Tuesday’s victory in the Senate for Republicans is set to usher in a new cast of rogues and villains who, following the example of long-time hawks like Sen. John McCain (R – AZ), never saw a war they didn’t not only like, but wanted to precipitously escalate.
A party shift in Congress isn’t so unusual, but the shift this time is bringing in a lot of newcomers who are outspoken in their love of military interventionism, and have not been shy in talking about their ambitions to force America down an even more disastrously warlike path than the one they are already on.
They don’t even take office for two months, but they’re already holding secret meetings, with the usual suspects like McCain and Sen. Bob Corker (R – TN) preparing for a transition from the loudmouth pro war fringe to the leaders of very powerful Senate committees.
McCain confirmed such meetings, saying there have been considerable discussions on plans to start sending arms to the Ukrainian government, hoping to get that (currently ceasefired) civil war going again, with similar eyes on further damaging already soured US relations with both China and Russia.
For years, McCain’s nigh-apocalyptic pronouncements about the need to start or escalate wars in every corner of the globe have been taken with a grain of salt. The man had a soap box, but no real political power.
Now, he’s the incoming Armed Services Committee Chairman, and the leader of a disturbingly large crew of like-minded super-hawks hoping to move from speeches to action.
The biggest risk here is that while President Obama has long prided himself on ignoring Congress at every opportunity, his commitment to the current level of escalation is paper-thin, and he’s likely not to take much cajoling to agree to escalate on assorted fronts.