Friday, April 8, 2011

Why Specific Criticisms Are Better

I mentioned yesterday that the opposition tendency toward the widest possible attack on Calderón's policies --i.e., all the violence is his fault, this is his war, he's in bed with Chapo-- limits its ability to modify his policies in smaller ways. For instance, a persistent complaint from media critics and their political allies about the weakness of, say, government money-laundering efforts would likely have provoked more aggressive attacks on dirty cash. To take another example, the same is true of constructing more prisons. Unfortunately, the opposition to Calderón spends most of its rhetoric on mere sloganeering.

Calderón's comment yesterday that since no one can suggest a better strategy, he will continue with his own, is a pretty good reflection of that. Of course, there have been suggestions of specific policy adjustments to Calderón's policy over the past four years (here's mine), but the calls to "end the war" and the like have been much more common, and they don't amount to a sustainable strategic alternative so much as a series of mottos, which makes it easier to Calderón to get away with comments like the above.

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