Example (Putin Would Eat President Trump for Lunch):

Topless photos and macho adventures aside, Putin is no showman. He's a colorless career bureaucrat with the steely core of a KGB man. The popularity he enjoys is nothing like stardom: It's a mixture of fear, love and submission. Putin doesn't do deals, as Trump does, or as Berezovsky and Chichvarkin once did, because he has never been a businessman. Putin is a man of the state. And the state can't be gamed or beaten. No deal is ever final until it takes its due.

How do you understand that phrase?


It means that the State doesn't have to bargain or negotiate what it gets out of a transaction: it takes what it is due (owed) off the top, by fiat not by contract, and leaves the contracting parties to sort out how to split up what's left over.

As a famous social analyst once put it, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's". Putin, says the author, is the heir of the Caesars and their namesakes the Tsars.

  • Makes sense... except.....why say the deal takes its due? Isn't it the strongman/autocrat who takes his due? Could it be that the deal takes its due course (during which the crafty/strong party takes his due portion/reward)? – Brian Hitchcock Aug 2 '15 at 8:00
  • @BrianHitchcock It is the State, not the deal. That can be perfectly clear in speech, where beaten will take a half cadence (I'd point it with a colon), and it would be contrastively stressed. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 2 '15 at 12:01

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