Wednesday, March 03, 2010

When right wing presidents fail: Calderon inevitable decline?

I was reading the WaPo and found an article about Mexico city making gay marriage legal.  In Mexico of  all places...  What stroke me more in that article is the amount of time that the PAN and Calderon, PAN's president of Mexico, are wasting in the issue, worthy of all the reactionary move in the US (I say reactionary because I include as well GOP bigots and California "colored" Liberals that had no problem in trashing the gay marriage there while voting for Obama).

I am disappointed because I thought that Calderon would have been a better president than what he is turning to be.  His war on drug cartels in the North is not going anywhere fast.  His world ambition blinded him during the Cancun summit to the point of hugging Raul Castro while this one was finishing off political prisoner Zapata, African American and humble worker, the irony of the name and race for Calderon!  And other earlier missteps which made lose a comfortable lead he had in Congress to, of all political parties, a resurgent PRI!

On the economy a case can be made that he is doing somewhat better, but with he world crisis we really cannot tell how much of Mexico "recovery" will be due to Calderon own actions or to the NAFTA link with the US.

I was talking with someone lately who happens to have inside info on Calderon.  Well, nothing big, just someone informed of what goes on in Mexico.  Apparently Calderon is a devout Catholic, something you can read in the WaPo note mentioned above.  This already is a problem when ruling a country who has been officially secular for decades.  But also Calderon would actually be anti US for personal reasons, of which his Catholicism is no stranger.  I do not know whether this is really true but it certainty would explain some of the failings of Calderon.  So we have the paradox of a Nationalistic Mexican right wing  president who must deal with a US where he probably finds Obama as a dangerous Liberal and thus pushes himself to hug Raul Castro.  The  ironies of life when you let your personal convictions rule over the state logic.

Calderon does not realize that these inner contradictions are in fact helping those he believes his enemies as well as those who are his real enemies.  If Fox was considered a semi failure I am afraid his historical image will improve once Calderon passes in about two years.  And it seems that we can say goodbye to the PAN for the next Mexican elections.

The WaPo note also gives us the irony that gay rights overall have advanced in Latin America except for Venezuela where civil unions are not even considered by the glorious bolibanana revolution.  Then again as the IACHR report tells us, Human Rights have been generally retrograding in Venezuela, where even antisemitism exists now.  What can you expect from a lout macho barrack president?


  1. First of the Washington Post is radical left rag. I believe nothing I read in the press and I am usually correct.

    Obama wants to be just like Hugo Chavez. Count on it.

    I did not know you had a problem with Catholics in government. The US got over that in 1960, maybe in time, you too can overcome that.

    I have no idea what your talking about when you say "gay rights" these days. What rights are they being denied?

  2. Right wing LA politicians are always under suspicion of being US lackeys and Mexican ones even more so, because of being neighbors of the US and more dependent on it.

    Embracing Raul Castro is the perfect antidote for this.

  3. UCC

    There is nothing wrong for a Catholic to be president as long as he does not impose his or her values on the population. I am a lapsed Catholic myself but a Catholic nevertheless in case I ever decide to go back to religion, which I doubt, but that is another story.

    As for the rest, why not focus on the point of my post: the apparent lack of success of Calderon tenure which will favor a return of the PRI or, gap! the upcoming PRD. Which of course feed on any perceived religious faith of the president. Mexico is not the US on this regard.

  4. cochonette

    True, but no cigar. Times are changing and hugging Raul will not give Calderon any vote while alienating potential supporters like me. If I wanted a Castro hugger for president I certainly would vote for the real thing.

  5. keplerito2:58 PM


    How come when the Washington Post blasts Chavez it is OK, but when it blasts Calderon it is not OK?

  6. I guess there is nothing wrong with a leftist radical politician until they impose their radical leftism on the country either.

    What needs to happen is that the people of this planet need a new paradigm. They need to wake up and strip government of all powers except defend the country and throw violent criminals in a prison. The people can handle everything else among themselves.

  7. sheik yer Bouti3:28 PM

    gay gay gay gay......your country is going to shit, the cops are likely to haul your ass away at any moment and by the way you ARENT a US citizen so why the hell are you so obsessed with marriage between sexual deviants in this country?

    solve your own frickin problems in mango-land before worrying about ours

  8. UCC


    Be a Libertarian all you want but do not go into details that do not strengthen your cause.


    Thanks for the perspective. :)

  9. sheik

    i am at a loss as you writing such a bigoted comment when the post is not about the US, and certainly less than about Venezuela.

    has it occurred to you that i may be gay, that i may have a gay sibling, that a close friend is gay? not that any situation modifies the anti homophobia feeling, but it certainly makes your comment highly offensive to whomever fits in these categories. your comment is chavez like, you know.... puro trucutu

  10. UCC

    PS: Rereading my reply to you, I did not want to sound like a school principal, sorry. What I meant to say is that it is never a good idea to shoot from the hip. :)

  11. UCC, (a) Followers of this blog already know that Fidel Castro is Hugo Chavez's most admired person. One rule of this blog is, don't be repetitive.

    (b) Gay rights: In most locations, gay people do not get the tax benefits that married people automatically have, nor they to receive health insurance survivors pensions, and other financial benefits granted to employees of the state. That is not equal protection under the law.

  12. gatorgab5:10 PM

    Greetings Daniel - I continue to follow your postings, but don't respond as much - busy! But I agree as to your response to sheik - how bigotted! Maybe sheik can define everything he finds to be "sexually deviant"? Is anything outside of the missionary position deviant? Is oral sex sodomy? Anal sex? I don't mean to be graphic, but your tone almost sounded as if people should be stoned for being "sexually deviant" and I need to know if I should move as far from you as possible! Because as conservative as I am, I am still GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY! LOL

    As for Catholics, I am a Catholic and I consider my moral positions when I vote often. I find it hard to vote for a pro-abortion candidate, but then I am generally conservative and I find libertarians more to my choosing. I do find fault with "Catholic" politicians like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi having a shameless pro-abortion position (please don't call it pro-choice, it only serves to make the murderers feel less guilty). But overall, I have no opinion on Calderon. In general, us cuban exiles don't think Mexico or it's government is worth anything for the cause of freedom and liberty. They've been the biggest Castro apologists for decades.

  13. gatorgab

    1) true, mexico had been soft on the castros. but fox did have a couple of fights with them, one famous one been the storming out of fidel in some monterrey summit.

    2) so, if you were a california voter you would have voted yes on keeping prop 21 while voting maccain next lever :)

    3) voting on your catholic convictions is not the same thing as ruling over non catholic people basing yourself on your catholic convictions

  14. If you don't like Gay Marriage, don't marry one! Most people in LatAm have real problems to worry about like food to care that Gays are doing. Plus anyone who has heard the "vocation" speech knows exactly where the Church stands on the the subject.
    When it comes to LatAm I don't put much faith in the Post. They were kind to Chavez way too long. The problem looks like left and right but in reality is that in most of LatAm life is getting better for many and worse for as many and more. Even with a 5 Meter wall between Mexico and the US they still come and they are the ones who can't make it at home most often.

  15. Ever heard of the marriage penalty?

    Married people usually pay higher taxes.

    What other benefits?

    I do not care what two adults choose to do or choose to call themselves. Tolerance is primary. But, no, they cannot demand that society accept as normal, celebrate or approve something or change the definitions of words to suit them.

    Nobody worries about what gays are doing until they bring their porn into elementary school and give condoms to little children and tell them sodomy is perfectly fine.

    THAT is when violence will start.

    Yes, that is where we are in the US where the radical "safe schools czar" wrote the forward to "Queering Elementary Education" and Planned Parenthood thinks sex should start at 10.

    The Science Czar wrote a book way back when endorsing eugenics.

    The energy secretary thinks painting roofs white will save the world.

    On and on and on the most radical and extreme in our country have been given jobs in the highest offices of the land.

    The new House Ways & Means Committee Chairman thinks debt is wealth.

    So, yes, we in the US do have some concerns about the crazies being in charge of government.

  16. Anonymous8:30 AM

    Interesting to note that my response to sheik never made it onto the comments section. He can refer to me as a deviant, but apparently me calling him an asshole is unacceptable. Interesting double standard.

  17. anonymous

    you are right, your previous comment did not pass becasue it violated several rules of this blog. on the other hand this one goes through without any problem and carrying EXACTLY there same message as the previous one. whether sheik is a bastard or not there is a minimum of decorum to follow, unless you want to lower yourself to the level of those who insult you. even chavez i treat with way more consideration than he treats me.

  18. UCC

    you are really losing it. how come this post about calderon becomes an excuse for you to vent all of your pent up anger about what takes place in the US?

    REMINDER: this is a blog about venezuela and venezuela related matters, even if indirect. painting Us school roofs in white in your context is totally off mark, and mentioning it here as ridiculous as the event you mention.

    once upon a time i had to deal with similar bitter posts from the left, and the right applauded me loud. then again bush was president. now that bush is not president anymore and that i treat obama EXACTLY as i treated bush, i am vilified by some of those who cheered me before.

    i am fed up with extremes from both sides.

  19. Anonymous10:17 AM

    In response to SYB I would like to say that your ignorance is beyond words. I would love the IACHR to do a report on your ass. And who are you to say anyone elses countrey is going to shit when your beloved US is in the deepest recession in years. No jobs NO home No health care No gay marriage. Enjoy your life "ignorante"

  20. Anonymous10:33 AM

    Noted Daniel. This one is a personal message from me to you, so it can appear or not as you decide. As a gay man, I refuse to live another moment of my life agreeing to politely disagree with those who would deny me my basic human rights and civil rights based on my born-with sexual orientation. I believe a robust, in-your-face "FUCK YOU" is THE ONLY appropriate response to these sorts of bullies, or it's a slippery slope until the radical bastards in THIS country start passing laws to kill us as they are doing in places like Uganda. There are still U.S. states where a person can be--without single legal recourse--sacked from their job and denied housing STRICTLY based on their sexual orientation. I an done with the politely little gay guy schtick. No more Mr. Nice Gay, I say. And forgive me, but while recognizing that this is your blog, that it's supposed to be about Venezuela, and that it rightfully functions by your rules, accepting hateful phrases like "deviants" and "mango land" while refusing an equally strong (and admittedly equally crude) responses is tantamount to aiding and abetting. Would you allow sheik to say "nigger" or "kike" or "towel head" but deny black, jewish, and arab/south asian people a justifiably angry response? I don't think you would. By the way, I normally respond as OA2, but your new format doesn't afford me that option, hence "anonymous."

  21. sheik yer bouti10:54 AM

    dano: i could care less if you are gay but your obsession over the matter is silly considering your circumstances. If you and half of Venz didnt have the US as an escape valve I suspect you all would get off your collective whining asses and fix your problems at home.

    Ive read and commented on your blog for 2-3 years now. What have you accomplished? Nothing except to perpetuate sterotypical latin american bitching about when the USA ignores you (Bush) and when the USA weakly sucks up to you (Hillary).

    Like Ive said so many times before. You people should grow a pair and take out Chavez. Venz is a joke until it does.

  22. anonymous OA2

    1) you can use OA2. below where you chose identity there is a name/URL option where you put whatever name you want, URL being optional. check it out and try.

    2) since you are a long time reader you should know better: when i allow an insulting message it is because two conditions are simultaneously met, the message is bad fr the one who wrote it and i have a great reply to it, a reply that allows me to make a precise point.

    do not forget that i have been 7 years now in this blogging business and that i have read it all. in general polite confrontation works better than shouting back directly, no matter how justified you think you are. and trust me, even after 7 years sometimes it is hard for me not blow a gasket. though sometimes a fuck you is acceptable :)

    not that i want to defend sheik but in the past he has made interesting observations and brought information. i do not forget that and i hope that once he calms down he will hold himself back in the future and measure his words (an apology would be most welcome from him, anyway).

    this is a blog that covers the span from right wing gay to left wing gay and everything in between, from politics to sexual perversions of any type. only chavista self excluded themselves pretending that they were banned when historically there has been only two banned for life. but chavistas are infinitely more close minded than, say, sheik, and they only care about trolling or firebombing and run away. they are unable to take their hits like i do, or you do or even sheik did in the past. just like chavez, persecution paranoia, the whole world is against me.

    surely we cannot fall in that trap too, can we afford it?

    by the way, write me privately about something else off topic.

  23. Anonymous11:05 AM

    de Clermont - I would like to know why my comments were not posted? There was no profanity, they were thoughtful and specifically referred to issues posed in the blog. Was it that they were not conflictual in nature?

  24. de clermont

    you know, sometimes comments do not go through. for example, did you check the anti spam box?

  25. Daniel, I see you have the same problem that Harry's Place frequently faces. Just because you oppose Chavez, some people assume you'll be sympathetic to various forms of rightwing lunacy and bigotry.

  26. "i am fed up with extremes from both sides."


  27. Gene

    And before Obama became president I was often linked to sites such as Instapundit. I have not had a single link to a right web site in at least 6 months :( Not that I got more links from left web sites :( Oh well..... Shows you that still few people, like you, understand what chavismo really is.

  28. Meh GatorGab, it's almost normal to be gay... but damn man.... does your family know you're a Gator?


    /Greetings from TLH

  29. Anonymous5:21 PM

    Dan, great take on Calderon.

    I was going to make a quick comment that I don't know any GOP supporters of man-woman marriage who are actually bigots and anti-gay. They want respect and compassion and equalitly under the law for gays, they just don't want to redefine marriage. And that your quick "bigot" name-calling makes you look childish.

    BUT to my shame....Sheik proved me wrong. There are anti-gay bigots on my side. Shameful.

    Thanks for the insight on Mexico Dan.

  30. latest anonymous (please people, sign your posts by hand if you do not want to enter an id!)

    the distinction you make really does not fly when scrutinized closely, and, worse, is used by many bigots to hide their bigotry. but there is no point discussing it further here. i believe you but i know of too many who hide behind this argument that marriage cannot be changed. i think that marriage needs to evolve in current social conditions but that is way beyond the scope of this blog.

  31. What rights are they being denied?

    Are you SERIOUSLY asking that? As you must live on the moon, or in a hole, let me list a few, any one of which ought to outrage any American...actually anybody with a shred of humanity.

    1. In 20 states, gay people can be fired simply for being born gay

    2. In at least 20 state, gay people can be denied or ejected from housing simply for being born gay

    3. In at least 20 states gay people can be denied insurance simply for being born gay

    4. In at least 20 states, gay people can be denied access to credit simply for being born gay

    5. In all but a very few states, gay couples are denied the right to tax benefits enjoyed by hetero couples

    6. In all but these few states, same sex couples are denied hospital visitation rights afforded to married hetero couples

    7. in all but these very few states, same sex couples are denied the inheritance rights afforded to hetero couples

    That's probably enough sunlight projected on your factual ignorance for one day. Let me know when you're ready for more.

  32. we are going to give it a rest with gay rights nw, and go back to calderon failing presidency....

  33. I see Calderon differently than you.

    First of all; there is no way to put Calderon's political difficulties in perspective without mentioning Mexican immigrant rights in the U.S. and the Reforma Petrolera.

    With respect to U.S. immigration policies, the matter truly is important in Mexican politics, it rallies all political parties to a common objective and leads to no small amount of demagoguery among Mexican politicians, and Calderon is no exception.

    Calderon made a lot of political inroads in northern and central Mexico--where U.S. immigration policy is a very big deal--in the presidential campaign in 2005 when he held himself up as the one candidate who could negotiate an immigration agreement with the U.S., because his PAN affiliation would make him a respectable negotiating partner in the eyes of President Bush. It was a political liability for Calderon from the beginning, and has paid a price for Bush’s failure to get it passed. Some of the political gains Calderon achieved in 2005 on immigration policy were at the cost of the PRI, who are now winning their former voters back by advocating a "get tough" stance with the U.S. on the issue. Like Vicente Fox before him, Calderon holds the U.S. accountable for failing him on immigration. He was much friendlier before the defeat of the McCain immigration initiative in 2006.

    The second big issue that has determined Calderon's fate is the Reforma Petrolera, which Calderon did get passed while he had the votes in the Mexican congress. The leftist PRD screamed bloody murder about it, while the PRI seemed to straddle the issue, with many of their members actually voting for it in the legislature, but playing to the crowd in public--¡El petróleo es nuestro!. Calderon showed some statesmanship in getting the legislation enacted, even knowing that he would pay a cost. And the economic benefits from it are already evident, Mexico is making real progress at developing new petroleum reserves in both oil and natural gas, which has had a positive economic impact.

    But what is most interesting about the political effects of the Reforma Petrolera is that its principal critics, the PRD, have not reaped the political benefits of popular anxiety over the privatization of the Mexican petroleum industry. And it is their own fault. The political protest Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador led in the aftermath of the 2005 election, using the strategy of La Ingobernabilidad, hurt a lot of his own supporters and convinced many that Calderon was right after all, AMLO was a "danger for Mexico," as Calderon had argued during the campaign.

    And then there were the PRD internal elections for its leadership in 2008, which turned into a disaster for the party. AMLO's candidate Alejandro Encinas lost to Jesus Ortega, who had the support of PRD founder and Mexican political icon Cuauhtemoc Cardenas. But the PRD leadership, who supported AMLO and Encinas, tried unsuccessfully to steal the election and screamed ¡Fraude! (again), which left Ortega in charge but all his followers, and many others, completely disgusted with AMLO and the PRD's left. Many of Ortega's supporters have now left the PRD and--you guessed it!--it is the PRI who have benefited.

    Now with respect to Calderon at the Cumbre in Cancun, I see him as trying to appeal to PRI voters by trotting out the old "Mexico as leader of the left in Latin America" banner, but I don't think he's serious. Calderon is not stupid. He knows that Chavez tried to get AMLO in power and that Hugo also supported the Appistas in Oaxaca, who created a major problem for Calderon early in his presidency.

    And the whole gay marriage issue is just Calderon playing to his political base outside of Mexico City. The PAN is suffering from a political scandal or two within a couple of norther Mexican states and the morality issue has not been in their favor recently.

    Take care Daniel!


  34. St Jacques

    Thank you for the information.

    What I was trying to convey is the decline of the PAN government as perceived from outside without getting into too much detail (I confess that I did not follow much the Oil reform as it seemed not to be that important to me, but I might have been wrong).

    Immigration is certainly an issue that Calderon carries the guilt without being the offender. But in the long term the US will pay a higher price than Mexico. I do disagree with one thing in what you wrote. Northern Mexico has been historically the PAN base so I would not talk of "political inroads", but rather "advanced further his political base" if you must.

    As for AMLO, already in 2005 I questioned his ability to be an effective leader. He has been one of the big disappointment of Mexico politics, doing more than any one else to revive the PRI fortunes.... We have been proven write, just as I would have been proven right on Chavez had I been writing a blog in 1998 :)

  35. Daniel,

    With respect to the decline of the PAN government, I see it more related to national issues than local ones. In 2005 Calderon trailed AMLO in all the public opinion polls, largely pursuing a strategy of talking about Mexico's economic future, standing against corruption, and taking the "moral high ground," which was always the backbone of the PAN, who relied upon their Catholic base. But he got nowhere.

    Things changed for Calderon when he struck a chord with Mexican voters in making AMLO himself the major issue of the campaign. AMLO's arrogance in not showing up for public debates, his Triunfalismo, his ties--or at least the ties of the PRD--to Chavez following the Vladimir Villegas scandal, his personal corruption (the video of the bribe of his aide in Mexico City); all in all Un peligro para México. Calderon won by "nationalizing" his campaign.

    While President Calderon has succeeded in increasing the revenues of Mexico's national government. And it was not just for the increase in the price of oil--as it was with Chavez--but for increasing oil production and facilitating numerous NAFTA-related trade deals. But most of the trade deals benefited his political base in Northern Mexico, where you have some real success stories, like Monterrey and the rest of Nuevo Leon. Calderon has largely delivered on everything he promised except immigration, and that is a big problem, because that is a national issue.

    Calderon's opponents in the PRI and PRD see his weaknesses; attack him on his failure to make use of his ties to the U.S. on immigration, attack the moral superiority stance of the PAN in light of the scandals, and play to popular fears about the petroleum reform and drug violence. The PAN scandals in Northern Mexico (state issues) have disheartened the PAN base, the violence of the drug wars--and I think Calderon has had more success than you do, we Americans are the problem and Mexicans see that--has angered everyone, and the other anxieties are working against him.

    And you are definitely right that we Americans will pay a price on immigration. But the press only focuses upon Republican opposition to it, while ignoring the role the labor unions play in it. You're not seeing Obama getting anything done on immigration, are you? Only the Republicans can make that work and they haven't wanted to go that route enough. Some, like Bush, McCain, and the Florida Cuban exiles have tried, but not enough.




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