Support for Ukraine in itself and constraining Russia is a very big deal. But the decision by US Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to go ahead with the Ukraine aid vote cuts across everything. Matt Gaetz has been emasculated. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s howler monkey hoots have been answered with: go climb a tree and pick some fruit. Trump has been ignored. What happened yesterday has created a brand new/old dynamic – one of compromise. What a novel/ancient concept!

Compromise on this issue completely severs the ties and tends to disempower the radical extremist Putin wing of the Republican Party. In this political universe, anything can happen, and one cannot say that the war has been won. It’s more like the war is fully on within the Republican Party. Many now are moving to utterly crush the rabid monkeys.


Expect some wild things in coming days, weeks, and months. But the die is cast. The Republican Party will split in two, whether literally as legal party entities, or at least in political reality. We have the conservative realist supporters of democracy, and the antagonists of democracy. This face-off is what should have happened in 2016. But we are where we are, and finally it has happened. It’s now democracy versus autocracy within the Republican Party, finally. It’s reason backed by democracy against extremist militancy for the simple ugly sake of raising hell.

Estonia’s PM: NATO Troop Training in Ukraine Won't Trigger War With Russia
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Estonia’s PM: NATO Troop Training in Ukraine Won't Trigger War With Russia

Kallas said that training Ukraine’s forces on their territory would not be escalatory, adding that “Russia’s propaganda is about being at war with NATO; they don’t need an excuse.”

Extremist militancy will fight back. But they will lose. They lost in 1865, and they will lose again, hopefully without something worse than what we have already seen since Trump’s 2017-2021 reign of political terror against democracy. I anticipate worse, but whatever may come, democracy will win. Half of the Republican Party, while as conservative as ever, is squarely opposed to autocratic dictatorship – and that includes not just in Russia but at home, too.

Mike Johnson, for all the darts we Democrats have thrown (and may still throw issue by issue), did the right thing. It took enormous courage given the environment that Republicans have crafted over the past 15 years. For the radical militant extremists, it was a political earthquake of Magnitude 9. For all the rest of us – Democrats and Republican realist supporters of democracy, there is new hope – not just for Ukraine, but for America and for democracy worldwide.


As for Ukraine, you have a war to fight, and now some new and some more of the old tools with which to fight it. Sorry for the delays. Together, we’ll win, and we’ll bury Putin in the trash heap of brutal dictators and wannabe emperors.

The views expressed here are those of the author, not of his employer, and not necessarily of the Kyiv Post.

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