House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently signaled to his far right base that the Republican Party will abandon Ukraine as soon as Republicans take control of Congress. This move will once again align his party with the subservient position that Trump maintained with the Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin. A Republican victory will fully surrender U.S. principles and interests to the recent sabotage of the global economy orchestrated by Moscow and the psychopathic ruler of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS). The Moscow-Riyadh Axis will surely appreciate this Republican victory and continue to manipulate oil prices so as to best benefit its proxies in the GOP. The Republican victory will then open the doors for Putin to complete his genocide in the Ukraine as well as to continue his efforts to support the destruction of the republic he co-sponsored on January 6.
In the same way that Republicans tacitly and often actively supported Adolf Hitler in the years leading to the outbreak of World War II, so the GOP is sanctioning and supporting Putin in his attempted conquest of Ukraine. The open and uncritical embrace of Putin’s leading European toady, the Hungarian dictator Viktor Orban, by such key Republican institutions as FOX News and CPAC, indicates the superficial nature of support for Ukraine among on the Right in the US. No Republican spoke out against Orban after he advocated diminishing military aid to Ukraine and openly opposed the NATO sanctions regime against Putin. While the Russian dictator pummels major civilian populations in Ukraine with Iranian drones, Republican leaders are pondering curtailing military support to Ukraine. In 2022, the Republicans are driving us to the Munich moment for our generation.
If the world under failed US leadership surrenders Ukraine to Putin, the Russian leader will emerge with far greater economic, military, and political power than any Russian ruler in history. A Russian victory in Ukraine will put it fully in charge of the overland commerce between Europe and Asia. It will also give Moscow control over the gas pipelines that connect Central Asia to Europe. Additionally, control of Ukrainian territory will enhance the ability of Putin to leverage power in the Eastern Mediterranean in collusion with its allies in Hungary and Serbia. Trump already abandoned Syria, where Russia has its largest Mediterranean port, to Putin. The emerging ties to MBS further enhance Russia’s power in the Middle East. A large fleet of Russian warships in the Black Sea will leverage its capacity to assert influence over all traffic that passes through the Suez Canal. These facts are obvious to anyone who ever had a decent high school history course. So why are Republicans not sounding alarm bells over what is happening in Ukraine?
The simplest and most concise answer is that they remain the Party of Trump. Republicans have avoided examining the role Russia has played in the rise of Trump in U.S. politics. They continue to disparage the findings of the Mueller Investigation that fully documented the expansive efforts to promote the Trump campaign by the Kremlin. Republicans were not the least bit interested in investigating the 170 contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian nationals. Nor was the GOP concerned with what Russian intelligence did with the Republican polling data that Trump’s campaign manager “gifted” to Oleg Deripaska, one of the oligarchs closest to Putin. Republicans, moreover, have purposely ignored the massive flows of “dark money” emanating from Russia and flowing into the coffers of various Republican politicians and institutions. Finally, Republicans have totally disregarded the role of Russian disinformation campaigns that inundate social media and promote the ludicrous conspiracies that have been the stock-in-trade of QAnon followers and the emerging “leadership” of the Republican Party that QAnon has excreted.
Trump’s initial reaction to the Russian attack on Ukraine was revealing. After calling Putin’s aggression and annexation “genius” the day after the invasion, he quickly retracted the characteristically sycophantic endorsement so as to avoid forcing any Republicans from having to speak out against their leader publicly. Trump and his party have subsequently had little to say on the Ukraine crisis and remain utterly silent when Putin fawns like Tucker Carlson, Elon Musk and Victor Orban urge Ukrainian surrender. One thing that will never be covered on Trump TV is the deliberate role that Putin and MBS have played in generating global inflation.
Putin has deliberately undermined the global economy so as to test the resolve of Western democracies in their support for Ukraine. The recent decision of Putin and MBS to curtail the supply of oil in the midst of the current inflation crisis should provide a clear signal to everyone that both are heavily invested in a Republican midterm victory. This collusion between the butcher of Kiev and the nation that sponsored 9/11 should surprise no one. It was, after all, Putin who was the first in line to embrace MBS after the gruesome murder and dismemberment of Jamaal Khashoggi in October of 2018. MBS’ investment in a Republican victory is quite literal, after rendering a $2 billion loan to Jared Kushner and a $1 billion loan to Steven Mnuchin.
Putin’s strategy appears to be working. The pain of inflation has already contributed to the rise of far right movements in various Western European countries. Putin is surely excited about the crisis in US politics that will emerge when the party of the Big Lie further immerses the US in crisis upon their possible victory in the November midterms.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media (MSM) appears more than willing to echo Russian disinformation by attributing inflation to policies of the Biden Administration. Rarely does one hear in the MSM that the current bout of inflation is global and that by global measures the U.S. has fared comparatively well. Additionally, little commentary is given to the fact that the US dollar is extremely strong in global currency markets indicating that the world has trust in the US economy even as its corporate shills in the media and in politics do not. Anyone who recently witnessed the Liz Truss fiasco in the UK should realize that there is no “conservative” solution to the current inflationary spiral. The talking heads of the MSM tediously analyze the irrelevant policies of the Federal Reserve Bank, as if there is a monetary solution to the deliberately manipulated oil prices.
The Republicans have no real answer to inflation that does not involve absolute surrender to Putin, MBS, and the global oil industry. The “cost push” inflation we are currently experiencing has again revealed how the price of virtually all goods and most services depends upon the price of oil. As they did in the 1970s, the fossil fuel industry has colluded with OPEC to generate profits at the expense of the American consumer. The major oil producers have hitched their wagons to the Republican Party because they know that the GOP will not concern themselves with windfall profits or promote any programs that might resort to more environmentally friendly sources of energy.
Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first Secretary of State, prefigured the perverse situation we find ourselves in. As CEO of ExxonMobil, close collaborator with Putin in his consolidation of power in Russia, and opponent of sanctions against Russia when it first invaded Ukraine in 2014, Tillerson embodied the clear affinity between the oil industry, Russia, and the Saudi regime. In a choice between Exxon profits and American principles, Tillerson would always choose the former. Tillerson’s successor, Mike Pompeo, would draw the US even closer to the Moscow-Riyadh Axis.
In the perverse world of the American plutocracy, the profits from fossil fuels are fully private but the costs of the environmental destruction the oil industry causes falls on society at large. The three-part PBS Frontline series, The Power of Big Oil, documented how the oil industry has known for 50 years the destructive consequences of our fossil fuel addiction. Big oil not only hid these facts from the public, but it also engaged a campaign of disinformation in order to ensure their contrived profits. The core message of the oil industry and its lackeys in politics is, “Don’t look up!” The question in these midterms is whether the public will sacrifice democracy in exchange for a momentary relief at the gas pump and a continued denial of climate change. It is hard to be optimistic.
The Democrats have not effectively communicated to the public the role of Putin and MBS in the current inflationary spike. Perhaps they are afraid they will offend “moderate” Republicans and Joe Manchin by pointing out the system’s financial dependence on Big Oil and, by extension, Putin. That ship, though, has already sailed.
When Kevin McCarthy put Ukraine aid on the chopping block, it was an admission that Putin via Trump is still the controlling force in the Republican Party. It was an admission that the pro-Putin elements in the Party such as Marjorie Taylor Green, now define it. The global far right has fully embraced the Christian Nationalist agenda of Putin, even as it might wish to distance itself from the person of Putin. They all share a contempt for immigrants, gays, liberals, independent women, and anyone who does not share their distorted vision of Jesus Christ. Like Putin, moreover, they feel a divine mandate to destroy anyone who does not share their point of view. Hence the constant resort to violence within the spirit of “Gott mit uns.”
In the aftermath of McCarthy’s threat to abandon Ukraine, Senate Minority Leader Kevin McConnel attempted to reassure the public that a Republican Congress would remain fully committed to supporting Ukraine. He is either lying or deluded. McConnell does not lead. He follows the same forces that fund and form the Republican Party. He is a wart on the ass of Trump in the same way that Trump is a wart on the ass of Putin. He worked as hard as anyone to sweep the Mueller Report’s findings of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections under the rug. He then refused to hold Trump accountable for the high crime of attempting to extort Volodymyr Zelensky in his effort to defend Ukraine against Putin. In 2019, McConnell led the opposition to sanctions against Russian oligarchs in exchange for Oleg Deripaska’s promise to invest in Kentucky’s economy. This deal, with the same man through whom Paul Manafort had funneled Republican polling data, earned McConnel the apt nickname, “Moscow Mitch.” McConnell has since refused to do anything to hold his party and its real leader accountable for the assassination attempt on the republic that occurred on January 6. McConnell has had many opportunities to follow the lead of Liz Cheney, but has not. As always, McConnell will fall in line behind Trump and Putin. Tacit or explicit support for Putin, however, is not a purely Republican problem.
The Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party released a baffling letter to President Biden that attempted to prod him into negotiations with Moscow. The letter did not specify what was to be negotiated. Biden’s State Department immediately castigated these Democrats. First, the State Department noted that Russia has not sought a negotiated settlement. Second, and more significantly, the Biden Administration adamantly asserted that the only things to negotiate is the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, the full restoration of annexed lands including Crimea, and the nature of the reparations that Russia should incur as the result of damage they inflicted on Ukraine in this act of state terrorism.
A univocal response from the vast bulk of the Democratic Party forced the Progressive Caucus to immediately withdraw their letter in humiliation. In castigating its noncompliant members so effectively, the Democrats have made it abundantly clear to the rest of the world and to Putin that support for Ukraine by the Democrats is unequivocal. There will not be many naïve pacifists celebrating the Republican incarnations of Neville Chamberlain should they offer the Donbas to Russia in exchange for “peace in our time.”
The Dems appear to have learned something from the past. The Republicans have not. Let us hope that the Donbas does not become the Sudetenland of our era. A vote for Republicans in the midterms is a vote for Putin. It is up to the American public to avert the mistakes of September 30, 1938.
3 thoughts on “Putin Is on The November Ballot”
If you support Ukraine why do you speak badly about half of the USA when Ukraine needs ALL the USA for support? Do you think American Republicans are more likely to support Ukraine after reading your article, or less? Ask your crystal ball.
I do not need a crystal ball to answer your question, just a brain and a soul. Only yesterday (10/27), Putin gave a speech designed to appeal to that 70% of the Republican Party that believes Joe Biden stole the election in collusion with the ghost of Hugo Chavez. While a number of Republicans have made commendable statements in support of Ukraine, the disturbing declaration by Kevin McCarthy precipitated my article.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party is now defined by Donald Trump. Nothing would make me happier than if Trump condemned Putin for the invasion, demanded the immediate withdrawal of all Russian troops, called for the full restitution of annexed Ukrainian territory, and ordered full restitution for the damage Putin has inflicted. That will not happen, however, because a servant does not challenge his master. While I wait for Trump to make such a statement as the unquestioned leader of the Republican Party, I will continue to work on my project of genetically engineering a pig with wings.