Newt Gingrich takes the stage and stands for a moment in silence, wanting his audience to admire his full military regalia. His pins and medals glitter beneath the bright stage lights. He’s at a flag-draped podium. On flagpoles near the crowded auditorium’s entry doors the flags shift and flutter slightly, although there is no breeze. Behind him, the stage is backdropped by a giant portrait. Fifty feet wide, sixty high, it’s a smirking, trollish face, with hair a gelled-blonde helmet. The Party’s supreme leader. A man in whose name anything at all may be said, any lie made reality. Gingrich takes a deep breath and the chatter in the auditorium immediately ceases. He hammers his fists on the podium thunderously and shouts to cheers and fervor: “To fight a dictatorship, we must have our dictator!”
Gingrich’s latest opinion piece, published on the Fox News website, has all the subtlety of a bull-horn at a baseball game. He claims that, “The simple fact is Putin and Xi sense real weakness in the American commander in chief. They sense that American confusion and weakness is an enormous opportunity,” before going on to claim (without providing anything in the way of one-to-one comparables) that President Biden’s current stance toward Russia and Ukraine is somehow analogous to Nazi appeasement.
Side note: can we, please, just once and for all, agree that constantly comparing our political counterparts to Nazis is a lazy, boring, and evermore meaningless way of demonizing our opposition? Besides the fact that invoking the specter of Nazism about everything from mask mandates to the Biden Administration’s current Ukraine policy diminishes the holocaust, it’s also just an overused and banalified attack. Almost to the point of having no meaning at all.
But so it’s January 2022, a midterm election year, and Gingrich is just one of many figureheads that the Right Wing Propaganda machine of Fox News, Newsmax, OAN, are trotting out to invoke Nazism in the name of its Resentment Du Jour: Biden’s “weakness” on Russia.
Here’s Lindsey Graham appearing on Newsmax to ruthlessly murder irony by claiming that the return to office of former President Trump, (the man who was impeached over his unethical conduct w/r/t Ukraine), would somehow showcase American “Strength” and “Resolve” w/r/t Ukraine.
And here’s a Fox News opinion by Florida Rep. Michael Waltz warning readers that Biden’s “weakness” on Ukraine is allowing Putin to form a “new Soviet Union.”
Conversely, here’s noted Fox liar Tucker Carlson complaining that Biden’s show of strength regarding Ukraine’s borders represents an abdication of his responsibility for America’s (meaning, of course, America’s border with Mexico, the only American border Fox’s xenophobes are concerned with).
But regardless of the opinion the Propagandists’ choose to express about Russia and Putin, positive or negative, one message is coordinated and clear: Trump could “solve” it all. Despite that he had zero positive impact regarding Russia/Ukraine in his four years in office, what we’re doing now represents “weakness” while their dictator represents “strength.”