Now Progressives DON’T Want Ukraine Peace Agreement – After a letter from 30 House Democrats to the White House was published on Monday urging President Joe Biden to combine continued military aid to Ukraine with a new push for a diplomatic solution to the conflict, the letter was abruptly pulled on Tuesday following a massive backlash from the signatories of the letter.
The 30 progressive House Democrats first signed the letter in June, but the decision to publish the letter by Rep. Pamila Jayapal, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, was slammed by progressive signatories over her timing.
After the signatories expressed their concern that the move could cause harm to the Democrats ahead of the November midterms, Jayapal issued a statement announcing that the letter had been withdrawn and that she was responsible for its release.
“The Congressional Progressive Caucus hereby withdraws its recent letter to the White House regarding Ukraine,” the statement reads. “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting. As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this.”
Ukraine Letter: Where Did the Anger Come From?
Even though the polls show that American voters would like to see the White House explore diplomatic options to bring the war in Ukraine to an end, Democrats seem to think that the letter could hinder their efforts to maintain control of the House and Senate in the November midterm elections.
One senior House Democrat reportedly said that some of the highest-profile Democratic members of the House are “furious” over the release of the letter, as well as the most vulnerable members of the House who are at risk of losing their seats.
California Democratic Rep. Sara Jacobs, one of the signatories of the letter, also come out in opposition to its release. Jacobs claimed that the situation in Ukraine has changed and that she wouldn’t sign the letter today.
“Timing in diplomacy is everything,” Jacobs said on Twitter. “I signed this letter on June 30, but a lot has changed since then. I wouldn’t sign it today.”
In the same post, Jacobs stressed the importance of continuing to support Ukraine “economically and militarily to give them the leverage they need to end this war.”
The debacle was described by Alex Shephard in The New Republic as a “self-inflicted disaster.”
“The caucus has steadily gained influence in recent years. But this is a mess of its own making, a needless folderol that accomplished nothing beyond making the group seem messy and divided,” Shephard wrote, adding that the progressive left has “struggled to articulate a foreign policy vision on par with its compelling domestic policy diagnoses and platform.”
Questions about that “compelling” domestic policy aside, Shephard may be right that the chaotic circumstances in which these progressives offered up – and then withdrew – their support for diplomacy have cast doubt on their political credibility. But there are other reasons that this can be described as a disaster.
The truth is that the American people want to see a diplomatic approach to the Ukraine conflict, and with the very real prospect of a global conflict arising from the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, calls for negotiations could have been a way of uniting the most progressive Democrats and the most populist of Republicans.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.