Chess with the Bear and Obama’s “Big Stick”

tigran_petrosian1The game with the Russians has always been one in which only the Pawns have suffered (The Viet-Cong, The Afghan Mujahideen, the CIA-trained Cuban Nationals, etc.) while the Kings and Queens remain safely out of play. Early in his brief administration, Kennedy found himself in Check, and cautiously moved his Knights and Rooks into a naval blockade of Cuba. While this tropical corner of the Chess board caught most of the international attention, other pieces were in play in Turkey, where the US had it’s own missile installations.

With an imminent power shift in Washington, and a foul stench of totalitarianism wafting from the Kremlin (talks of extended Presidential terms, and possibly seeing Putin return to the position) our pieces are back in play on the Polish border. This, coupled with the economic crisis, means that President Elect Barack Obama will encounter the challenges that greeted FDR and JFK in their first terms—at the same time. Obama is like the young Bobby Fischer going up against Russian Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian.

President Bush has let out a rip-roaringly stinky fart in the Oval Office before leaving, without the decency to light a match.


What allowed FDR to pull us out of the depression? He acted like a socialist.

What allowed JFK to avoid nuclear war? Keeping a cool head while the Joint Chiefs clamored for conflict.

The National Review cites that Obama was “an active member of the Democratic Socialists of America.”

Ebony recently cited Obama as one of the 25 “Coolest Brothers” of all time.

Obviously I feel less comfortable quoting those sources than I would quoting the fricking Bible, but I’m trying to prove a point. Obama needs a bold and noble vision like FDR, and an even cooler head than JFK. But he also needs to swing around Teddy’s big stick.