Sarah Palin made a major error in her comments on Hannity regarding Putin’s aggression against the Ukraine and it is a misstatement that cannot be allowed to stand uncorrected.
Well, anyone who carries the common sense gene would know that Putin doesn’t change his stripes, he hearkens back to the era of the Czars and he wants that Russian Empire to grow again. He wants to exert huge power and dominance so he has to get to those border areas and he has to capture them.
Of all historical figures Putin is channeling, it certainly isn’t the czars. Although a nationalist and a Eurasianist, he is not a czarist. His point of reference is the Bolsheviks -- the Marxist revolutionaries. He is continuing their work, not the work of Nicholas and the aristocrats. Above all, Putin is and always will be a staunch communist. He doesn’t seek to expand Russian hegemony a la the Romanovs but, rather, as did his communist forefathers -- Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev. His lodestar is the USSR; not imperial Russia.
Remember the Russian Foreign Minister’s laughter about Hillary’s RESET button? It was a little more sinister than having been provoked by a simple mistake in translation (the button actualy read "overload"). Understanding who Putin is and what he wants, it was absurd to think U.S.-Russian relations -- which had been soured over Russia’s invasion into Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia -- could be reset in any manner other than a return to Soviet hegemony. Hearkening back to imperial Russia, as Palin suggests, is no more likely than establishing a more flexible relationship, as Obama promised. Since Putin assumed control over Russia, his loyalty to communism and a return to the Soviet empire has dictated his every move. Any perceived intention to work together with the “West” is all part of his calculus, not a genuine desire to do anything other than attain his goals.
On a more minor note, Palin did correctly “predict” Ukraine would be the next domino to fall as Putin tries to force former Soviet satellite pieces into the Russian Federation puzzle in an attempt to mastermind USSR 2.0. But this “prediction” wasn’t some stroke of genius or the result of some secret knowledge imparted to us by the experts in the field. While she is correct that common sense was our guide, she is slightly off in characterizing it as some kind of “common sense gene.” Our expectation that Ukraine would likely be the next target of Putin’s aggression, stems from our knowledge of history and, frankly, Putin’s own words. It does not derive from some kind of metaphoric “gene” -- in other words, we didn’t foresee Putin’s next moves based on some inherent knowledge or instinct about the Russians, in general, or this man, in particular. It is true that Putin cannot change his ideological stripes because communism is indeed in his DNA; but, it is from our knowledge and understanding of history and the man, that we have been able to successfully predict and not be surprised by his actions.
Palin is certainly not the stupid-MILF-bimbo portrayed by the left ad nauseum, but her understanding of history, in this instance, was seriously flawed.