Today’s video clip gets people like me, as well as real political scientists- completely shined up! President Barack Obama bares all - his neo-realist policy formulation framework for international relations with arch-rival Russia that is - in this awesome behind the scenes video clip - where it’s highest-possible-stakes-Nuclear-Weapons-Backed-Version-of-The-Great-Game-Politicking…..
Reuters describes what happened in the video, posted above, so succinctly:
"(Reuters) - President Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.
Obama, during talks in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him “space” until after the November ballot, and Medvedev said he would relay the message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The unusually frank exchange came as Obama and Medvedev huddled together on the eve of a global nuclear security summit in the South Korean capital, unaware their words were being picked up by microphones as reporters were led into the room.”
So, the Republicans are already POUNCING, and in the process of attempting to score some cheap political points (whatever happened to “at the water’s edge?”) are looking like REAL amateurs...
Rep. Michael R. Turner (R., Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, sought an explanation for the overheard comments:
“Congress has made exquisitely clear to your administration and to other nations that it will block all attempts to weaken U.S. missile defense,” Turner stated in the letter. “As the chairman of the strategic forces subcommittee, which authorizes U.S. missile defense and nuclear weapons policy, I want to make perfectly clear that my colleagues and I will not allow any attempts to trade missile defense of the United States to Russia or any other country.”
Now, friends, please watch the video, and pay close attention to what is NOT said, but rather the body language…President Obama is cucumber cool and charming. In short, President Obama explains that it’s ELECTION TIME - so don’t rush him on missile defense negotiations.
Russian President Dimitri Medvedev dutifully nods in understanding and pledges to pass along President Obama’s message to his boss, former Russian President turned Prime Minister and now, again, President-Elect Vladimir Putin.
Now, Mr. Bill Gertz in his piece on this matter, again quotes Congressman Michael Turner’s letter to the President:
“Despite signing the FY12 defense authorization legislation into law, you then issued a signing statement signaling that you may treat that provision protecting U.S. missile defense information as non-binding. This morning’s comments, on top of that action, suggests that you and your administration have plans for U.S. missile defenses that you believe will not stand up to electoral scrutiny.”
Well, Congressman, I disrespectfully disagree, but only because you’re being oh-so-lame!!
At first I thought Congressman Turner would be easy to dissect, given his obsessive seizure of this revealing exchange between President Obama and President Medvedev. After a thorough and exhaustive 3 minute internet search engine investigation of Congressman Turner, it turns out he’s actually a player. He’s done some good things. Congrssman Turner was the Mayor of Dayton, Ohio prior to his election to the House of Representatives. Congressman Mike Turner Chairs the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces. He likes baseball, he’s passionate about urban revitalization, and according to his website biography, the Congressman supports taxing and redistributing the hard earned wealth of Americans in order to fund things like:
"During his tenure [Congressman Mike Turner] worked to help save the Community Development Block Grant program from being reduced in funding and combined with several other programs under the control of the U.S. Department of Commerce."
(Don’t get me wrong, I agree with him on funding these types of programs, but it was a fun dig anyway….so much for “lower taxes, less government….”)
…..ANYWAY….King of the Tangent…right here….——>ME<——
So, Congressman Mike Turner, good guy, clearly a patriot, is absolutely L-A-M-E and frankly, EXTREMELY irresponsible when he tweats: https://twitter.com/#!/RepMikeTurner/status/184358440586579969
"@BarackObama ”flexibility” after his election. Politics before national security? Explain your comments to American people #ObamaFlexibility"
3:17 PM - 26 Mar 12 via web
Congressman Mike Turner, I urge you to NOT act like an amateur. President Barack Obama was clearly PLAYING Russian President Dimitri Medvedev like a fiddle. The American President was utilizing a time honored tactic: signal that his administration is going to be intransigent, nasty, mean, bullying, coy, deceptive, charming ALL while staking out the early high ground (before anything concrete even happens!) where Russia is forced to tacitly accept that -while both negotiating parties will leave the table with “something” - America will win the most….
"…..but what can I do Vladimir? It’s because of these darned domestic constraints! You certainly understand how that goes, don’t you Vlad? I mean, even YOU had to at least pretend like you weren’t the absolute final boss for a few years there…Stalin didn’t ever have to pretend….we live in a different time….you understand….”
In sum, Congressman Mike Turner clearly cares about missile defense. That’s evident based on his body of (mostly positive) work in Congress.
But the Congressman should NOT attempt to drive a wedge between Americans and their President over a “non-event” that the Congressman KNOWS is a “Non-Event,” particularly when it’s surrounding such an important national security issue - that of THERMONUCLEAR WEAPONS.
The economy is not in good shape! The Congressman should go electioneer on that issue. Pounding the President on the financial pain Americans are grueling through will be FAR more effective anyway, just ask former Presidents George HW Bush and WIlliam Jefferson Clinton….
"……Prescriptions medication or gasoline to get to work this week? …….Groceries or the electric bill? ……Rent paid on the first of the month or keep the cell phone activated? …….Oh well, what’s one more missed minimum credit card payment?…..What do we do with our pet dog, Puffy, if we have to stay in the Chevy Suburban for a few weeks…?"
…And worst case scenario, no matter how tackily partisan and plain ugly the “loyal opposition” like Congressman Mike Turner might sound attacking this Presidential administration on issues of the flailing economy - at least Congressman Mike Turner won’t be politicking with something dangerous…something that has the potential to lead to human extinction….best we leave those issues for the Statesmen……
Michael Ciftci | Tuesday March 27, 2012