Vladimir Putin does not understand that the power of Donald trump limited

In Russia still there are many people that enjoy observing the White house, consumed by internal strife and suffering one setback after another. The last time he faced such problems as an inability to push through health care reform and the rapid appointment and dismissal of the foul-mouthed Director of communications Anthony of Scaramucci (Anthony Scaramucci). But the feeling that today is felt in the Kremlin, more often, may sound familiar and many Republicans. Those who are already more than half watching trump being President, experiencing mixed feelings of frustration and anxiety, foreboding evil.

Apparently, President Vladimir Putin very angry. Now he has realized that betting on trump, he made a mistake that was already made earlier in respect of Western leaders. And its Sunday the expulsion of hundreds of diplomats and other employees of the US diplomatic mission in Russia shows that he is willing to cut their losses and do a little blood. “In fact, nothing was to be expected, said his press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, explaining this decision on Monday. Everything was pretty obvious.”

And Putin had understood this very well. His close alliances with the West suffered the same fate. And Jacques Chirac (Jacques Chirac) in France, and Silvio Berlusconi (Silvio Berlusconi) in Italy or Gerhard Schroeder (Gerhard Schroeder) in Germany — all of these unions were built on personal contacts with applicants the head of state. Each time it was a new person and, as a rule, also a chatterbox. Each of these unions collapsed when the leader is faced with constraints in a democratic society. It is, for example, of the term of office, the freedom of the press, independence of the legislature, the dissatisfaction of the electorate or any of the other checks and balances built into the Constitution of these countries. But with each new attempt to strike up a friendship with the West, Putin seems to have hoped that his colleagues can overcome these barriers that limit their power, just as he did in Russia.

They’ve always disappointed him, did not meet his expectations, although it was not as dramatic as in the case of the President trump. Since the first meeting of the two presidents in Germany during the summit of “Big twenty” in Hamburg has not passed also month as on 27 July, the U.S. Congress sent Trump a bill on new sanctions against Russia for its alleged intervention in the presidential elections, held in USA last year. Moreover, the bill that was approved by an overwhelming majority of Congress, and will be adopted, even if the President will veto it. For many in Moscow, this bill was a proof that trump is a weak leader, not able to perform their resolute promises to “get along” with Russia. “Now trump see Russia as a weak politician who is inferior to… your own legislators,” wrote Russian political analyst Alexei Makarkin, analyzing American the bill on sanctions.

But Makarkin missed something — the fact that Putin seems to not understand that members of Congress, including Republicans, are not “private legislators” trump. They are an equal branch of government — like the judiciary, which has repeatedly blocked immigration initiative trump.

This is an incorrect understanding of the limits of Executive power has existed since the first years of Putin’s presidency, when he established control over the Russian media and started to think that his Western colleagues will be able to do the same in their countries. In 2005, during a summit with then-President George Bush (George Bush) Putin refused to believe that the Supreme commander of the United States has no authority to silence American journalists. Remembers Bush, Putin said: “do Not tell me about the free press. Especially now, after you fired that reporter.”

Bush realized that Putin has in mind. “Vladimir, are you talking about Dan Rather (Dan Rather)?”, he asked. A few months before that, the journalist-veteran rather was forced to apologize and resign from his post leading the evening news on CBS, but not on the order of the White house, but because of the incorrect story about Bush’s service in the national guard. In the eyes of Putin the incident showed that America’s claims of freedom of the press is a farce. Bush tried to clarify the situation and convince him. He recalls how he told then Russian President: “I urge you not to talk about it publicly. Otherwise Americans will think that you don’t understand our system.”

But the fact of the matter is — he doesn’t understand. Within a few years of working as a journalist in Moscow, I’ve lost count of the officials who tried to explain to me that there is no such thing as an independent journalist. And one official even started our interview, exclaiming that all American journalists are disguised secret agents. It happened with Pavel Astakhov, the Kremlin’s then former Commissioner for the rights of the child, who one day in 2013, took me in his office. “Here, CIA! he exclaimed with a laugh, referring to his assistant. — Let him come!”

He wasn’t kidding. In the Russian bureaucratic environment (and society in General), people often believe that the West in many ways acts like Russia — that there is the same tame, the judicial system, the same dependent and obsequious media and the same ruling clique, pulling all the strings. Having before our eyes this picture of the world, it is much easier to dismiss criticism coming from abroad — if all are corrupt then no one has the right to judge. But it turns out that many high-ranking officials in Moscow think so too.

For example, they were inclined to believe that trump will be able to act contrary to the opinion of representatives of other branches of government and to implement its agenda, especially in the matter of easing of US sanctions against Russia. Deep down they believe that the authorities in the United States, in Russia is concentrated in the hands of the President, and everything else for the most part — only a democratic sham to divert attention.

And it is unlikely this belief will be changed in the light of recent lessons on the basics of American civil law. Russian state television the failure of trump to silence the media and to push its agenda through Congress and the courts is presented only as another proof that the United States run some kind of omnipotent cabal of conspirators — only this time, this clique ganged up on the President of the United States.

This is a new twist to the old and familiar concept, and this means that the Kremlin still cherishes the hope that trump will take the American system under control and guide it toward an Alliance with Moscow. “We’ve been expecting, maybe something will change for the better, had such a hope that the situation will change, — said on Sunday Putin. — But, apparently, if it changed, it’s not soon.”