Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Pre-emptive excuse making 

Just as the Iraqi insurgency is viewed as a learning and adapting entity so too is the Venezuelan opposition. It used to be that they waited for all their plans to go awry and then come up with excuses (and finger pointing) to explain it all away. But now they’ve gotten smarter. They’ve learned not to wait until the train wreck occurs to start putting out the excuses. Now, as soon as they see the train wreck coming, they try to pre-empt it with ready-made excuses. I have to say, this does show progress on their part.

Here are a couple clear examples of pre-emptive excuse making from the opposition loony blogs. First we have this gem in which one blogger goes on about secret meetings where the evil Chavistas are conspiring to rig the local elections coming up on Sunday. So according to this blogger the elections are meaningless as they will be completely fraudulent. Now, aside from the question of whether “dog catcher” elections are important enough to need rigging I have one question. Why would the Chavistas need to rig the elections when every single poll in the country (by opposition polling firms no less) shows them with a huge advantage over their opponents? For example, just today Ultimas Noticias had a poll by Seijas in which 53.2% of likely voters plan on voting for pro-Chavez candidates and only 14.8% voting for opposition candidates (32% were undecided or didn’t answer). I can understand the temptation to rig the vote if you thought you were going to lose or even if the vote looked to be close. But when you are likely to win by a landslide? The inventor of this excuse seems not to have thought of that.

Then we have another blogger who takes a more nuanced, and at the same time more hypocritical, position. This person goes on and on about whether he, as an opposition supporter, should vote in the election. The final conclusion is that he should, if for no other reason than to complain that his vote was stolen in case his side loses. So if the opposition does better than expected we can be sure he will be giving us a detailed analysis of how Chavismo is really weaker than everyone thinks, it is in a steady state of decline, and the whole house of cards is about to collapse. And if the opposition does worse than expected? Well, in that case obviously the whole election was fraudulent. Pretty nifty. Its just like the old “heads I win, tails you lose” scam I had played on me when I was a little kid. Now, I don’t know that this will work on adults but…. I’d give ‘em a passing grade – for effort if not for results.


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