Mess With Bull, Get Horns

By Roger Simon

March 19, 2014 6 min read

Our next president needs to be tough, resolute and no-nonsense.

Our next president needs to be a person of clear intentions who will not cower in the face of our enemies or send mixed messages.

Our next president must be dauntless, determined and daring.

Our next president must be strong.

If you have been reading editorials or listening to commentary, whether from the left or right, you know who that person is: Vladimir Putin.

Read his rave reviews:

Rudy Giuliani said recently of Putin: "He makes a decision, and he executes it, quickly. Then everybody reacts. That's what you call a leader."

Sarah Palin: "People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans."

Charles Krauthammer: "Putin fully occupies vacuums. In Ukraine, he keeps flaunting his leverage."

On the left, there is this from The Washington Post's editorial page: "While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. ... As Mr. Putin ponders whether to advance further — into eastern Ukraine, say — he will measure the seriousness of U.S. and allied actions, not their statements."

Action! Strength! Might! Muscle! That is what we need.

Fareed Zakaria, whom President Barack Obama has privately sought out for advice in the past, recently wrote: "I have generally been wary of the calls for U.S. intervention in any and every conflict around the world. But this is different."

Crimea — a dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica — must be defended. Except that it is already too late. Obama has dithered and dallied, while Putin has acted with grit and determination.

Thomas Friedman, another liberal, admits: "There is probably no saving Crimea from Putin in the short term." But do not lose hope. Friedman continues: "The big three issues where Obama must lead from the front are: changing the character of Russia's government, preventing Iran from getting a nuke and preventing a war in the South China Sea between Beijing and Tokyo."

And you thought the big three issues for Obama were jobs, jobs, jobs. How wrong you are. Why should Obama worry about Detroit when he should really be worrying about Donetsk?

Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich co-authored an opinion piece recently, titled "Obama's Ukraine policy: Scream loudly, carry no stick."

They wrote: "The fact is anything short of providing arms and intelligence to the sovereign Ukrainian government is unlikely to deter Putin. Clearly, we do not need American boots on the ground in Ukraine, a step we would both oppose."

Everyone goes all weak in the knees when it comes to U.S. "boots on the ground." But why? U.S. boots on the ground created working democracies in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, didn't they?

OK, bad examples.

But you know who really believes in boots on the ground? Putin. Especially if those boots are worn by Russian soldiers riding in tanks.

Past U.S. presidents knew how to use power. There is but one nation in the history of the world that has used nuclear weapons against another nation: USA! USA! USA!

Obama should stop going around in that silly windbreaker with the presidential seal on the front. Instead, the front of his jacket should have a mushroom cloud and these words: "You mess with the bull and you get the horns."

But he won't do that. He worries about things like a thermonuclear exchange and how it would end all mankind.


You think Putin worries about such things? Putin worries about nothing. In Russia, president does not worry about end of mankind; end of mankind worries about president.

I know what you are thinking: We can't make Putin our next president, because he was born in St. Petersburg and does not qualify as a "natural born" citizen of the United States.

It does not matter. Ted Cruz was born in Canada, and his father was born in Cuba, yet Cruz is planning to run for president in 2016. How? Because he has a birth certificate "proving" his mother was born in Delaware and this, he claims, makes him a "natural born" citizen.

You think Putin can't come up with a birth certificate proving his mother was born in Delaware? Heck, he can come up with a certificate proving his mother was governor of Delaware —- and went to her high-school prom with Joe Biden.

Proof is an easy standard in Russia, a country that has proof it invented the telephone, the telegraph, television and spaghetti.

Besides, Putin doesn't care about proof. He cares about action. He cares about leading. He cares about exactly those things that both the American left and the American right now care about.

Putin will bring us together. His campaign will be simple and direct:

A mad man for mad times.

Putin. For a change.

Roger Simon is Politico's chief political columnist. His new e-book, "Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America," can be found on, and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at

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