Yes, says Dana Rohrabacher, he really did arm-wrestle Putin, back in the early 90s when the thought of serially humiliating the president of the United States on a global stage was still just a glint in the little guy’s eye.

Let’s pick things up with Rohrabacher talking about playing a game of touch football with a delegation of visiting Russian officials, one of which was you know who. Why they did this, I don’t know. Maybe, with the Cold War having ended, they needed an outlet for their mutual residual hostility. Football was the obvious choice.

Wait wait, you skipped ahead. who won that game?

Well it wasn’t us versus them, they played on both teams, and you know we just picked up sides. But we all wound up going to this Irish Times Pub afterwards. And we were having a little bit too much to drink I guess, but anyway we all started arguing about who won the Cold War, etc. And so we decided to settle it like men do when they’ve had too much to drink in the pub.

So we got down to these arm wrestling matches. And uh, I ended up being paired off with Putin! And he’s, uh, he’s a little guy, but boy I’ll tell ya, he put me down in a millisecond. He is tough. It’s just BING you know, muscles are just unbelievable. And so then his bodyguard gets up and this buddy of mine says “Oh, I’ll take him” and my friend put his bodyguard down.

It was good, so, at that moment, you know, he’s a tough guy and he’s supposed to be a tough guy, and that’s what the Russian people want but that’s no reason that we shouldn’t try to work with him.

The bad news? If you treat this anecdote as a metaphor for the past week, America’s just had both of its arms torn off over Syria. The good news? This is bound to give Sylvester Stallone an amazing idea for a sequel to “Over the Top” and/or “Rocky IV.” To think: If Rohrabacher had won that arm-wresting match, Putin would have realized that Russia lost the Cold War and Garry Kasparov might be president today. On sweaty barroom tests of machismo does the fate of the world turn.

Is there no man left from either party who’s willing and able to stand up to Putin and strike a blow for American pride? Perhaps there’s one, my friends. Perhaps … just one:

In a first-of-its kind arrangement, the editors of Russian newspaper Pravda have tentatively agreed to publish a column by Sen. John McCain that will attack the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agreement comes one day after Putin criticized the United States in a widely-read column in The New York Times.

“If John McCain wants to write something for us, he is welcome,” Dmitry Sudakov, the English editor of Pravda tells The Cable. “Mr. McCain has been an active anti-Russian politician for many years already. We have been critical of his stance on Russia and international politics in our materials, but we would be only pleased to publish a story penned by such a prominent politician as John McCain.”

That’s from “The Cable,” which e-mailed Pravda last night and basically dared them to run something by McCain after he criticized Putin’s op-ed on Russia’s show. Sudakov, in keeping with Russian propaganda’s tradition of insisting that it’s not propaganda, evidently felt pressured to accept while noting that it already regularly runs columns written by former Reagan-era Treasury official Paul Craig Roberts. Here’s a sample quote from Roberts on his Wikipedia page, in case you haven’t already guessed what makes him appealing to Russian media: “We know that it is strictly impossible for any building, much less steel columned buildings, to ‘pancake’ at free fall speed. Therefore, it is a non-controversial fact that the official explanation of the collapse of the WTC buildings is false.”

Exit question: Which American’s ass will Putin kick next? Judging from this story, smart money is on Kerry’s.