There is so much to criticize in the Obama administration’s response to Russia’s intervention in the Ukraine, from the wishy-washy appeals to the “international community,” to the ridiculous complaint that Vladimir Putin is playing by “19th century” rules. Even when the president has tried to sound tough–mocking Putin’s international law claims on Tuesday–he has sounded snarky rather than strong. And yet–he’s finally on point.
The decision to send Secretary of State John Kerry directly to Kiev, and right to Independence Square, was only a gesture, but a powerful one. The hints Kerry dropped of more serious actions by the U.S. are also welcome, and long overdue–as are loan guarantees and the aid that President Barack Obama has set in motion. So now is an opportune time to note a rare area of agreement between the president and at least this opposition critic.