Democrats should listen to Barack Obama on Ukraine

Diplomacy is not treason.

Last week, I praised Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the other Democratic members of the Progressive Caucus for sending a letter to the White House calling for diplomacy with Russia over the Ukraine conflict. The signatories specifically mentioned the specter of nuclear war as a primary reason for seeking communication with Russian officials.

In less than 24 hours, after Democrats and some hawkish Republicans attacked these progressive Democrats for supposedly undermining the Ukraine effort and even of being treasonous by supposedly siding with the enemy, the Progressive Caucus retracted the letter.

That was on Monday and Tuesday.

By the end of the week, a segment of an interview with Barack Obama was shared on social media showing that the former president was concerned that there was not enough communication at the moment with Russia.

Obama was essentially echoing the initial concerns of the Progressive Caucus. As independent journalist Glenn Greenwald observed:

In a sense, this is not new coming from Obama, who has long said Ukraine is of no vital interest to the U.S., but will always be to Russia.

Calling Obama a “traitor” for daring to suggest that diplomacy might be preferable to prolonging an unwinnable war hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge. Maybe this is due to his stature within the Democratic Party.

Maybe Democrats might actually listen to him?

Or maybe he falls in line and retracts too. Let’s hope not.

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Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter
Jack Hunter is a freelance writer, the co-author of Sen. Rand Paul’s 2011 book ‘The Tea Party Goes to Washington’ and the former politics editor for