Jewish World Review March 5, 2014 / 3 Adar II, 5774
It's 3 a.m., and Obama's phone is ringing
By John Kass
JewishWorldReview.com | As he seeks to rebuild the Russian empire, strongman Vladimir Putin has developed a terribly obnoxious habit.
He keeps dragging the Obama White House back to a difficult place.
It's called "reality."
Putin's military capture of Crimea, a region of
It's like that phone call at
Her devastating 2008 campaign spot of that ringing phone, arguing that
It faded away as America was captured instead by his soaring rhetoric and the messianic politics orchestrated by Obama's mythmakers.
Clinton's campaign was gutted by Obama's expert and cynical use of the race card.
As Clinton receded, wounded, humiliated by the devastating label of racial insensitivity, the American media grew bored with her. But journalists found a new hobby: placing laurel wreaths upon the head of Mr. Obama.
Vesting a nation's leader with unearned virtues isn't particularly American. The same goes on in the Russian media.
Putin is portrayed at home as man of action, the strongman of
But good intelligence services are not run by sentimentalists. These are people of cold mind.
And somewhere in the Kremlin, there must be a dossier on Obama, something a bit more comprehensive than media gushing about his use of symbolism.
What would such a Russian dossier tell Putin about the nature of the man?
It would tell Putin that Obama rose on the wings of an America tired of war.
And that Obama flew skyward, preaching about ethics, and promising hope and change we could believe in, all of it orchestrated brilliantly by
Putin already knew that Obama had absolutely no executive experience before taking the most important executive job in the world. And that he charmed his way into the job. America, tired of war and fearful of a collapsing economy, reached for the president from
But the Obama dossier would mention what many here have ignored about the president's formative years: Obama challenged power only once.
And when he did so, U.S. Rep.
From then on, Obama didn't challenge power. He accommodated it.
He got down on his knees before it, asking
And so Obama climbed out of
Young, risk-averse people who teach themselves never to challenge power can and do succeed. They can prosper in an America that has reshaped itself as a kind of modern Byzantium.
They do well in corporate and political life. They punch their tickets. They make their connections. They gather support among like-minded bureaucrats and clerks, as the Byzantines once did.
They rise. They prosper.
But they don't grow up to be
Instead, they become older men who can always find practical reasons for acquiescing.
That kind of man can turn his back on
Though Obama was a gentle stalk of asparagus when it came to
For example, during a tough re-election campaign, he fended off calls by
He's withdrawn our troops from
But it's his desire to avoid confrontation that must whet Putin's appetite.
Like at the famous 2012 photo-op in
"This is my last election ...," Obama was overheard to say. "After my election I have more flexibility."
"I will transmit this information to Vladimir," said Medvedev.
Imagine Putin smirking at Obama being so eager to make friends.
Later, in a debate with Republican presidential nominee
"Gov. Romney ... the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back," Obama said. "Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years."
It was a snarky bite, like a Twitterverse rendition of complicated and dangerous history.
President Obama, the '80s aren't alone in calling for their foreign policy back.
The '60s and '70s are calling now, too.
Is it really
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John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.
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