Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor denouncing hard right Republicans siding with Vladimir Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
On the same day a Russian aircraft intercepted and forced down a U.S. surveillance drone in the Black Sea, it was troubling to hear some on the hard right not condemn Putin so much as excuse him. The hard right, excusing Putin, not even daring to condemn him.
One Republican governor, in particular, said yesterday that defending Ukraine and opposing Putin is not a vital national interest. He called Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of another sovereign democracy a “territorial dispute.” He basically thinks the U.S. is wrong to support Ukraine as they fight and die to protect their democracy. And he’s certainly not alone in thinking that in the hard right.
I have to wonder what he would have thought if he was around in the 1930s. We know that happened then, when many refused to stand up to aggression. A world war resulted.
Sadly, these remarks are not unique within the GOP. For years, an isolationist fever has been surging within the hard right, propagated night after night on networks like Fox News. The hard right’s isolationism is dangerous, it is un-American, undemocratic, and it is woefully blind to the lessons of history.
It’s ironic that many on the hard right, which historically opposed communism and authoritarianism, now openly flirt with autocrats like Putin. These MAGA isolationists are making America less safe, they are making our troops less safe, and they are severely undermining American leadership on the world stage.
The desire to excuse and validate Putin’s goals is just one of the many terrible legacies of Donald Trump, and it’s as good a reason as any why he—and those who think like him—should never, never, never come near the Oval Office ever again.