Obama, Chamberlain, Putin, and Alinsky all walk into a bar…

**Posted by Phineas

It’s a busy Friday today (whine… whimper), but here are a few items worthy of your consideration, all tied to the Syria mess and what it’s revealed of Barack Obama’s incompetence:

First, Bill Whittle in the lastest Afterburner remembers another time of weakness at the top and the monumental fatuousness of relying on personal charm as a basis for policy in a world of power politics — The Umbrella Men:

I’ve been saying for years that this feels like the 1930s, all over again.

Next, James Taranto makes the case that Vladimir Putin is a better student of Alinsky than our Alinsky-ite president, Barack Obama. First he analyses Putin’s NYT op-ed article and notes how the Russian leader leverages our own ideology and ideals against us:

This is right out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals“: “The fourth rule is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more live up to their own rules than the Christian Church can live up to Christianity.” (Putin also appeals to the pope’s authority.)

Then he discerns the way in which Putin is a natural Alinskyite, while Obama is a mere academic pretender:

“Putin is bluffing that Russia has emerged as a major world power,” argues Stratfor.org’s George Friedman:

“In reality, Russia is merely a regional power, but mainly because its periphery is in shambles. He has tried to project a strength that he doesn’t have, and he has done it well.”

Because America is so much mightier than Russia, the American presidency is a much stronger position than the Russian presidency. But a strong man in a position of weakness, if he is ruthless about taking advantage of his adversary’s vulnerabilities, can get the better of weak man in a position of strength. Saul Alinsky understood that, and so does Vladimir Putin.

At its heart, Alinskyism is about the will to take and keep power. In that contest, the Judo-master Russian has it all over the bike-riding American.

I, for one, welcome our new neo-Stalinist overlords.

RELATED: At PJ Media, Ed Driscoll talks about the “Clown-car Presidency” and how the Democratic response to winning (yes, winning) in Vietnam compares to their reaction to winning (yes, winning) in Iraq. Bridget Johnson discusses the possibility that Bashar Assad is allied with al Qaeda. You can’t tell the double-crossers apart without a program. Richard Fernandez on the collapse of Obama’s presidency and the danger that means for all of us: Olympus Has Fallen.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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