Fox News aired two very different segments about the Russian threat to Ukraine on Tuesday.
The divide between the GOP establishment and the “New Right” is have a prime-time moment.
WHAT TUCKER SAID
As tensions flared anew in the Eastern bloc, Carlson said this wasn’t American’s fight.
The only question that matters is, how does intervening in Ukraine help the core interests of the United States? That’s the one question no one in Washington is asking. pic.twitter.com/WUaoW4Z16L
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) December 8, 2021
- The “New Right”-leaning Federalist declared that Tucker was standing up against the “neocon push” for war
- “There is nothing we could possibly gain from a military confrontation with Vladimir Putin and there is very much we could lose… but that doesn’t mean Joe Biden won’t do it,” Carlson said.
- “Biden is unpopular,” Carlson continued. “He is incompetent and he is desperate, but more than anything Joe Biden is weak. [Biden] is a pawn of his staff and the hard-eyed ideologues who surround him.”
Carlson was also joined by fellow primetime host Laura Ingraham:
This segment is interesting. I'm watching it — Ingraham is arguing against Ukraine hawks and the "military industrial complex." A world of difference from how this side of the aisle was talking about foreign policy 10 years ago. https://t.co/TfeXgSZpWo
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) December 7, 2021
WHAT WICKER SAID
But Carlson and company were countered by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, a stalwart of the GOP establishment.
I hope the U.S. will continue to show resolve as Russia masses troops along the Ukraine border. The U.S. and our allies must communicate in strong terms that continued aggression will not be tolerated. pic.twitter.com/DVSSVZOjGj
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) December 8, 2021
- “I hope that maybe there was no finger waving,” in the conversation between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Wicker said. “I hope there was a show resolve.”
- Wicker continued that U.S. “Military action could mean that we stand off with our ships in the Black Sea and we rain destruction on Russian military capability. It could mean that.”
- “It could mean we participate,” Wicker said. “It could mean American troops on the ground.”
Wicker was joined in spirit by Mitch McConnell, the power Senate Minority leader:
McConnell says President Biden should supply Ukraine with “whatever weapons they think they need” to defend themselves from a potential Russian invasion https://t.co/4pSPlI6KAi
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) December 7, 2021
Foreign policy traditionalists on all stripes bashed Carlson and friends, suggesting they were basically pro-Putin, and insinuating and outright treason and anti-Americanism.
Actual fifth columnist.
100,000 Russian troops are massed on Ukraine's border, but Tucker claims that Putin "just wants to keep his western border secure." He then compares Russian forces to illegal immigration in the United States and normalizes Putin's killings.
— Bastiat 🌐 (@EverydayBastiat) December 8, 2021
Meanwhile, populists and reformers took their turn bashing Wicker:
Wicker's office clarified/walked back a little to say he just meant hypothetically. But still. https://t.co/4jXrIMVw8p
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) December 8, 2021
And some right-leaning populists suggested Biden and co. care more about Russia than China, and it shows:
should be noted Austin has lost internal battles before (AFG) and hard to parse Dem priorities from bureaucratic-speak
— curtmills (@CurtMills) December 8, 2021
Carlson’s point about Biden’s aides is salutary: “now among the many, many ironies here is that the Ukraine crisis was largely created by Joe Biden’s own aides and many people like them throughout all levels of the U.S. government.”
… The Democratic hype around Russia is a recrudescence of the Russia panic and bad blood between senior Democratic aides and the Kremlin that gave rise to the now-debunked “Russiagate” scare:
By the way, is it at all notable that Crimea became part of Russia during the Obama administration, and now Russia is supposedly preparing to invade Ukraine during the Biden administration, but never did either when they had their blackmail-controlled puppet in the White House?
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 8, 2021