Putin Power Now Weakening Russia
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  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Where are the George Washington’s?
    Do other cultures just not produce honorable men?
    Ambitious power hungry people for as far as the eye can see, and not a one of them deserving of the power they eagerly grasp for.

  • jetty

    “Putin reserves the right to choose regional government officials, keeping the ones he likes and throwing out any pesky reformers–even after they’re elected…”
    .
    When Putin came to power, he knew that reform meant having the entire country under rule of law. But to do that, the governors had to adhere to federal law. The governors were entrenched and surrounded themselves with close friends and relatives so that elections were meaningless. Putin then passed a law giving the President authority to remove these governors (decried by via Meadia). Yet even with that, Putin had to spend quite a bit of political capital to remove the governor of the Lennigrad region. He can’t do that for all 80+ oblasts. Nepotism reigns supreme.

    Meanwhile, the judicial process is still highly corrupt as is everything else. Prosecutors (DAs) phone in the verdict to judges, tax collectors and other government officials employ vaguely written laws for their own political gain, and the overall climate for small business development is still oppressive (thanks to the governors and the Duma).

    The problem isn’t Putin.

  • Gene

    If my ongoing political survival depended on high oil prices, I’d sure borrow from the 20th-century communist playbook and work hard to support oil-suppressing green movements in the west. Money well spent. I’m not accusing anyone of anything, I’m just sayin’.

  • Kris

    [email protected]: I hope you retain enough self-awareness to realize you’re voicing a standard justification of dictators.

    [email protected]: I would also try to ensure ongoing tension in major oil-producing regions (such as the Middle East, to pick an example purely at random).

  • jetty

    @Kris: I hope you realize that the problems in Russia run deep, that Russia has been an authoritarian country for 1000 years, and that no single person is going to change this at the moment. Change there will be slow and incremental. It will be another generation or two before Russia is ready for more – until then, the people will approve of a leader that keeps the peace.

  • Kris

    [email protected]: “the people will approve of a leader that keeps the peace.”

    Is Putin’s popular approval qualitatively different from the popular approval of the elected governors he removed?

  • Kris

    [email protected]: In the spirit of comity, I will allow that you might be tired of the depiction of Putin as the new Stalin. I, in turn, am tired of the narrative that Russians need a strong hand, and that Putin is but a patriot who is oh-so-reluctantly providing it.

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