The Atlantic Daily: The Republicans Who Ought to Know Better

As the battle for Kyiv rages, we turn to Washington, D.C. Hillary Rodham Clinton argues that a radicalized Republican Party has played right into Putin’s hands.

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Greek column used as a fire hydrant
Getty; Paul Spella / The Atlantic

Russia’s war on Ukraine is a flash point in “a larger global struggle between democracy and autocracy,” Hillary Rodham Clinton and Dan Schwerin write—a struggle that extends all the way to “the halls of the U.S. Capitol.” Here are three perspectives on the erosion of democracy at home and abroad, and the role American politicians are playing in it.

  • By attacking the rule of law, the GOP is helping Putin—and his fellow autocrats. “The hard truth is that if Republicans won’t stand up to Trump, they can’t stand up to Putin or Xi,” Clinton and Schwerin write.
  • Republicans who know better are serving as Putin’s mouthpieces. “The invasion of Ukraine has prompted the latest round of the GOP’s attempt to figure out what it believes, other than backing Trump and opposing President Joe Biden,” writes David A. Graham. “At the moment, three major factions seem to have emerged: orthodox Trumpists, old-line national-security conservatives, and a hybrid camp.”
  • We’re entering a new era of naked power politics. “Autocratic leaders from Myanmar to Nicaragua no longer feel constrained by the need to maintain some semblance of democratic legitimacy or appease the State Department,” Yascha Mounk explains. “And those dictators, like Vladimir Putin, who also have significant military might at their disposal are now trying to remake the world order in their image.”

You can find all of The Atlantic’s latest Ukraine coverage here.

Join editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg and writers Anne Applebaum and Tom Nichols for a live virtual conversation about Russia’s war on Ukraine and the potential consequences on Monday, February 28, at 3 p.m. ET. Register here. You can reply to this email with your questions.

Georgians rally in support of Ukraine after Russia began its invasion
Daro Sulakauri / Getty

Explore the week that was. Our senior editor Alan Taylor rounded up photos of the Olympics, the Ukraine invasion, and more. He also collected powerful images of anti-war protests in Russia.

Read. If you’re looking for poetry: Spend time with “They Printed in the Medical History,” a poignant and relevant work by the Ukrainian poet Boris Khersonsky, published in October.

If you’re looking for a new book: Hannah Giorgis recommends eight about Black stories that have been scrubbed from official records. Or try Rebecca Mead’s Home/Land: A Memoir of Departure and Return, which makes the case that returning to your homeland can be as daring as leaving it.

Watch. Severance, streaming on AppleTV+, is a wacky, unsettling satire that asks how far you would go to achieve work-life balance.

Listen. Mark Lanegan, who died this week, had the greatest voice to come out of the grunge era, James Parker writes. And on our culture podcast, The Review, our writers discuss the state of the rom-com.


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.