In one of the first bipartisan efforts in a while, the vast majority of Congress is supporting war aid to Ukraine. But there are exceptions.
Radical Democrats like Bernie Sanders and not so quiet leftists like certain news media types cannot bare to stray too far from Moscow. It’s an old habit they can’t break. Plus, they will always pick the other side when freedom is in danger anywhere in the world. They are natural appeasers and cowards.
But the Republicans are supposed to be the sensible party when it comes to national security. This is the party of Ike, who fought the Soviets to a standstill in the Cold War. This is the party of Ronald Reagan, a president who won the same global conflict.
But on national security and much else some Republicans have changed. The great bulk of the party supports aid to Ukraine. But two segments oppose it. One of them is honest, but misguided. The other contains those who have been supporting Russia and Vladimir Putin. There are reasons that explain the actions of both groups. The first is the libertarians.
We’re talking members of Congress like Tom Massie of Kentucky. He is a generally excellent Republican libertarian representative. However, Massie just doesn’t support arming Ukraine, he doesn’t support arming anybody. Almost including us. Classic libertarians are very suspicious of foreign entanglements and also of military expenditure. However in this case Massie and his supporters are ignoring the lessons of history. Aggressors, like any bullies, must be faced down to avoid both war and dishonor.
While very good on most domestic issues, libertarians are quite bad at national security matters because many of them see a standing military establishment as a threat to freedom and constitutional government. They have internalized the message of The Rubicon (not the Jeep). But perhaps they have learned it so well they can’t see the difference between an Eisenhower and a Caesar.
This impedes their ability to successfully navigate in the murky and deep waters of international conflict, when the perception of overwhelming military power can deter an aggressor. It also fundamentally handicaps them from understanding international aggression in the first place.
Then we have the populists. These rubes, these pitchfork commandos, these conspiracy barking fruitcakes are more than fond of Putin because they are prone to join radical cults of personality at home and abroad. We see their type in Tucker Carlson, who lost his usual good sense to the point Moscow was using his show as a propaganda broadcast.
We see them in members of Congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, elected bomb throwers who are the Republican equivalents of AOC and Rashida Tlaib. The lot of them in the Republican Party revere Putin for his authoritarian regime and his fake defense of traditional values. History means nothing to them. The raw acquisition of power is their goal, just like their opposite numbers across the aisle.
We are lucky, Europe is lucky, Ukraine is lucky, that these slobbering plebs aren’t in power in this country, nor are their icons. The Republican Party is led by sensible people who understand history and can see a threat to freedom when it stares them in the face. Today that threat is Russia and her international team of miscreants. Most Republicans know this and leaders of the party in office will act wisely to protect freedom here and our interests overseas.