Pondering individuals amongst us wish to consider Vladimir Putin’s brutal, bloody invasion of Ukraine would possibly unite our American leaders irrespective of the colour of their get together banners.
However we already see that the type of joined-at-the-hip steadiness our legislators adopted after 11th of September is elusive if not inconceivable in at the moment’s fractured physique politic. As President Joe Biden urges NATO to carry a united entrance, we’re not doing the identical right here at dwelling.
Look no additional than the Tennessee and Georgia delegations of the U.S. Senate and U.S. Home of Representatives.
In equity to our majority Republican lawmakers, most of them steered away from the previous man’s atta-boy to Putin. Donald Trump, ever the Putin champion, referred to as him “savvy” for his opening salvo to a renewed chilly struggle and doable prelude to World Struggle III.
Because the Atlanta Journal-Structure’s Patricia Murphy put it this week, “Politicians’ reactions in a disaster can typically inform you greater than you may study in a whole marketing campaign. Are they critical? Are they substantive? Are they targeted on their nation, their get together, or themselves? Is that this individual as much as the job they’ve or say they need?”
She answered her personal questions by noting Georgia leaders’ reactions to the information out of Ukraine “ranged from sober and accountable to worrisome and even reprehensible.” We should say the identical about Tennessee officers.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp took the excessive street by Murphy’s estimation to “set the tone, particularly in Georgia, that Putin is the enemy on this situation, not President Joe Biden.”
Kemp’s Republican major challenger, former Georgia Sen. David Perdue, took the low street, saying on the radio that Biden was weak. “This would not have occurred with Donald Trump as president,” stated Perdue, who has been endorsed by the previous man.
Tennessee’s Gov. Invoice Lee hasn’t made a peep that we have heard or seen. Which, frankly, might be for the perfect.
Georgia’s different politicians, as tallied by Murphy, have introduced a combined bag. The Peach State’s two senators, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, each Democrats, every spoke out to strongly condemn Putin and assist sanctions towards Russia.
Tennessee’s Republican senators, Invoice Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn, had been much less dependable. They rebuked Putin’s try and, as Blackburn put it, “rebuild the outdated Soviet Union.” However to learn their statements and tweets, you’d assume Biden is also an enemy.
“President Biden’s technique to stop this invasion has failed … [T]he Biden Administration selected to do nothing till it was too late and should now change course,” Hagerty wrote.
Blackburn provided prayers for the individuals of Ukraine and wrote “Biden should stand as much as Putin and instantly levy extreme sanctions … “
Georgia’s southernmost Home member, U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, a Republican from Pooler close to Savannah, referred to as Putin “the enemy of freedom,” and requested Biden to satisfy his obligation as commander in chief, including: “Congress stands on the able to assist.” That is essential, Murphy famous, as Carter has disagreed with Biden previously.
Then there may be Georgia’s northernmost Home member in our neck of the woods, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Inexperienced, R-Rome, who mimicked Trump’s large deceive a Georgia crowd even because the invasion started, “This may by no means have occurred if the election weren’t rigged.”
After which, Greene wrote, “Every part occurring to the poor individuals of Ukraine is a direct results of a WEAK America underneath the WEAK management of Joe Biden … Underneath President Trump, America was STRONG and the world was at PEACE.”
Tennessee’s U.S. Home members haven’t introduced themselves significantly better.
Republican third District Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga, tweeted, partially: “I welcome the information that President Biden will deploy extra troops to Germany to strengthen NATO and the brand new sanctions focusing on Russian banks, high-tech industries, and oligarchs. Nonetheless, the U.S. and our allies should stage extra robust and punitive sanctions instantly.”
An hour later, one other Twitter watcher replied to Fleischmann: “Nonetheless ready in your assertion condemning the previous man’s latest reward of Putin.” Crickets.
Rep Scott DesJarlais, R-South Pittsburg, additionally punched at Biden.
“This administration is failing at dwelling and on the world stage. Our nation is in disaster because of out of contact insurance policies which might be being pushed by the socialist wing of the Democratic Get together. We should unite as People and reverse course NOW!”
Unite? With this discuss? You’d assume the U.S. is the aggressor. Who’s out of contact?
Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville: “The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and different overseas coverage debacles gave Vladimir Putin the inexperienced mild to invade Ukraine’s Donbas area. In response, President Biden is predictably persevering with to venture weak spot by imposing ineffective monetary sanctions towards Russian oligarchs and minor banks …”
Rep. Mark Inexperienced, R-Clarksville, was the lone Tennessee Republican to concentrate on the true enemy: “Putin has chosen devastation over democracy, and the free world is not going to overlook it.”
Tennessee’s Democratic representatives know the true enemy.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, tweeted partially, “Putin has joined Hitler as an evil, amoral particular person who the World must cripple with final sanctions and condemnations…”
Quickly-to-retire Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, summed it up: “Dictators like Putin have a short-term benefit, significantly in their very own yard. However his bare aggression is not going to be rewarded as a result of the remainder of the world sees Putin as he’s — the brand new Stalin. NATO and our allies should sanction Putin till he bleeds. President Biden has carried out a superb job of rallying the free world towards Putin … We should do all we will to hasten Putin’s fall.”
Certainly. We should all do what we will. Republicans included.