard Man
    2. March 2022 at 10:31

    OPEC wasn’t a negative supply shock to the US economy in the 1970’s? I thought that the stagflation was the result of both excessive NGDP growth, causing high inflation, combined with higher energy prices, which led to depressed levels of employment.

  84. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    3. March 2022 at 07:12

    @ Scott Sumner

    We have no idea whether Putin is a “genius” , a kook who wants to go out on a high note, or a modern day 3rd rate Hitler. A genius is the last thing I would call him. You thought “Hitler might have been a genius” ——what the hell does Genius mean. Hitler was an idiot—-He was a persuasive politician but an absurd war leader—who got lucky early —-really lucky——then ran out of luck.

    My criticism of Trump——which for some reason you find off base—-is that he was using the “Putin as genius” meme to show how he could have outsmarted him—thus making Trump a bigger genius. While I do believe this would not have happened if Trump were President—-maybe because Putin did his wars when Obama and Biden were President——he could have still been Trump like without permitting the lying media to claim he supported Putin—like you did. Or at least you ignored that Obama also supported him —using your logic.

    My view is his “sell buy” date is approaching rapidly. Still——compared to the Pelosi crowd and the CIA/FBI he is a saint.

    I don’t want another 80 year old President—too Chinese for me (:-))—-I would like him to support the next guy up in the cue.

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