Thursday, March 4, 2010

More on Calderón's Turn for the Worse

Leo Zuckermann examined panista frustration with Calderón in a recent column, pointing out that while Calderón was hailed as a genuine panista in 2006, the disillusionment with him now in his own party is deep. The reasons are many: he supported a regressive electoral reform in 2007 in exchange for an insufficient fiscal reform (that had the added negative of angering his business base); he didn't hold out for a genuine oil reform in 2008, and was content to celebrate the mere existence of a reformthat was wholly incomplete; he made backrooms deals to secure the tax increase last year rather than discussing it openly; and finally, for chatting openly with Raúl Castro while Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata was dying in a prison cell.

Somehow, this seems incomplete. Whatever their merit, I don't think the last two ideas would make someone lose faith an official that they were otherwise inclined to support. (What politician doesn't make backroom deals?) But the alliances with the PRD, which Zuckermann largely ignores, are almost certainly a significant driver of panista dissatisfaction. Both the economic conditions (especially unemployment, which is headed up again) and the tricky security situation also play a factor. But I also think that the idea is starting to emerge that, rightly or wrongly, Calderón is a bumbler, even a loser. A big part of that was the harsh reception he received in Juárez, but that's not all there is to it. Other than the LyFC takeover, most of the events impacting national politics in the past year (disastrous elections, same-sex marriage hysterics, Gómez Mont's renunciation) have conspired to make Calderón seem less formidable, less presidential.


don quixote said...

Calderon is reminescent of another right winger who stole an election and then disintegrated along with the country before our very eyes.
GW Bush, only without an evil Cheney connected to a hip.

pc said...

To be honest, I've never really thought a whole lot of that comparison. There's a lot to criticize Calderón for, but it's a very different situation, and I think to equate any marginally unsuccessful rightist leader to Bush minimizes the singularity of his failures. I also have never read anything that makes me think that 2006 was a repeat of Florida in 2000. But they do have a fair amount in common, especially in that they both oversaw a dramatic decline in their own parties' political fortunes.