House Speaker Mike Johnson.

EDITORIAL: Bipartisan The Way To Go

Perhaps we in Irish America are spoiled. We have been long used to using the word "bipartisan" in headlines and stories dealing with Congress and its stances on Northern Ireland, the Good Friday Agreement and so forth.

In other contexts, however, the word sticks out like a jagged piece of glass. Headlines and reports arising from the weekend vote in the House of Representatives seemed to express astonishment at the fact that Democrats and Republicans - enough of them at any rate - joined together to push through a series of bills containing support for friends and allies, not least Ukraine.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.

The vote on significant military aid for Ukraine was the most controversial. It might have cost House Speaker Mike Johnson his gavel. It might still do.

He is under relentless pressure from the far right of the Republican House caucus, let by the likes of Marjorie Taylor-Greene.

The argument that the U.S. cannot indefinitely fund Ukraine's defense against the Russian onslaught is not entirely invalid. The motives behind it, however, are dubious. Some who argue against the funding are evidently admirers of President Vladimir Putin.

Back in the days when the United States took on the task of being the "arsenal of democracy" there were admirers in the country of European Fascism too.

There are multiple fronts in all conflicts; some far away, some at home.

Speaker Johnson should be commended for his Pauline conversion on Ukraine. Reportedly, he prayed before making a decision that defending Ukraine was tantamount to defending America. Mr. Johnson is a devout Christian. Presumably, he has concluded that Putinism doesn't square with his Christian beliefs. And he would be absolutely correct on that score.

So, and after all the angst of recent weeks, the cavalry did ride over hill and to the rescue of hard pressed Ukraine. There will be more debate in both the House and Senate but the means of significant and continued Ukrainian defense will be heading to President Biden's desk for signing.

Together with ramped up European aid Kyiv should be able to hold the Russians. However, increasingly, the retaking of Russian occupied territory looks like an ever more uphill task.

Down the road there has to be a way out of this war, though at this juncture said road looks like a long and winding one.