Now that Trump has proven his worth as a statesman by taking a load of Putin's semen in the face, it has become clear that an adequate response to Russian aggression must rest with Congress. Luckily, its path is clear.
Previous sanctions against the shambling medieval holdover have failed in part because they are aimed against the Russian people and what passes as its economic system. Thus, they have had a disproportionate impact on ordinary people while having no effect whatsoever on the sleazy-glitzy--sound familiar?--oligarchs who actually call the shots.
So how can you really hit the Russian ruling class where it hurts?
Easy--make them stay in Russia.
Russia--if he were talking about a country full of brown people---is what Trump would call a shithole. Its economy, despite its enormous geographical size, is smaller than Italy's. And that economy is based exclusively on extraction--oil, gas, minerals--so when those are gone, the kulaks will be down to selling their kidneys on the dark web. Its life expectancy is declining, in part because among the commonest cause of death in adult males is drowning while drunk. Really. And while their military does include a formidable nuclear capacity, it is sadly underfunded and undermaintained. Remember the Kursk? It was once the pride of the Soviet navy, a cruise-missile-capable nuclear sub. In 2000, during maneuvers, two badly manufactured torpedoes blew up onboard, and it sank in shallow water. Russia, suspicious as always of outsiders, refused offers of British and Norwegian help. Thus the twenty-three crewmen who survived the initial explosion suffocated in the dark.
This explains why so many oligarchs spend as much time as possible outside their country. They like good food, sunshine, and strippers who don't wipe their asses with their fingers. This, coupled with a desire to hide as much money as possible from the boss, has led them to buy as much luxury real estate in America as they could grab, money being no object. (And of course one of their preferred sellers was Donald J. Trump, but that's a subject for another day.) The result of Russian real estate investment here has been to drive up the cost of high-end properties in major US and European cities--and when the high end goes up, so does everything else. So Russian real estate investment has hurt middle-class American homebuyers. Thus, keeping Russians out of the US not only hurts them, but helps us.
But wait--what if the Russians retaliate? What if the Russians won't let us visit Russia?
Uh--so what? Who cares?
So I call on the Republicans in both houses of Congress to take a page from their fearless leader's playbook: a total Russian travel ban!