Why Do So Many Republicans Oppose Ukraine? Fantasy? Self-Defeating Political Short-Sightedness? A Strongman Crush? Traitorous? All of the Above?

So we all know big chunks of the US Republican Party want to stop giving a dime to Ukraine.  But we really don’t know why?

It is clearly in the US national interest to weaken a dangerous, unpredictable rival (Russia) and warn other possible invaders that the world won’t just stand by (China and Iran).  Moreover, we are basically destroying the Russian military with no loss of American life for a ridiculously tiny amount of money.  Especially when you remember that a lot of that “aid” is sending US hardware that will be replaced by spending US dollars in the US.  You’d expect the same Congress that over-funds the Pentagon every year would like that.

So why are the Republicans so opposed?  I can think of 4 explanations.  None of them are good.

  1. Knee Jerk Isolationism:  I can kinda sorta get this, but we are spending peanuts, risking no lives, and avoiding obvious problems (like NATO obligations) down the line.  If you dream of quitting NATO to pull up the drawbridge completely, maybe the isolationist fantasy all hangs together.  But it remains a fantasy.  If we ignore the world, it will still come find us (see “9/11”).
  2. Political Calculation:  Owning the Libs trumps everything else…  If it denies a win for Biden, they will vote for America to lose.  You can’t let “them” claim any successes.  The next election counts for more than the country’s best interests.
  3. Strongman Crush:  There are a lot of people who not-so-secretly admire Putin and Xi.  It is a model they hope to emulate.  Blithely confident they and their families will ALWAYS be on the side of the strongman.  Any eggs that get broken making that omelette will certainly be someone loser leftie’s children.
  4. Just Plain Traitorous:  The Russians have splashed a lot of money around and they have a lot of compromising pictures.  Maybe there is just a lot of smoke and no fire.  But look past the Trump/Putin rumors.  Think about (former Democrat) Tulsi Gabbard’s quixotic, robotic Presidential run that seemed to rest wholly on a platform “lets hand Syria over to the Russians!  This is the most important issue in America today!”  Where did that come from?  Genuine conviction or…?  Is everyone in Putin’s pocket?  No.  But are a few people leading the charge perhaps bent a little?  Maybe…

All of the above doesn’t mean the Democrats are paragons of virtue here.  Tulsi Gabbard used to be a Democrat.  But the Democrats are generally voting to advance what is clearly in the US National interest.  An extraordinarily cheap, bloodless (for us) destruction of a major military threat.  The mystery remains as to why so many Republicans are so loudly against that…

I’d probably guess “all of the above.”  But none of the above are smart or patriotic choices.

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