Patterico's Pontifications

10/25/2022

Whoops! They Did It Again: Progressive Caucus Retracts Russia-Ukraine Proposal

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:52 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Our friends in the progressive caucus raised a lot of eyebrows yesterday evening when they released a letter calling upon President Biden “to pursue direct diplomacy for a negotiated settlement to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.” While acknowledging this is a war of Russian aggression and affirming Ukraine’s right to defend itself and its territory, the letter seems to suggest that Ukraine ought to surrender the territory annexed by the Russian military in return for the rest of Ukraine securing its newly reduced borders by joining NATO. It goes without saying that a negotiated settlement would not see Vladimir Putin or any of his deputies tried for war crimes, and in the interests of international harmony most sanctions on Russia would be lifted so that Western Europe could once again purchase energy from the oligarchs. In other words, in service of peace Vladimir Putin would be allowed to snatch a pretty comprehensive victory from the jaws of defeat, which would no doubt warm the heart of Xi Jinping as he looks longingly towards Taiwan.

This letter was signed by thirty members of the Progressive Caucus (all Democrats naturally) including the Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal, the tiresome Castroite Marxist Barbara Lee of Oakland, noted comedian Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston, the ethically challenged Jamie Raskin of (naturally) the DC suburbs, and our dear nieces and nephews from The Squad. As you might imagine, the letter’s release last night caused some consternation within Washington, not only among warmongering Republicans (though, to be sure, some libertarian Republicans welcomed it) but also among Establishment Democrats who undoubtedly see our support for Ukraine’s war efforts (tepid though it sometimes is) as about the only bright spot in the first 21 months of the Joe Biden Administration, and resent the childish naïveté in believing that Putin could be a reliable partner in negotiations.

The backlash was swift and severe, to the degree that earlier today the Progressive Caucus formally retracted the letter, implausibly claiming that despite bearing the signatures of two-and-one-half dozen leftist Democrats, it was merely an unfinalized draft which had mistakenly been released and then promoted via the caucus’s Twitter account. Because all of us have been a part of a large group to affix our signatures to a draft letter at one time or other in our lives, haven’t we? Some diehards, like the indefatigable lefty peace creep Ro Khanna of Silicon Valley, refused to recant the position staked out in the letter and took to his personal Twitter account to defend it. So, irrespective of the caucus’s pretty blatant lies about the letter’s release being a mistake, it looks like it will still serve the purpose of driving a wedge between the party’s left-wing activists and its panicking establishment who is desperately trying to avoid a complete ballot bloodbath two weeks from today.

This whole imbroglio brought back warm memories from nearly four years ago, when freshman Progressive Caucus susperstar Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, our Adorably Ornery Clueless neice, released a blueprint for her Green New Deal which included a helpful FAQ that would have made Kim Il-sung shudder with envy of its bureaucratic totalitarianism, only to suddenly declare that — here comes the coincidence! — it was only a draft plan, had not yet been finalized, and should not have been released. It’s great to see a beloved trick from a playbook of yore brought out to rescue a disastrous sally into complex foreign entanglements by a crew with the general foreign policy sophistication of the average high school sophomore.

All in a day’s work for a party which has conclusively proven they can’t be trusted to govern on their own.

– JVW

33 Responses to “Whoops! They Did It Again: Progressive Caucus Retracts Russia-Ukraine Proposal”

  1. It’s good to see ‘F-Troop’ back on the air. 😉

    DCSCA (f42f57)

  2. A good example of a party’s ability and willingness to tell their ridiculous extremists to shut up.

    Nic (896fdf)

  3. I think either party would throw Ukraine under the bus if it thought it would garner votes.

    Very few politicians will take principled stands in opposition to their constituencies. I’m not going to name those politicians because I don’t want to set off the usual bells and whistles.

    norcal (a1f318)

  4. @2. Will Rogers summed’em up a long time ago:

    “I am a member of no political organization. I am a democrat.” – Will Rogers, 1930

    DCSCA (f42f57)

  5. A good example of a party’s ability and willingness to tell their ridiculous extremists to shut up.

    If only they had done this starting eighteen months ago, rather than waiting until two weeks before a major election in which polls suggest they are likely to get whacked. It’s not as if they hadn’t been warned after the 2020 elections.

    JVW (15c733)

  6. JVW: OT- Comedy of Errors

    Fetterman vs., Oz. Broken man; broken sentences… vs. a TV talk pro; it’s sad to see anybody trying to fake it- even w/a computer screen to read from.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/10/24/watch_live_oz_vs_fetterman_pennsylvania_senate_debate.html

    DCSCA (f42f57)

  7. The 30 signatories are the same left-wing progressive mentality that we saw during the Cold War, who didn’t understand Peace Through Strength and that you don’t appease bullies, and they still don’t understand today.

    If they want to push for negotiation, how about pushing Putin to negotiate an orderly withdrawal from Ukraine, and war’s over.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  8. LeMay’s baloney was cut in half:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnX8T6FsZl8

    DCSCA (f42f57)

  9. Your homework assignment:

    War and Peace In The Nuclear Age

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeU3hzZa1meivlW7kd7SMEAvo2APRptJB

    The book is long to wade through but the TV is easier to digest the perspectives from both sides. Strongly suggest watching this to understand the history of the game.

    DCSCA (f42f57)

  10. According to CNN, the letter was written and signed by the members of the caucus in June and July, and was released unilaterally, without consultation with the signatories, by Pramila Jayapal, this week.

    This was a message from Putin, who is now enjoying a cozy relationship with Jayapal’s birthplace. Not unlike the one he sent through Elon Musk.

    nk (7cb81b)

  11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUZHTE1jMXg

    Substitute for fallen Officers, homicide and violent crime victim- its what this election is really about

    EPWJ (650a62)

  12. According to CNN, the letter was written and signed by the members of the caucus in June and July, and was released unilaterally, without consultation with the signatories, by Pramila Jayapal, this week.

    Unsurprisingly, the CNN version of the story is couched to suggest that the Progressive Caucus is merely seeking an avenue to peace and repeatedly reminds us that the caucus is (allegedly) more supportive of continued arming of the Ukrainian military than the GOP is. But nowhere in the article does CNN dare acknowledge that the letter — and the progressives’ outline for what a negotiated peace would look like — appears to grant Putin the territory that his military currently occupies, meaning that Putin would be able to make at least a passable claim that his barbarous act achieved its aim. I mean, there’s no way CNN would admit that (as nk points out) Jayapal and her group would be doing Putin’s bidding.

    JVW (15c733)

  13. Compromising with an invader is a ridiculous premise.

    The solution is for the invader to go back to where he came from, which in this case just happens to be the largest country by land mass on the planet.

    It’s really not that hard, folks. Don’t overthink it.

    norcal (a1f318)

  14. Let me get this straight.
    It was staff’s fault, but I take full responsibility?
    Umm, no. I have people who work for me. If they say or do something because I gave the OK or the go ahead, then it is my fault, not theirs. Likewise if I give incomplete instructions that is my fault. Finally, if I hired someone and put them in charge and they screw up in direct contradiction to my orders, that is my problem too, because I hired them and put them into this position.
    But then again. I have to pay (literally, and in cash) for my mistakes and the mistakes of employees.

    The Democrat establishment may have a better Whip than the Republicans do, but the damage is done. Every person who signed that letter will be (has been?) showered with meticulously laundered Russian cash given through legal donors. History has shown that Americans are willing to sell out for single digit pennies on the dollar*

    *William Kampiles sold the manual to the Keyhole satellite system to the Soviets for $3000 and did 18 years in prison [was sentenced to 40] a gross profit of $167 per year less commissary

    steveg (939449)

  15. Indians are hard bargainers. She probably got Modi to promise her a Deputy’s seat in the Indian Parliament in the unlikely event that Seattle’s wet-brains did not reelect her.

    nk (32b387)

  16. Modi would probably slap Jaypal under normal circumstances, but BJP over there and Dem here is a more modern variation of PAN over there HDO here

    urbanleftbehind (153056)

  17. All in a day’s work for a party which has conclusively proven they can’t be trusted to govern on their own.

    TBF, neither has the other party. The main difference in my mind is that the other party is less likely to accidentally kill me.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  18. The solution is for the invader to go back to where he came from

    Uh, no. The solution is for the invader to commit seppuku. Or leap from a high window — that’s the current Russia fad.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9)

  19. Time123,

    I think I will respond to your comment and some other thoughts here in the next newsletter.

    Patterico (8ed1cc)

  20. Rep. barbara lee was only one to vote against afganistan war as another vietnam. 420 to 1 sometimes its a lone voice. Has kabul been named bin ladin city yet? Like saigon now ho chi minh city. How many americans died in afganistan and iraq? Most of the thirty are pacifists and want the killing to stop and a peaceful settlement. So do I ;but until then we should keep giving aid to the ukraine unlike where we send are troops because the locals wont fight and we have to fight for them. Ukrainians are fighting for their country despite many here saying they are to corrupt to fight.

    asset (40c8aa)

  21. Uh, no. The solution is for the invader to commit seppuku. Or leap from a high window — that’s the current Russia fad.

    Kevin M (eeb9e9) — 10/25/2022 @ 7:44 pm

    A lovely sentiment, but unlikely to happen.

    We should be content with Russian troops going back to Russia. Forcing reparations on Russia may yield the same result as forcing reparations on Germany after WWI.

    norcal (a1f318)

  22. What is the difference between conservatives and liberals? Conservatives believe 9-11 was an attack and what happened in history before doesn’t count because we say it doesn’t! Liberals believe 9-11 was a counter attack on america by those who could counter attack and for those who didn’t have the ability to counter attack. Democrats like pelosi, clintons, bidens, crowley who AOC defeated and the rest of the corporate establishment don’t believe in anything except power. Same with mcconnell and mccarthy.

    asset (40c8aa)

  23. Does anyone believe hillary clinton voted for the iraq war for any other reason then political gain? Same with biden, kerry, pelosi and every other democrat in congress who voted for it. Cunning hillary who planned to run in 2008 thought it was the smart political play for her future run for president. As the british say to clever by half! It cost her the 2008 nomination to obama and the 2016 election to jill stein. As lincoln said you can only fool some of the people all the time.

    asset (40c8aa)

  24. There are near 100 members in the Progressive Caucus at any one time including one Senator (can you guess who?)

    They fall into three groups:
    — Dusky ladies.
    — Men and women who like dusky ladies.
    — Men and women who want to pass as dusky ladies.
    But that’s not important.

    What’s important is that fewer than one-third signed the letter, and only one sent it out. Without the consent of the other signatories.

    I find that encouraging, and as far as Putin goes I am hopeful that he will continue to get the same response he got on February 24.

    nk (32b387)

  25. AllahNick has a good rundown on all the political angles of their idjit letter.

    Paul Montagu (753b42)

  26. Meanwhile, it appears Satan is on the march in Ukraine.

    https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/news/2022/10/25/7373464/

    Guess the Russians killed off all the Nazis.

    Appalled (b5a498)

  27. Actually the sentiments of the letter are quite bipartisan, but the signers just don’t go as far as Republicans:

    Little by little, however, with each proposal, a few more Republicans would sign up: eight Republicans opposed suspending trade privileges for Russia in mid-March; 17 Republicans opposed a resolution supporting Moldova, whose leaders fear their Ukraine-bordering nation could be Putin’s next target; 19 opposed a similar resolution in support for Georgia.

    Then, on April 27, 55 House Republicans opposed legislation to build secure telecommunications networks in Ukraine and neighboring nations. Finally, on Tuesday, 57 Republicans opposed President Biden’s request for $40 billion in weapons and humanitarian aid, with some saying the legislation had been rushed to the floor without detailed consideration. All Democrats backed the president’s request.

    A number of Republican candidates, notably JD Vance, oppose aid to Ukraine. And there is a growing group of Republican voters that oppose more aid to Ukraine.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  28. “What’s important is that fewer than one-third signed the letter, and only one sent it out. Without the consent of the other signatories.”

    I believe the first and second assertions. The third one is probably a lie.

    Pelosi probably told Jayapal to get out there and take one for the team or she’d have to use the non-gender bathroom in the basement with all the irritable bowel sufferers

    steveg (ca3f10)

  29. The GOP has always had a Pat Buchanan wing

    steveg (ca3f10)

  30. The letter was written four months ago and was supposed to be released in co-ordination with the Biden Administration, so it would look like Biden was responding to criticism.

    Why one member or two decided to release it now is not clear, but it wasn’t done in co-ordination with Biden’s people. It might have been done in an attempt not to look more pro-war or right wing than Kevin McCarthy.

    Some people who sned it said things had changed since they went along with the letter (Ukraine was recovering territory now)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  31. 12. JVW (15c733) — 10/25/2022 @ 6:29 pm

    Unsurprisingly, the CNN version of the story is couched to suggest that the Progressive Caucus is merely seeking an avenue to peace

    Talk of peace is a non-starter. Maybe they would want toe dn it in a stalemate (because of fear of what happens if Ukraine wins too much, and fear of what happnns if Ukraine’s government is destroyed. This is how the Korean War ended in 1953, with many family embers separated. It ended because President Eisenhower secretly threatened to detonate a dirty bomb.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1984/06/08/world/us-papers-tell-of-53-policy-to-use-a-bomb-in-korea.html

    The fact that the Eisenhower Administration was ready to use nuclear weapons is not new. President Eisenhower, in his memoirs, said he came into office prepared to use them, if necessary, to break the deadlock. What is new in the 2,000 pages of documents now made public is the high level of planning and the detail of discussion on possible use of these weapons, and Mr. Eisenhower’s interest in overcoming reluctance to use them….

    …The discussion about the possible use of nuclear weapons in Korea was followed by a policy of threatening to use such weapons in case of a large-scale attack by the Soviet Union. There was also discussion in 1954 of possible American nuclear support to aid French forces besieged at Dienbienphu in the war that ended French rule in North Vietnam.

    That NYT article does not discuss the idea of using nuclear waste. Somewhere I read that the idea of contaminating (the front line?) with radiation was discussed.

    The war had been stalemated for two years because Truman opposed both victory and defeat. Victory might not me achieved without a big war against Mao’s China. Defeat was an invitation for Soviet Russia to attack in Europe.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  32. Now we hear that Elon Musk says he spoke to Putin once, 18 months ago, and the subject was space travel.

    Musk noted today that there is no need for any peace discussions at this point in time because there is no overlay between Russia and Ukraine to discuss.
    Pretty sure that is because the Ukriane position is GTFO and we want your oil and gas revenues for rebuilding the mess you’ve made

    steveg (957552)

  33. Here is a completely NSFW (language) take of a patient Russian forward artillery observer trying to politely correct someone who is half a kilometer off target.
    Fast forward to 16:39 or so and wait for very end at 18:30
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIsH4AQERdk

    steveg (f5c9b6)


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