With Ukraine War, Republicans Suddenly Put Religion Over Democracy

U.S. Representative Scott Perry, (R-PA-10), speaking at a Capitol press conference last summer (C-Span screenshot)

Some attempts to violently overthrow democratically elected governments have hit differently, it seems

[Editor’s note: For a somewhat different take on this same subject, check out this morning’s edition of the NC Policy Watch Weekly Briefing.]

U.S. Representative Scott Perry, who once advised President Donald Trump’s White House to undermine the 2020 election results, and who was a target of the U.S. House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill American, has now found a democracy worth fighting for.

It’s in Kyiv.

Take to Twitter on SundayPerry, R-10th District, one of seven Pennsylvania Republicans who have asked the US Supreme Court to overturn election results in his home state, has denounced Russian strongman Vladimir Putin as a “murderous thug” who “targets civilians”. [and] committing war crimes” as his forces attempt to tear apart the Eastern European nation.

“Congress must stand united in demanding [Putin] and his rogue regime are brought to justice,” thundered Perry, a veteran, who played a “key role” in Trump’s abortive plot two years ago to oust his acting attorney general and replace him with another. more sympathetic to Trump without facts and debunked. claims the 2020 election was stolen from him.

Perry is not alone, of course.

Other Republicans, seemingly immune to the epic cognitive dissonance it takes to simultaneously condemn Russia and stand in solidarity with Ukraine, even as they remain members of a political party that rejects the Capitol sacking as an exercise in “legitimate political discourse”, also courageously and without irony enter the breach.

Take U.S. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, for example.

During a recent appearance on Fox & Friends, the top House Republican slammed President Joe Biden for dragging his feet on military assistance to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government, according to Rolling Stone.

“The challenge we have is that these are the actions that we could have done before on the part of this administration to make sure today doesn’t happen,” McCarthy told the network, according to Rolling Stone. “We could have supplied the weapons to Ukraine. They’re not asking for American troops, they’re just asking for the ability to fight.

McCarthy also noted that Ukraine was “outclassed” by Russia and said “we could have prevented that from happening,” Rolling Stone reported.

McCarthy had no such reservations about Trump, however, as journalist Aaron Rupar notes. The House GOP leader, who worked diligently to purge his conference of all Trump apostates, ‘strongly opposed impeaching Trump for using military aid [sic] to extort Ukraine,” Rupar recently observed on Twitter.

It’s safe to say that Republicans who embraced Trump and looked the other way for his warm embrace of the “murderous thug” in Moscow whose regime meddled in the 2016 election now face a credibility gap. as wide as the Volga towards which they rush to get on the right side of history.

And something will have to be done. In a Fox News poll released last month, before the Russian invasion, more Republicans had a negative opinion of Biden than Putin, The Guardian reported. And if their current contortions weren’t so realistic, they could almost be fun.

“It’s clear there’s a bipartisan consensus in the House and Senate to support Ukraine with guns and impose even tougher sanctions on Putin,” Perry’s Pennsylvania Republican, U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser, said. , of the 9th district of northern Pennsylvania. wrote on Twitter after joining a bipartisan call with Zelenskyy last weekend.

Now let’s rewind a year.

Hours after the murderous horde stormed the Capitol in January 2021, Meuser still joined seven of his home state GOP colleagues in opposing Pennsylvania’s election results. And, much like his fellow Republicans who all won reelection under the same ground rules, Meuser did not challenge the legitimacy of his own contest.

Some attempts to violently overthrow democratically elected governments have simply struck differently, it seems.

Despite his own declining polls, Biden got a small bounce off his State of the Union address, which featured tough talk on Russia and ardent support for Ukraine. Voters narrowly approve of Biden’s handling of the growing crisis, 46-42%, in a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll.

That might not be enough to save Biden and his fellow Democrats as they try to cling on to the House and Senate this fall. But they can spend every minute between now and November reminding voters that, when it counts, the GOP in Congress misses the mark when it’s their turn to defend democracy at home.

John Micek is the editor of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, which first published this essay.

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