Here we stand worlds apart, hearts broken in two, two, two

Remember Nearly President Mitt Romney’s foreign policy view of Russia? Quote: “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.” That was good. That was perhaps great. Unfettered capitalist Russia poses a bigger threat to the United States than Al Qaeda or Iran. The Actual President later used that statement to remind Romneybot 2.0 that the Cold War was, unfortunately, over. Of course now that Putin has snatched Crimea, you’ve got Mitt, Gramps and Lindsay [snicker] all pointing backwards at the gaffe in triumph – Mitt was right! Russia is the worst. Told you so. Most Republicans would second the point – Russia is America’s new boogeyman – but not everybody sees it that way:

[Rep. Dana] Rohrabacher noted the results of a recent ballot referendum in which the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and move closer into Russia’s orbit. In denying the results of that vote, Rohrabacher said, the United States was preoccupying itself with “soil and entities” instead of upholding values like democracy and self-determination.

Thousands upon thousands of machine-gun wielding Russian soldiers agree. Ukrainians love democracy and self-determination. You would, too, I bet. Surely Rep. Rohrbacher loves democracy no matter how much you invade his peninsula and threaten to kill him.

More broadly, Rohrabacher complained that his colleagues too frequently adopt a biased view of Russia, failing to appreciate some positive steps the country has taken.

“There have been dramatic reforms in Russia that are not being recognized by my colleagues,” he said. “The churches are full. There are opposition papers being distributed on every newsstand in Russia. You’ve got people demonstrating in the parks…”

Dana does not mention what happens to people in the park after they begin demonstrating [here, here, here]. He doesn’t say what horrible things happen to gay people for not-demonstrating-at-all. Curious.

“…You’ve got a much different Russia than it was under Communism, but you’ve got a lot of people who still can’t get over that Communism has fallen.”

The Soviets used to put you in prison before you got as far as the town square. So Beloved Russia has moved all of about one hour into the future. Vodkas? Na zdorovye. And for being Vlade’s goo-goo eyed cheerleader, what has Dana gotten?

“I kind of wish I would get some sort of word back,” Rohrabacher told the New York Times shortly after joining 18 other members of the House to vote against an aid package for Ukraine, the former Soviet state from which Russia wrested Crimea earlier this month. “But I haven’t even gotten so much as a thank you.”

Not a “Thanks Comrade.” No paltry few thousand American dollars, stuffed in a manila folder, taped to the underside of a little-used park bench. Not even a text. CRIMEA LOL. Or … Favorite Rock album? WHO'S ANNEXED.

Well perhaps Putin has been very busy invading his neighbors. Maybe he’s overwhelmed with making a large collage from the treaties of international law he’s been shredding over the recent weeks. Maybe he’s been pre-occupied with trying to get you the perfect gift, like a mortar that would have been fired at the Ukrainians if they’d only been more suicidal. Who really knows why Pootie hasn’t sent you a timely Hallmark card?

If Rohrabacher ever does receive a “thank you” from Moscow, it won’t be his first interaction with Putin. Last year, he claimed he lost a drunken arm-wrestling match with the Russian leader, then the mayor of St. Petersburg, during the early 1990s.

“He’s a little guy, but boy, I’ll tell yea, he put me down in a millisecond,” Rohrabacher recalled of his match with Putin. “He is tough. His muscles are just unbelievable…”

Oh dear, and you thought you were the only one who noticed. You’re hardly the only Dana in the world, you know? Maybe he’s just not that into you.

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