As U.S. funding to support Ukraine’s defense against Russia becomes a dividing line between hardcore isolationist GOP right-wingers and regulation just-sorta-MAGA Republicans, lawmakers are declaring sides and making their cases.
Loud isolationist voices like Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz — who earlier this year introduced a “Ukraine Fatigue” resolution to end “military and financial aid” to Ukraine — now seem willing to shut down the American government, at least in part to protest Ukraine aid. But amidst shrinking GOP support, veteran Russia hawks like Senators Lindsey Graham and James Lankford argue that a failure to aid Ukraine fails both the United States’ humanitarian imperatives and its pragmatic pursuit of its own national security interests.
To placate Vladimir Putin, they contend, is to endanger Western democracies in Europe and beyond. Lankford, drawing a line in the Senate sand, left no ambiguity in his statement on the U.S. obligation, implying that any measure not offering formidable Ukraine support would be naive.
Putin is a thug and a barbarian who is slaughtering his neighbors—the United States cannot ignore that.— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) September 25, 2023
Lankford pulls no punches in his assessment, calling Putin “a thug and a barbarian who is slaughtering his neighbors.” The United States, the Senator says, “cannot ignore that.”
Graham cautions that “ignoring that” only sets the “stage for even bigger wars in the future.”
Those who call for the end of U.S. assistance to Ukraine are simply setting the stage for even bigger wars in the future.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 21, 2023
That will lead to more future expenses and even more loss of life in Europe and possibly one day, Taiwan.
[NOTE: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, acknowledging the fractious Ukraine situation in his own party, is preparing to strip out Ukraine aid from bills needed to keep the government open, putting the aid to its own vote.]