By Thursday afternoon, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had had enough of posturing by fellow Republicans and their opposition to urgently needed Ukraine aid and Russian sanctions. The bill will now be delayed 10 days during a Senate recess, leaving Ukraine hanging as Russian troops mass on its border. “What has happened? Where are our priorities? . . . You can call yourself Republicans, that’s fine, because that’s your voter registration. Don’t call yourself Reagan Republicans,” he declared. He was channeling disgust among conservative foreign policy experts over the GOP’s hang-up over International Monetary Fund rules. (“Is the IMF whether it is fixed or not more important than the lives of thousands of people?”)
A conservative foreign policy think tanker disputed even the rationale for opposing the IMF funding. He told me, “There is no reason to oppose the IMF reform. It merely rationalizes voting percentages based on size of economy. This gives Brazil, China, India, et al, a slight rise, at the expense mostly of Europe. The U.S. share falls from something like 17.4 to 17. It doubles the amount of everyone’s contributions. I have yet to see anyone explain why this is bad. And our friends around the world are dumbfounded that we would oppose [it].” McCain echoed this argument on the floor.