Budowsky: Rare bipartisanship: for democracy in Ukraine

Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP
In this image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Sunday, May 1, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, third from right, and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, third from left, talk during their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. Pelosi, second in line to the presidency after the vice president, is the highest-ranking American leader to visit Ukraine since the start of the war, and her visit marks a major show of continuing support for the country’s struggle against Russia. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

From the beginning of his presidency, President Biden made a strong priority of achieving bipartisan unity on major national security and foreign policy matters, which is at the core of his policy of uniting both parties at home, NATO nations abroad, and democratic nations around the world against the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Recently Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a delegation of House Democrats made a surprise visit to Ukraine, and then Poland, to state their strong support for Ukrainian democracy to defeat the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In recent days Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and a delegation of Senate Republicans made a surprise visit to Ukraine, and then Sweden, to state their strong support for Ukrainian democracy to defeat the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

For this one issue, at this one time, I would applaud Biden, Pelosi and McConnell for working toward dramatic bipartisanship on national security and foreign policy that was traditional in American foreign policy for generations, but is precious rare in American politics today.

As the old saying goes, as democracy in Ukraine is under fierce attack, and Ukraine is under siege from Russian war crimes that occur by the hour, “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” Our American leadership is united, our democratic allies are united, our NATO alliance is united and democracies around the world are united against this illegal invasion, attacks against democracy, and abuses of human rights.

How few recent stories have we read, watched on television or discussed on social media about the success of bipartisanship in American politics? This unity is a major achievement in coming together for a good and noble cause, from the streets of Ukraine to the corridors of power in the great capitals of democratic nations.

Yes, as democracies operate, there are some unwise voices here and abroad who disagree with this noble cause and mighty mission — but as McConnell said in Sweden, they are a distinct minority.

I am not known for praising McConnell, and trust me I will soon return to normal, but I write this to emphasize the importance of this bipartisanship on so important a cause. Biden, Pelosi and McConnell all deserve high praise on this one matter, at this one moment.

There are not words in any language to fully express our extraordinary admiration, respect, support and love for the Ukrainian people for the hardship they endure, and the indescribable courage and valor they demonstrate, every hour of every day, on a battle they are within reach of winning.

War crimes have become the core of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s strategy to destroy Ukraine with the deliberate, planned and systematic killing of civilians, which must be defeated in battle and held accountable under international law.

Illegal invasions of nations must be defeated, and the only way to prevent illegal Russian invasions of other European nations is to defeat the invasion of Ukraine.

Biden, Pelosi and McConnell are united in support of Finland and Sweden seeking to join the NATO alliance, which NATO nations should approve expeditiously.

The pending $40 billion military, economic and humanitarian aid package passed the House by a vote of 368-57. As McConnell said in Sweden, it should also pass the Senate in the coming days.

Putin should understand his illegal invasion has been rejected across the globe. Russia is being turned into a pariah state suffering economically from major sanctions, and militarily from additional nations seeking to join NATO while countless Russians continue dying in an illegal war he should never have initiated, which only he can now end, unless he is replaced.

Putin is learning the hard way that nothing is more powerful than the democratic dreams and human aspirations that are hyper-motivating the people of Ukraine. Nothing is more potent than the national and international unity of free nations, brought together for high purposes, with an unyielding will to win. 

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. 

Tags Biden Bipartisanship Democracy Lloyd Bentsen Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi NATO Ukraine Ukraine-Russia conflict Vladimir Putin

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