The President has decided to not honor or respect Russian President Vladimir Putin by attending a long planned summit. The two Presidents were to meet in a high level summit in Moscow just prior to the G8-G20 meeting in St. Petersburg.
Summits are usually scheduled at the end of a long process of negotiations and are usually meant to show progress in the two participating nations relationship. This planned summit was meant to show all the hard work over the last 4 years trying to rebuild the relationship which was almost destroyed by the Bush administration.
Then Putin and his allies went crazy.
They hide then offer asylum to Edward Snowden (I am still not sure what I think about him) but we asked Putin not to offer him asylum and he did. And, he expects The President of The United States to honor him with a summit? I think not.
The Russian's have become so bat shit anti-gay crazy that some elected officials are threatening the safety of gay Olympians and fans. Note here that the fans will be spending tens of thousands of dollars benefiting the Russian economy but the gay ones are in danger of being jailed or worse. Now, do I think that anything bad will really happen? No, but the fact that they are so unwelcoming in the lead up to the games it could seriously hurt attendance.
Some people have called for a boycott of vodka but, those people are clearly idiots since most of the most popular brands of vodka are not distilled in Russia. Of course, the gay bar owners are smarter than the average lush and are boycotting Stoli which is a product of Russia, Stoli is fighting back but they do not seem to be making much headway. There are others such as prissy Senator Lindsey Graham of SC who think we should consider boycotting the Sochi Games. Olympic boycotts succeed at nothing expect hurting the athletes involved and anyone who thinks they accomplish anything of value live in a world that is not based in reality. Did I just hear delusion paging Sen. Graham?
Boycotts work but you have to pick the target carefully and the reason has to be compelling.
As a very young person I convinced my family church to join the Gallo boycott and change our communion wine to to a company that treated it's farm workers more humanly. We switched to Manischewitz. The reason the Gallo boycott worked was because churches left, right and center all decided to change and wine drinkers across the country decided Gallo was not the wine of choice anymore but it took awhile and it took a concerted effort but it worked.
A few years later I joined the boycott of all Nestle owned products and businesses. The details are bit foggy at this point but it had something to do with baby formula, lack of refrigeration, bribes and dying babies in developing countries (mostly in Africa). Anyway, the boycott eventually worked because it was wide spread and for a reason bigger than ourselves it was for the health and well being of mother's and children.
Fast forward to more recent boycotts - Right wing Christians boycotting Disney and Ford because they did not hate gay people. Those boycotts failed because what parent is going to tell their 10 year old daughter that no birthday Disney World trip because faggots are not discriminated against at Disney or daddy had to buy a foreign mad car causing Uncle Mike to lose his job because Jesus teaches us to hate dykes. These boycotts did not work and neither will Prissy Graham's proposed boycott of the Olympics. There have been plenty of silly boycotts on the left as well.
Before the announcement that the President would not be attending the summit with Putin the New York Times ran and editorial supporting the cancelling of such a summit. They were right and the President has done the right thing.
Let me note that Republicans have pointed out the summit's cancellation shows a failure in the Obama foreign policy but then if he had continued with the summit they would have called him weak. There is no winning with this Republican Party for the first African American President.