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House Approves $95 Billion Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan Aid

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I’ve had some time to sit with my anger.

I am determined not to irrationally and emotionally react to this setback.

Nothing new was revealed yesterday in the House vote on Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan aid. We have long known that the Republican Party is about evenly split on Ukraine aid. We have known that the Democrats are bitterly split on Israel aid. There is much more support in both parties for Taiwan aid.

In the end, every single Democrat voted for Ukraine aid and even burst out in celebration chanting “Ukraine” while waving Ukrainian flags when the bill passed. 112 Republicans voted against Ukraine aid. 101 Republicans voted for it. House Speaker Mike Johnson is being compared to Winston Churchill for breaking the Hastert rule and allowing the bill to be put on the floor without the support of a majority of his own caucus. Ukraine hawks control every single important committee in the House.

As the House debate on Ukraine aid vividly showed, there are two Republican parties. There is a populist, nationalist and libertarian wing led by Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie whose audience is younger and more online. There is also a more traditional conservative wing led by people like Mike McCaul and Dan Crenshaw whose audience is older and watches FOX News. Around 15 percent of Republican voters supported Nikki Haley in the 2024 primary. Around 30 percent of Republican voters are Reaganites who voted for Ted Cruz in 2016 and supported Ron DeSantis in 2024.

In recent years, the Bush and Reaganinte wings of the Republican Party have been in decline. This was confirmed by the 2024 primary in which DeSantis and Haley got blown out. It has also played out in Congress with a series of retirements in the House and Senate. The best recent example of this is J.D. Vance, a strong critic of Ukraine aid, replacing Rob Portman who was a stalwart Ukraine hawk in the Senate in the 2022 midterms. In spite of this, Reaganites and Bush Republicans who represent older voters remain entrenched and overrepresented in Congress and yesterday they scored a pyrrhic victory.

Don’t be fooled.

Congress isn’t a lost cause.

Older voters and entrenched establishments have always been overrepresented in Washington. Older people are much more likely to vote. It takes time for them to lose altitude and power. That’s why it seems like our views have become so much more influential over the last ten years.

In the House debate, Ronald Reagan was invoked 19 times before the final vote on Ukraine aid. Older Republicans made up their minds about Russia and foreign policy during the Cold War. Reagan was a decisive influence on their politics. Winston Churchill was also repeatedly brought up during the debate. Mike Johnson was compared to Churchill for putting the Ukraine aid bill on the floor. Many of these people compared Putin to Hitler and Ukraine to Great Britain. We are living in the 1930s. We are unironically fighting an “Axis of Evil” in the form of evil dictators who rule Russia, China and Iran. It brought back memories of the GOP of the W. years in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq.

The key difference is that today this sort of rhetoric is highly controversial and was met with widespread ridicule online. House Speaker Mike Johnson could end up losing his job. What used to be more of the mainstream consensus in the Republican Party in the 2000s has shrunk down to 1/3 to 1/2 of the party. It continues to shrink with each passing year and the vote on Ukraine aid is another milestone in the decline of this worldview. This vote also showed that Ukraine aid is not becoming more popular.

The most constructive way to respond to this defeat is to 1.) end Mike Johnson’s political career to send a message, 2.) use it further shift our politics in an isolationist direction when it becomes clear that it is yet another gargantuan waste of money and example of neglecting our domestic priorities and 3.) to accelerate the decline of Reaganism by purging as many of the House Republicans who voted for this as possible like Dan Crenshaw, Tom Cole, Joe Wilson and Mike McCaul.

Again, the political situation isn’t hopeless. This faction is already in decline. It just needs to be given a hard push to expedite its slide into irrelevance. We already succeeding in defining the issue.


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