/A remarkable Republican statement on the Ukraine invasion – CNN

A remarkable Republican statement on the Ukraine invasion – CNN


Elise Stefanik is the third-ranking Republican in the House for one main reason: Her unstinting loyalty to Donald Trump. And she hasn’t forgotten that fact.

While many of her GOP colleagues were heavily ridiculing Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday for his invasion of Ukraine, Stefanik took a different tack, focusing her criticism on President Joe Biden and laying Russian aggression at his feet.

Here’s the key bit of her statement:

“After just one year of a weak, feckless, and unfit President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief, the world is less safe. Rather than peace through strength, we are witnessing Joe Biden’s foreign policy of war through weakness. For the past year, our adversaries around the world have been assessing and measuring Joe Biden’s leadership on the world stage, and he has abysmally failed on every metric. From kinetic and deadly attacks on our allies and partners, to the catastrophic withdrawal and surrender in Afghanistan, to the cyber attacks impeding American industry and infrastructure, to today’s Russian invasion of Ukraine, Joe Biden and his Administration have failed America and the world.”

While Stefanik went on to call Putin a “war criminal” and a “deranged thug,” the bulk of her statement was dedicated to excoriating Biden.

A decade ago, the notion of calling a president of the United States “unfit” in the wake of the most serious invasion in Europe since World War II would have been unthinkable for members of either party.

But Trump’s four years in office have changed all calculations of how politics can and should be conducted – even in a moment of war.

Trump himself went on Fox late Wednesday night to offer up his own armchair quarterbacking – and blame-assigning – of the situation. “Well, this is something that should have never happened,” he said. “This would not have happened during my administration. It wouldn’t have taken place and it wouldn’t have taken place right now.”

When told that Biden was “monitoring” the situation at the White House, Trump retorted: “I don’t think he is monitoring. I think he is sleeping,” before again adding that “this is a terrible thing that never should have happened.”

What Trump did – and continues to do – to the Republican Party is defining downward the idea of acceptable rhetoric. Stefanik has made political hay out of her willingness to support Trump at every turn. She was elevated into House GOP leadership after Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was removed from her post as conference chair for criticizing Trump’s actions around the January 6, 2021, insurrection.

Stefanik releases a statement like this one because she knows the MAGA wing of the Republican Party (and Trump himself) will likely eat it up. She appears either unaware or unconcerned about what sort of message it sends the country and the world when you refer to the American president as “unfit” in a time of war.

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