Vladimir Putin may not be as powerful as feared.
Not only does he apparently not pull the strings of the much-accused-of/now-cleared-of-collusion “Trump Puppet,” Putin also does not write comic lines for the “acting” president of Ukraine.
You see, a few days ago Ukrainians held a run-off election to choose a new leader, and the man who won — Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky — is, like the U.S. president, a celebrated entertainer.
In 2015, he began playing the role of Vasily Goloborodko in the TV show, Servant of the People. His character is a high-school history teacher who rants in class against government corruption. Soon a video of his extemporaneous tirade goes viral, and, voila, Goloborodko ascends to the presidency!
Zelensky’s actual transit to the real presidency may be less funny but is just as remarkable.
A Kiev teacher quoted by the Los Angeles Times admitted the election was rather crazy. “But at least we have a choice. They don’t have that in Russia.” In the Times’ lede, Putin is identified as “by far the biggest loser of the night.” The anti-Russia trajectory of Ukrainian politics is reported to be steadfast.
The anti-corruption movement, however, may be a bit iffier.
Meanwhile, the eighth season of HBO’s political satire Veep is underway, and I am told it is as chillingly accurate as ever. Last week the anti-heroine Selina Meyer, played by Julia-Luis Dreyfuss, again stumbled her way into political success, this time by “accidentally” “colluding” with the Chinese Government.
Is this meant as a nod to Russiagate or a pointed Hillary Clinton commentary?*
Seems a lot like Ukrainian politics.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.