Will a GOP House Majority Put the Brakes on Ukraine Escalation? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Will a GOP House Majority Put the Brakes on Ukraine Escalation?
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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks about Russian “atrocities” in Ukraine, April 10, 2022 (Fox News/YouTube)

It’s a distinct possibility, though there are too many variables to predict it, that if the Republicans take the House there will be some sort of conclusion to the war in Ukraine.

This column has called for just that. Not in a shameful betrayal of the freedom-loving people who’ve fought by our side, like, for example, what the Democrats did to the South Vietnamese after an honorable peace was reached in Paris, but rather in a way that preserves our interests and keeps Joe Biden’s much-ballyhooed nuclear Armageddon away.

It doesn’t seem that Team Biden is very interested in such a peace. It’s not in evidence that the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill is committed to it, either. But a statement made Wednesday by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is likely three weeks away from being the House speaker–elect, might indicate that it’s more possible than it was a few days ago:

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy warned Tuesday that Republicans will not write a “blank check” for Ukraine if they win back the House majority, reflecting his party’s growing skepticism about financial support for Kyiv as it battles Russia’s invasion.

“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” McCarthy told Punchbowl News. “They just won’t do it. … It’s not a free blank check.”

The comments from McCarthy, who is in line to become speaker if Republicans win the House, raised fresh questions about the resiliency of America’s support for Ukraine as a growing number of Republicans, particularly those aligned with Donald Trump’s “America First” approach, question the need for federal spending abroad at a time of record-high inflation at home.

Since Russia launched its invasion in February, Congress has approved tens of billions in emergency security and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, while the Biden administration has shipped billions worth of weapons and equipment from military inventories.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sidestepped Tuesday afternoon when asked about McCarthy’s comments. She instead thanked congressional leaders for bipartisan work to “support Ukraine to defend itself from Russia’s war crimes and atrocities.”

“We will continue to work with Congress and continue to monitor those conversations on these efforts and support Ukraine as long as it takes,” she said. “We are going to keep that promise that we’re making to the brave Ukrainians who are fighting every day, to fight for their freedom and their democracy.”

We’ve unloaded more money this year on Ukraine, with fewer controls on that outlay, than we spend on our crumbling highway infrastructure. And we’ve spent that money at a time when prices of everything are skyrocketing — and our own military is, by its own estimation, eminently likely to lose the next significant war it fights (we’ve already lost an “insignificant” — if you’ll forgive the dismissive tone of such a characterization — war in Afghanistan thanks to poor leadership over 20 years). Ukraine, a country that has strategic value to American national interests only with respect to its status as a laundromat for our governmental elite, is hardly a place worthy of nuclear, or even conventional, brinksmanship.

That’s not just my judgment. Go look at those polls the various organizations are taking of the American people and see where Ukraine ranks compared to, for example, the border, inflation, and crime in our streets. It might be a top-tier issue for Team Biden and the rest of our ruling elite, but it sure doesn’t play in Peoria.

The interesting thing is, were the Ukraine war to end right now, we could claim it as a success — in that our efforts have preserved the territorial integrity, for the most part if nothing else, of Ukraine and that they’ve cut the vaunted Russian army to ribbons using, essentially, 25-year-old surplus gear. As proxy wars go, this has been a nice winner, if an expensive one.

Of course, anyone who thinks it needed to cost us more than $60 billion to accomplish what’s been accomplished is an utter moron. Don’t be shocked to see blowback on a monster scale if and when the weapons our tax dollars bought, which were subsequently resold to God-knows-whom, are inevitably brought to bear … somewhere.

Not to mention the ever-turning drums at the laundromat wringing out comfortable retirements for well-connected Beltway denizens of various stripes.

How much faith do we put in McCarthy as a bringer of peace to Ukraine? I’m certainly not suggesting much. But it does appear that his ascension as House speaker would signify some accountability and rationality to the taxpayer-funded bacchanal of escalation that Team Biden is bent on.

Perhaps more aid to the Ukrainians is warranted. Perhaps there is no peace to be had there … yet.

But taking away Team Biden’s limitless credit card where Ukraine is concerned is something long overdue. And without it, maybe, just maybe, the administration might be motivated to sit down with the Russians and craft a peace that serves our interests and keeps our cities from glowing in the dark for reasons not involving a functional power grid.

That we can no longer take that last piece for granted, in all the possible interpretations, is damage enough. Vote Republican on Nov. 8.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and RVIVR.com, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at Amazon.com. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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