Rational Security 2.0: The ‘Edgelord Putin’ Edition

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 12:01 PM

This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined once again by Lawfare executive editor Natalie Orpett! They talked through some of the week's biggest national security news, including:

  • “Maybe He Has Border Recognition Disorder.” Despite reported reservations among his advisors, Putin is moving forward with an at least partial invasion of Ukraine, having recognized the breakaway Ukrainian territories of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent countries and deployed troops to “aid in their defense.” Is Putin acting rationally? Or are there reasons to be concerned about his mental state?
  • “Your Presidential Immunity…Has Just Been REVOKED.” The district court overseeing civil lawsuits against former President Trump and associates for the Jan. 6 insurrection has dismissed claims against several of Trump’s associates, but allowed some suits against Trump to continue, despite his claims of immunity. Does this mean Trump is likely to be held accountable for his actions?
  • “Laws Don’t Kill Guns. Lawsuits Kill Guns.” The families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims have secured a settlement from Remington Arms, the company that made and marketed the gun used in the shooting. Meanwhile, California is considering a law that would allow individuals to use private lawsuits to enforce gun restrictions, modeled on Texas’s S.B. 8 anti-abortion law. Are private lawsuits the route to reducing gun violence?

For object lessons, Alan recommended the new Shonda Rhimes show "Inventing Anna," over some dissents from his co-hosts. Quinta passed along Adam Kotsko's recent piece on the fallout surrounding influential philosopher Giorgio Agamben's open criticism of pandemic-related lockdowns. Scott urged D.C. locals to eat out at two of his new favorite restaurants, Etabli and Daru, and also recommended folks check out Etabli's very fun wine club. And Natalie endorsed her new Ember mug for keeping your coffee at that perfect temperature (and exposing yourself to internet of things shenanigans).