Vladimir Putin may very well have been instrumental in stopping a U.S. strike on Syria, but the media — mainly Fox News — seems to think America was "castrated" in the process. But Jon Stewart just hopes Putin won't let it all go to his head. "I'll tell ya, however it came about, it seems that Vladimir Putin has saved the day here a little bit," Stewart said on last night's Daily Show. "As long as he doesn't arrogantly and publicly shove that in our faces, this fragile new arrangement could work."
Somehow a New York Times op-ed doesn't fit into not shoving it on our faces, though Stewart argues that a BuzzFeed listicle would have reached more Americans (perhaps "Top 35 Reasons Attacking Syria Will Bum You Out", suggests Stewart). "Second of all, why are you sh***ing on us in the New York Times moments after we saluted your statesmanship?" Stewart wondered. "You just had to say one more thing."
The real problem with Putin's op-ed, however, is his attack on the idea of American exceptionalism. As Stewart points out, this is the country that has Elvis statues made out of butter! "Oh no you did not," Stewart said, finger wag and all. "What part of butter Elvis don't you understand?"
And then there was this passage:
It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation [...] We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
"What the f*** is that? When did Vladimir Putin start watching Oprah?" Stewart asked. "And by the way Vladimir, I don't think you're the best guy to play the equality card. 'We are all together beautiful colors in a rainbow, as long as you don't wave that rainbow as a flag.'" This time Vlad "The Insulter" Putin went to far, and it was time for a Rocky IV-style smackdown, New York Times opinion page style.
"Get ready for The Expoundables. Yeah, that's right. You may take down Krugman, but Dowd will be right behind him with a cutting and unfavorable comparison between you and let's say McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy. She goes down, you still gotta contend with Kristoff, Friedman, Douthat... Brooks!" That's a fight we'd like to see.