Senator John McCain, never one to pass up an opportunity to begin hostilities with anyone, thinks President Obama does not appreciate who Vladimir Putin is:
“He's an old KGB colonel that has no illusions about our relationship, does not care about a relationship with the United States, continues to oppress his people, continues to oppress the media and continues to act in an autocratic and unhelpful fashion."
While I am not an expert on Russia, or on Putin, I am pretty sure there is barely a grain of truth anywhere in McCain’s claim. First, Putin is not “old,” he probably was a KGB colonel (or more), but to say he does not care about a relationship with the United States is nonsense to the nth degree. And while there may be some who believe he oppresses his people, most of them do not as he is quite popular at home, how much he oppresses the media I do not know, probably not much more than we do at the moment (think Manning, Snowdon, and others), and his autocratic behavior probably goes with his office, and he has, in fact, been quite helpful to the United States. McCain speaks with the same dim-witted “my country right or wrong” jingoism that he always does. Putin made it clear from the beginning he did not want the Snowdon affair to importantly affect Russian/U.S. relations. He probably had little choice in the matter, given how the U.S. has treated Manning, given that Russia has never extradited anyone, and obviously not believing the U.S. is prepared to not torture or execute Snowdon if given the opportunity. It would be wonderful if we had any leaders who were not so blinded by their belief in “American exceptionalism,” and truly stupid ethnocentrism, they might understand, even dimly, that other countries have national interests that do not reflect what it is we want them to have. Happily this seems to be changing, as reflected in Putin’s one year asylum, the Latin American rebellion, the Egyptian situation, the Iranian situation, and the Middle East in general. We are seriously “losing face” all over the world, and rightly so. The “Ugly American” is finally coming home to roost.
I am beginning to wonder if words, especially in the hands of Republicans, have any meaning. Indeed, I am beginning to wonder if Republicans even pay any attention at all to the meaning of words. When you hear the word “socialism” mentioned in the same sentence with President Obama you know immediately they have no understanding of the meaning of the word. Obama is so far from being a socialist the claim is basically idiotic, but Republicans insist on the connection anyway. I don’t know if they are really that stupid or if this is just another senseless attack on Obama just for their obsession with attacking him on everything.
President Obama in some ways is a master of understatement. For example, when discussing the possibility Republicans might shut down the government to stop Obamacare (to keep 30 million Americans from having health care) he said it was a “bad idea.” A bad idea!! It is an idea so outrageously, stupidly, obscenely, disgustingly, delusionally, harmfully, and without merit, as to be dismissed as no more valuable than a damp cigarette butt in the gutter of downtown Detroit. He also said they were “wrong.” Is there any way of saying something is more than wrong? Can you say something is a thousand times wrong? Does that have any meaning? Obama is right, Republicans are so obsessed with preventing 30 million Americans from having health care they will do anything to stop Obamacare, and with no pretense of replacing it with anything else other than sickness and death.
I suppose it would be ridiculous to say it is “refreshing” to see that Republican racism has come completely “out of the closet.” For a brief time after Obama’s election some of them at least pretended they were not racists (although we knew they were), but now they no longer even pretend otherwise. Their attacks are vicious, public, and more and more common. It is as if they know Obama can never be President again so they can slime and denigrate him at will, pretend he had never happened, and go on trying to name every place on earth after Saint Ronnie, the worst President ever (but White). Having blocked his every attempt to improve things, especially jobs and the Middle Class, they will now claim he failed because he was Black (and Blacks, of course, are by nature inferior). Personally, I believe their unwarranted attacks on Obama are driven by their own intense feelings (and reality) of their own inferiority.