It doesn't take a genius to see where this all ends up. The U.S. president proposes a budget that cuts the military. The Russian leader takes a small piece of territory that once was a part of the former Soviet Union. The U.S. response is to freeze assets that don't really impact Russia.
Then to add "muscle" to its position, the administration supports tossing Russia out of its equivalent of the exclusive "Bushwood Country Club" in Dangerfield's iconic move "Caddyshack," the G-8 (soon to become the G-7). Putin most likely responds, as did Dangerfield's character in the movie, by exclaiming as he is threatened with expulsion from the club that "the only reason I'm here is because I might buy it."
Meanwhile, other small portions of the old Soviet empire start to claim they too want to join Russia. Russia begins to flex its muscle in other ways, such as in a clearly authorized comment by that nation's version of an American network news anchor basically reminding viewers that only Russia could reduce the U.S. to ashes with a launch of nuclear weapons.
Before you know it, Russia and the "West" no longer "trust" each other. Relations get cold. Does that sound familiar?
We will know we are headed back to an early "Cold War" when we start hearing the U.S. and its allies talking in terms of "containing" or "containment."
This White House has played on words, parsed statements, shaken fists, stomped its feet and done everything it could possibly do for almost six years in reaction to potential enemies abroad. All as a ruse for its lack of backbone.
Luckily for Obama, one Dangerfield joke might not apply to him or his administration. It goes like this: "I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I were a politician, I'd be honest."