Thursday, November 12, 2009

Calderón's Contradictions

Leo Zuckermann points out that Calderón has a habit of patting himself on the back for passing reforms on the one hand, but then saying the same reforms didn't go far enough, and blaming them for Mexico's dire economic straits. His conclusion: "I'm afraid that the president contradicts himself because, deep down, he doesn't know what he wants".

There's no question that there are some inconsistencies in Calderón's rhetoric, and no politician should be trusted when patting himself on that back in any event, but the logic here is actually pretty clear: the fiscal and Pemex reforms succeeding in attempting to improve a bad set of circumstances, which is more than can be said of reform efforts during Fox's tenure. At the same time, they were wholly insufficient, and consequently Mexico's fiscal situation and energy industry remain pressing problems. Calderón, being a politician, tailors his assessment of the reforms to his audience and to the point he's trying to make. That's completely disingenuous, but I don't think it's a product of confusion about his goals.

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