The war in Ukraine has absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump but Democrats want to spin up a narrative that would condemn the entire Republican Party for the actions and words of a small number of Putin apologists on the right.
The reality is that Republicans are condemning the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin almost as strongly as Democrats.
A Yahoo News/YouGov poll showed a whopping 74 percent of Americans believe Putin’s invasion is unjustified — including 73 percent of Republicans.
A recent ABC/Washington Post poll found 67 percent of Americans — including 62 percent of Republicans — support sanctions on Russia.
“‘We’re Zelenskyy Democrats. And they’re Putin Republicans’ would be my bumper sticker,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), said in an interview. Indeed, Democrats have been desperately trying to deflect blame from Biden for the Russian invasion in the first place. A CAPS/Harris poll decisively showed that 62 percent of the American people, including 38 percent of Democrats, believe Russia wouldn’t even have invaded Ukraine if Donald Trump were president.
So the Ukraine tar baby has stuck to the Democrats and they are trying to blame Trump and the Republicans for an invasion that Biden invited with his weakness.
As the polls show, the difference between the two parties on the Ukraine issue is negligible — except for the difference between the parties on what would have happened if Trump were president.
Biden’s reluctance to more forcefully combat Republican attacks reflects both a fear that the situation in Ukraine could escalate further and an effort — at least for now — to minimize the creep of domestic politics in delicate matters of foreign affairs. Republicans have been less concerned about dragging Biden’s decisions squarely into the political arena.
Now that you’ve stopped laughing, I can point out that Democrats not only politicized foreign policy, they immediately politicized a national health emergency, which had repercussions we’re feeling to this day.
White House officials have placed the spotlight on the president’s efforts at diplomacy and the resulting squeeze on Putin and Russian oligarchs. For more than a week, Biden’s aides and allies have pointed to the diverse array of statements supporting his approach and actions — including several from Republicans. But they’re gradually joining with Democratic leaders in condemning Trump and Republicans for being out of step with the coordinated global response.
“There’s been wide bipartisan support for the president’s actions, but sadly some fringe Republicans are using this as an opportunity to try to score political points,” said Mike Gwin, a White House spokesperson. “Unfortunately for them, from President Trump on down, they can’t seem to decide day-to-day which side they’re on, or whether Putin is a ‘genius’ after all.”
In fact, Trump belatedly condemned the invasion. It’s just that the media doesn’t want to mention it because it’s so much more politically effective to pretend that Trump’s on Putin’s side.
And why condemn the entire Republican Party for what some “fringe Republicans” are saying? It’s counterintuitive to try and tie the 80 percent of Republicans who oppose Putin to the less than 20 percent who do.
Neither party has covered itself in glory when it comes to Ukraine. And that’s because the Ukrainian government is a corrupt oligarchy, as shown by Hunter Biden’s dalliances in Ukraine’s business sector. But if Biden wants to go after Republicans on the war, bring it on. There are enough witnesses in the military and diplomatic sphere to testify to Biden’s utter weakness in confronting Putin to make that argument moot.