DPP: An Abundance of Rage, A Dearth of Proposals
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
January 10, 2012
Summary: The DPP will hold its "Raging Citizens Protest March" this Sunday. Party insiders had reservations about the march. They said "All we see is rage. Where are the policy proposals?" Some are even predicting that once the march is over, the DPP will resume spinning its wheels.
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The DPP will hold its "Raging Citizens Protest March" this Sunday. Party insiders had reservations about the march. They said "All we see is rage. Where are the policy proposals?" Some are even predicting that once the march is over, the DPP will resume spinning its wheels.
The DPP has been spinning its wheels, hobbled by internal conflict. Take three examples. One. The Chen family corruption scandal. Two. ECFA. Three. U.S. beef imports. The DPP remains a hostage of the Chen family corruption scandal. Even today it lacks the courage to condemn Chen family corruption. Just the opposite, the entire party, in stubborn defiance of justice, is aiding and abetting Chen Shui-bian in his quest for "medical parole." It is twisting the meaning of the laws pertaining to parole. As a result the party's "Transitional Justice" has gone nowhere, and continues to spin its wheels. In 2008, the DPP demagogued ECFA, alleging that it "forfeited sovereignty, humiliated the nation" and "pandered to [Mainland] China and sold out Taiwan." It persisted until 2012, when it suddenly sang a different tune. It announced that "If the DPP returns to power, it will continue the previous administration's cross-Strait policy." This major about face was another example of DPP wheel-spinning. It happened because the DPP's cross-strait policy "reform" remains stillborn. The U.S. beef imports controversy raged for several months. DPP legislators even held an multi-night "slumber party" on the legislature floor. In the end however, they closed up shop and agreed to "abide by international standards." Their temper tantrum was for naught.
The Chen family corruption scandal shows that the DPP has forfeited the moral high ground. The DPP's cross-strait policy shows that its anti-ECFA crusade was a debacle. The U.S. beef imports controversy shows that the DPP's "Raging Citizens" card is the demagoguing of phony issues. These are all examples of how the DPP is spinning its wheels. These have forced caused the nation and society to spin their wheels as well. Little wonder that when contemplating Sunday's "Raging Citizens Protest March" some are saying, "All we see is rage. Where are the policy proposals?"
The DPP has become a Machiavellian political party. Political trickery reigns supreme. It has abandoned its principles. It lacks a compass. It even lacks a goal. It aided and abetted Chen Shui-bian. It is deft at political trickery but lacking in moral principles. It opposed ECFA. It is deft at political trickery, but lacking in policy direction. During the U.S. beef imports controversy, it was adept at political protests, but lacking in policy goals. Being adept at political trickery but lacking in moral principles, has led it to equate ideology with "policy," political struggle with "reform," and incitement of social divisions with "love for Taiwan." This is a political party that pretends to take action. But its only real action is wheel-spinning. It holds countless protest marches. But its protests are mere internal bickering.
The DPP could have chosen not be such a political party. But its Machiavellianism has led to a transformation in character. This transformation includes three aspects. One. Before and after the lifting of martial law, the DPP's principles and goals were clear. Overthrow the "Ten Thousand Year Assembly," and return to constitutional rule. But then it colluded with Lee Teng-hui to "amend," i.e., shred the Constitution. It treated the Constitution is a sacrifice it its political struggle. Its Machiavellianism led to the shredding of the Constitution. Its "Taiwan independence party platform" called for the "Rectification of Names." This has been exposed for what it is, a phony issue. But it forced the nation and society to pay a heavy price -- two decades of wheel-spinning.
Two. Before and after the 1990s it proposed "subsidies for farmers," "allowances for the elderly," and "allowances for fishermen." It was originally a legitimate advocate of social welfare. But then it began competing with the KMT to see who could engage in the most political patronage. It underwent a transformation in character. Since then, the DPP's policies for social welfare, environmental protection, nuclear energy, annuities, health insurance, capital gains tax, have all been recut a la Machiavelli. The DPP neglects the Big Picture. It considers only tactical advantage in its ongoing political struggle.
Three. After 2008, the DPP's cross-Strait policy became opposition to ECFA and the 1992 consensus. It said it "opposed the forfeiting of sovereignty and the humiliation the nation," it said it opposed "pandering to [Mainland] China and selling out Taiwan." It has yet to clean up the mess left by its Machievellianism. The DPP finds itself on the horns of a dilemma. Its plight is clear to see.
As we can see, the DPP thinks it can demagogue national and constitutional allegiance by means of Machievillian trickery. Suddenly it trots out its "Taiwan independence party platform." Suddenly it trots out its "five noes." Suddenly it trots out its "rectification of names." It resorts to Machievellian trickery in nuclear energy policy. Suddenly it halts construction of the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant. Suddenly it orders an accelerated construction schedule for the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant. Suddenly it demands a nuclear-free homeland. It resorts to Machievellian trickery in cross-Strait policy. Suddenly it opposes ECFA. Suddenly it "unconditionally accepts" ECFA. We have a suggestion. Before the DPP takes to the streets on Sunday it should first ask itself this question. One protest march after another has arrived on Ketagalan Boulevard, then scattered. But what does the DPP want? What is its policy? What are its goals? Just where does the DPP want to go?
Today's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), cannot even form an intraparty "China Affairs Committee." Yet it shrilly demands a National Policy Conference. But convening a National Policy Conference is merely another Machievellian tactic in its ongoing political struggle. It is not a policy direction. What is it, but another "Raging Citizens Protest March?" One that ends up on the ash heap, spinning its wheels?
"All we saw was rage. Where were the policy proposals?" The DPP has a body, but it has no soul. The DPP acts, but it has no principles. The DPP moves, but it has no direction. Perhaps Su Tseng-chang hopes the march will injecdt life into the DPP. But he must first rebuild tge DPP's policy framework on a secure moral foundation. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
The "Raging Citizens Protest March" is an example of Machievellian tactics trumping policy direction. Once the march has ended, will the DPP resume spinning its wheels?