Babe the Blue Ox stopped by this week to watch a televised stream of Putin holding a press conference about why he’s invading Ukraine. We both just loved watching it. It’s just so much more sophisticated and interesting than anything you get here. And, I must say, it’s a good piece of rhetoric. See if for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ayu3Ecdbl0Q or read the transcripts courtesy of the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/transcript-putin-says-russia-will-protect-the-rights-of-russians-abroad/2014/03/18/432a1e60-ae99-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html.
Think of Obama talking. No, really. Close your eyes for a moment and picture it. Can you imagine him actually getting into it like Putin does? Obama’s mired in DC hipster-American-pop-crypto speak. He speaks the language of JayZ and Beyonce, selfies and the NBA. Compare that to a leader who respects his audience enough to delve into history, use sophisticated logic, speak in metaphor, and in general, be intelligent. Intelligence in discourse gets my vote.
Putin goes through the argument and he is not afraid to finally
share his and his country’s feelings of victimization. I don’t think it has been articulated before. He’s admitting, on a world stage, that the Crimea annexation comes from victimhood. This is amazing. It’s an opportunity, except we can’t hear it. This is the same as the America’s inability to hear the drug addict pleading for help. We say he’s bad and throw that druggee in jail! Same thing. Imagine if Obama actually responded to the speech. What would it look like if the POTUS said, “I listened with great interest to the leader of Russia’s explanation, and I must say I was quite moved by his feelings of victimization. I would like to reach out to him and say: we have far more to discuss than I realized”. Think of that kind of an approach.
I honestly don’t think the USA is morally superior to Russia, and
even if I did, I don’t think it’s healthy to think that way. We have aspects which are indeed more advance, but we have sufficiently offset those aspects with some of our downfalls. To that end, let’s call it a wash. I happen to hold the politically incorrect view that the Russian people may be slightly less pleasant than most people, but that’s based only on the neighborhood. But I digress. I’m not saying Putin’s likable, no, instead I’m saying that an intellectual rundown on the history and logic of the country’s actions blows away anything our country has done since Richard Nixon.
So there you have my review of Putin’s Masterwork, Act I. He makes a lot of good points. Sure, it’s overblown rhetoric, but it’s smart! He gets a thumbs up from this reporter. I wish I was a White House reporter. I would ask Obama: “I noted Putin’s speech to the Duma, and it’s a very complex, nuanced, detailed explication of Russia’s actions. He stretches the truth, bends it, even breaks it in a few places, but overall the talk holds together, and he’s not afraid to address every possible objection. I also notice the way you talk about it, Mr. President, and I wonder, are you being dumb on purpose? Is this what your advisers tell you will play to the american people? Is this really as far along as your thinking extends on the subject? Mr. President, is your kind of sound-byte NBA coach speak? Is this emblematic or causative of our national decline?