No sooner did our commander in chief make the world safe for pinpricks than he heard from one of the pinpricks, who denied there is anything at all exceptional about himself. It was unbelievably small of him, which is the way he likes it, Freud or no Freud. With a tip of his furry shliapa — made of real domestic Russian fur, for you PETA people out there — he even invoked Comrade Obama’s favorite notion of keeping “hope alive.” We know of course that Mr. Putin would give everyone the shirt off his back, which accounts for those frequent poses that depict him shirtless and topless and don’t ask, don’t tell. A Pussy Riot regular, if you will. The world now waits with bated breath: When will Mr. Obama’s shirt come off in macho response? How will the Vatican respond to this latest round of escalation?
No wonder everyone is nervous. Senator McCain called Mr. Putin’s New York Times op-ed “an insult to the intelligence of every American,” perhaps because its author didn’t also thump for getting money out of politics. How about campaign finance reform for Syria, Mr. Putin? Can you swing it? Senator Bob Menendez had a less cerebral reaction than Senator McCain, saying the Putin op-ed almost made him “vomit.” Such a sensitive tummy from one who has spent so much vacation time in the Dominican. Speaking of which, we can’t get out our minds off of a comment from a leading peacemaker, former President Jimmy Carter (class of ’76). He’s embarked on a new book project, on the treatment of women internationally. “Whenever possible, I’ll use my personal observations and experiences, such as a trip around Africa with Bill Gates Sr. and his wife,” Mr. Carter’s writes in his proposal, “during which he and I spent much of our time in enormous brothels.” Not to obsess over the subject, but where was Mrs. Gates during those visits? And what about Rosalynn? We miss hearing about her.
Instead, all we hear about these days is Mrs. Obama. Her latest cause is drinking water, and how we should all be consuming lots and lots of it. But wouldn’t that cause a shortage? And all that extra flushing — how would the EPA keep up? To be sure, she was in the loop on Syria, as her husband let on that she was “suspicious” of the whole enterprise. Always useful to know. If Congress or Putin won’t give him cover, there’s always Michelle. And that’s a lot more honorable than hiding behind his daughters, unlike our international ladies man, the former President Carter, whose young daughter he promoted as a leading authority on nuclear proliferation. She hasn’t been heard from since.
Meanwhile, thanks to the nearly as obscure Vice President Biden, we may still be hearing from one of our all time favorite characters. “I think Janet Napolitano should be on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Biden said on her last day as Homeland Security secretary. And apparently everyone agrees. “His statement was met with raucous applause,” CNN reported.
We prefer to hold our raucous applause for the underappreciated John Kerry, the man who has replaced Mr. Biden in being paired with Mr. Obama as modern incarnations of Laurel and Hardy. It was very perceptive of Mr. Putin to call Secretary Kerry an outlier, as the guy has been just busting his tail on the most critical matters of war and peace and giving us all a real flavor of what it would have been like had he been elected president in 2004. He’ll go anywhere to bang heads with Secretary Lavrov, even if that means enjoying one day less of frolicking on the dock of his Rhode Island tax shelter.
The sporting life continues in other forms, albeit in an atmosphere of anarchy and social collapse, the sort it would require a Secretary turned Justice Napolitano to contain and correct. Thus the nation prepares for a major showdown this Sunday night between two top NFL teams, the Seattle She-Hawks and San Francisco Forty-Whiners, as two tweeting players called their respective rivals. Turns out, She-Hawks come in all shapes and sizes. One, the sportswriter Christine Brennan, has announced that she will no longer use the term “Redskins” to refer to the Washington Redskins, even though she’s used it by her count some 10,000 times before today. Good luck in erasing all those references from her archives. And good luck with putting up with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who also will no longer deign to type “Redskins” into his copy. From now on it will just be, “Washington’s football team.” In which case, with all due apologies to James Baldwin, a new team slogan can’t be far away: “Nobody Knows Our Name.” Assuming it passes muster with our latest EOW, Vladimir Putin.
No offense, Vlad, but something tells us Ronald Reagan would have called you Nikolai.