Despite Donald Trump facing a possible indictment in New York, Ron DeSantis somehow continues to find himself at the center of the universe. Everyone wants a piece of the Florida man, which probably means he’s over the target.
Trump’s recent attacks belayed a sense of unseriousness about the weaponization of government he himself is facing, but there’s another wing of the Republican Party that is furious at the Republican governor. I’m talking about the neoconservatives, and they’ve been seething ever since DeSantis dared suggest that further entanglement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict is not a “vital” national interest.
Here’s what I wrote in response to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s overwrought criticisms.
Graham has never shown an ounce of introspection about his immoral, deadly decisions. He was gung-ho for “regime change” no matter what because he’s a simpleton who treats foreign policy like a scrap in a schoolyard. Back in the real world, there are unintended consequences to every move made, and if those aren’t properly analyzed, lots of innocent people die for very little gain.
In other words, Graham can kindly go jump in a lake with his moralizing over Ukraine. DeSantis did not call to allow Russia to take over the Eastern European nation. All he did was suggest that the current conflict, which has devolved into a dispute of regions fought over since 2014 was not a vital national interest, and he’s right. At some point, the United States must decide what the end game is because that end game is not likely to result in Ukraine retaking Crimea.
Days later, it seemed as if things had died down. Perhaps the neoconservatives had gotten it out of their system, having been thoroughly rebuked by the vast majority of Republicans? My hopes were dashed on Tuesday, though, when Sen. John Cornyn decided to play slurping simp for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to take yet another shot at DeSantis.
Zelensky has an answer for DeSantis:
"Ukrainian President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY “didn’t want to appeal to the hearts of Americans, in other words, but to their heads. … [T]his was his answer: Help us fight them here, help us defeat them here, and you won’t have to fight them…
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) March 21, 2023
What an absolutely ridiculous thing for a top Republican in the US Senate to do. To use the words of a foreign leader to attack one of the most effective conservatives in the country is just an astonishing breach of party decorum. And I levy that critique before we’ve even gotten to the actual content of the message, and rest assured, there’s a lot to say on that as well.
Let me help Cornyn out on why this is so stupid. Zelensky, whatever one may think of him, is a foreign leader, not a US politician. He’s certainly not Republican-leaning given he spends most of his time praising the Biden administration while pretending Sen. Mitch McConnell and Cornyn don’t exist. Still, a few pathetic GOP senators constantly pursue Zelensky’s attention, desperately seeking his adoration like a pre-teen girl attending a One Direction concert.
It’s dumb for Cornyn to misrepresent DeSantis’ statement, but to take the words of a foreign leader to launch a new attack a week later is insane. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
As to the content of Zelensky’s message, it’s manipulative at best. Russia is not going to invade the United States. Putin isn’t even going to invade NATO nations in Europe, and whether some like it or not, the Ukraine-Russia conflict is a regional conflict. It is not a fight for global democracy. It is not a fight to prevent the next world war. We will not have to fight the Russians no matter what the outcome is in Ukraine’s eastern territories.
As I’ve said before, the primary interest of the United States in funding Zelensky’s war machine is that it’s a really cheap way (in the grand scheme of things) to degrade Russian military capabilities. To that extent, one can easily argue in favor of continuing aid. But this neoconservative “fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here” tripe grew thin decades ago. That Zelensky is repeating it and Cornyn is amplifying it is bad enough. That it’s being used to attack DeSantis, a US governor with no role in foreign policy, makes the situation even worse.
Cornyn’s swipe wasn’t taken well, at least. He’s getting ratioed to the moon, and it’s well-deserved. Do not use foreign officials to attack your own party members. It’s not complicated, and that so many Republicans seem to value the affirmation of Zelensky over their own constituents is a problem that needs to be dealt with.