We don’t collectively agree on much politically anymore; so when Congress goes bipartisan for a cause, it’s newsworthy for that reason alone. Exhibit A: the Senate passing that $40 billion emergency (military and economic) aid package for Ukraine. The vote, a glaring exception to divisive partisanship, was 86-11.
It also resonated internationally.
“I applaud the Congress for sending a clear, bipartisan message to the world that the people of the United States stand together with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their democracy and freedom,” said President Joe Biden. That message was the antithesis of “America First” arrogance and isolationism.
American leadership, however, comes with a caveat. Vindictive Vladimir Putin still has too many nukes and not enough restraint. He’s a vengeful narcissist. We’re familiar with the pathology. And it’s also personal with Putin after the collapse of the Soviet Union. So it’s imperative that Ukraine be defended and rebuilt and Russia be prevented from further land-grabbing invasions.
But it’s also important that the U.S.–in its NATO-leading capacity–not spike the rhetorical football with global comments about “weakening” Russia or “regime change” or bragging about providing intelligence resulting in dead Russians and a sunken ship.
Play up defense of Ukraine; play down tempting taunts of a chastened Russia, whose ultimate response to humiliation may be all-out war. That should be cause for bipartisanship as well.