Shocker: Putin wins Prime Minister slot

posted at 7:15 am on May 8, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Just when we thought Vladimir Putin would enjoy his retirement from the presidency — oh, who are we kidding? Putin made official his plan to remain in control of Russia with a nearly 8-1 victory in the Duma for the prime minister slot. From this perch, he can keep his eye on his handpicked puppet successor, Dmitry Medvedev, and continue his plotting to rebuild the Russian empire:

Loyal lawmakers confirmed Vladimir Putin as prime minister Thursday, capping a carefully engineered recast of Russia’s leadership a day after he handed the presidency to his protege Dmitry Medvedev.

The State Duma approved Putin in an overwhelming 392-56 vote after Medvedev told lawmakers that Putin had restored the world’s respect for Russia and improved the lives of its citizens in eight years as president.

Medvedev said he would sign a decree making Putin prime minister later in the day.

Putin’s unprecedented move from the Kremlin to the No. 2 post will keep him politically prominent for the foreseeable future and could serve as a springboard back to the presidency. It has Russians wondering who will really hold the country’s reins.

Russians are the only ones wondering, if that’s the case. Putin, the former KGB chief and the author of a new round of authoritarianism in Russia, had no intention of giving up any control over the nation. Medvedev himself nominated Putin for the slot, following an agreement which led to Putin’s endorsement for Medvedev’s election as president.

Still, there is no doubt that Putin remains a popular figure, and if Putin had managed to amend the constitution to allow a third term, he likely would have won it in a fair election. Whether or not Putin actually allowed fair elections in the last poll remains in dispute. His United Russia party won more than two-thirds of the seats in the Duma at the same time Medvedev won the presidency, but political opponents wound up jailed and harassed by Russian police. Garry Kasparov, the former grand master of chess who led the opposition, traveled the world trying to shine a light on Putin’s political repression.

Can Putin adjust to life as a puppeteer after running the country directly for the last decade? We’ll see, but the spymaster certainly knows how to run an asset. Medvedev will find that out shortly, if he hasn’t already.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The most pressing problem facing the US is liberalism. That problem isn’t exacerbated by what is happening in Russia. We won’t be able to deal with Russia if we don’t solve our problems at home. Russia’s government is pretty standard fare for that oriental nation.

JiangxiDad on May 8, 2008 at 7:35 AM

So Putin gets to be Prime Minister.
Me thinks this is a Pinky and the Brain
operation!

canopfor on May 8, 2008 at 7:41 AM

Russia is unfit to be a Democracy. The Russians were always fond of strongmen.

And a true stongman can’t afford himself to be overly friendly with other powers. That said, Putin is MUCH better than the alternatives they have in store. Democratic movements are not second runners there, the Fascists and the Communists are.

Aristotle on May 8, 2008 at 7:53 AM

When will they get over the Mongolian invasions? It is in the Russian character to believe only a strongman will have the power to protect them because they have virtually no natural barriers to invasion. That is the key to understanding Russia’s policies.

Bill C on May 8, 2008 at 8:18 AM

A weak and broken Russia, which seems to be what a lot of people here prefer, would become a suburb of Bejing. If anybody can see how that would be good for the USA, please write.

We always got along fine with the first Czarist Russia and there’s no reason why we can’t with this new one. We and they have common enemies and common dangers, which is plenty enough foundation for a beautiful working relationship.

Not only should Russia get its empire back or most of it, we should help them to. It would pay us richly.

dhimwit on May 8, 2008 at 8:48 AM

The most pressing problem facing the US is liberalism. That problem isn’t exacerbated by what is happening in Russia.

JiangxiDad on May 8, 2008 at 7:35 AM

The problem is that in the US liberalism = socialism/communism.

Why do you think there is an active Communist Party USA?
Why do you think they have a “Road to Socialism USA” plan?
Why do you think they have a “Constitution”?
Why do you think they want amnesty and held massive rallies of illegals on May 1st?

The Soviets have always wanted to “bury” us. They don’t have to do it from outside if they can bring us down from the inside. I see a pattern that has less to do with political party and more to do with those who stand up against our enemies vs. those who assist our enemies in making us weaker.

Kennedy Strength (but assasinated to promote…)
Johnson Weakness
Nixon Strength (but taken out by liberals)
Ford

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Oops, accidentally hit submit…

Kennedy Strength (but assassinated to promote…)
Johnson Weakness
Nixon Strength (but taken out by liberals)
Ford Strength, but from a weakened position
Carter Weakness
Reagan Strength (but assassination attempt early on)
Bush 41 Weakness (did not finish the job in gulf war, appointed Souter)
Clinton Weakness
Bush 43 Strength (in my opinion, because he follows his Heavenly father, not his Earthly father)

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 9:05 AM

dhimwit on May 8, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Is “dhimwit” really Ed or AP?
Are we truly to believe that anyone would choose “dhimwit” as their login name?

Playing along, it is not true that

We and they have common enemies

Rather, the USA is the common enemy of the Communists and the Islamic fascists. It is they who are working together against us.

Why?

I realize this is what many consider to be “radical right-wingnut” thinking, but I see it as Spiritual Warfare. One triune God (Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit) is real. Satan is real. There can be many lies, but there is only one truth. God works through His people, and Satan works through his people. Go re-read all of the Declaration of Independence. Notice the inclusion of “God”, “Creator”, “divine Providence”, and “sacred”. Like it or not, the United States of America was founded by deeply spiritual Christians who wanted a nation where the Government could not take away our God-given rights.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 9:28 AM

HOLY COW!!!! Who’d-a-THUNK????

pueblo1032 on May 8, 2008 at 9:36 AM

The problem is that in the US liberalism = socialism/communism.

Why do you think there is an active Communist Party USA?
Why do you think they have a “Road to Socialism USA” plan?
Why do you think they have a “Constitution”?
Why do you think they want amnesty and held massive rallies of illegals on May 1st?

The Soviets have always wanted to “bury” us. They don’t have to do it from outside if they can bring us down from the inside. I see a pattern that has less to do with political party and more to do with those who stand up against our enemies vs. those who assist our enemies in making us weaker.

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 9:01 AM

Not just in the US.Liberalism always opens the door for socialism/communism. My only point was that we have shown that we can fight any ideology, including however you wish to define Russia, with traditional, conservative,democratic capitalism. So Russia isn’t the our primary threat– foreign existential threats will always exist. Our primary threat is from within. Either the libs here naively and perhaps inadvertently open the doors wide for our enemies to enter, or they actively collude with them and we have a soft takeover. Either way, I still believe it’s the libs and their mushy ideology that is our biggest danger. It prevents us from robustly opposing our enemies by weakening our moral compass and clouding our judgements.

JiangxiDad on May 8, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Is “dhimwit” really Ed or AP?
Are we truly to believe that anyone would choose “dhimwit” as their login name?

I think it’s clever. Tweaks the Muslim nose nicely. Perhaps dhimwit is Mark Steyn. Hi Mark. Keep up the good work!

JiangxiDad on May 8, 2008 at 9:41 AM

Like a puppy watches for crumbs that fall of the dinner table, perhaps Dmitry is hoping for one of the young girls that Putin casts off.

jgapinoy on May 8, 2008 at 9:48 AM

Our primary threat is from within.
JiangxiDad on May 8, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Agreed. That is why we require the following Oath of Office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

And also why we have section three of the 14th Amendment:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Anyone who holds any office under the United States, civil or military, has taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States. If any of them have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof, the only way they can be constitutionally allowed to stay in office is with a vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress.

So, why is John Kerry allowed to be a Senator without a vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress?

He took an oath, as an officer in the Navy, and then proceeded to meet with, and give aid and comfort to, our enemy during a time of war!

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 10:03 AM

So, why is John Kerry allowed to be a Senator without a vote of two-thirds of each House of Congress?

He took an oath, as an officer in the Navy, and then proceeded to meet with, and give aid and comfort to, our enemy during a time of war!

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Because it’s just words. People back then didn’t live in a secure, long-established nation. They knew that without these kinds of words written into laws, and without the participation of a politically educated populous, the democracy experiment would probably fail. Today, the average person doesn’t understand that the pillars that uphold our democracy are rotting. They don’t even know there are pillars. They don’t know and don’t care. They just want more gov’t assistance (income re-distribution)– bread and circuses. IMHO,they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. But I’m not King around here, only a knave. Sorry Red Pill. As you know, the path we’re on leads to annihilation. Lucky for you though, you believe in God.

JiangxiDad on May 8, 2008 at 10:54 AM

dhimwit on May 8, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Yeah, look how well Russia turned out last time they got US aid. /sarc

Ressurecting your arch-enemy, which pretty much defined the United States’ role in the world as the flagship of Democracy is pure insanity.

Darth Executor on May 8, 2008 at 11:11 AM

IMHO,they shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
JiangxiDad on May 8, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Your humble opinion is accurate. There is very good reason to restrict voting to those who own property. They have something to lose, are generally better educated, and care about what happens to our country as a whole, rather than just caring about what they can get from the government.

We seem to be on the same page, so the following is not a response to you, so much as it is a statement to be made…

Government is a necessary evil. There are certain roles we need it to play, but if we allow it to grow bigger than that it begins taking things away from us, not giving things to us. Government can never give something to someone without first taking that something from someone else. When some people get “something for nothing”, other people get “nothing for something”. When the balance tips too far, where more and more people are getting “something for nothing” while more and more is taken away from a smaller and smaller group who get “nothing for something”, the system collapses and it’s game over. The Ponzi scheme eventually blows up. We are getting precariously close to that tipping point, and a Democrat or RINO in the Presidency, combined with a filibuster-proof Democrat Senate and Democrat House, could push us past that tipping point.

Yes, I know the spiritual end of the story, and I know we win, but until that time I still love and care about my country.

God bless America, land that I love!

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Be practical, guys. A silent coalition of China, Greater Islam, Russia, plus the assorted Chavez’s and Kim’s is forming against us. “Our traditional allies” can be immobilized by turning a gas faucet in Siberia. We will be on our own. You want to take them all on? Not me. I want to break that gang up in time, and I think Russia might, might switch sides. It would be in its long term interests to, seeing that it would be the next victim after the US is taken down.

We need Russia. Russia needs us. We just don’t realize it yet

dhimwit on May 8, 2008 at 12:07 PM

dhimwit on May 8, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Energy dependence makes free countries less free. You are correct that it is troubling that “Our traditional allies” can be immobilized by turning a gas faucet in Siberia.

Likewise, we are at the mercy of less-than-friendly oil exporters. We need to be energy independent.

Putin has been restarting Cold War practices like flights that test the perimeter of Britain’s airspace. Putin is not trustworthy.

Red Pill on May 8, 2008 at 12:18 PM

The Bible says Russia and the Arabs will attack Israel in the last days, and actually spells out the countries involved. The Bible calls this war the “Battle of Gog and Magog”, Ezekiel Chapter 38 & 39. Many of these nations are enemies of Israel today. Listed are Iran, Ethiopia, Libya, Egypt, and possibly Turkey.

apacalyps on May 8, 2008 at 12:38 PM

Come up with a commercially viable alternative to gasoline and things change just a bit.

Research could change the world.

TheUnrepentantGeek on May 8, 2008 at 12:54 PM

Energy blackmail. It took 100 years for us to get into this mess. It will likely take another 100 to get ourselves out of it.

But we can’t put history on hold while we get our act together. The Russians are bastards, but they aren’t necessarily dumb bastards. They know the demographic timebomb is ticking, and might be very interested in the assistance of a large superpower to help them preserve Russia against growing neighbors like China and Islam. Gas for muscle.

The three strategic weapons of the 21st Century. Oil. Nukes. Wombs. US-Russia can produce all three, if they bury the hatchet. Now.

dhimwit on May 8, 2008 at 1:37 PM

DANG! I never saw this coming.

oakpack on May 8, 2008 at 5:41 PM