For the last 20 years, Vladimir V. Putin has served (himself) as either Russian president or prime minister, switching offices to get around the nation’s term limits.
“In the past, Mr. Putin proceeded cautiously, seeking to preserve a veneer of legitimacy,” explains The New York Times. “Confronting term limits in 2008, Mr. Putin opted for a four-year hiatus as prime minister while his protégé, Dmitri A. Medvedev, became the caretaker president.”
Required to step down in 2024, at the close of his second consecutive six-year term, Putin is not leaving.
Legislation proposed and passed this week by the Duma, if approved by Russia’s Constitutional Court and by voters in an April plebiscite, would re-start the autocrat’s term limits clock, allowing the 67-year-old to stay in power until 2036 . . . to the ripe old age of 83.
Putin told the Duma that someday “presidential authority in Russia will not be, as they say, so personified — not so bound up in a single person,” but that day is clearly not at hand.
“If he serves until then,” the Times informs, “Mr. Putin will have held the nation’s highest office for 32 years, longer than Stalin but still short of Peter the Great, who reigned for 43 years.”
Not mentioned? Ohio’s Republican House Speaker Larry Householder,* who calls his state’s voter-enacted term limits “pretty oppressive,” and is pushing an initiative amendment for this November’s ballot that will do in Ohio precisely what is being done in Russia: ignore all previous years in office, allowing Householder to hold power through 2036.
Just like Putin. Two pols in a pod.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Mr. Householder’s GOP credentials are somewhat questionable. A recent headline asks, “Will the Marriage Last Between Larry Householder and Democrats?”