Just as there is what Cass Sunstein called “the expressive function of law”—“the function of law in ‘making statements’ as opposed to controlling behavior”—there’s a purpose served by the constant keening over Putin. It conveys liberals’ sense of bewilderment and disorientation at a country they no longer recognize—a feeling not so different from that which motivated the Right’s manifold freakouts in the Obama era.

Seth Ackerman, Jacobin, via Wall Street Journal’s “Notable & Quotable.”