Hillary joins Rachel Maddow to discuss Ukraine and make us wish she’d been president

Hillary joins Rachel Maddow to discuss Ukraine and make us wish she’d been president

Sometimes I wonder what might have happened had Jim Comey kept his mouth shut prior to the 2016 election, and if Hillary Clinton were now in the second year of her second term. The House hearings on Mr. Potato Head would have been something, I’m sure. That said, it’s hard to believe we’d be in the position we’re in now, after four years of nearly unrestrained GOP Putin-enabling led by the li’l Russian marionette himself. 

There’s a reason Vladimir Putin tried to get Donald Trump elected. Twice. (Those who think Putin stayed his hand from 2017 to 2021 because he feared Trump’s “toughness” need to ask themselves why Putin was so eager to reinstall his glorified vestigial twin in 2020.)

Of course, as a respected former secretary of state, Clinton was ideally situated to handle Russia with the insight and nuance that such complex geopolitical matters require. As for Trump, he simply saw Putin as a guy who could help him put another ugly Trump phallus where it wasn’t wanted. 

Last night, Clinton appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show to assess the current crisis and make me regret all over again that I was rudely Plinko’d into this timeline, whereas another Aldous gets to enjoy the parallel universe where Hillary won and we maintained our decades-long streak of never having a president who thought it was a fine idea to both-sides unreconstructed Naziism.

During the interview, Clinton endorsed the tough stance President Joe Biden has taken toward Russia—and not, say, Sen. Josh Hawley’s solution of throwing Ukraine under the borscht bus.

Speaking with @maddow tonight, @HillaryClinton calls for theUS to help impose “economic pain on Putin, and, sadly, the Russian people” in response to Ukraine conflict She is calling for collective punishment, a violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention pic.twitter.com/FnLyqWQSi9

— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) March 1, 2022


CLINTON: “That is a possible way out, if the Ukrainians with our help can impose enough economic pain on Putin and, sadly, the Russian people, combined with providing weapons—that might be the only way that, right now ,I can see us getting to a stalemate that might save the Ukrainian people from greater tragedy.”

And while a proxy war with the West on one side and Russia on the other may not be the immediate, feel-good solution some are looking for, it seems like the only sane path, given the U.S. and Russia’s status as nuclear powers. And as the following Twitter thread suggests, it could be more successful than people think, given Ukrainians’ inspirational defiance and resilience in the opening days of this war. Click here if you don’t do Twitter.

I don’t know what the assault on Kyiv will look like because there are a million variables. It could be a weeks-long grind or the city could fall in a day with minimal fighting.

— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) March 1, 2022

But I do know this: Once Russian units are in Kyiv, whether it takes a day or a month, the occupation will become a living nightmare from which Russia cannot wake.

— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) March 1, 2022

Those Iraqi insurgents were armed with Iraqi military equipment and, at times, Iranian imports. That’s it. Now imagine a force 10-20X the size, armed not with Iranian weapons, but with NATO drones and Javelins and all sorts of stuff Russia doesn’t even want to think about.

— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) March 1, 2022

Everyone hates them. That’s the default from day one. Even if a local won’t shoot you or plant a roadside bomb, they won’t help you. They won’t tip you off to a looming ambush down the road as so many Iraqis did for us.

— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) March 1, 2022

I’ll stop there. The general idea is that these Russian troops in this column are about to go through some things. Whether it’s in a day, a week or a month. Most importantly, they’ll never be able to create the conditions for effective governance.

— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) March 1, 2022

In other words, Putin just got his nuts caught in a bear trap, and it looks like he won’t be able to dislodge them with all the Fleet Farm nut grease in the world. (Before you ask, I don’t think this is an actual product. I’m pretty sure it’s been discontinued.)

Unfortunately, as Clinton notes in the next clip (in the second tweet below), Putin is acting erratically, and his underlings really need to take note:

Next, @maddow and @HillaryClinton speculate that Putin “might be nuts” Clinton says Putin’s “temperament and paranoia” have increased and that he may be physically ill. She then apparently called on his advisors to stage a palace coup. pic.twitter.com/2n2c7sMKe7

— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) March 1, 2022


MADDOW: “People who have spent time with Putin, who have sat across the table from him at negotiations and talks over the years, say that as much as they might have either disliked or thought that Putin was ruthless before, he seems different. He doesn’t seem like himself, he seems like there might be something wrong with him, that he might be nuts. We’ve heard that from people who have been in diplomatic negotiations with him before. I wanted to get your take on that, both as somebody who has spent time with him, but also your take on whether or not that should factor in to how we strategize against him now.”

CLINTON: “Well, it’s a difficult question to answer from afar, obviously. I think the reports coming out suggest both his temperament, his paranoia, seems to have increased dramatically. His vindictiveness, his dictatorial approach to the people around him, including his own military leadership, seems to have gone further and deeper than anybody had ever seen before. People have also suggested that maybe physically he’s facing some health challenges. I think it’s important for leaders, intelligence agencies to get the best information they can.

But ultimately, the people closest to Putin, those who have to deal with him, those who he’s keeping at the end of 40-foot tables while he issues bizarre orders—they’re the ones who need to act. They need to act for the good of Russia. They need to stop him. Whether or not this has turned into some kind of physical or mental problems that he either had or has in some way come down with, we don’t know, but his behavior is dangerous, and it’s dangerous to the future of Russia. So my hope is that the people who are watching him, those who get close enough to see in person his behavior, which is so erratic—that they can try to prevent him from doing things that will not only be tragic for Ukraine, but tragic for Russia.”

In other words, Putin is not thinking clearly; he’s about to bomb Russia back into the Stone Age (by dropping bombs on his neighbor, ironically); and it might not be the worst thing in the world if he got a little woozy while standing next to an open window.  

During the interview, Clinton also gives President Biden credit for leading the unified Western response, and says releasing intelligence to thwart Putin’s propaganda efforts in the days before the war started was “incredibly smart,” “unprecedented,” and “seems to have really woken up so much of the world and stymied Putin.”

She also notes that Ukraine, while a heavy underdog in this conflict, nevertheless has a powerful home-field advantage: “If you’re fighting for your homeland, you’re fighting for your family, you’re fighting for your ideals, that’s far more powerful than sending in these poor young Russian soldiers who didn’t even know where they were going until they crossed the border and people were screaming at them and they realized they were in Ukraine.”

The entire interview is below, and is well worth watching.

It made comedian Sarah Silverman say, “THIS IS FUCKING BRILLIANT,” and prompted author Stephen King to shout “Pulitzer Prize!!!” (on Twitter, that is). What is it? The viral letter that launched four hilarious Trump-trolling books. Get them all, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE

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