US Progressive Caucus Retracts Ukraine Letter

Photo: Washington Post/Getty Images [via Daily Wire]

The Facts

  • On Tuesday, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) — the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — withdrew a letter released the day before that urged Biden to diplomatically engage with Putin to end the war in Ukraine. News of the letter sparked backlash from fellow Democrats as the midterms loom just weeks away.

  • The letter, signed by 30 members, indicated that progressive elements in the Democratic party were advocating softening Washington's stance towards Russia. Jayapal apologized for the "distraction," saying that the letter was drafted "several months ago."


The Spin

Republican narrative

That was quick. Less than 24 hours after the Progressive Caucaus floated the idea of negotiating with Putin, establishment Democrats threw a conniption and closed party ranks. Here's an instance where the "anti-war" progressives could work with the GOP on some common ground to seek a peaceful resolution and provide guardrails on billions sent to Ukraine already. As the midterms approach, however, they've decided that it's better to support this war than seek bipartisan partnerships.

Democratic narrative

Yes, this letter was a genuine gaffe, but it's out of context. It was drafted and signed months ago and disseminated this week by mistake. Many Democrats are clarifying that they wouldn't have signed the letter under the war's conditions today. Progressives fully support Biden's current foreign policy and have bold ideas about bolstering US national security strategies. Besides, the letter squarely blamed Putin for the atrocities in Ukraine and never discussed ending aid.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance the Democrats will hold at least 50 seats in the US Senate after the 2022 midterm election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


Political split

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