July 3, 2018

Mexico Elects New President

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

on Sunday, setting the stage for the most left-wing government in the country’s democratic history at a time of tense relations with the Trump administration.” (Reuters)

Both sides are expressing skepticism about AMLO’s ability to fulfill his campaign promises:

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The left worries that AMLO has no clear plan to end corruption, the central theme of his campaign, and sees traces of Trumpism in AMLO’s populist rise to power.

“When pressed on how he would address corruption, AMLO often suggested that he could clean up government simply by leading by example.” One political scientist comments, “the idea of leading by example has its merits — it creates a negative incentive at all levels of government… But it’s not a political program.”

Vice

“The president might be very honest, and by all indications López Obrador is a very austere and honest guy. But what happens underneath, at the level of the bureaucracy, the municipal governments, the state government — that’s going to be very difficult to control.”

Vox

Some point out that “AMLO has shown in the past to have certain authoritarian tendencies… He doesn’t like to be criticized. In his Twitter feed alone, even fairly recently, you can find tweets à la Trump in which he adjectivizes… freely against the press whenever they report on things he deems untrue or uncomfortable or you name it.”

Slate

It’s true that “Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a longtime fixture of Mexico’s left, is no Donald Trump. But the wave of dissatisfaction that carried him to power, with millions of voters seeking the most anti-establishment candidate they could find, sure looks familiar.”

Washington Post

Counterpoint: While “AMLO captivated the electorate by running against the system… AMLO is more an insurgent than an outsider, an old-school politician who rose through the ranks during Mexico's authoritarian era of single-party dominance… To what extent he remains true to his populist, nationalist roots once in power is an open question.”

Axios

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

The right is alarmed by AMLO’s election, citing fears of his far-left ideology and increased US-Mexico tension.

The right is alarmed by AMLO’s election, citing fears of his far-left ideology and increased US-Mexico tension.

“López Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement party

Morena) openly wants to bring Bolivarian revolution in Mexico, despite the ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela… No wonder Mexican business people regard López Obrador as the most dangerous man in Mexico.”

The Federalist

Lopez Obrador has “been talking about a ‘radical revolution’ in Mexican society and it’s not entirely figurative in nature. This guy is a hardline socialist who many fear is modeling himself far more in the image of Hugo Chavez than Ronald Reagan… He’s calling illegal emigration a ‘human right’ and supports having migrants storm the border of the United States en masse.”

Hot Air

“Obrador is in a surreal position. He is posing as an anti-American, to channel popular anger at Trump, while at the same time assuming that an obtuse United States will continue to tolerate open borders, billions of dollars in remittances, interference in U.S. politics, huge trade deficits — and somewhere between 11 million and 20 million illegal aliens inside the United States.”

National Review

Counterpoint: “The Mexican state as it exists is almost entirely incapable of the sort of strategic vision and planning that Obrador’s detractors in the American press ascribe to it… Whatever risks Obrador presents, the far greater problem is that Mexico is becoming ungovernable—a failed state with which we share a 2,000-mile border.”

The Federalist

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

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