WASHINGTON -- Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s suave minister of foreign affairs, was recently asked by one of Russia’s ubiquitous billionaires: whom does President Vladimir Putin seek advice from on the Ukraine war? He responded that Putin has only three advisers, though they are renowned. They are Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. By the way, how did Russia amass so many extraordinarily wealthy individuals from the Marxist-Leninist state of the old Soviet Union? My friend Taki Theodoracopulos, the international playboy and famed rastaquouere, tells me that very rich Russians apparently outnumber even the very rich Arabs in the posh recreational spots of Europe. This development began about the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Were opportunistic Russians hiding their loot under their beds before the fall? How else did they acquire it?
Yet back to the Russian minister of foreign affairs, Lavrov. He said that Putin has only three advisers, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, who may have been great, but she also -- if memory serves -- was considerably overweight. If she were around today, she would be a candidate for one of those relentless weight-reduction ads that blanket Fox News in the evening when I am trying to find out about happenings in Ukraine. All three of Putin’s advisers, of course, have been dead for years, though even the corpulent czarina, were she still alive today, would do a better job of pacifying Ukraine than the hapless Putin. If he really is advised by three corpses, I suggest he get more lively and alert advisers. Henry Kissinger recently counseled both sides in the war that the time is ripe to seek a diplomatic settlement. I am with Henry.
When I heard of the famously facetious Lavrov’s humorous remark, I wondered whom our president has chosen to advise him. From Biden’s performance in office, I would expect him to admit that he has been advised by the three stooges. Albeit his stooges would not be the three of yesteryear’s Hollywood Larry, Moe and Shemp. They, too, are deceased. More likely he has been advised by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. Of course, there is a fourth stooge whom Joe counsels with. That would be his son, Hunter Biden. President Biden is on record as having said Hunter is the “smartest guy” he knows, though admittedly Hunter cannot even keep track of the whereabouts of his computer, the one with incriminating evidence on it. In Joe’s world, smart people lose things. Even Joe loses things, for instance, 100 or so classified documents.
Joe probably presides over the least distinguished Cabinet in history. There is Kamala, who, as vice president, has had to shuffle and reshuffle her staff so many times that Washington’s insiders suspect COVID-19 is alive and well in her office. Why can she not keep staff members for more than a few weeks? There is Mayorkas, who has appeared before congressional committees so often that he might well be suspected of being a subversive or a foreign agent. He was after all born in Cuba, was he not? And, of course, there is Buttigieg, who, like all of these three modern-day stooges, has a dreadful time getting down to our southern border to see how things are going. Frankly I sympathize with the secretary. What if he got kidnapped down there? What if the White House refused to pay his ransom?
Why cannot Joe put together a Cabinet of some distinction? Well, a Cabinet of distinction would be difficult to put together for either party as things stand right now. There is a troubling problem facing both political parties. America is lacking in leadership. A few paragraphs ago, I mentioned Henry Kissinger. He is a man of stature. Now in his 99th year, he is still writing, thinking and listening. But he is too old to lead. Maybe he could advise the leaders of at least one party, and that would be the Republicans. The Democrats already take their leadership from something called “woke.” As in “we done woke up.”
Glory to Ukraine!