Obama really shouldn't be toying with sanctions anyway. I don't think that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cohorts are being unreasonable in their actions thus far with respect to Ukraine. But if Obama is going to impose sanctions anyway, he needs to make them meaningful and follow through reliably, or else he should just zip it. Obama appears to use threats of "consequences" to fill conversational vacuums, as though they were the equivalent of "uhs," "ums" and "likes."
Unfortunately, Obama increasingly appears to typify many of the people who voted for him -- so in love with mere ideas and visions that they fail to sufficiently consider the reality of implementation.
During the Ronald Reagan years, we Generation Xers grew up watching movies like "Flashdance," "Top Gun" and "Rocky." Pop culture and society's message was clear: Unless you invest the sweat capital, you aren't getting anywhere. There was no faking it, no shortcuts. Exceptionalism was earned, not granted. These days, hard work has been replaced by hot air, and Rocky Balboa has been replaced by reality-television stars whose main talent is attracting attention to themselves.
Passion is largely dead -- unless it means defending one's own ego. Putin, by contrast, has an undeniable passion for things beyond his personal self -- his country, his people -- possibly to the point of obsession. But obsession means that you're thinking about it day and night, and passion means that after all that thinking, you're ultimately driven to act. Sadly, Western leaders are no match for this.
What we're witnessing now is a culture war. Think Rocky Balboa facing off against a Kardashian. And our biggest enemy isn't Russia or any other nation -- it's within. We no longer have the heart and fire even to be who we once were.