Share this story...
Latest News

Ross: President Biden speaks softly and carries a big economy

Russian president Vladimir Putin, left, talks with U.S. President Joe Biden, right, during the U.S. - Russia summit in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Klaunzer/Swiss Federal Office of Foreign Affairs via AP)

Reporters wanted drama. “How can you trust Putin?,” they asked President Biden. “How can you be optimistic about getting a nuclear arms agreement?”

As Biden took their questions just before boarding Air Force One for the trip home, he actually sounded a little like the guy he beat.

“To be a good reporter, you have to have a negative view,” Biden said. “If we can have arms agreements during the Cold War, why can’t we do one now?”

He even snapped at a CNN reporter, for which he later apologized.

The reporters just did not understand what this summit accomplished. Apparently, Biden got a promise not to shut down our pipelines or turn off our lights, but Biden left without issuing any ultimatums or threats.

Biden’s answer was he didn’t have to. So I read through his remarks, and I’ll take a stab at summarizing the argument.

He doesn’t think threats are necessary because Putin is only sabotaging himself. He already runs a pretty weak economy.

It’s smaller than ours, obviously — smaller than China’s, and smaller than Japan’s. But it’s also smaller than Germany’s and smaller than the UK’s, France’s, and Italy’s economy. Smaller even than Canada’s economy. Russia is number 11. Its economy is smaller than California’s. It’s about the size of Texas’ economy.

The only reason Putin gets to go to Geneva is that he has nukes. So does Texas, but we already control those.

So, President Biden believes Putin can’t afford another arms race, which is why he fights us with hackers.

Putin is also very afraid of Democracy because he wants to restore Russia to its glory days — and he believes the only way to do that is to become a Czar. So, he imprisons his opponents and does all he can to undermine the very idea of Democracy. That’s why our January 6 insurrection was a gift -– even arriving on Russia’s Christmas Eve! Yesterday, he described it as Americans just asking for their rights.

And yet, for some reason, no reporter asked Putin what would have happened if Russians “just asking for their rights” had decided to storm the Kremlin.

My guess is they’d find themselves in Penal Colony No. 2, being served tea for breakfast.

So, Biden is saying we don’t have to threaten. Putin will come to realize all on his own that his little Texas-size economy can’t afford a fight with the USA.

Speak softly and carry a big economy. We’ll see who’s right.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Most Popular