Russia’s soon to be ex-Potemkin president Medvedev gave a condescending lecture to Mitt Romney in response to the Republican presidential candidate’s identification of Russia as America’s pre-eminent geopolitical foe:
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday sharply suggested that Mitt Romney use his head and remember what year he’s living in after the Republican presidential contender said Moscow was America’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.”
Romney described Russia in those terms while criticizing President Barack Obama for his caught-on-tape remarks to Medvedev that he would have more room to negotiate on missile defense if he is re-elected in November.
During a briefing Tuesday in Seoul, where he and Obama were attending a nuclear security summit, the Russian leader said Romney’s remarks “smacked of Hollywood” and sounded as if they came from the Cold War era.
Medvedev advised the White House hopefuls, including Romney, to “rely on reason, use their heads,” adding, “that’s not harmful for a presidential candidate.” He further said, “It’s 2012, not the mid-1970s, and whatever party he belongs to, he must take the existing realities into account.”
Given that Putin’s presidential campaign was wall-to-wall with snarling Cold War rhetoric straight out of the 1970s-rhetoric far more extensive, virulent, and dramatic than anything Romney said-I’m metaphysically certain that Medvedev called Putin into his office and “sharply” lectured him about the benefits to a presidential candidate of relying on reason; using his head; avoiding language smacking of Hollywood; and taking existing realities into account.
It’s actually quite amusing to imagine how that would have played out. Probably not that amusing for Medvedev, in the same way that the process of becoming a steer isn’t that amusing for the calf. Which is exactly why it didn’t happen, and never could have happened.
What’s less amusing is the administration’s blindness to the fact that Putin’s rhetoric isn’t rhetoric, and the fact that the lowing steers in the American media (and popular entertainment, like Jay Leno) are also unable-or unwilling-to evaluate Putin’s Russia, and its adversarial posture to the US, with clear-eyed reason. I’m hardly a Romney fan by any stretch, but on this issue he is far more realistic, and relying far more on reason, than all those carping on him.
And when it comes to Russia, he is certainly far more realistic and reasoned than the man whose job he wants.