Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, seen in a file photo from March 2020, was one of few who voted against a resolution in support of Ukraine Thursday. Massie explained that, while he fully supports Ukraine’s right of self-determination, he was alarmed at the broad language and promises implied in the seven-page resolution. (Susan Walsh / AP)
By Isa Cox March 4, 2022 at 6:05pm
If you’re anything like me, the last couple of weeks of global events have been somewhat conflicting.
On the one hand, watching Russia invade Ukraine shocks the conscience. It’s not difficult at all to believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a danger to the entire global order.
On the other hand, we see how quickly the murkiest of swamp creatures are rushing to promote the #StandWithUkraine narrative. They are pushing for the United States and its western allies in Europe to send weapons, aid and even possibly personnel to support a nation that we are by no means obligated to defend when our own country is certainly not running low in pressing crises.
After all, America’s involvement in foreign conflicts is historically a very sore issue among the voting public across the political spectrum. Both of President Joe Biden’s predecessors, Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, campaigned heavily on promises to bring our troops home and put a stop to endless wars.
Now, just one year into Biden’s first term, Democrats, Republicans and establishment media pundits alike are scrambling to voice emphatic support for Ukraine as though they’re a critical U.S. ally? What’s more, many critical readers might be well aware of the rather glaring intersection between the Ukrainian government and American Deep State corruption, which is hard to ignore at this juncture.
You simply do not need to be pro-Putin nor support his invasion of Ukraine to be a bit wary of any action the U.S. might take in response to this admittedly awful conflict.
This certainly seems to be where stalwart libertarian Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky is at right about now, and why he was one of just three House Republicans who voted against a resolution entitled “Supporting the People of Ukraine,” which, he argued, went far above and beyond simply voicing support for the sovereignty of Ukraine as its citizens and leaders fend off the Russian invasion.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, the contrarian lawmaker explained why he voted against it:
(1/7) 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.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 2, 2022
“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,” he explained.
“The resolution contains an open ended call for additional and immediate ‘defensive security assistance,” he continued. “This term is so broad that it could include American boots on the ground or, as some of my colleagues have already requested, US enforcement of a no-fly zone.”
Indeed, while the bill states that the House “supports, unequivocally, Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and “states unambiguously that it will never recognize or support any illegitimate Russian-controlled leader or government installed through the use of force,” it also calls for the U.S. “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.”
Massie also takes issue with the resolution’s condemnation of the nation of Belarus, stating that “We should not be seeking to name new enemies or committing to overturning other governments” and raised the alarm over its proposed sanctions against Russia and its implications.
The sanctions would “hurt low-income US citizens who are already reeling from inflation” as well as “Innocent people in Russia, many of whom oppose Putin’s aggression, would suffer under crippling sanctions, possibly turning them against us.”
Speaking with Glenn Beck on Thursday, Massie elaborated on this troubling point, noting that when it comes to “isolating” Russia, “I don’t think people understand what this means.”
“If Putin shut off the oil and gas going to Germany, they would go dark in a matter of hours, I believe. It’s like there’s some asymmetry here, of course, Russia would suffer and the people there who are protesting Putin, ironically, would suffer, but American people are going to suffer if that really happens.”
.@RepThomasMassie explains to me why he voted against a 7-page resolution supporting Ukraine: “It’s like a piece of bubble gum that was rolled through cat hair. They stuck EVERYTHING on it.” pic.twitter.com/m4fcfEiLLZ
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 3, 2022
He noted that is, of course, only if “real” sanctions happen, as opposed to current sanctions, which he described as a “joke.”
“For instance, we import over a billion dollars of fertilizer from Russia. You think food prices are high now? Take a billion dollars of fertilizer off the fields,” he continued. “That’s my problem with this resolution.”
In his Twitter thread, he also noted that the resolution “calls for continuing support” for Ukraine “as long as the Russian Federation continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.”
Do you agree with Massie?
“Depending on the definition of ‘violate,’ this could be a US commitment to forever be actively engaged in a conflict with another nuclear country,” he added.
Speaking with Beck, he clarified that his most pressing concerns are for his constituents and his duty to do what he can to avoid nuclear war.
“It’s the drumbeat to go to further [toward] war and into economic war and I’ve got an obligation to 750,000 people in Kentucky,” he told Beck. “Let’s say there’s a 1 percent chance of a nuclear war in the next six months coming out of this conflict. That may be high, it may be low, but if I can do something to reduce that chance, I should do it. And if I do anything to double that probability, that’s a problem, I have failed in my job.”
He concluded by quipping that the resolution was “like a piece of bubblegum that was rolled through cat hair.”
“They stuck everything on it,” he added.
Massie’s “nay” was joined by Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Matt Rosendale of Montana, while many of their Republican colleagues joined their Democrat lawmakers for a photo op on the steps of the Capitol building after passing the resolution to pose with an American flag that had been made up to feature the colors of the Ukrainian flag — a symbolic gesture which critics were appalled to observe mostly just appeared to “desecrate” our own flag.
Desecrating our flag to own Putin pic.twitter.com/CBx37IAHW2
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 3, 2022
During an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program, Massie also drew attention to “insane” comments made by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who called for President Putin’s assassination.
Senator Graham’s assassination tweet is insane. @IngrahamAngle @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/v3pjHCHUt8
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 4, 2022
It is indeed rather unsettling to see the old war hawks circling this crisis as though the last 20 years of foreign policy have never happened.
We’ve got to be grateful that someone in Washington was willing to go against the grain and challenge this sneaky “bubble gum” resolution without question.
Our prayers are absolutely with the Ukrainian people. We can easily condemn Putin all day for his actions. But watch the establishment mobilize to send our resources to support Ukraine without lifting a finger to ensure that every angle of our potential involvement is taken into account?
You do not have to do that just to offer your support for the people of Ukraine.