Politics or Treason?

Alan Zendell, February 23, 2023

In the past week, several events in the global struggle to defend democracy and freedom occurred virtually simultaneously. In no particular order, they are:

  • President Biden made a secret trip to Kyiv to stand with Ukrainian President Zelensky amid the blaring of air raid sirens set off by a Russian MIG fighter approaching Kyiv’s airspace.
  • Chinese leader Xi Jinping promised a peace plan by week’s end that would resolve the dispute between Russia and Ukraine and respect every nation’s sovereignty, while hinting that China may provide military support to Russia. China already provides financial support by importing much of the oil Russia can’t sell to Europe.
  • A bipartisan delegation led by House Republicans visited Kyiv to stand with Zelensky. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was part of the delegation, said that defeating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the single most important thing happening in the world today.
  • Matt Gaetz, one of the small group of extreme right-wing House Republicans that refuse to support Speaker Kevin McCarthy, proposed a resolution stating that we are suffering from “Ukraine Fatigue,” suggesting that the commitment by Biden and the majority of Republicans cannot be counted on indefinitely.
  • Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, in a speech that coincided with Biden’s visit to Kyiv, said we should not be defending NATO’s eastern border with Russia when we can’t defend our own border with Mexico, while former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is already running for president, argued for a more aggressive stance against Russia.
  • Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene said red states should secede from the United States. DeSantis, while not advocating the breakup of the United States, argued strongly in favor of intensifying the culture wars which have already caused irreparable differences among Americans.

My chief takeaway is that the actions of the radical right-wing of House Republicans have reached a new high in irresponsibility, bordering on treason. They are the same people who still cling to the lie that Biden stole the 2020 election from Trump, who played active roles in the January 6th insurrection and supported dozens of attempts to undermine the Constitution when they refused to certify the electors who were required by law to confirm Biden’s victory. On the other hand, while their politics was spawned by Trump, they seem to be marching to their own anarchistic tune and ignoring Trump’s campaign speeches, further dividing their own party.

I expect no less from Gaetz and Greene, but DeSantis? There’s a long-standing, unwritten rule that you never undercut the president when he’s on foreign soil negotiating on behalf of American national security interests. But DeSantis, who is coy about his intent to challenge Biden in 2024, delivered a message that might have undermined NATO’s entire effort to defend Ukraine, had other Republicans not simultaneously spoken in unison in support.

DeSantis is a very smart man. Unlike Trump, whose diplomatic acumen redefines the cliché about bulls in china shops, he understands every nuance of foreign and domestic policy. He has decided that his path to the White House is essentially a search and destroy mission. In 2016, Trump’s backers understood that there was a very angry minority of Americans who would respond positively to his reckless attacks on the establishment. DeSantis obviously believes there is an even larger group of Americans who encompass Trumpism and are so anti-Washington and anti-Biden, that he can use their anger to overthrow the status quo both domestically and diplomatically.

He may not have used the same words as Representative Greene, but the message was the same. The right wing’s desire to focus on the culture war that pits white, male Americans against everyone else, regardless of the obvious damage the divisiveness in the country has caused, knows no limits. In just a couple of days, their loudest spokespersons openly advocated formally splitting the country in two and undermining support for NATO and Ukraine, putting political gains at home ahead of the existential threat of nuclear-armed adversaries who have shown that they intend to reset the world order.

I’ll leave the legalisms to people qualified in constitutional law, but in purely lay terms, what could be more treasonous than advocating a new civil war or deliberately undercutting your Commander in Chief during wartime? The people who advocate such things presage the dissolution of everything Americans were raised to believe in, but there’s hope.

The State of Georgia is close to issuing indictments against some of the worst offenders, and the foreperson of the Special Grand Jury convened to study the efforts to overturn Georgia’s choice of Biden in 2020 hinted that Trump and more than a dozen of his loudest supporters may face serious criminal charges. We can only hope that presenting clear evidence of criminal acts will set Americans back on course.

This entry was posted in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s