In his column for the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis laid into Republicans who have decided to take sides with Vladimir Putin against Ukraine, calling them posturing appeasers who are in the thrall of the Russian strongman.
Getting right to the point, he compared them to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who is most notable for the Munich Agreement of 1938 which ceded parts of Czechoslovakia to Adolph Hitler.
As Lewis notes, choosing to side with Russia over Ukraine is causing a schism within the Republican Party -- and not to their credit.
"In one corner are the Reagan Republicans who don’t trust Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB agent, and who believe it’s dangerous to allow regimes to invade their neighbors. In the other corner are the America Firsters who would sit on their hands if Russia invaded and occupied Ukraine," he wrote before adding, "In recent years, rather than channeling Reagan, too many Republicans have taken a page from Russian propaganda. Trump famously defended Putin in 2017 by asking, 'You think our country’s so innocent?'"
The columnist suggests that this change of heart -- which was begun by the former president -- represents a huge shift for the party that long despised Russia.
"For years, foreign policy hawks invoked the icon of appeasement, Neville Chamberlain, to emasculate their more dovish liberal opponents. Today, the macho men on the right are arguing that an illegal incursion by an authoritarian regime into a European nation-state isn’t our business. It’s Chamberlain’s folly delivered with a confident Churchillian swagger," he wrote before later adding that one faction among conservatives who defend Putin insist they are standing up for "Christian values."
Citing Richard Hanania, of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, who wrote, “Russian opposition to LGBT triggers American elites more than anti-gay laws and practices elsewhere because Russia is a white nation that justifies its policies based on an appeal to Christian values,” Lewis wrote, "According to this worldview, hostility towards Russia is a proxy war against Christian conservatives in America (and it would be disproportionately fought by Christian conservatives from America)."
Conceding, "To be sure, in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan it is understandable that many Americans are afraid of being drawn into another quagmire," Lewis added, "But the opposite impulse—the desire to retreat from the world (or looking the other way while bullies dominate other countries)—is equally dangerous and provocative."
He then warned, "As Neville Chamberlain belatedly learned, Munich was an illusory, temporary fix. Bullies have to be confronted at some point."
You can read more here.