February 6, 2015
Last year I surveyed Senator John McCain’s rhetoric and concluded that the Arizona senator wanted the American military to be involved in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, and Ukraine. This, I concluded, was sufficient evidence to question his sanity.
Now McCain is doubling down on the Ukrainian end of that list. President Obama seems less than eager to embroil us in a ground war with Russia, and McCain isn’t happy:
U.S. lawmakers will write legislation requiring the United States to send arms to Ukraine if President Barack Obamadoes not move to send weapons, Republican Senator John McCain said on Thursday.
McCain led about a dozen Republican and Democratic senators at a news conference in pressing Obama to send arms to help Kiev defend itself against a Russian-backed separatist movement.
Unless the president’s hawkish foreign policy advisors are wheedling him more than we think, Obama would never sign such a bill. But McCain could still have leverage here. Remember, the House passed a measure allowing the president to arm the Syrian rebels as an amendment attached to a spending bill. There’s a host of legislation to which McCain could tie a similar resolution arming the Ukrainian government—creating a serious dilemma for the president.
But won’t the Senate’s Democratic minority throw up a good, old-fashioned, congressional roadblock? Come on, we know Democrats are too useless for that:
In an unusual display of bipartisan agreement, McCain was joined at the press conference by the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).
Of course there’s always liberals in the House of Representa…yeah, who are we kidding:
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member on the House Intelligence committee, was the lead signatory on the letter. He was joined by more than 30 Republicans and Democrats.
Four years ago, during a time of unprecedented debt and government overreach, Republicans and Democrats couldn’t agree on $15 billion to cut out of the federal budget. But when it comes to—apologies to the cliché-averse—poking the bear and restarting the Cold War with Russia, Washington thaws with the warm bonhomie of bipartisanship.
And make no mistake: this would be a return to the paradigm of the Cold War, when the United States used its funding to fight proxy battles against Russia. Only back then Russia was the Soviet Union and its Marxist rebellions were mowing their way across three continents. Today Vladimir Putin has invaded Crimea and lent cloak-and-dagger support to rebels in eastern Ukraine—grievous sins against the international order, to be sure, but hardly worth a reset with Russian relations back to the 1980s.
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