Real Tough Guise

medved090408.jpgThese days, authoritarian populism in Russia requires a certain street cred and swagger in the orotorical style … even if it comes out rather unconvincingly from a dimunitive lawyer.

On Tuesday, he used some of his harshest rhetoric to date, calling Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili a “political corpse” and suggesting the U.S. somehow instigated the war in Georgia to bolster Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. (…) Squaring his shoulders, looking grim and punctuating his speeches with uncharacteristically blunt language, the 42-year-old Medvedev has in recent months sounded like Putin, his predecessor and mentor. On Aug. 11, he used the words “lunatic” and “bastard” in talking about Saakashvili.