Putin Hits Congress Where It Hurts

Vladimir Putin made many Members of Congress very angry this week.

I'm not talking about his shades-of-Sudetenland takeover of the Crimea.  No, it was his retaliation Thursday against the stepped up sanctions imposed by President Obama.

Putin banned a handful of American officials from entering Russia, including six members of Congress:  Speaker John Boehner, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Senators John McCain of Arizona, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Dan Coats of Indiana and Robert Menendez of New Jersey. 

"I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen," mocked McCain.

That left more than 500 other denizens of Capitol Hill mighty pissed at the King of the Kremlin.  He may have seen his ban as a punishment but to these targeted politicians it is a badge of honor and they wasted no time saying so. 

I would bet the rest of the Congress is pretty miffed for having been snubbed and are sending urgent "me, too" emails to the Russian embassy while they rush to the empty chambers to give speeches denouncing Putin to both people watching CSPAN

Also on Putin's list are Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, senior presidential advisor Dan Pfeiffer and deputy assistant to the president Caroline Atkinson..

Don't feel too sorry for our peripatetic lawmakers.  There are still more than a hundred other countries where Congressional junkets (er, study missions) would be welcome, and since they take vacations every few weeks, that's a lot of non-Russian ground to cover.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.