We have met the enemy and they are Republicans.
You’re forgiven for a quizzical look and if you’re tilting your head slightly to the side while thinking, “I know I’ve heard that saying before… doesn’t it go more like, ‘We have met the enemy and they are ours.’”? If this describes you at this moment, don’t be embarrassed. The truly immortal words were written in a dispatch by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry after the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. It’s a signal of victory, not defeat.
The Republican “enemy” I’m referring to in the slightly altered quote above are those individuals who voted, along with every single Democrat senator, to send $40 billion in “aid” to Ukraine for use in the United States’ proxy war against Russia. Officially speaking, the U.S. is not directly involved in the conflict, though our government has sent enough weapons and coin to the beleaguered nation to make it seem as though we have a say in how the fighting is conducted over there.
Most news sources, including many so-called “conservative” ones, tacitly agreed with Congress’s latest overture of dispatching guns and humanitarian aid halfway around the world to boost the Ukrainian forces’ chances of stalling or defeating the numerically superior northern invaders. The scenes of destruction and carnage in Ukraine are truly heartbreaking, and anyone with a conscience feels horrible for the plight of those caught amidst the bullets, rockets and bombs.
They didn’t ask for it. The Russians thrust death and suffering upon them. But still…
Isn’t the act of giving Ukrainians the means to resist Russia the same as becoming entrenched in the battle ourselves? Since when is it in America’s interest to enrage a committed enemy that possesses the capability, through nuclear weapons, of completely destroying our western European allies -- and our American homeland as well?
It could easily be argued that anyone who takes the United States one step closer to becoming a full participant in the Ukraine/Russia war is equivalent to an enemy. And if that’s the case, then then enemy truly is (some of) us in Republican-land.
As is often the case, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is acting in a counterintuitive manner and all-but thumbing his nose at those conservatives who believe Ukraine is no place for the United States to be. Alexander Bolton reported at The Hill:
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is stamping out former President Trump’s efforts to sow dissension in the Republican Party over whether to send tens of billions of dollars in new assistance to Ukraine...
“’Hopefully not many members of my party will choose to politicize this issue. I thought it was significant in the House that the House leadership voted for the package and the vast majority of House Republicans voted for the package,’ McConnell told reporters after meeting with Zelensky, noting the House passed the $40 billion Ukraine package last week by a vote of 368-57.
“McConnell is arguing that standing up to Russian aggression is vital to U.S. interests and that failure to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin now could put European allies at risk, echoing the domino theory of communist expansion that was preeminent during the Cold War. ‘This is not some handout. This is to prevent this ruthless thug from beginning a march through Europe. And the first place to stop him is Ukraine, and that’s what we’re determined to do,’ he said.”
Is it just me or does anyone else suspect that the ghost of John McCain has mysteriously occupied McConnell’s body and is forcing the living Kentuckian to recite these incendiary words while beating the war drum? Isn’t Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and “Chucky” Schumer in favor of this war largesse too? It should tell you something.
Kidding about the ghost part, but McConnell’s clearly under the influence of something unseemly if he actually thinks that dumping money into Ukraine now is justified because we alone have some higher duty to protect western Europe from a Russian invasion. Never is a long time, but such an occurrence certainly isn’t happening anytime soon. One, because after having their rear ends handed to them by the supposedly inferior Ukrainian military, it would caution against future Russian boldness for no real reason, and two, aren’t the Europeans responsible for their own defense?
The fact is, this Ukraine thing sounds more like the old neoconservative Bill Kristol/Bush-ian foreign policy dream than the more up-to-date America First vision of Donald Trump. The first-time politician bravely stood up to the intervene-everywhere crowd in 2016 (perhaps best embodied by Senator Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush) -- and the voters responded to Trump by overwhelmingly choosing him to be the party’s presidential nominee.
Jeb Bush didn’t even make it to Super Tuesday. If a majority of Republicans believe in naked intervention, why didn’t he do better?
Trump’s win was not a mistake. Commentators have labeled Trump a “populist” and a “nationalist” for merely offering an opinion that it’s in the best interest of America to limit the amount of military adventurism in places where there is no vital national significance. Sad to say, Ukraine definitely fits this category. The mostly landlocked country only touches on the Black Sea, where the United States navy has next to no presence in. But Russia sure does.
Who really knows the reasons why Russia invaded Ukraine anyway? Greed? Ambition? Jealousy? Insanity? Hubris? The act was wrong from the start and there is absolutely zero support for Vladimir Putin in this country. If we could only wish he would back up a few months and reconsider sending his military conscripts to get slaughtered by the thousands while Ukrainian citizens were being murdered and abused in even greater numbers -- we would do so.
But Putin did what he did and we, as Americans, are responsible for how we respond. Ukraine isn’t a member of NATO -- thank God -- so we have no legal obligation to pump money and capability into the country. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears to be a nice guy and he’s got his sales strategy down cold, too. The man reminds me a little of a timeshare salesman who won’t give up until the poor victims of the pitch have signed over their life’s savings for an extra week of vacation points in some supposedly desirable location that they’ll never end up visiting. McConnell is clearly swayed by the rhetoric and the war fever. Luckily, the “enemy” isn’t the entirety of the Republican Party here. The Hill additionally reported that, “The Republican senators opposed to the plan were Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).”
We’re more than happy to expose RINO Republicans when one or more of them defies common sense and votes with Democrats to confirm a leftist Biden administration nominee or, just as awful, to pass a Democrat spending bill loaded with pork and waste. So it’s somewhat refreshing to highlight a group of eleven brave Republicans, like those listed in the previous paragraph, who actually acted on principle and did something admirable.
They defied the Washington establishment of both parties. Good for them. I only wish there were more of them.
Sadly, the name of Senator Ted Cruz was not listed among them. Cruz isn’t often wrong in his political causes, but it’s inexplicable how a legislator of his stature who does so many things right could be so wrong in this instance. With the United States already wallowing in inflation and debt, how is it justifiable to pack up another borrowed $40 billion and devote it to a cause from which ordinary Americans will derive little or no benefit?
Should our grandchildren’s grandchildren still be paying off this debt in the next century? It’s not like we have a spare $40 billion in military manufacturing gift cards lying around that we can mail to Ukraine. And doesn’t this just provide another argument for Democrats to claim we need to hike taxes on productive people to cover the costs of what government spends? What gives?
Sen. Rand Paul put a hold on the vote trying to ensure oversight of where the money goes and how it is spent. No such luck. The establishment politicians don’t care about such things.
The fact that Democrats are -- literally -- all-in on the Ukraine defense must tell you something about the nature of the issue here. Weren’t Democrats traditionally known as the peace party? Does their undying support for Ukrainians signal a full-throated joining of the Washington War Party now? If the Vietnam war were today instead of the peace, love and granola 1960’s and 70’s, would all the dope smoking leftist hippies be clamoring to ship billions in weapons and aid to the South Vietnamese?
Will Crosby, Stills and Nash be writing new “support” songs for the war in Ukraine? What happened to give peace a chance? Is Black Lives Matter prepared to take up a collection for the Ukrainian “justice” campaign? Will Greenpeace send boats to the Black Sea? Where’s Jane Fonda? What does she think?
Republicans who took Mitch McConnell’s directive to vote for the $40 billion Ukraine aid package did so against their promises to spend the American taxpayers’ money wisely. There are many causes closer to home that are more worthy of spending consideration. How about billions for border security? Or domestic law enforcement? Support for pregnant mothers who choose not to abort?
We have met the enemy alright. And in many cases, they are Republicans.
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