Day: February 15, 2021

Background Briefing: February 15, 2021


After Exonerating Trump, the GOP Targets Republican Senators Who Voted to Convict Him

We begin with the warning issued by Senate Minority leader McConnell after he voted to acquit Trump, that now that Trump is a private citizen he is liable for prosecution for acts that took place while he was president. This in contrast to the retribution underway by the GOP in going after the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump, some of whom are now being censured. Meanwhile they face the wrath of a vindictive ex-president with a warchest who has vowed revenge as he stands on the doorstep of Mar-a-Lago handing out $50 bills to passersby like some deranged Lord of the Manor in the twilight of his dementia. Joining us is Lawrence Douglas, Chair of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College and author of Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Electoral Meltdown who is a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian where he has an article “Republicans did not just acquit Trump – they let themselves off too“. We discuss how Senators Cruz, Hawley and others are co-conspirators in Trump’s crimes and in voting to exonerate Trump, they were letting themselves off the hook although retribution may eventually come to them for their shameful complicity.


The Backlash Against the Military Coup From Brave Citizens in Myanmar

Then we look into the backlash to the military coup in Myanmar with Michael Beerthe Executive director of Nonviolence International who has been to Myanmar many times and has worked for 30 years supporting the nonviolent campaigns for peace, justice, and democracy in that country. He is in contact with activists there, many of whom are afraid to speak publicly, and describes the bravery and determination of average citizens who are standing up to the military thugs who have ruled the country for decades.


America’s Waning Dominance and the Rise of Kleptocracy, Illiberalism and China

Then finally we speak with Alexander Cooley, Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for the Study of Russia, Eurasia and Eastern Europe and Professor of Political Science at Barnard College whose latest book is Exit from Hegemony: The Unravelling of the American Global Order. He joins us to discuss the waning days of American dominance and how kleptocratic finance, transnational illiberalism, and Chinese expansion are reshaping modern politics.