July 4, 2006
"Democratic" López Obrador Threatens Revolution If He Loses
The Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) edged away from "democratic" and closer to "revolution" today as Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in a throwback to the days before there was democracy in Mexican elections, vowed street action if he is not declared the winner:
Mexico's leftist presidential candidate, narrowly trailing his conservative rival in the vote, will call street protests if necessary to challenge an election he says was plagued with irregularities.
Senior aides to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday he was first taking his challenge to election authorities but may then bring out supporters to back his fight against the apparent razor-thin victory of ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon.
"We are not calling for immediate demonstrations but of course it could happen at some point," Manuel Camacho Solis, the candidate's main political operator, told Reuters.
But of course. López Obrador thus lives down to every negative campaign ad run by his opponent, conservative Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN) of Vicente Fox, comparing López Obrador to anti-Democratic thugs Oogo Chavez of Venezuela and his sock puppet, Evo Morales of Bolivia.
Yesterday, we asked the question, "has any political party whose name contains any variant of the word 'revolution' ever done anybody any good?" Yesterday, López Obrador was still pledging, per the New York Times, to follow the democratic process, even if he lost:
Mr. López Obrador said at a downtown hotel he would respect the decision of the election institute even if he lost by one vote. Yet in the same breath he maintained he was convinced he had won by 500,000 votes. "This result is irreversible," he said.
Today he dropped the respect and embraced the irreversibility:
Camacho Solis said supporters were already pushing Lopez Obrador, the combative former mayor of Mexico City, to take his cause onto the streets. Many militants remember the 1988 election when fraud was widely believed to have robbed a leftist of victory.
"People do not want a negotiation, they do not want us to accept the result, but we have to guide the movement politically so it doesn't end up in a greater confrontation."
Algore must be Green with envy, asking himself, "why didn't I think of that?" After losing the election, Gore clumsily tried to sue his way into the White House on the widely recognized legal theory that if the Democrat and the Republican are neck and neck in the vote, then there is no conceivable way the Democrat could have lost.
(A Gore-ollary: if a Democrat flips a coin and calls "tails," and it lands temporarily out of sight, then there is no conceivable way the coin could have landed "heads.")
The current count, with nearly all precincts reporting, has Calderón ahead of Orbrador by 1% of the vote, or 380,000 votes:
Unofficial results from more than 98 percent of all polling places showed Felipe Calderón, the fiscal conservative backed by big business, with a lead of one percentage point over Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the fiery leftist whose campaign championed the country's poor.
Several political and financial analysts said they believed that Mr. Calderón's 384,000-vote lead, narrow as it was, was unlikely to be reversed, with only about 800,000 more votes to be tallied, but Mr. López Obrador said that the preliminary tally was flawed and that he planned to challenge it in court.
For López Obrador to reverse the result in the remaining 800,000 votes, he would have to win 590,000 to 210,000, or 74% to 26%.
Late in the afternoon, Mr. López Obrador denounced the preliminary results, saying they could not be trusted, and showed copies of reports from polling places that did not conform to the results announced by federal election officials. He also asserted that three million votes were missing and had not been counted.
Assuming that is true, for those three million votes to turn the tide, he would have to win them by better than 56% to 44%; even if these phantom "three million votes" actually exist, López Obrador has not given any reason to believe they're all from poor and Socialist-leaning parts of Mexico. And what does he mean by "missing," anyway? Has he examined the voting machines? Or is he basing this on the fact that turnout in pro-López Obrador states fell short of PRD's expectations?
I suspect what he is actually doing is preparing a "battle cry" for the upcoming violent street protests, as he tries to seize by the bullet what he lost by the ballot: "Remember the three million disappeared!"
The PRD believes that it was robbed in a previous election in 1988:
The Democratic Revolutionary Party, or P.R.D., has come close to the presidency once before. In 1988, its candidate, Cuauhtemoc Cárdenas, lost the presidency to Carlos Salinas de Gortari of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.
In that race, the computers whose tallies showed Mr. Cárdenas with a comfortable lead over Mr. Salinas mysteriously blacked out, and when they came back on line they showed Mr. Salinas in the lead.
The claim of electoral theft is not universally accepted by any means; but even if it were true, it's one Socialist/Leftist party (the oxymoronic Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) cheating another Socialist/Leftist party (the PRD). The National Action Party of Fox and Calderón played at most a peripheral role.
This isn't the World Cup: even if the PRI stole an election from the PRD eighteen years ago, that doesn't give the PRD license to steal an election from the PAN today.
Mexico stands at a crossroads. On the left hand is the López Obrador-driven return to the dark days of Socialism, poverty, corruption, and violence; on the right is the dawn of capitalism and rule of law, led by Felipe Calderón and the National Action Party. If Mexico chooses the right path, confirming the stunning break of 2000 -- when Vicente Fox defeated the PRI, which had controlled Mexico under single-party rule for seventy years -- then I believe it will be democracy in Mexico, not Socialism, that is "irreversible."
And the fiery Andrés Manuel López Obrador can return to his home state of Tabasco or to Mexico City and give up his dreams of joining Fidel, Hugo, and Evo in trying to return Stalinism to Latin America.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 4, 2006, at the time of 12:24 PM
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The following hissed in response by: Davod
Are there any US liberal advisors in Mexico. If so, I would suggest we can expect the same in 2006 or 2008. As I recall it was mainly Democrat supporters creating violence at Republican party facilities during 2004.
The very threat of violence has been known to cause voters to change their minds.
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