As Russian troops surround Ukraine’s borders, prominent members of the MAGA crowd reacted with a collective shrug. The Ukraine-Russia conflict is complicated and dangerous, so the intellectually bankrupt Trump movement has decided that their time is best spend demanding President Biden address the “tyranny” taking place in [checks notes] Canada. Far-right commentators have claimed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s actions to remove anti-vax truckers from occupying Ottawa pose a greater threat than Putin preparing to go to war with Ukraine.
“We have a crisis at the southern border, a fascist up north literally reenacting empower Palpatine’s speech, and instead of *that*, we are supposed to care about a turf war over some street corners in the Far East,” far-right personality Mike Cernovich tweeted on Sunday, comparing Trudeau to an evil Star Wars emperor for invoking emergency powers, including cutting off funding sources, to get the truckers to leave. The blockade, a protest against Covid vaccine mandates, had occupied Ottawa for weeks and impeded traffic on the Ambassador Bridge, a key trade route, for six days.
Right-wing firebrand Candace Owens on Friday went even further, suggesting that the U.S. should send troops into an ally nation to stop the “tyrannical reign of Justin Trudeau,” comparing him to deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
STOP talking about Russia.
Send American troops to Canada to deal with the tyrannical reign of Justin Trudeau Castro.
He has fundamentally declared himself dictator and is waging war on innocent Canadian protesters and those who have supported them financially.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) February 19, 2022
During an appearance on Steve Bannon’s podcast this weekend, conservative senate candidate and veteran J.D. Vance said he doesn’t “really care what happens to Ukraine one way or another.”
“At the end of the day, we served to defend our own country and I think it’s ridiculous that we’re focused on this border in Ukraine,” he said, claiming that the administration’s focus should be on stopping fentanyl coming across the U.S. border with Mexico, as though the two issues were mutually exclusive.
“I gotta be honest with you, I don’t really care what happens to Ukraine…I do care about the fact that in my community right now the leading cause of death among 18-45 year olds is Mexican fentanyl that’s coming across the southern border.” – @JDVance1 #OHSen pic.twitter.com/nf6MUzdWM5
— JD Vance for U.S. Senate Press (@JDVancePress) February 19, 2022
Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman reacted to MAGAworld’s diversionary tactics — specifically, a clip of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene falsely claiming that “Ukraine was the number one donor to Hillary Clinton when she was running for president” — and said the former president’s pals are only emboldening Putin. Vindman is a former National Security Council director for European affairs who gave testimony to Congress regarding Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president during the first round of impeachment hearings.
These people and a great deal of the GOP leadership will have blood on their hands. They’re fanning flames, encouraging Putin to attack Ukraine. Putin and his regime perceive opportunities because such fools suggest the U.S. is weak, divided, and distracted. https://t.co/OCmnjFadQb
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) February 20, 2022
“These people and a great deal of the GOP leadership will have blood on their hands,” Vindman tweeted on Sunday. “They’re fanning flames, encouraging Putin to attack Ukraine. Putin and his regime perceive opportunities because such fools suggest the U.S. is weak, divided, and distracted.”