I was fortunate to have been mostly off the grid today and thereby missed the rage and fury about Vladimir Putin’s Op-Ed in The NY Times pissing all over the concept of American Exceptionalism:

It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

I understand the hurt feelings. He’s doing a Cossack-style victory dance in our end zone.

If it were the NFL, he’d be penalized. But this isn’t the NFL. And our team got the diplomatic stuffing beat out of them.

We have Drew Bledsoe, Danny White and Tony Romo rolled into one quarterback running our team. (No offense intended to Drew Bledsoe, Danny White and Tony Romo, I just needed some names.)

We have a guy who talks a good game, but fumbles the international Futbol when it counts. Our quarterback can only roll left, and Vlad forced him to roll right, where he’s most awkward.

Cheers, Vlad, you won fair and square, we’re just acting like sore losers because you were better at playing the game, and our QB has three more years left on his contract and a provision that requires we play him, so we’re in for a world of hurt going forward.

You’re not going to see me calling for the refs to penalize Vlad for “excessive celebration” in the end zone — anyway, there are no refs, this is a game without rules. (As the light bulbs go on in The White House and Foggy Bottom … “now you tell us, no rules?”).

Anyway, what’s so bad about how Vlad impaled us at The Times?

Did he say anything we haven’t been hearing from the intellectually-consistent left, as small as it might now be, for decades?

Quick, who wrote this?

The fact remains that declaring yourself special, superior and/or exceptional — and believing that to be true, and, especially, acting on that belief — has serious consequences. It can (and usually does) mean that the same standards of judgment aren’t applied to your acts as are applied to everyone else’s (when you do X, it’s justified, but when they do, it isn’t).

Oh wait, that wasn’t Vlad.

That was the guy whose best bud is sitting pretty in a Dacha in or near Moskva peeling away our cyber-defenses like the layers in a Matrushka doll all in the name of our “privacy,” until the innermost figure will be revealed to be… Vlad with a great big smile on his face, doing another Cossack victory dance.

No wonder Vlad is all smiles. He knows how to play the game.

(Added) Rah Rah Ras-Putin: