But there are other differences between Mr Yanukovich’s backers and the western and central Ukrainians who mostly support his opponents. The east suffered in the Stalinist famine of the 1930s and inherited a political culture that combines narrow paternalistic expectations with profound cynicism. Easterners despised Mr Yushchenko in 2004 because, to them, his promises of a new sort of government were so much cant. ~The Economist

But his promises of a new sort of government were so much cant.  Why is this so hard to believe, or why does anyone find it in the least strange that someone would think this?  When a politician speaks in airy and meaningless platitudes, that is usually a good sign that he either has a) nothing interesting to say or b) an agenda he doesn’t want to talk about.  These eastern Ukrainians assumed Yushchenko was out to swindle someone with his empty rhetoric, because that is what politicians do.  They were right.  The question we should ask is: are Americans cynical enough to see through Obama’s equally meaningless appeal?