Predictable Band Of Wingnuts Continue to Oppose Aid To Ukraine
First, never trust someone with two first names, like Rand Paul or John Wayne or Benedict Arnold or Marie Antoinette or Klaus Barbie or Anita Bryant or Robert E. Lee or James Earl Ray or Clarence Thomas or George Wallace.
Especially, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,who has made a name for himself as one of a bunch of congressional contrarians.
One would think. Last Thursday, Paul objected to a Senate vote to give $39.8 billion in economic, humanitarian and defense aid assistance for Ukraine and Paul’s objection delayed passage of the bill and dampened a generally, bipartisan push to maintain steady aid to Kyiv.
At a time when Ukraine has captured the hearts and support of most of the civilized world, while Russia continues to batter the country, bombing schools and other civilian sites, Paul got in the way of quickly supporting more assistance for Ukraine. What a guy and what about the children who are dying from Russian air strikes.
While he said he sympathizes with the Ukrainian people, Paul said the U.S. “cannot continue to spend money we don’t have” because doing so is “threatening our own national security.” Paul said he wanted more oversight over the funding, something the White House says already exists.
No thanks to Paul, the bill eventually passed in the House this week as President Biden works to head off delays in funding to Ukraine as Kyiv’s forces clash with the Russian military in the country’s east and south. The vote was 368 to 57 and every nay vote was a Republican.
Last month, Paul said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that U.S. support for Ukraine to join NATO contributed to Russia’s decision to invade. The comment reflected Russian talking points.
One would think there would be unanimous support in Congress to support Ukraine’s battle against the onslaught of Russia. Congress has generally responded in a bi-partisan way to aiding Ukraine. That would be generally because there have been a series of efforts that a small GOP cartel has opposed.
The rift over opposing Putin was jump-started shortly after the invasion when ex-president trump called Putin a “genius” and bragged about his close relationship with the Russian dictator. Pouring gasoline on the fire was that QAnon-loving, capitol gang supporting, Republican wingnut from Georgia, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Here is one of Greene’s weirder comments about the war in Ukraine.
“You see Ukraine just kept poking the bear, poking the bear, which is Russia, and Russia invaded. And the hard truth is … there is no win for Ukraine here. Russia is being very successful in their invasion,” tweeted Green on March 22.
The next day, Greene had more choice comments. While speaking at the Paulding County town hall meeting, in Hiram, Ga., she said she agreed with fellow southern crackpot, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., who said that the government of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was “corrupt.” Cawthorn also blasted the Ukrainian leader as a “thug” during his own town hall several weeks ago.
Most recently, the House voted on the Russia and Belarus Financial Sanctions Act, which mandates that entities owned by U.S. financial institutions can’t circumvent the sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Russia and Belarus. The vote passed, passed 418 to 2, with the only negative votes made by Greene and Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who completed a master’s of science degree with his thesis “Initial haptic explorations with the phantom: virtual touch through point interaction.” Massie, a close friend of fellow Blue Grass State lawmaker, Paul, was probably too busy reading up on haptic explorations and didn’t keep up with the war in Ukraine.
Among his other actions in Congress, in 2017, Massie introduced a bill to abolish the U.S. Department of Education and co-sponsored a bill to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. He was the only House member to vote against sanctions on North Korea in May 2017 and has said there is no scientific basis for climate change. In July 2020, Massie argued against face mask mandates and compulsory vaccinations and was called anti-Semitic after comparing vaccine mandates to the Holocaust.
The next vote up at the Capitol was the recent Ukraine Comprehensive Debt Payment Relief Act, which calls for the suspension of Ukrainian debt payments during the war. It passed 362 to 56 and all those against the bill were Republicans. There are too many of the opposition to name but many have become household names for their nut job claims, including Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.; Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.; Cawthorn; Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga.; Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.; Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.; Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; Rep. Barry Moore, R-Ala.; Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.; and Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J.
And of course, Greene.
If you want to know one of the threads that link this gang of Putiinians, just Google the 2020 presidential election when each supported trump’s utterly nonsensical claims of voter fraud.
A third recent bill related to the war was the Isolate Russian Government Officials Act, to exclude Russian officials from international gatherings such as G-20 summits. It passed 416 to 2. The dissenters, you can guess, the honorable Greene and Massey.
The last of the bills to aid Ukraine was the Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act, which would block Russia’s and Belarus’ access to International Monetary Fund tools. It passed 417 to 2 — and both of its opponents were those Republican darlings, that comedy team of Greene and Massie.
The efforts to isolate Russia in the world began to gather steam in March when the House voted overwhelmingly to ban oil imports from Russia. A total of 15 House Republicans opposed the measure. A week earlier, the House passed a non-binding resolution in support of Ukrainians, which three Republicans opposed, Gosar, Massie and Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont.
Rosendale, a Realtor, was elected in 2019 with endorsements from trump, Paul, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, along with the endorsement of the Crow Tribe of Montana. In June 2021, Rosendale was among 21 House Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to police officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
In March, the House voted 424 to 8 to suspend normal trade relations with Russia. The bill revoked Russia’s “most favored nation” status in the World Trade Organization, making it possible for President Biden to introduce higher tariffs on Russian goods such as steel, aluminum and plywood. The gang of eight included Biggs, Boebert, Gaetz, Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis. and Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.
And of course, Greene and Massie.
In October 2016, Grothman was featured in the “People Who Somehow Got Elected” segment on HBO’s program “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver.
Before his election to Congress, Roy was chief of staff for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. During Cruz’s presidential campaign, Roy tweeted that trump supports Planned Parenthood “which kills babies and puts them in a freezer, government funding of healthcare and Palestine.” His opinion of trump apparently changed as more than 100 text messages gathered by the January 6th Commission revealed the coordination by Roy and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, with trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to overturn trump’s defeat in the 2020 election.
Roy, Andrew Clyde and Massie also were the only House members to vote against The Emmett Till Anti-lynching Act, which was approved in Congress.
Last month, the House passed a bill directing the Biden administration to collect evidence of Russian war crimes and six Republicans opposed the measure, including Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, Biggs, Gosar and Perry.
Massie and Greene also it the “no” button.
Davidson objected to the certification of electors in the 2020 presidential election, alleging widespread voter fraud. He also generated criticism in January when he compared a Washington, D.C. city ordinance requiring display of photo identification and proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter businesses to the Holocaust.
In late April, the House passed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, and 10 GOP members voted no, including Biggs, Gaetz, Rep. Bishop, R-N.C., Rep. Davidson, R-Ohio, Rep. Norman, R-S.C. and Rep. Tiffany, R-Wis.
And needless to say, Greene and Massie.