Putin in manliness contest with Obama

August 15, 2014 • 12:33 pm

The Cold War has given place to the Social Media War. According to the Torygraph, the Russian deputy prime minister has started a pissing contest between Putin and Obama:

In a strange display of one upmanship, deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin posted a picture on his Twitter account of President Vladimir Putin petting a leopard next to one of Mr Obama holding a fluffy poodle, with the caption “we have different values and allies.”

The post, which was meant as a dig at the US President’s unequal manly status, was retweeted more than 600 times in two hours.

Here’s the Tw**t by Rogozon

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 7.48.50 AM

 

The photo of the Russian head of state was taken during the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics last year, when Mr Putin visited endangered Persian leopards, while the Obama photo was reportedly taken while he was running for the Senate.

In an earlier tweet, Mr Rogozin posted a Youtube video about his country’s military might – a short history of the Russian-made Ural tank.

Putin clearly has masculinity issues, what with wrestling bears, riding bare-chested on a stallion, and other such stunts. But he’s still a thug, and he’s ruining his country: a country that once had a chance to become an enlightened democracy.

97 thoughts on “Putin in manliness contest with Obama

      1. The vast majority of Russia consists of lonely little villages frozen in time, places that often have no internet, no cellphone reception, no indoor plumbing, and certainly no Twitter.

        Russia has more cell phone subscriptions per capita than the U.S. It’s still not as well-connected to the Internet, but most Russians have had cell phones since a decade ago. Indoor plumbing is enjoyed by most of the population, and is much more common than in the Soviet era.
        http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.CEL.SETS.P2?order=wbapi_data_value_2004+wbapi_data_value+wbapi_data_value-first&sort=asc&page=1
        Most of Russia is, in comparison to the U.S., primitive (much of it is as run-down as Detroit), but it is still “urbanized”, in a sense. Most people live in towns of over 20,000. Suburbs, as Americans know them, do not exist. What suburbs exist are rural.
        Most of Russia (even the rural suburbs) is available for all to see on Google Street View.

        1. They have also had, for some time now, Western type stores, with lots of selection, fashion, stocked grocery stores with choices, good theatre and ballet.

        2. I think that paragraph was referencing the vastness of Russia not Russians themselves. I think it is a lot like Canada in that way – there is vast land in between small towns.

  1. Obviously one of these men is secure about himself while the other is not. I won’t say secure about his masculinity, because really, what does that even mean?

        1. Gross!

          I just read an article about what Canadians think of Putin, Harper, Cameron, Obama & Merkel. Both Harper & Putin are considered “secretive” while Canadians really like Obama & he regularly has higher ratings in Canada than he does in the US.

      1. They both save a lot of money when clothes-shopping: Vlad hardly ever needs shirts, and Silvio usually does without pants.

  2. Real men don’t use ‘pissing contest’ as a metaphor.

    I blame banning smoking pubs. Winning piss-hockey matches with cigarettes in the urinals is the surest way to assert your masculinity.

  3. Yeah, but that is a *rabid* bichon – you just can’t tell from the picture.

    I’m not sure why conservatives think painting Putin – a sly, vicious, autocratic, murdering thug – as more macho than Obama is to their benefit. As wrong and as unconstitutional as I consider the torture and renditions that Obama has refused to prosecute, I’m quite certain that they are a drop in the bucket compared to the things Putin has been directly responsible for. I just don’t get this meme.

        1. I suspect that the nice thing about having a narcissistic leader (and many leaders are narcissists), is that their amygdala isn’t all that active so they can be fairly calm. They also aren’t totally sociopathic so they can be very charismatic when they need to be but they still have empathy (just not a lot of it).

          I actually found this exchange about the Mayan apocalypse, is when Putin was in his best form.

          Speaking on the eve of the alleged apocalypse, Putin urged a scientific approach. Calculating the sun’s lifecycle at 7bn years, he said the star had already lived through 4.5bn years, leaving 4.5bn left. “That will be the end of the world,” he surmised. Never mind that 4.5 plus 4.5 equals nine.
          “So, you’re not scared?” the journalist asked. “What’s to be scared of, if it’s unavoidable?” Putin replied.

    1. Well, I couldn’t care less what he’s compensating for.
      I just hope he continues with these stunts and if we’re lucky he uhm… “compensates” his neck.

  4. But he’s still a thug, and he’s ruining his country: a country that once had a chance to become an enlightened democracy.

    -Russia had a chance to become an enlightened democracy?! When was that? The Yeltsin era? If Ookrayeena is an “enlightened democracy”, then count me out of it.

    If anyone can tell me how Russia could have transformed into something like Estonia or Lithuania, I’d really like to hear.

    Also, while I don’t dispute Putin’s rule has been thuggish, I don’t think that, on net, Putin is “ruining his country”. There has been some tightening of personal freedom (much less than in Belarus), but Russia’s economy nearly doubled under Putin, relations with China have strengthened, and the restoration of Krim has been a great victory for Russia. Russia has also become the most business-friendly BRIC. That’s not a country ruined.
    http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=l&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_pp_kd#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_pp_kd&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:RUS:EST:KAZ:UKR:TJK:LTU:LVA:KGZ:UZB:TKM:BLR:ARM:GEO:AZE:CHN&ifdim=region&tdim=true&tstart=639310400000&tend=1375156800000&hl=en_US&dl=en_US&ind=false

    1. The increase in Russian wealth has come almost completely from development of the oil industry. However, unlike Norway, where the government has ensured the whole country is benefitting from that wealth, in Russia the wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, plus Putin. Russia has the greatest number of billionaires in comparison to millionaires by far than any other country.

    2. You’re opinion is common among Russians. See my reply to the first post up thread. I link to an article that says what you are saying.

      I agree about Yeltsin. What a mess that was.

      Also, I can’t remember if this article said so, but Russians really don’t like being told by the West what is good for them and who can blame them?

      What I see staying in Russia’s way is a more diversified economy (not just oil) which they are perfectly capable of having. What stops them is corruption. If the corruption could be stifled, they could manufacture like crazy and we in the West would buy things stamped “made in Russia”. Medvedev made some progress toward this. It is too bad he stepped aside, but I guess he didn’t really have a choice. He and Putin have different ideas.

    3. Put the oil prices on the same chart, and you’ll see that Putin’s “economical wonder” correlates amazingly well with the price raise of our country’s main export.
      However, pretty minor part of this income is directed to education, science and hightech manufacture. And now, after the Crimean Anschluss, we’ll have to spend even more money on defence (offence?) budget. This event may have been a victory for Putin, whose ratings skyrocketed. For Russia? I doubt this. Gravely spoiling relations with the nearby country, facing international sanctions and generally becoming a rogue state in eys of the Western countries seems a high price to pay for one peninsula, even if a lot of people missed it so much.

      1. The economic complexity of Russia’s exports is middling, but not horrific:
        http://atlas.media.mit.edu/rankings/country/2012/
        It still cannot be doubted that Russia’s solid growth rests on the shaky basis of high oil prices.
        The Ookrainian parliament spoiled relations with Russia by giving in to the demands of a small minority (some 13%) of the Ukrainian population.
        http://www.iri.org/sites/default/files/2014%20April%205%20IRI%20Public%20Opinion%20Survey%20of%20Ukraine,%20March%2014-26,%202014.pdf
        Russia is part of a globalized economy. Whatever sanctions are placed on it are thus most likely symbolic in nature.

        Also, Russia’s PISA scores are middling, but, again, not horrific (better than Greece or Serbia).
        http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/dec/03/pisa-results-country-best-reading-maths-science#zoomed-picture

        1. Many of the economic reforms in the 2000s were thanks to the very smart economist, Hermann Gräf (or German Gref as he is known in English when his name is translated into Cyrillic, then to English). He is very progressive in his thinking and it was under him that private land ownership actually came to fruition, something that wasn’t able to quite get done under Gorbachev or Yeltsin. That alone is a big deal and when Gräf presented the reforms in the Duma, everyone went crazy & fist fights even broke out!

    1. Probably the same proportion of Russians fall for Putin’s photo ops as Americans fall for W’s.

  5. Actually, Obama looks kinda like a badass villain in an early James Bond movie, petting his furry friend while his evil henchmen prepare for his fiendish plan to destroy the world! Mwa ha ha haaaa!

    1. However, I thought Obama was pretty generous when MH17 happened and stated repeatedly that we needed to have evidence first.

      1. From Obamas declaration one day after the tragedy: “Now, here is what we know so far. Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine.
        “We also know that this is not the first time a plane has been shot down in eastern Ukraine. Over the last several weeks Russian-backed separatists have shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian helicopter, and they claimed responsibility for shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet.”

        Not at all generous, considering all gaps in information.

          1. Diana,
            There remains a lot of doubt that it was a surface to air missile. Meanwhile the other attacks on Ukrainian military targets are a) at a much lower altitude, and so much easier to hit, b) would have been directly in the target range of any rebel missiles, c) expected.

            The US undoubtedly would have clear satellite evidence of the rocket trails but has not even hinted that it has such proof. It would have clear evidence of a rebel missile launcher, but it has not hinted it has seen one. (It has referred to Ukrainian supplied satellite pictures but a) the Ukrainian satellite was not in place when they were taken, b) a US satellite was in place at that time, and c) they have clearly been changed.

            Generally the US process of accepting evidence is for the Ukrainians to falsify data on social media and for Obama and his PR speakers to refer to the false social media reports.

            The US has the evidence and is refusing to discuss it (the dog that didn’t bark).
            The team that has the 2 black boxes have not said anything yet, and in fact have said they will not report on the cause of the accident.

            All that certain knowledge is being kept secret.

            BTW W. Benson, The Putin attack story was killed off right at the start – I don’t know why anyone would want to bring that back again.

            1. What you’re not understanding is I’m not even addressing what became known or who was to blame. I’m simply arguing that Obama was reasonable in his approach after the accident. He simply states what is known at the time. He did not whip up a frenzy, unlike some neo cons who went on a rampage. His approach was a measures one. Read his words. He was reasonable and stayed away from conjecture. He stated several times that it was a bad idea to jump to conclusions and that evidence needed to be obtained.

  6. Mussolini used the same “manly” tactics to impress the people. It worked. Dubya did too, chopping down trees, hunting, and wearing that stupid cowboy hat. It worked. No reason to think it won’t work again, especially on the demographic of morons who support these type of barbarians.

  7. Russians like the strong-man image. Think Stalin. They never experienced the Enlightenment and don’t share its values. They’ve been humiliated by the collapse of the Soviet Union, fueling nationalism.

    Putin is a buffoon and possibly insane. This will end badly.

    1. He’s not insane. If he were we’d be in much more trouble. Insane is north korea. Putin is trying to balance extreme nationalists (who he whipped into a frenzy), the church (who he is in league with) & the oligarchs (who like their $$ & the corruption that brings it to them).

  8. Russia has never had anything like democracy and there is no evidence that it ever will. By the standards of the last thousand years of Russian rulers Putin is pretty good.

    1. We like to imagine in the west that when a tyranny is overthrown, then somehow a democracy will naturally replace it. But, it is usually the cue for another tyranny to arise… after some bloodshed and mayhem. Democracy requires stability and that is not something that happens overnight. Perhaps something we should consider more when we interfere in the middle east.

      1. We also think said democracy will be just like our’s. Russia is it’s own culture and it’s own people with it’s own history. Who are we to tell Russia how to go about it’s affairs?

  9. He’s a thug, and a corrupt one, but that’s nothing unusual for a Russian leader- it’s useful to remember that he was head of the KGB.

    1. Putin was a 16 year veteran of the KGB where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Coronel. The only spy agency director I know who became president is George H. W. Bush, head of the CIA.

  10. Politics is theatre – bad inescapable theatre.

    I’m quite depressed about the situation in Australia right now, but this kind of thing is a reminder of how bad it is elsewhere. I’ll take insensitive comments about poor people over a potential re-engagement of the cold war any day.

  11. Putin with a cat, Obama with a d*g. I would have thought, on this website, the winner would have been obvious. 😉

    1. Best of all, the organization in the cartoon–on the awning (over the cats!) and on the sandwich board sign–is real (Tails of Joy, http://www.tailsofjoy.net/) and does wonderful work. “We raise funds for the smallest, neediest rescue organizations all across the United States, and beyond. We distribute these “Little Guy Grants” daily on a most needed basis. We help people with pet emergencies. We work for the passing and enforcing of anti-cruelty laws. We work for and support everything that makes life more humane for all animals. We support spay/neuter legislation, and oppose Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Most importantly, we rescue and re-home animals, which in the end, makes life better for people.”

      I had never heard of this organization before following the link in the cartoon; thank you, infiniteimprobabilit and Wiley Miller!

  12. and then there’s putin’s persecution of russian lgbts, abetted by american rabidly anti-gay christian organizations like nom and frc.

    characteristically the american major media outlets played it down during the olympics while in fact it was the canary in the coal mine.

    1. You have been reading the wrong press.

      The persecution is grossly exaggerated and most of the anti-gay rhetoric refers to a law to ban pro-gay literature targets at Under 18s (much like section 28 which was in place in the UK between 1988 & 2003).

      Yes you can find stories of gays being beaten up in Russia. But Gays get beaten up in New York or London, it is just it doesn’t make the headlines.

      Look for articles about the Socchi Gay bar to find out just how wrong the western press has got Russia on so many different issues.

    2. Current lie – ask yourselves what your newspapers are saying about the situation in Ukraine. The Ukrainians steadily bringing down the separatists, and all to be over soon.

      Well er, the separatists are knocking the hell out of the “official” government. Wait another month and you’ll find it in your newspapers and maybe even on CNN

    1. Give me a break! Hitler’s dog was apparently quite fond of him, too, as was Lenin’s cat. Lots of jerks love animals and are loved back. For some reason that I cant understand, you are always excusing the malfeasances of this thug. And that’s what he is: an unstable thug who used to head the KGB.

        1. I doubt that any noticeable percentage of Ukrainians supports nazism. Nationalism would be more prevalent, maybe with a touch of xenophobia, but the same problem is present in Russia as well.

          As for Bandera and Ukrainian rebels of that time, they opposed USSR and joined forces with whoever was its enemy, just as you promised to do right now. You support Putin for fighting the mythical “Hitler factor”, they supported Hitler for fighting the much too real “Stalin factor”.

          1. It isn’t Bandera out there, it is the fascists that think he was a heroic leader fighting their own country.

            If you want a reason to break up the Ukraine, then Ukrainian speakers attacking Russian speakers is as much as you could ask for.
            Split the country up.
            And thank God or whoever that Crimea was annexed by Russia so painlessly for all.
            (Putin should be praised for getting Crimea and all the weaponry there in safe hands so quickly. But i dare say there are many who will now say he had nothing to take credit for as it was all done by the Crimeans themselves. I agree.)

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