Despite efforts to socialize it out, bullying is in big time. Because behaviors tend to run in social circles, one has to be careful about who they "Putin around" with. Vladimir's "Putin around" with genocidal corrupt leaders with his Russification military boots on the ground in Crimea is causing serious radioactive geopolitical dust that is blowing a Big Chill War. The Russian Bear is out of hibernation and its Siberian frost has also settled in Washington, D.C.
The whacky and self-serving Republicans are back at bullying President Obama but now it is over his less than manly approach to the macho Putin. If only Obama were more like Putin. He could have used one of his vacations for a photo op to look less professorial by shedding his Hawaiian shirt to free up his pecs and knife a shark to death. Perhaps then Putin would have looked into Obama's soul and decided against agitating this fearless warrior and not secreted his troops to occupy Crimea. Republicans couldn't blame Obama then for what has occurred with their sound bite bully locker room jabs calling him weak and backbone-less.
It's instructional, however, to keep in mind that Vladimir Putin sent troops to re-assimilate the breakaway Republic of Georgia in 2008. Nothing the sitting American President did or said persuaded him not to. This was after Mr. Macho Commander-In-Chief President George W. Bush was famously filmed ferociously cross-country cycling and wielding a mean chain saw on his Texas ranch. Bush even elevated the art of macho to a Dr. Strangelove level. He deployed American troops to invade and occupy two countries under false and trumped up charges. He set up Gitmo "The House of Horror." He ordered torture, water boarding, and the rendering of alleged American citizen terrorists. Bush even jumped off the diplomatic ledge without a parachute by revealing his foreign policy credentials with this quote about Mr. Putin on June 16, 2001. "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy... I was able to get a sense of his soul." After all of this, there was no serious Republican outcry.
The Republican bullying parade continued this past week beyond Governor Christie's "Bridgegate" when Congressional House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, Republican Darrell Issa, would not allow any Democrat to speak during a hearing on the scandal to create scandal over the IRS spying of political groups seeking non-profit tax status. Mr. Chairman Issa had his cohorts turn off the microphone while the leading Democrat on the committee, Elijah Cummings, tried to ask a question. What made this look even worse was the color of the event, a white chairman disrespecting and shutting down a black speaker. Vladimir Putin claimed there was an "anti-constitutional coup" in the Ukraine to justify his Crimea bullying military move. But the real anti-constitutional coup unfolded right here in Congress when Mr. Issa did a "Putin around" by cutting off American's beloved first amendment right of speech and debate.
Mitt Romney looks slightly sharper today for having stated that Russia was America's biggest geopolitical threat during the Presidential debate in 2012. But it came across as a silly predictable pre-rehearsed Republican talking point. Sarah Palin, however, of all people, must be credited for her insightful eyesight of Putin. She said in 2008, "you can actually see Russia, from land, here in Alaska." She also warned that Putin was on the prowl with this, "after the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of moral indecision and equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next."
By now we have a clear picture that to Republicans, President Obama can do no right. It is a good thing that Obama has his professorial suit on and is talking to Putin. It beats the macho "Putin around" bully behavior. Honest and intelligent thinkers already know that spheres of influence, nationalism, and countries with leaders that want to "Putin around" will continue to create global hot spots, destabilize regions and populations, and make great sound bites against their opposition in a White House sanely resisting war.