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With Republican support for the proxy war in Ukraine continuing to erode, Bill Kristol and fellow warmongering, neocon colleagues have launched a $2 million campaign to rally GOP voters and legislators to the lost cause — and specifically, to Biden’s request that Congress approve another $20.6 billion in Ukraine war funding.
While top congressional leaders are expected to back Biden’s request, more and more Republican legislators are saying “enough is enough.”
Kristol routinely spawns new political entities to advance the neocon agenda. In this case, a group called Defending Democracy Together — an anti-Trump 501(c)(3) of which Kristol is president — has itself spun out an entity called Republicans for Ukraine. It’s a textbook example of astroturfing — the term that describes a political drive that fosters the illusion of widespread grassroots support for a particular political position.
Both organizations are led by Kristol and Sarah Longwell, a Never Trumper who is also the publisher The Bulwark, a neocon website she cofounded in 2018 with Charlie Sykes and — there he is again — Bill Kristol. Defending Democracy Together’s other projects include “Republicans Against Trump,” “Republicans For Voting Rights,” “Republicans For The Rule Of Law,” as well as a pro-immigration entity and another that promotes alarmism about Russian tweets.
Kristol and Longwell’s hopeless effort to materially change the Ukraine poll numbers centers on a collection of video testimonials from self-identified Republicans who want the US government to redistribute even more wealth to Raytheon, General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman in the name of fighting Russia — as if American security had anything at all to do with which government controls the Donbas region.
The ad campaign will be delivered on television, billboards and online. A TV spot will run during the first Republican presidential debate on Wednesday, August 23.
We are Republicans for Ukraine.— Republicans for Ukraine (@GOP4Ukraine) August 15, 2023
We are amplifying the voices of Republicans who believe that the United States should be a steadfast friend to democracies like Ukraine and a fearsome enemy to aggressive dictatorships like Russia. pic.twitter.com/hRclhf2m3e
Longwell told the Washington Post that the “real drop-off in support for Ukraine” is one the most “alarming trends” of the past two years. An August CNN/SSRS poll found that 71% of Republicans oppose new funding for the Ukraine war, while 62% of Democrats support it.
Compounding our schadenfreude over the neocons’ mounting Ukraine misery, Longwell adds, “It was alarming in the focus groups to see so many Republican voters talk about Ukraine or [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky in disparaging terms.”
Perpetuating an establishment-fertilized fiction, the Washington Post credulously refers to Kristol’s clique as “a conservative group.” However, rank-and-file Republicans are increasingly realizing that foreign interventionism springs from a decidedly non-conservative belief in the power of government central planning — a belief that rank-and-file Republicans resist in most other fields of endeavor.
As George Will wrote way back in 2005, “Conservatism seems to be saying government can’t run Amtrak, but it can run the Middle East.” Not so much anymore: The Kristol-backed Iraq war sapped Republicans’ interest in interventionism, not only in the Middle East but in Ukraine and beyond.