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Biden’s Cheney Moment

Just a few more thoughts on all this Joe Biden-Russia stuff.  For one, I am in complete agreement with Steve LeVine’s opinion that Biden’s “firm grasp of reality” is pretty much taken out of context in the WSJ headline – he never said that Russia “would bend” to anyone’s will, just that they will or won’t make choices according to interests.  Second, we can’t be sure that this was an “intentional” shot across the bow … the colloquial language Biden was using made this seem like a leaked background interview.  Lastly, I think that nobody has been giving attention to all the Russian sabre-rattling right after the U.S.-Russia Summit, which included the Kaliningrad missile threat, driving missile launches on Ukrainian streets, and other hostile gestures.  Biden may have been responding to this.

Take a deep breath before reading this, but it appears that the Wall Street Journal editorial board thinks that Biden has “common sense.” (!!!)  Oh wait, they are comparing him to Cheney.

Mr. Biden’s common sense observations undermine President Obama’s rationale for a “reset” with Russia built on arms control and a softening of U.S. support for Eurasia’s democracies.

For example, why lock in lower numbers of U.S. nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles such as bombers and missiles in a new arms deal if Russia can’t afford to maintain its stockpile of either? Why indulge Russia’s illusions about its “privileged interest” in Eastern Europe, by signalling a desire to abandon missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, when as the Vice President notes Moscow’s current regime lives “in the past” and dreams of reclaiming the Imperium? And what, precisely, does the U.S. expect to get in return for these concessions to a “withering” partner?

Mr. Biden may not like the comparison. But in his willingness to speak the truth about Russia, Mr. Biden reminds us of Dick Cheney.