Thursday, December 17, 2009

ARENA's political wilderness

El Salvador's conservative ARENA party continues its post-loss self-destruction. Remember that a splinter group named "GANA" had already broken off and voted for Mauricio Funes' budget. Now the party has expelled one of its former presidents, Antonio Saca, for conduct unbecoming. Further, GANA wants investigations of corruption under the other former ARENA presidents.

Meanwhile, Funes himself has a 78% approval rating, up seven points from August. This won't last, but the FMLN just needs it to last long enough to keep ARENA eating itself up. The murder rate, gang violence in general, and of course economic performance will eventually become problems that belong to Funes (not unlike how the economy, Afghanistan and Iraq are gradually becoming Barack Obama's issues rather than George W. Bush's).


Nell 10:54 AM  

I get your point, but the "analogies" with Obama are weak.

The economy immediately becomes the issue of whoever is president. In Obama's case, given the immediate push for big-scale stimulus legislation, there was nothing gradual about it at all.

Nor does the war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) belong on that list. Obama ran promising to escalate, and did a long, high-profile review with a major announcement of the escalation. Again, nothing gradual at all about it.

Nor are the issues mentioned being gradually assumed by Funes: his decision to commit military to police functions puts an early and very specific point to his ownership of internal security.

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