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Mexistan Redux

Good Knight-Ridder article on the protests to save democracy in Mexico. The non-chalance of the GOP's erstwhile democracy-promoters on this subject is pretty appalling. It's not just a question of abstract hypocrisy, there are some very clear and direct bad consequences that will accrue to the United States of political reform breaks down in an adjacent country that happens to be one of our largest trade partners and is currently our largest source of immigrants. This is also a case where the U.S. has a clear ability to change the outcome if the policymakers in the White House were so inclined. Just a token word or two doesn't cut it.

April 25, 2005 | Permalink

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Comments

It's interesting that two of Bush's bestest buddies, Fox and Putin, are working hard to destroy democracy in their countries. I thought we were trying to spread democracy.

Posted by: Bob Munck | Apr 25, 2005 1:15:47 PM

Freedom is on the march, baby!

You'll never go wrong trying to underestimate the intelligence [sic] of the American public.

Posted by: MattB | Apr 25, 2005 1:17:25 PM

To be fair, Bush has taken stands against the Russians in Ukraine among other places. It is quite possible he and Vlad aren't as bestest of buddies anymore.

Posted by: Jeff the Baptist | Apr 25, 2005 1:18:02 PM

PS -- Matt, I hadn't read Tapped for a long time, and went over there today. How is it that you were allotted all the snark for the site?

Posted by: MattB | Apr 25, 2005 1:18:38 PM

Well, in the spirit of the White House as well as of so many Yglesias commenters, we should obviously INVADE MEXICO. After all, its people have a right to self-determination, just like those of Taiwan. And we have to protect our tequila imports.

At least there are a lot fewer Mexicans than Chinese. Mexico City or bust!

Posted by: Anderson | Apr 25, 2005 2:10:15 PM

wouldn't we then have to round up all the mexican workers in the US and put them in pens, to keep the Malkinites happy ? but if we did that, who would pick our vegetables and build our houses and mow our lawns ?

this is a complicated situation.

maybe we should invade Cuba, instead.

Posted by: cleek | Apr 25, 2005 2:20:51 PM

If you look at Bush's views on democracy, he holds his strongest views in places far away where democracy is still a dream. Here close to home, it is more like a nightmare.

Posted by: The Heretik | Apr 25, 2005 2:26:26 PM

I think the best thing for Mexican democracy is for the White House to continue ignoring the fact there is something going on.

Yes, its a major crisis point, sure. But its not as if this administration is either inclined or capable of doing anything (whatever rhetoric they might attach to it) that actually promotes democracy, and there's too much oil in Mexico to trust the Bush administration not to intervene in whatever way would be most likely to serve their petroleum-related interests rather than democracy.

Posted by: cmdicely | Apr 25, 2005 2:29:34 PM

It is nice to see that the people of Mexico are standing up for someone they believe in and subsequently democracy. However, I am not at all shocked that the PRI is doing what the PRI does.

CM, just a small point, but I think Mexico is actually an oil importer (regardless of domestic production), they are exporting LNG. Is my recollection correct?

Posted by: Publius Rex | Apr 25, 2005 3:10:34 PM

I'm one of those liberal hawks, so caveat emptor and whatnot.

Tomorrow, all of Syria's troops and spys will be out of Lebanon. Not a bad job for the democracy promoters, i.e., the U.N., the "hypocritical" U.S., France, and most importantly, the Lebanese opposition. One of the opposition leaders, Hariri, was assassinated rather than merely prevented from running for office which is what's happening in Mexico.

But Matt does have a point concerning Bush and Mexico. The issue cuts both ways however, for if Mexico is so important for liberal democracy-promoters, why not the Middle East also? And Ukraine, Georgia, etc? Oh, I know why, it's a leftist politician who's being suppressed in Mexico. And you're surprised Bush isn't helping him out?

And wouldn't it be imperialistic for America to interfer in the politics of a sovereign nation, just as invading a "sovereign" nation was? (I'd argue Iraq had forfeited it's sovereignty.) I thought Putin campaigning for Ukraine's Kuchma was very imperialistic and gauche. Glad the "hyporcritical" democracy promoters won out there.

Also, seems to me Bush and co. have a number of problems going on including Social Security, Bolton, judicial fillibusters, Iraqis failing to form a government, etc., that take precedence over our friends to the south.


Posted by: Peter K. | Apr 25, 2005 3:32:28 PM

I'm one of those liberal hawks, so caveat emptor and whatnot.

Tomorrow, all of Syria's troops and spys will be out of Lebanon. Not a bad job for the democracy promoters, i.e., the U.N., the "hypocritical" U.S., France, and most importantly, the Lebanese opposition. One of the opposition leaders, Hariri, was assassinated rather than merely prevented from running for office which is what's happening in Mexico.

But Matt does have a point concerning Bush and Mexico. The issue cuts both ways however, for if Mexico is so important for liberal democracy-promoters, why not the Middle East also? And Ukraine, Georgia, etc? Oh, I know why, it's a leftist politician who's being suppressed in Mexico. And you're surprised Bush isn't helping him out?

And wouldn't it be imperialistic for America to interfer in the politics of a sovereign nation, just as invading a "sovereign" nation was? (I'd argue Iraq had forfeited it's sovereignty.) I thought Putin campaigning for Ukraine's Kuchma was very imperialistic and gauche. Glad the "hyporcritical" democracy promoters won out there.

Also, seems to me Bush and co. have a number of problems going on including Social Security, Bolton, judicial fillibusters, Iraqis failing to form a government, etc., that take precedence over our friends to the south.


Posted by: Peter K. | Apr 25, 2005 3:35:00 PM

The issue cuts both ways however, for if Mexico is so important for liberal democracy-promoters, why not the Middle East also?

We don't think that the US should invade Mexico or Iraq in order to promote democracy in either region. There's no hypocrisy.

Posted by: Kimmitt | Apr 25, 2005 4:01:20 PM

A lot of countries seem to be moving to the left, or recognizing a need to balance the demands of capital. I believe that this will be Bush's legacy.

Posted by: jc | Apr 25, 2005 4:25:07 PM

Tomorrow, all of Syria's troops and spys (sic) will be out of Lebanon.

Troops, yes.
Spies? Only in magical-gumdrop-land.

Posted by: Mike | Apr 25, 2005 4:34:21 PM

It is nice to see that the people of Mexico are standing up for someone they believe in and subsequently democracy. However, I am not at all shocked that the PRI is doing what the PRI does.

Except this time its mostly the PAN doing what, in the past, the PRI has done (in terms of corruptly moving against potential popular opponents). Unless you are referring to the PRI playing both sides of the street, which is, I guess, also a historically popular PRI behavior, and something that seems to be going on here. Of course, if the PAN effort to disqualify the leading PRD candidate works and the PAN makes itself look totalitarian and anti-democratic in the process, the PRI stands to gain, so there is a good reason for them to keep both sides going.

CM, just a small point, but I think Mexico is actually an oil importer (regardless of domestic production), they are exporting LNG. Is my recollection correct?

Mexico is a net oil exporter, but exports mostly heavy (and lower quality) crude.

Posted by: cmdicely | Apr 25, 2005 4:58:02 PM

I was referring to the historical behaviors you mentioned, plus I'm also not totally convinced that the PRI isn't helping stir the pot behind the scenes. Clearly they would stand to benefit. Furthermore, the Mexican street (for what it is worth) is suspicios of the PRI.

"...and that Fox and the majority Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, had conspired against the mayor."

Posted by: Publius Rex | Apr 25, 2005 5:54:05 PM

The desafuero received, IIRC, roughly the votes of all the PAN members, more than half the PRI members, and surprisingly enough none of the PRD members. And the PRI, while holding the most seats in the Congress, does not hold a majority.

It's interesting to note that the PRI has taken the position that the desafuero did not remove Lopez Obrador from office despite stripping his immunity, while the PAN is claiming he has been removed from office. I think its pretty clear that the PRI is trying to find a safe place near the middle to hide while maximizing the opportunity for the PAN and PRD to go after each other. Its not, so far, working with the PRI getting as much blame as the PAN, from most of the coverage I've seen.

And, yeah, the Mexican street is suspicious of the PRI. Several decades of corrupt one-party rule can do that to a party's reputation...

Posted by: cmdicely | Apr 25, 2005 6:40:45 PM

Shorter Matthew: unless Bush does everything possible to promote democracy in every single country in the entire world all at the same time, he is a hypocrite.

Have I posted this before?

Posted by: Al | Apr 25, 2005 7:36:00 PM

Mexico is a big country which has a lot of trade and societal ties with the southern region of the continental US, starting from Texas westward to the Pacific Ocean.

Since our southern boarder presents a real problem vis-a-vis Al Qaeda(you know, the terrorist chaps that Bush is protecting us from), the stability of the Mexican goverment is a national security issue, but not to winguts like Al, it's just one of all the other countries in the world that we America-hating leftists want Bush to spread Democracy to by next week.

Posted by: The Dark Avenger | Apr 25, 2005 8:31:53 PM

Shorter Matthew: unless Bush does everything possible to promote democracy in every single country in the entire world all at the same time, he is a hypocrite.

Yes, that is precisely right. You've finally figured it out.

Posted by: Kimmitt | Apr 25, 2005 11:02:09 PM

Well, Kimmitt, you've defined hypocisy down to include basically every President: since no President has done or will do everything possible to promote democracy in every single country in the entire world all at the same time, even while every President has or will extol democracy, then every President always has been and always will be a hypocrite.

Posted by: Al | Apr 25, 2005 11:44:28 PM

Let's remember:

Bush is Fox's bitch!

Posted by: Glaivester | Apr 26, 2005 12:20:24 AM

"And, yeah, the Mexican street is suspicious of the PRI. Several decades of corrupt one-party rule can do that to a party's reputation..."

You can say that again...

Posted by: Publius Rex | Apr 26, 2005 1:26:21 AM

What I'm not sure on is what, precisely, the U.S. is supposed to be doing at this point. Given the at least theoretical possiblity that the legal process in Mexico will work itself out allowing Lopez Obrador to run, (he did just win a techincal victory in his legal battle) shouldn't we be staying out the way right now?

Posted by: Gib | Apr 26, 2005 3:49:25 PM

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