Hannity: Why don't we just take Putin out?

“What is going on with Sean Hannity?” Tom Bevan tweeted this morning. “Two nights ago he suggested a NATO country bomb the Russian convoy, last night he argued in favor of assassinating Putin. Dangerous stuff.”


Love it or hate it, it illustrates Fox’s commitment to viewpoint diversity. How many other networks have a Putin apologist hosting at 8 p.m. and a guy who wants to kill Putin hosting at 9?

I think Tucker’s track record on Russia is part of the reason Hannity has been off the rails this week in suggesting countermeasures against Putin. For years he’s had to listen to critics claim that Carlson is more in tune with the MAGA base than he is, especially on foreign policy. Putin’s attack on Ukraine exploded that myth. Hannity’s hearts-and-minds victory over Tucker has evidently left him so exuberant that he’s willing to, uh, start World War III to spike the football.

It makes me laugh to see a guy who spent six years attacking the “deep state” as thoroughly corrupt and incompetent now asking them to somehow penetrate Putin’s inner sanctum and take him out.

The guy won’t let his own advisors within 20 feet of him, Sean. How do you propose going about this?


Relatedly, if the CIA manages to pull it off, can I hole up in your no doubt very comfortable, handsomely appointed bomb shelter?

I don’t know what would be worse, failure or success. Strike at Putin and miss and there’s no telling how he might react. Certainly, he’d aim to assassinate Biden or the next U.S. president in reprisal. Strike at Putin and succeed and it might lead Russia to dig in further on Ukraine:

Steven Fish, a political science professor at the University of California at Berkeley, said killing Putin would not solve much.

“If the Americans assassinate Putin, they will make him a martyr at home rather than allowing his cult of lies, impunity, arrogance, egomania, and inhumanity to undo him,” Fish said in an email. “There is no poetic justice in our assassinating Putin and doing so would not discredit Putinism in Russia and around the world.”

“We need to leave the honor of taking Putin down to the Russian people,” he added, “who do not want this war and have already begun to turn against him.”

Correct. There’s one group and one group only that can liquidate Putin without bombs going off and the west is presently engaged in tightening the economic screws on them to encourage them to do so. Nothing captures Putin’s predicament as vividly as this clip. Pour one out for the Russian people’s savings accounts:


Russia’s stock market has been closed all week to forestall a massive crash. Shares in Russian companies are still being traded in London — or were, until a few hours ago. Trading has now been suspended due to sanctions but not before the value of several companies collapsed utterly. “Sberbank was down 99.72% year-to-date to trade for around a single penny on Wednesday, while Gazprom was down 93.71%, Lukoil 99.2%, Polyus 95.58%, Rosneft 92.52% and EN+ 20.51%,” reports CNBC.

We’re not going to assassinate Putin, but will Hannity accept the utter devastation of the Russian economy as a consolation prize?

It can’t be overstated how draconian the sanctions are that have cut off Russia’s central bank from the west. It’s no exaggeration to call them an economic weapon of mass destruction, and like any weapon of mass destruction, the damage done is so massive that it will inevitably spill over to non-targets. Economists are fretting about what deplatforming Russia from the western financial system will mean for Americans and Europeans:


One former Obama administration official who worked on sanctions, who agreed to talk on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly, said the scale of the restrictions on Russia has been so huge and unprecedented that its knock-on impact also could be huge and unprecedented. The former official noted that Russia’s central bank, whose U.S.-accessible assets Washington froze in a Rubicon-crossing move, had more assets than the entire economic output of Iran.

“It’s not apples and oranges,” the former official said. “It’s apples and elephants.”…

These sanctions could end up hurting the West, too. As my colleague Rick Noack has written from Paris, many in Europe are steeling themselves for the knock-on impact of European Union sanctions on Russia, including higher prices for gas, electricity and food. “This major crisis will have consequences on our lives, our economy,” French President Emmanuel Macron said last week.

As noted yesterday, we’re now in a race to see which people can endure more pain before yielding, Ukrainians and their western allies on the one hand and Russians on the other. Notably, the Times reports today that Moscow’s regional office of the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia is fielding upwards of 2,000 calls each day since the war began from parents concerned about their sons. “The parents’ first question is: What happened to my child?” said one official. “Is he alive?”


There’s a decent chance the answer is “no”:

I’ll leave you with the 8 p.m. guy doing what the 8 p.m. guy does.

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