The good cop, bad cop drill was working well for Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin.
Even my 20-year-old son was fooled by Medvedev’s good looks and Putin’s Mafia style. So was I.
When Medvedev seemed to clash with Putin over what was going on in Libya it made him even more of a world hero.
Everyone knew Putin was the chief don, but hoped somehow Dmitry would drive him from power. Medvedev seemed aware of how the world was changing because of social media. I even got a Tweet once from a page that was theoretically his.
I recall Putin and Medvedev telling the U.S. not to get so uptight about Wikileaks.
It was only a matter of time. Although the former Evil Empire managed to trick some liberals into opposing the denouement of Gaddafi, history readers knew it was Russian trash.
The mango hit the fan when the Russians held an election for its parliament or Duma. Videos of fraud were posted on YouTube. Worse, Hillary Clinton called them out.
Putin had been popular after the fall of Communism as the economy boomed. Three years ago his United Russia party won 64 percent while the ex-KGB guy and Medvedev swapped jobs. The same thing is scheduled to happen this spring.
What has happened in the interim? No room here to mention it all, though a document released by Wikileaks said the Russian Mafia was running the country. Political opponents and some billionaires ended up in prison.
Last week United Russian fell a hair short of 50 percent.
The government caved in and allowed protests, after arresting hundreds of activists.
No one can say for sure how many were on the streets. Probably hundreds of thousands.
Instead of an Arab Spring, the protesters cooperated with police. It could be the U.S. social media as well as the social media from most of the rest of the world were pulling the strings.
Still, it was too much for Medvedev. On his Facebook page condemned the Putin critics.
The result was a sort of Chinese crossing the Yalu River in the Korean War. Every Western-based social media site blasted Medvedev.