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Biden Jumps the Shark on Ukraine Trip

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine will be seen as the moment that his presidency finally jumped the shark.

To review the bidding here – Biden’s weakness on the world stage in Afghanistan and toward China clearly emboldened Putin to launch his invasion of Ukraine.


Since then, regrettably with the assent of most Republicans, Biden has poured more than $100 billion – along with countless weapons – to Zelensky with no audit or accounting, and no end in sight.

Now China is joining hands with Putin to assist Russia in its conflict in Ukraine, making the prospect of a nuclear war more real than it's been since the 1950s.

And instead of focusing on our border, record-high inflation, skyrocketing crime, and the toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio, Biden jets off to Kiev for photo-ops with his partner Zelensky complete with fake air-raid sirens in the background.

While there, Biden renews his pledge to Venmo tens of billions more dollars to the tracksuit-clad Ukrainian leader for, quoting Biden, “as long it takes.”

His promise of unlimited outlays on a war brought on by his own weakness has earned the spending its rightful name: “Biden’s Ukraine tax.” Those Ukraine-flag lapel pins can now officially be replaced with dollar-sign lapel pins.

Remember George W. Bush's famous flight on Air Force One in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina where he had the plane descend over New Orleansso that he could witness the damage, and then promptly ramped back up to fly to Washington without stopping to visit the suffering residents?

That flight was seen by Bush himself as a turning point in his presidency when his previous missteps in Iraq and other failings crystallized for many swing voters and he never recovered politically.


Now, over 17 years later, Biden's own trip on Air Force One has thrown the failings of his own presidency into stark relief for American voters. Did he fly over Ohio to have a look at the residents impacted by that train derailment before ramping up the jet and banking toward Kiev?

Or did he fly the plane over the southern border to see the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants crossing into our country each month, along with more than enough Chinese fentanyl to kill every American citizen?

Instead, like in so many upscale neighborhoods across the country, Biden’s flight reveals his true priorities, and can be summed up with homage to the Ukraine flag, not the American flag.

Biden's trip on the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine is a reminder of how inverted his priorities were in getting into this regional conflict in the first place.

Once Putin decided to invade his neighbor, clearly NATO, and not the U.S., should have taken the lead in countering him, while Washington remained focused on China – the real threat to U.S. global leadership.

To be clear, most Americans feel bad for the Ukrainian people, but early on, this was going to be a short engagement – lasting several weeks or a month – not a full-year war with no end in sight.

And now, with Biden’s unlimited commitment to supporting Ukraine in this conflict, many Americans have had enough and are calling for sanity and refocusing the country on its real priorities.

Here’s a thought – how about spending that money on countering China? Or doubling the number of border patrol agents?  Or getting serious about crime in the cities? Or rebuilding the country’s roads, bridges, and indeed, its railroads?


One year in, the road ahead in this conflict is clear – it’s time to take off the Ukraine flag lapel pins and ramp this thing down, by pushing both sides for a quick, negotiated settlement that neither will like. Honestly, all it would take is for the U.S. to signal its funding for Ukraine will end to bring Zelensky to the table for peace talks that his closest aides maintain are “out of the question.”

Then, with taxpayers no longer on the hook for financing the war, anyone in the U.S. who wants more funding for the conflict should be encouraged to open up his or her own checkbook and send money directly to Zelensky, and keep doing so “as long as it takes.”

If anything has made the prospect of finally getting to that resolution, it’s the spectacle of Biden’s tone-deaf flight to Kiev that has laid bare the absurdity of his endless war, and the weakness of his presidency overall.

 John Ullyot is a U.S. Marine veteran and served as National Security Council spokesman under President Trump.

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