How the US midterm elections factor into Russia’s war in Ukraine
- While Biden has united the West against Putin’s war on Ukraine, he has yet to show the US electorate he is taking the migration issue seriously
- Migration is one of the Democrats’ most urgent problems: it could give Republicans control of Congress and undermine American support for Ukraine
Who was Wang referring to when he proclaimed in his UN General Assembly address: “Turbulence and war can only open Pandora’s box, and he who instigates a proxy war can easily get himself burned”? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that Putin was at least one of the parties he was referring to, if not the primary focus.
There is obviously much medieval darkness in Putin’s mind, but at least one of the answers lies many thousands of miles away from the carnage in Ukraine, where desperate Latin Americans fleeing poverty and violence are streaming over Mexico’s border with the US at record rates.
When it comes to competition for the attention of American voters, the threat of nuclear annihilation by a twisted anti-West leader with imperial ambitions is no match for images of refugees – portrayed by right-wing media outlets as rapists, terrorists and drug dealers – looking for a better life in the United States.
While US President Joe Biden should be lauded for the way he has united the West in opposition to the Kremlin’s insanity, he has failed to demonstrate that he is taking the problem at the US border seriously. If he winds up having to deal with a Congress fully in Republican control – and the growing numbers of migrants to the US could ensure this outcome – his efforts to support Ukraine will be undermined.
That’s because party members either agree with Putin’s Christian nationalist crusade or will refuse to silence pro-Russian members like Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has described Ukrainians as “possible Nazi militias that are torturing innocent people”. Such comments show a degree of allegiance to Putin that not even Chinese government officials can muster.
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy welcomed Greene to a high-profile event in Pennsylvania last week, where he unveiled his party’s long-awaited “Commitment to America” platform, which all but buries its unpopular position against reproductive rights for women and leans into America’s divisive culture war in a way that would make Putin cheer.
Although some Republican lawmakers have broken with Trump by condemning Putin’s war, the effort and expense to get Zelensky the military equipment that he needs to survive is another story.
If the Republicans control Congress, they will not give Biden what he needs on this front, and Putin knows this, so he will fight on.
Robert Delaney is the Post’s North America bureau chief