His Worst Mistake: Obama Surrenders to Vladimir

Barack Obama went to South Korea and met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Huddled tête-à-tête with Medvedev, when he thought nobody was listening he told Medvedev the he would be able to sell out U.S. security interests and allies in Europe on the missile defense issue once he had his reelection in the bag. The purpose: he’d like the Russians to shut up and stop criticizing him because he needs his Russian “reset” to appear valid until then.

“I understand,” Medvedev whispered. “I transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Fortunately for American voters, Obama was oblivious to the active microphone that recorded and broadcast his every word.

Even more fortunately, the Republicans were not asleep at the switch on Russia, as they usually are. Mitt Romney pounced. The Republican presumptive nominee for president stated of Russia:

This is without question our number one geopolitical foe, they fight for every cause for the world's worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.

Romney got it exactly right. Now, he must make sure to finish what he has started.

He should remind U.S. voters that one important reason their gasoline prices are soaring is Russia’s determined effort to support dictatorship in the Middle East. Every time Russia speaks out in support of rogue regimes, it makes the oil markets think protracted war rather than peaceful democratic transition is likely. That makes them nervous, and prices skyrocket.

And if the “world’s worst actors” happen to kill a few Americans with terrorism, so much the better as far as Vladimir Putin is concerned.

Romney should remind U.S. voters that, though Obama may not know it even though Medvedev told him so in so many words, Russia isn’t ruled by its “president” and never has been. Ever since the late 1990s, it’s been ruled by a proud KGB spy who spent his entire life learning how to hate and destroy America. A man who believes the collapse of the USSR was a tragedy, who has brought back the Soviet national anthem, who rigs elections and murders or jails political opponents.

You know how right Romney was from the ferocity of the Kremlin’s response. Medvedev fired back:

I would recommend all U.S. presidential candidates to do two things. First, when phrasing their position one needs to use one's head, one's good reason, which would not do harm to a presidential candidate. Also, [one needs to] look at his watch: we are in 2012 and not the mid-1970s.

It’s hard to know what Medvedev bases his opinion on. Opposition parties and local government authority have been liquidated, history texts are politicized and controlled by the Kremlin, and the denizens of the Kremlin are firing off vicious personal attacks which seem oblivious of the facts -- just like they did in the 1970s.

And there’s more. The House Foreign Affairs Committee recently heard testimony documenting chapter and verse the horrific rise of a neo-Soviet state in Russia under Putin. The president of Freedom House told the Committee:

Putin oversees a regime that shows utter disregard for the human rights of its own people or for those in other countries, as evidenced most recently by its continued arms sales to the murderous Assad regime in Syria.

The Kremlin is arresting anyone who appears on Red Square wearing a white protest ribbon, supporting democracy. Welcome back to the USSR.