Ohio Republican J.D. Vance attended the Munich Security Conference over the weekend. He spent most of his time there arguing against U.S. military aid to Ukraine in its ongoing war with Russia. Ultimately, Vance’s statements and his actions brought a storm of criticism down on his head as a Fox correspondent and others called him to task.

What Did Vance Say About Ukraine?

In recent weeks, Ohio Senator J.D. Vance has been spending his time in Congress trying to sink a foreign aid bill that would have given funds to Ukraine. Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022 and has received overwhelming support from the international community. Vance argued for a “negotiated peace,” which is unlikely given the circumstances.

Source: Wikimedia/FoxCowardVance

Vance refused to meet or listen to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the conference. According to senior congressional reporter Andrew Desidirio of Punchbowl News, Vance said that he didn’t think he could learn anything from Zelensky. That’s a remarkable statement given that Zelensky has been on the front lines and knows first-hand what’s been happening on the ground in Ukraine.

Mark Thiessen Strikes Back

It didn’t take long for voices in the media to be raised against Vance. While Fox News often defends Republicans, correspondent Mark Thiessen didn’t hold back when he read the report that Vance had refused to meet with Zelensky. He took to X to voice his displeasure and criticize Vance, and he pulled no punches.

Source: Yahoo

Thiessen posted, “What a coward. Could not sit down and look Zelensky in the eye.” Given Vance’s ongoing opposition to Ukraine aid, it’s unlikely he wanted to be called to task on his stance. Thiessen wasn’t the only one to react to Vance’s cowardice. Others, including a former US ambassador to Russia, weighed in as well.

Former Ambassador Calls Vance Out On His Hypocrisy

One of the harshest evaluations of Vance came from someone who has a deep understanding of Russian aggression. Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul called Vance out on his naivete in suggesting a settlement. He said, “Senator Vance had a unique opportunity to meet with [Zelensky] and discuss his ideas for a negotiated settlement.”

Source: Wikimedia/United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs

He continued, “To state the obvious, a settlement has to be negotiated between Ukraine and Russia, not US and Russia. Odd decision not to go to the meeting.” In other words, Vance is in no position to suggest or negotiate a settlement. There are few on the world stage who think that a settlement is likely without a change in Russian leadership.

International Criticism of Vance

It wasn’t only domestic voices who hurried to express their opinions about Vance and his decision. One strong opposition voice was that of Ricarda Lang, who co-leads Germany’s Green Party. She pointed out the absurdity of Vance’s assumptions that peace would be possible in light of Russia’s actions and ongoing aggression.

Source: Wikimedia/Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

Lang said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has “no interest in peace at the moment.” It’s hard to argue with that statement given that Putin could have withdrawn from Ukraine at any time in the past two years. He also had the option of not invading in the first place.

Rick Wilson, Co-Founder Of The Lincoln Project, Also Had Harsh Words For Vance

Rick Wilson is a famously outspoken political consultant who ran many successful campaigns before leaving the Republican Party in the Trump era. He’s a co-founder of The Lincoln Project, a Political Action Committee dedicated to “the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy.” His remarks echoed Thiessen’s and even used the same insult.

Source: Brad Barket

Wilson posted, “J.D. didn’t join the meeting because he’s a moral coward afraid to stare a better man in the eye.” It’s not unusual for Wilson to criticize Republicans. He left his former party in 2016 after Donald Trump was elected and co-founded the Lincoln Project in 2019 in an effort to combat Trump’s influence on the country.

Josh Rogin Of The Washington Post Piled On Vance

Voices from the left were just as critical of Vance as those on the right. Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin responded to the report that Vance thought he didn’t have anything new to learn from Zelensky. He said, “I talked to those Senators who bothered to show up.” He added that Vance’s perspective is “uninformed” by choice.

Source: Wikimedia/Hudson Institute

Rogin added that Vance “would have learned exactly how his opposition to aid to Ukraine is costing lives on the battlefield and how his perception of the situation on the ground is badly mistaken.” The overwhelming response is that Vance has chosen to avoid information that might reveal the wrongness of his actions.

Vance’s Problems Didn’t End There

Vance has had a tough weekend, but his problems didn’t end with criticism of his actions related to Ukraine. On the ridiculous end of the spectrum, he attempted to criticize the availability of porn on the web. In doing so, he inadvertently revealed his own sketchy search history in a now-deleted post on X.

Source: ShutterStock/Legendary4, ShutterStock/Consolidated News Photos

Vance posted a picture of a woman with a dolphin with the caption, “Maybe the internet was a mistake.” X users were quick to point out that the words “woman” and “dolphin” were highlighted. That only happens when search terms are used to find an image. In other words, Vance specifically went looking for images like the one he shared.

What’s Next for Ukraine?

The most troubling thing about Vance’s refusal to meet with Zelensky is what it reveals about the views of some in the Republican Party about Putin. There seems to be an ongoing effort to normalize and even support his behavior. Trump has famously said that he likes and admires Putin-and that’s a problem. There’s no denying that Putin poses a risk.

Source: Wikimedia/Amaury Laporte

The United States has stood in opposition to Russia for decades. Ronald Reagan referred to the USSR as the “Evil Empire.” Since the Iron Curtain fell, many in Russia, including Putin, seem to want a return to the Cold War. It falls to Vance’s critics and others to call out the danger and keep the world safe from Russian aggression.