The read I have on Poole and the Cosmonauts defying orders is ‘the world’s about to end, so fuck it, let’s go out on high note’. But yes, very much, Poole would otherwise be in hot water, if not for the aforementioned, ‘potentially saved all of humanity, and inspired Ronald Reagan to make the diplomatic move of the century’.
This really makes me wonder how Reagan will be viewed in TTL down the line. Early in the season it seemed Reagan could end up with George W. Bush style legacy with defence budgets swelling up and a problematic military quagmire in Panama (aside from the parallel of getting elected due to a technicallity). However, the "diplomatic move of the century" , as Luath notes, will very likely help him save face. And he might be seen as the President who thawed out the Cold War. Even if the USSR survives to present day, which I think it will, this is a major victory for international cooperation.It really feels like conservative politics in this world are going to have to shift. The GOP is tied to big government, likely higher taxation, more acceptance of multi-culturalism and women’s rights, even immigration to an extent, and an open mind on energy policy. The institutions that fought for conservative causes have been pretty universally sidelined, with the major exception of the national defense establishment.