A reader Steve writes:
I'm a big fan of your books and blog and eager to learn your brilliant take on current events. I'm curious what you might think about "over" claiming as Gov. Tim Kaine appears to do in this video. Reminds me of your example of a rooster claiming credit for the sunrise. Ballsy or brilliant?
The quote to which Steve refers is from Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine who explained how Obama saved Georgia from the evil Russians:
â€œIt was a bad crisis for the world. It required tough words but also a smart approach to call on the international community to step in. And Iâ€™m very, very happy that the Senator's request for a ceasefire has been complied with by President Medvedev.â€
Good strategy requires thinking about what comes next. If Russia is really reacting to Obama's "tough words," does Obama also get credit when Russia removes the democratically elected president of Georgia, which is likely to happen any day, and replaces him with their own puppet? If anything, the Russian invasion demonstrates the impotence of Obama's form of â€œtuff-talk (TM).â€ Since Russia knows that no one is going to challenge its power in its surrounding states, the world can talk as much as it likes and it wonâ€™t change a thing. As always, actions speak louder than words.
This event gives us the opportunity to see what Obama's "tuff-talk" looks like, especially compared to that of others. Its defining characteristic is Obama's willingness to continue talking until he has covered all sides of theissue, and everyone loses interest in what his actual position might possibly be. His campaign's first statements
attacked McCain for condemning Russia because one of McCain's advisers is Randy Scheunemann, a former lobbyist for Georgia. His next statement
took no sides, characterizing the invasion as "an outbreak of violence" and asking both "Georgia and Russia to show restraint." Finally, he completed his trifecta of positions by finally joining McCain and the rest of the world in condemning Russia
When Bush and McCain spoke on this issue, people might reasonably think that their tough talk might lead to actions, if only the removal of Russia from the G8, which may be the only practical response. In Obama's case, his "tuff-talk" (TM) will simply lead to more nuanced future statements, including those condemning any suggestion of actual action
, like removal of Russia from the G8.