As Obama and Congress publicly debate what engraving style to use on the "save the date" card they will send to Syria's President Assad (fully telegraphing our unnecessary military action), Vladimir Putin chuckles.
Bombing Syria was about Obama saving face after the public ultimatum he gave. It's also about Putin; those two preening narcissists do not get along. Ever since the dust-up over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden being given asylum, they have been in a diss-ing match. Their testosterone-fueled tempest culminated last week at the G-20 Summit.
The tension is clear. Obama intentionally arrived 30 minutes late at a dinner Putin hosted at the G-20 Summit. In photo ops, Obama and Putin sit across from each other with uncomfortable smiles and brooding silence.
There was an awkward moment when the G-20 emcee requested a few words from the ruthless ex-Marxist spymaster and calculating assassin; both Putin and Obama rose to speak.
These two leaders do have something in common: They both like to blame problems on others. Putin blamed Snowden being stuck in Russia on Obama for revoking his visa so he could not travel. Putin might eventually release Snowden, but only if he can then hunt him.
The Obama administration let it leak that their like-minded "redistribution of wealth" ideologue Putin has amassed a personal net worth of $69 billion as a result of gaining control of political office. That makes Fidel Castro's $1 billion look paltry. There is no telling how much money these Communist leaders would have if they were not all about "sharing the wealth." A Socialist political figure has not shaken down businesses for that big a piece of their action since Al Gore.
The hypocrisy here is that Putin got his wealth through political office, just like Obama. Neither has created private sector jobs or risked his own money in business. Both men are shake-down artists. Like the Mafia protection business, they take money for not hurting you. Support Obama like the unions do, and you are exempted from Obamacare. Work for him in Washington and he rewards you by not requiring you to participate in Obamacare.
The way Putin gets his money is that, if you do not give him his cut, he will accuse your business of tax evasion and just take it. If you cross Obama and cause him problems like the tea party did, he will send the IRS or Eric Holder after you. Both leaders use the blunt force of big government to get what they want.
Neither man likes free speech when it is used against him. Obama used his power to spy on a Fox News reporter. Last year, a Russian all-woman punk band sang songs critical of Putin. He had his goons arrest them accusing them of "hooliganism." Is that even a thing? I'd think "hooliganism" carries a stiffer sentence than horseplay and tomfoolery, but not as harsh as shenanigans.
Putin gains in popularity as he out-foxes Obama. The result is that Obama has done what no other President has done: make Putin look reasonable by comparison. Both like to ramble on self-righteously, but the ex-KGB Putin is playing chess and our Community Organizer is playing checkers. By Russia getting Syria to place its "chemical weapons under international control," Putin checkmated Obama again.
And just to think, this whole tension began when Obama and Hillary implied that Putin's United Russia Party cheated to manufacture votes to win his election. Obama and Hillary are products of the ballot box-stuffing Chicago political machine; that was actually meant to be compliment.
Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator. Email Ron@RonaldHart.com or at visit RonaldHart.com