And. . . the bizarre West Wing parallels continue. This article does a nice job showing the more obvious ones; the last two seasons of The West Wing are about a Congressman, Matt Santos, as he runs for the Presidency, and the Santos=Obama prescience is really quite amazing. (Not to mention Vinick=McCain). But now there’s another one. The last year of the fictional Presidency of Jed Bartlet is marked by a crisis in Kazakhstan, in which the President puts American troops right in between a Russian army and Chinese troops. Well, we have a Russian army invading a neighbor; not an exact parallel, but once again, there are voices calling for American armed intervention.
Or sort of. In fact, I don’t know of anyone actually calling for President Obama to send troops to Ukraine. You kind of have to read between the lines. Bill Kristol, for example, wrote:
Ukraine can expect no serious assistance in getting Russian troops off Ukraine soil or helping secure Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Nor is President Obama committed to seeing to it that President Putin pay a real price for his actions.
And his entire column is an angry denunciation of President Obama’s measured, diplomatic response to this particular piece of Russian aggression.
Bill Rogers, R-Michigan, (kind of a favorite go-to guy on the Sunday talk shows, because he’s articulate and usually pretty reasonable), said “Putin is playing chess with us; we’re playing marbles.” But he also agreed that President Obama doesn’t have a lot of viable choices:
There is not a lot of options on the table and, candidly, I’m a fairly hawkish guy, sending more naval forces to operate in the Black Sea is really not a very good idea, given that we know that that day has long passed,” the Michigan Republican said. “And unless you’re intending to use them, I wouldn’t send them. Now you’ve got only economic options through the EU.” He continued: