It really is depressing the number of irredeemable, ethically-clueless fools the American public elects to Congress. Yesterday came another reminder:
The House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring its support for Ukraine as the nation fights to resist the Russian invasion, and demanding an “immediate cease-fire.” The resolution, which is nonbinding, says that the House “stands steadfastly, staunchly, proudly, and fervently behind the Ukrainian people in their fight against the authoritarian Putin regime” and calls for the U.S. and its allies “to deliver additional and immediate defensive security assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats Ukraine is currently facing from Russian forces.” Congress, the declaration says,“will never recognize or support any illegitimate Russian-controlled leader or government installed through the use of force.”
As a non-binding resolution, all the measure does is announce an official sentiment without committing the House to any action. It passed 426-3. The votes in opposition were those three Republicans: Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Matt Rosendale of Montana.
“Talk to me when our border is secure,” was Gosar’s brilliant response to criticism on Twitter. He might as well have said, “Talk to me when the Cleveland Guradians win a World Series.” What does the Biden administration’s illegal immigration policies have to do with the Russian invasion of Ukraine? There is no nexus, no logic, no justification in Gosar’s response. It marks his vote as an infantile protest that is neither appropriate nor meaningful.
As of yesterday, Rep. Rosendale hadn’t made his reasons clear, but it is a safe bet they are similar to Gosar’s. The Montana Congressman has also been obsessed with border policy.
For his part, Rep. Massie said that he opposed the resolution because it was “overly broad” in stated support for providing defense assistance to Ukraine, and he argued that the call for economic sanctions against Russia might hurt “innocent people in Russia” who would then develop resentments against America. “I fully support the right of the people of Ukraine to self determination. However there are many reasons I could not vote for the seven page Resolution that passed the House of Representatives today,” Massie tweeted.
The main one being, I guess, that Massie is dumb as a slow brick. What part of “non-binding” confuses him? The resolution was nothing but an opportunity to join in what is a nearly unanimous opinion on the part of the American public, and to demonstrate that there are at least some things that Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Voting “yes” was an easy, pain-free virtue-signaling exercise with no downside. Voting “no” simply embarrasses the Republican Party. The contrarian votes are also signature significance: only a jerk would cast one.
The three obnoxious nay votes are also ominous signs for Republican prospects if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy takes over as Speaker of the House next year, as is widely expected. If he couldn’t manage to get his party members to vote as one for a resolution that does no more than declare, “Putin bad, poor Ukraine!,” what chance does he have of moving a legislative agenda?