Wednesday, February 08, 2023

The Democratic Party's Strange Internal Struggles on the Russo-Ukraine War

In the middle of Walter Russell Mead's article over at WJS, "The World Rejects the Wilsonian Order" there was an interesting insight for what the Russo-Ukrainian War revealed about the internal natsec divisions within the Democrat Party.

While one could quibble around the edges, this seems sound;

Within the Biden administration, the struggle is among three groups: liberal internationalists, who want America and the West to do what it takes to ensure that Russia loses the war; pragmatists who want to check Russia but fear Russian escalation and believe that the war will inevitably end in a compromise peace that falls short of Wilsonian hopes; and Asia-firsters who worry that U.S. support for Ukraine reduces America’s ability to face the more consequential and long-term threat from China. President Biden has tried to stay in the middle, giving Ukraine more support than the pragmatists and Asia hands prefer, but dribbling it out more slowly than the Wilsonians would like.

Liberal internationalists, pragmatists, and Asia-firsters.  That seems roughly correct, but for those who have a memory more than a few years old, there is one glaring omission; the anti-war left.

Of course, that part of the democrat coalition usually fades in to shadow whenever the party is in power. I've come to think a portion of them experienced a rather strange morphology during the now discredited Russia-Trump collusion hoax that had them all of a sudden become Russia hawks. They had yet to regress to the mean when the Russo-Ukrainian War started and it kind of stuck.

Sure, there are still some musty left-over leftists who still apologize for Russia like they used to apologize for the Soviet Union - but most have turned in to something else - perhaps just shifting down the bench to the "liberal internationalists" side. 

Of course, the (R) have their own tribes as well, but WRM does not cover them here. Funny thing about that, the teams are roughly the same, except some former Russia/Soviet hawks on the right now almost seem like their Cold War mirror images when it comes to giving the Russians way too many benefits of the doubt.

So, a new "bi-partisan national consensus" in the making? No, don't think so. Just bi-partisan national chaos as the Russo-Ukrainian War moves in to its second year - and like we did on Sunday - the rest of us try to find ways to describe what we see.

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