It's a Great Day for Russia. Not so for the US

Vladimir Putin was a young KGB officer, stationed in Dresden, then part of the communist German Democratic Republic, in late 1989. At that time, he looked on in despair at the unstoppable events of Eastern Europe throwing off its communist yolk and the subsequent final death throes of the Soviet empire. The West had won the Cold War.

Washington, with ample help from London, had secured the triumph of the Anglo-American post-War model – individual freedom, free trade, and democracy, backed up with the guarantors of NATO and the growing European Union in Western Europe. It was a Soviet defeat that left a lasting impression upon Putin.

Fast forward 31 years to 2020. January 31 st to be exact. That same Putin, post-communist Russia’s autocrat-in-chief, looks on with glee in his eye as two further events roll out before him. The UK finally departs the European Union, fundamentally weakening the structure - a long held aspiration of Putin’s Russia. Across the Atlantic, Republicans in the Senate finally confirm their place in infamy by refusing to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Putin’s eyes are so full of joy because he is seeing the irreversible decline of the Western post-War experiment in democracy and freedom descend further into the mire.

Putting aside the UK’s Brexit woes, recent events in the impeachment hearing of Trump have served only to confirm to us what we already knew. And that is the Republican party has absolutely, lock, stock and barrel sold its soul to Trump. Like some ghoulish first dance at a zombie wedding, they waltz with him as he waltzes with them. McConnell, Graham, Paul et al never had the remotest intention of holding Trump to account – hence the visceral objection to having witnesses called.

What they are however concerned about holding on to are their Senate seats. And to do that, they need to keep Trump’s ruby-red “base” as sweet as possible. So, here’s to electoral expediency and to hell with truth, justice

and doing the right thing.