Putin and Obama

I thought a weird comparison might be Obama and Putin. There were several articles about Putin last year. The interest only grows with all that has happened in the last 6 months. The curiosity cannot be contained. (sound vaguely familiar)

One was a write up of his family life, and another linking to an illustrated mini-bio.

Even his daughters assumed different names in school. Secretive as Putin can be.

The veil of secrecy that surrounds the Putins is rigorously enforced by the Kremlin. Journalists who violate the taboo of reporting on the private life of Russia’s first family are dealt with swiftly and summarily. In 2008, when the liberal newspaper Moskovsky Korrespondent reported that Putin was planning to marry a rhythmic gymnast named Alina Kabayeva, the editor was forced to resign within hours.

He has little edge over Obama’s secrecy of records and ties. Media seems to cut both of them wide berth in that area.

Yeltsin at resignation, with Putin and Alexander Voloshin Wikimedia – creative commons via [www.kremlin.ru.]

After reading the mini-bio, it reminded me of the similarities. For background, see Business Insider Putin story link here.

Both seemed to come out of relative obscurity to seize the political scene. Both seemed to have popularity. But wait, Putin was not always so popular, though he found his ways.

Obama rode the celebrity spotlight from the beginning. He made a convention keynote speech in 2004 that was the opening salvo for his national run.Then it was a matter of not being able to deny him election, rather than winning on his personal record.

Putin did much the same once Yeltsin was retiring. Both have become controversial figures since landing in office. Obama was always shrouded in controversy. Both demonstrate how someone can come from an obscure background and gain popular national attention. That’s an example how it could work with the anti-Christ. Obama shows the possibilities — that popularity opens many doors. Maybe he will take a lesson from these two.

2004 convention speech. Wikimedia.

Then once in office, they stretch the executive powers to the hilt. Neither wants to let go of it.

Not far into his first term people were talking about repealing term limits. We saw what Putin did. Media is to Obama what the Russian state media is to Putin, putty in his hands.

Neither is very astute in economics. (though Putin probably has more basic sense)

Some might say Obama has never plumbed the depths of secrecy that Putin has. But Obama has developed a good front, creating an illusion of transparency. It’s more like a mockery of the concept. Media still plays gleefully along.

When do you ever hear media mention the secrecy of his records? Media’s narrative suggests everything is out and known about Obama, and attacks those who asks questions. Clever. Yet when he mentions starting out with the benefits of scholarships, those very scholarships he boasts of are mired in secrecy.

Many times he’s said to leave his family out of politics, even though he flaunts them about in photo-ops. Obama is ticked at any criticism, by media or otherwise. Putin may handle it more directly, but how poignant is it to shut out aggressive reporters or critics who inquire? They may use slightly different methods.

How many times has the White House leaned on media for criticism? We don’t even know the full extent. But we hear. Then media’s narrative so often follows the White House narrative, whether it was on the campaign trail or on policy and actions. Critics within the administration suffer a backlash.

He has the Pentagon locked down and micromanaged out of the White House. Hagel proved that. Benghazi showed the extent they will go to to push a narrative. IRS shows the limits they’ll go politically and in denial. Executive orders show his arrogance and contempt for the Constitutional process. Obamacare showed his ability to lie to achieve his political objectives. Their success is largely owed to a complacent media eager to do their bidding. A debate moderator can turn into an advocate in the blink of an eye.

So then it is interesting to see media report on and criticize the secrecy of Putin. It only reveals their willing blindness toward Obama. We shouldn’t notice the inconsistencies.

Both are narcissistic. Protecting themselves is a priority for both. At this point, some people might say but there are differences too. There are. And the differences tell us something about character too.

Putin believes in Russia whatever else he believes in. Obama believes in himself first but puts ideology ahead of everything. Both believe in preconceived outcomes. Though Putin puts his country high on the list, to preserve it. Obama is about changing his and unchaining it from its history. Putin would like to rebuild their history, Obama wants to rewrite ours. Obama wants history to preserve his legacy, not the other way around. He wants history to be kind to him while torturing us with history.

Obama wants to fundamentally transform our country, and Putin wants to rebuild his. Putin wants to use resources and assets, where Obama prefers to play politics, holding ours hostage to his ideology.Putin will use the military to serve the state, where Obama will use it to serve his own ideology. Putin believes in the power of Russsia, Obama believes in making us less powerful. Obama believes in diplomacy, and Putin believes in demonstrating his position. Obama believes in appeasement and Putin believes in winning.

So now there is an outreach toward Russia, on the heels of economic problems they are having.

Putin is known as a nationalist, Obama is an ideologue. Even worse, Obama is a radical. Which means part of his nature is predictable, as long as you understand him as a radical. Putin’s prowess can be predictable if you understand him as the nationalist.

Their similarities are awkward, and their differences are troubling. The west projects that Putin has painted himself in a corner, but there are no corners in Putin’s world.

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