The fight to make the Republican Party embrace a more foreign policy realist is only just beginning.
Last week Kentucky Senator Rand Paul courageously blocked a $40 billion military aid bill to Ukraine which earned him tons of flak from the corporate media.
However, Paul’s efforts have appeared to be in vain after the United States Senate voted for advancing the Ukraine aid bill on May 16, 2022 by a vote of 81-11. The 11 Senators who voted against the bill were Republicans.
The Hill listed off the Republicans who voted against this bill:
The Republican senators opposed to the plan were Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Mike Braun (Ind.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.).
The vote on May 16 now sets in motion a final vote for the Ukrainian aid package later this week.
Missouri Senator John Hawley defended his vote against this motion by tweeting that “spending $40 billion on Ukraine aid – more than three times what all of Europe has spent combined – is not in America’s interests.”
“It neglects priorities at home (the border), allows Europe to freeload, short changes critical interests abroad and comes w/ [sic] no meaningful oversight,” Hawley continued.
In the House, this Ukrainian military aid bill was passed in the House by a vote of 368 to 57. All 57 House members who voted against this bill were Republicans.
On a gradual basis, the Republican Party is moving in a saner direction. However, there are many challenges that lie ahead before the Republican Party goes back to its non-interventionist past — as seen during the Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge era.
In light of this recent Ukraine vote, Florida State Representative Anthony Sabatini pointed out the uphill struggle liberty conservatives face. He tweeted on May 16, “We have 11 senators who put America First That’s allThe other 89 are not America FirstThey have other interests.”
We have 11 senators who put America First
The other 89 are not America First
They have other interests
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) May 17, 2022
Sabatini is part of a growing America First contingent in the Republican Party that has become skeptical of open borders and never-ending wars. This faction of the GOP will be waging an intra-party civil war against the established neocons in the party in an effort to redefine the party’s policy priorities.
Back to the federal level. The Senate has traditionally been one of the most pro-establishment institutions in Congress. The Senate is monolithically hawkish on foreign policy, with Rand Paul usually being the lone exception. However that’s now slowly beginning to change.
While the Senate remains thoroughly hawkish, there are growing signs of progress being made in that chamber on matters of foreign policy realism. The recent Ukraine vote shows that there’s room to grow.
In the meantime, liberty conservatives should channel the spirit of Anthony Sabatini and take out their frustration against lousy incumbent Republicans by putting forth non-interventionist candidates in primary elections.
Purging the party of neocons is the first step in making the GOP an America First party.