I have no insight into why arch-Trump toady Jason Miller was stopped and questioned at the airport in Brazil on the way back to the United States. But he and a lot of other US right-wingers were there for something called “CPAC Brazil”, which as the name suggests is a CPAC event held down in Brazil. But given that that event is another example of the Trumpite International, which has US and Brazil as two of its dominant players, it’s important to see the Brazil event – which has been embraced by most all Trumpers – through the prism of what’s happening on the ground in the country.
This article in Bloomberg News, courtesy of TPM Reader CB, is a good illustration. A short summary is that President Jair Bolsonaro’s support has close to collapsed. Approval numbers show him hovering around 20%. But very much like Trump he’s responded with a wave of provocations suggesting he might overthrow the government or rule outside the country’s constitution. The same sort of hints and jokes Trump once used. It’s all tied to a tug of war between Bolsonaro and the country’s Supreme Court. But more generally – like Trump – it’s a kind of tantrum at limits on his power. He’s also called for his supporters to turn out today to show he’s strong enough to remain in power. Sort of a low energy Trump insurrection homage.
I don’t have enough familiarity with Brazilian politics to go into more detail. Read the Bloomberg piece. It’s good. But it’s hard to read the account and not be reminded of what Trump’s dying presidency was like and what it might have been like without the remaining norms and fidelity to the constitution we have in the US. (I’m less confident of the sturdiness of our democracy today. But Brazil’s record of elections only goes back a few decades. On the other hand, Trump never hit 20% approval so perhaps we should stay humble.) It’s also kind of a hint about what a Trumpism round two might be like.
In any case, for present purposes, holding this CPAC Brazil event under such circumstances, basically in the midst of these kind of actions gives you a good sense of where Trumpism is at the moment and what it supports.