House Democratic Leaders Are To Blame for Ukraine’s Predicament

When a small gang of extreme Republicans undertook the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last year, we wrote at the time that the refusal of Democrats to aid in keeping McCarthy in his seat was foolhardy. Despite the contempt that Democrats felt about McCarthy, we noted that he was better than any likely replacement from the GOP. McCarthy had negotiated a debt ceiling increase and a budget with President Biden, and he was a staunch supporter of Ukraine.

As we wrote at the time, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.”

However, the Democrats took the bait and sided with the small band of extremists to oust McCarthy. Instead of being the adults in the room, the new Democratic House leadership decided instead to sit back smugly and watch the spectacle, no doubt figuring that the GOP’s self-destruction would be advantageous politically.

But it is obvious now that the Democrats severely miscalculated. McCarthy has come and gone and Mike Johnson, an evangelical right-winger, is the new House Speaker. The chaos surrounding McCarthy’s final days is long-forgotten and the new reality is that Johnson represents an even more-extreme form of Republicanism than before. Most significantly, Johnson has refused to take up the bill that was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate to provide additional military aid to Ukraine.

For Americans who have been alarmed by Vladimir Putin’s assault on freedom, this has been a very depressing week. First came word that Putin ‘s main political adversary, Alexei Navalny, had died in a Siberian gulag under still-unknown circumstances. A few days later, the Ukrainian army had to abandon its position in a key city because of a lack of ammunition thanks to the failure of the U.S. to deliver military assistance.

But what is most-depressing is that it is becoming increasingly clear that Putin has outfoxed American leaders in the White House and in the Congress. To use a common metaphor, Putin has been playing three-dimensional chess and our petty and ineffectual leaders, especially the Democrats, have been playing checkers.

Putin understands American politics better than our own leaders, especially the Democrats, who obviously are clueless. The Democrats thought they were scoring political points when they abetted in McCarthy’s downfall, but in reality, they fell into a trap, with the result that they have become nothing more than the useful idiots of the 21st century.

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