SMP is meant to provide a place to deal with Missouri’s politics, but every once and awhile I just can’t resist writing a little something about stuff that isn’t specific to Missouri, to wit, Sarah Palin’s comments on President’s Obama sartorial style. Palin wants to paint the President as weak on foreign policy – in particular, the Ukrainian situation – and she seeks to emphasize this opinion by describing his jeans as “mom jeans.” Although I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the President in what I’d call mom jeans, Palin probably should know. After all, she’s not only a mom but such an astute fashionista that she managed to turn her disastrous vice-presidential run into an extended shopping spree, updating her and her family’s wardrobes with pricey designer duds paid for out of campaign funds.
Palin also thinks that Putin is a superior leader, evidently because he wrestles bears. In this opinion she echoes – admittedly in her own inimitably cartoonishly macho way – others of her conservative brethren who think that a pugnacious, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later, strongman ruler like Putin is just what the doctor ordered. Bear in mind that these folks also gushed over President Dick Cheney … er, George Bush, while he (they?) led us into an expensive and unnecessary war. I think this might be why we also call conservatives reactionary. In Europe I believe that people who swoon in the presence of strongmen leaders are often called fascists, but the term has been so abused by American Tea Partiers that it has lost all currency in the U.S. As Duane Graham of The Erstwhile Conservative observes about conservative Putin worship, ” the fact that a Russian thug is praised by a prominent Republican for acting like a thug, even a decisive one, is enough to turn one’s stomach.”
Personally, I would prefer a leader who outsmarts bears instead of wrestling them, and so far, I think that President Obama might be about to outsmart the Russian bear, Putin, whose bellicose actions may ultimately retain a Crimean sea port for Rusia, but who has imperiled Russia’s already fragile economy in the process, alienated Russians at home and Russian allies, while ensuring that the rest of the Ukraine will remain a stubbornly Westward leaning country on the Russian border. So who cares what kind of jeans President Obama wears as long as he and his foreign policy team are able to make a palatable hash out of the dog’s breakfast Putin seeks to serve up in the Ukraine?