What could Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea possibly have to do with the upcoming midterm elections in the United States? Indirectly, a very great deal. But only indirectly.
Left-liberal ambivalence about military spending is decades old. But these liberals have now found unexpected allies in today’s House Republicans, who believe they’re serving the wants and wishes of their constituents on reducing the federal debt by supporting these severe cuts.
Nearly half the GOP members of the House were first elected in 2010 or 2012. This means they are from the post-Bush, post-Iraq era, and don’t share the older conservative zeal for national defense and national security.
The new Republican Party has, to some extent, detached itself from its long-established moorings.
With the exception of Ted Cruz, the loudest and most eloquent voices attacking President Obama on foreign-policy matters over the past few days have been John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom the president easily defeated and who therefore define their party’s past rather than its future.
And yet, even if Republican politicians don’t take the lead in pressing the argument, there is strong reason to believe Barack Obama will be held accountable for the Crimean disaster by voters — and that Democratic candidates will pay the price in November.
He is the president. It’s his watch. Americans may be war-weary, but they still look to the man in the White House to provide an overall sense of stability and safety.
Read more: NY Post