Or at least I’d prefer you didn’t.

Okay, then I dare you to cross this line.

And this one.

Well, that wasn’t nice. See if you have the courage to transgress this line!

I see you did. Well, it might displease me if you crossed this one. If you don’t object to my being displeased, that is.

Ad infinitum.

A government this obsequious and submissive is practically begging to be further humiliated and degraded. If that’s possible. A nation that alone has nuclear parity with the U.S., but one that, except for vetoes that may have prevented an open NATO assault against Syria over the past decade, seems to have forgotten it’s a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. (The U.S. is not so shy: Resolution Calling on Withdrawal of Forces from Crimea…Adopted by General Assembly.)

Today’s TASS says:

Biden said earlier in an interview with ABC News that the Russian authorities would have to “pay a price” for their alleged interference in US elections. In addition, when asked if he considered Putin to be “a killer,” Biden answered in the affirmative.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov boldly, decisively, unequivocally responded:

“I would refrain from giving a wordy comment on that. I will say one thing: these are very bad remarks on the part of the US president.”

But, Putin acolytes and apologists will dutifully respond, once again this proves the unparalleled diplomatic finesse and Stoic restraint exercised by the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry. Just think how the U.S. would have rashly overreacted if Putin had openly threatened the U.S. and affirmed that his American counterpart was a homicidal criminal. Far from simply lamenting the issuing of very bad remarks, the Biden administration might sanction whichever sectors of the Russian government and economy are not already sanctioned and, in the midst of an unparalleled military exercise underway at this very moment, one aimed indisputably at Russia and no other country, escalate the deployment of American troops and military hardware to every nation bordering Russia in Europe except Belarus and in the Black Sea region. How undiplomatic! How unstatesmanlike!

No, Russia’s political leadership is as always manifesting an almost more-than-human degree of noble disinterestedness, of sublime transcendence worthy of a Buddha. Or a statue of one. It is refusing to be provoked. It is saving the world from war. It has a secret plan. Those three dubious claims have been standard over the past twenty years. After all, the Putin government prevented wars and fighting in Kosovo (after 1999), Afghanistan, Macedonia, Iraq, Libya, Ivory Coast, Syria, South Ossetia, Yemen, Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh and other areas of vital importance to Russia through a diplomatic approach that would put Talleyrand and Metternich to shame. Oh, it didn’t prevent those conflicts? But think of how many more wars would have occurred if Russia had not engaged in “four-dimensional-chess-style” supersophisticated geostrategic coups de maître.

As to the superior, ultra-refined diplomatic tone and tenor of the Kremlin, Putin’s response to being informed that Biden had agreed that he is a murderer whose nation will be further punished by a military superpower that is rapidly tightening the noose of armed encirclement around it, the master statesman and strategist said:

“When I was a kid, when we were arguing with each other in the playground, we used to say, ‘Whatever you say [about others] is what you are yourself,’”

His spokesman continued in the same vein of bland verbiage as if he were discussing his laundry bill:

When asked whether Moscow will take any steps in response, the Kremlin spokesman noted that “there is nothing to be done.”

Responding to the question how such statements could affect bilateral relations, Peskov noted that “it is perfectly clear how.” However, he refrained from commenting on the issue in more detail.

Washington’s arrogance toward, contempt for and plans for qualitative intensification of aggression against Russia – diplomatic, economic, cyber and military – will only be strengthened by Moscow’s irresolute lack of commensurate response to insults and threats at a level that even Peskov was compelled to acknowledge were such that “nothing like that has ever happened before.”