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He just can’t quit him: Trump, Putin and ‘Brokeback Mountain’

The iconic “Brokeback Mountain” poster was once spun into a New Yorker cover featuring President George W. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney. But can’t you just see Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in the Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal roles respectively?

The iconic “Brokeback Mountain” poster was once spun into a New Yorker cover featuring President George W. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney. But can’t you just see Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in the Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal roles respectively?

A shout-out to Frank Bruni of The New York Times for a truly terrific column about President Donald J. Trump and Vladimir Putin and the bromance of the century (although French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may yet give them a run for their money).

Brilliant though the column is in comparing Pump (Putin-Trump) to the great love stories (“Romeo and Juliet,” “Casablanca”), Bruni missed one, “Brokeback Mountain.” When the haunting movie of Annie Proulx’s sparely beautiful story came out in 2005, much was made of the gay love story. But really, “Brokeback,” directed by Ang Lee, is the story that Lee has been telling throughout his career – in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Sense and Sensibility,” to name but two films – and that is the tale of a romantic in love with a realist. In that sense, the gay love story at the heart of “Brokeback” is no different from heterosexual love affair at the center of the excellent “McCabe & Mrs. Miller.” Both “McCabe” and “Brokeback” draw the same conclusion: In a matchup of a romantic and a realist, the romantic will always suffer, because he or she desires the other more. And when you are the person who desires the other, who wants something, you cede power.

Why is this important to us? Because, as Bruni wisely points out, Trumpet is more enamored of “Rootin’ Tootin’” Putin than Putie is of Trumpet. That gives the Russkies the upper hand in any negotiation even though Trumpet holds the trump card – the possible lifting of sanctions.

Let’s hope in their meeting that Trumpet can keep it together and not sign the farm away to Putie just because he can’t quit him.