12 November 2008

Mr. President-elect, about that "test".....

While we Americans are naturally focused on our own country's economic crisis, the other nuclear superpower is also having problems. Aside from an unstable currency and the threat of bank runs, Russia is being harmed rather than helped by falling oil prices, since fossil-fuel exports are a major source of its income.

If you think this is good for us, think again. The aggressive Putin regime is not the enfeebled Soviet state of 1991. It might react to the crisis by reining in military spending and pulling in its horns, but it might also do what authoritarian states in trouble have often done in the past -- try to rally the masses around the leader by fomenting conflict with some foreign power. The accession of a US President whom Moscow doubtless views as weak and naive will make the latter option all the more tempting. Biden's comment that Obama would be "tested" may prove all too prophetic.

Obama's appointment of a tough realist like Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff is one of the few positive signs since the election. Now let's hope that he, unlike the present occupant of the White House, actually listens to the people he's hired instead of to his "gut".

9 Comments:

Blogger Christy said...

I don't think it is fair to view Obama as naive and weak yet also paint him as a cunning Machiavelli during the election.

I think he's not naive, very smart, and could be brutal if necessary.

And I think he has to prove he has balls, and he might even be tougher than McCain--tougher than his liberal constituency wants--to send a message.

But, neither of us know. Conjecture on both our parts, about what Putin "thinks", what Obama's level of steeliness might be.....

Good post, about Russia. I did a paper in college about how the (then) USSR needed us capitalistic devils to hold their failing system together.

12 November, 2008 13:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I never viewed him as a cunning Machiavelli during the election. Given the blatant favoritism of the party establishment during the nomination process, and of the media continuing into the general election, it hardly took much cunning to win. A year ago no one would have thought it credible that, after the Republican implosion, the Democratic Presidential candidate would win by a popular-vote margin as small as 6.5%.

12 November, 2008 14:07  
Blogger Christy said...

LOL, maybe that wasn't you!!!

Sorry!

There was a lot of loose talk about thuggery with Hillary, and his history of being a bit of a slick politician in Illinois....

But that was so prevalent, I assumed you knew it.

My bad.

Never like to put words in anyone's mouth.

12 November, 2008 14:46  
Blogger Christy said...

Btw, I was so pleased he chose Emanuel....

Smart guy.

12 November, 2008 14:47  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Oh, I've had plenty to say about the thuggery -- see the link "How Obama won the caucuses" at right for details. But that was thuggery on the part of Obama's supporters against Hillary's (and later against Republicans).

In any case, bullying hardly requires Machiavellian cleverness.

12 November, 2008 14:56  
Blogger Christy said...

I guess bullying was a bad word.

I think he's a very smart man.

A determined politician.

Nobody's fool.

That's what I meant.

I didn't look back at your posts, I thought some anti-Obama people had married him to some pretty bad behavior that was clearly not his fault.

Aside from that bad behavior, he did a nice job, being a ground-breaker.

But either him or Hillary would have been groundbreakers. I wonder what margin Hill would have won by?

Or would she have won?

More pointless conjecture.....

12 November, 2008 15:34  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

"Crisis Deepen's"? heh,heh,heh...
...remember? ...what crisis? :)
I love the chaos! Oh...I'm sorry
...what chaos..heh? We're going to be in for a ton of fun,my man...
you can bet on it! At least I would
heh,heh,heh....

13 November, 2008 05:31  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Raunch Chimp -- it sounds like you're saying Obama will indeed prove inept at facing down Russian aggression, and this will lead to chaos, which will be a good thing because chaos is fun.

It's too bad Obama himself didn't think to make this argument before the election -- it might have resulted in some intriguing commercials from his campaign. :-)

13 November, 2008 11:21  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Heh,heh,heh..Well Mr.Infidel..what it sound's like and what I am saying I guess are 2 different thing's..unlike yourself...I dont have a way with word's unfortunately. As far as the chaos, I am talking about what President Bush now call's(as of today)the "global economic meltdown"...the one I spoke of before...as also a crisis...but you said...there isnt no crisis,well..maybe there isnt..heh? But alot of folks/investors around the globe are certainly in a silent panic.No? Look at the global markets..now and too come. :) As far as this "russian aggression" and Obama being tested...well...I sure as hell didnt need a soundbite from McCain or Biden to tell me that..I mentioned that in my post's before they even brought it up.Neither USA nor Russia need's to stick out their chest's right now...or sell "woof" ticket's on whose arsenal is the biggest..heh,heh,heh...this is all smoke. The world is simply getting what's coming to them..as far as economic's,and we will soon find out...just how "mighty" the "almighty dollar" actually is and how destructive economic's can be without using bomb's. :) Those with the "most" will feel all this the most,as I have said before..I will just sit back and enjoy the ride...because...that's all I can do...what's life without a lil fun..heh? As far as O'Bama(irish):) being "inept" at facing anything..
heh,heh,heh...well that's a nice thought..and wishful thinking for many...but Obama will suprise many, I'd bet on it...and also do some much needed house cleaning in Washington...sure...he is unexperienced...but he is fresh and no dummy...you can bank on that. thank you Sir.

13 November, 2008 14:47  

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