Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Does Frank Hsieh expect to Talk his Way into the Presidency?

Does Frank Hsieh expect to Talk his Way into the Presidency?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 14, 2007

Frank Hsieh has been lashing back at Chen Shui-bian on a daily basis, for two possible reasons. One. Frank Hsieh wants to draw a clear line of demarcation between himself and Chen Shui-bian. He wants to form his own political camp. He wants to test the ruling Chen regime's tolerance for dissent. If this is the case, then Hsieh is for playing for keeps. Two. Chen and Hsieh are playing a game of Good Cop/Bad Cop. Hsieh is the Good Cop. Chen is the Bad Cop. If this is the case, then Chen and Hsieh are putting on an show for undecided voters.

A third possibility is that their conflict is half fake and half real. If Hsieh pulls on Chen Shui-bian's whiskers, Chen may dismiss Hsieh's impertinence as "election rhetoric." But if Hsieh goes too far and causes Chen pain, Chen Shui-bian may give Hsieh a spanking.

Frank Hsieh is unmistakably pressing forward, probing each step. On the fifth, Frank Hsieh issued his high-minded "Amnesty for Taiwan Businessmen Pledge," stating that "Each president has his own style. As long as one does not violate Democratic Progressive Party principles, we have room for differences." The key phrase was "different styles." The very next day, Chen fired back, opposing the cancellation of the 40% limit on mainland investments, saying that during Hsieh's term as premier and as primary candidate, Hsieh endorsed this item. On the eighth, while speaking before the American Chamber of Commerce, Frank Hsieh said "What Chen did poorly, what Chen can't do, what Chen failed to, I will do. Otherwise, what's the point of running for president?" He even added that "The Pan Blues say that without Deep Green support, Chen wouldn't have any support at all." Hsieh's clear implication was that he himself was not "Deep Green." He openly referred to Chen Shui-bian as "an autocrat whose sole support came from the Deep Greens." He said if Chen didn't have Deep Green support, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Frank Hsieh wasn't finished. He opened fire again on the 11th. "Ma Ying-jeou and President Chen Shui-bian may have unresolved issues, but next May they will both have to retire." Hsieh was referring to Ma Ying-jeou's remark that Chen Shui-bian's "days are numbered." Hsieh said that the most Chen could do is wreak havoc until next May. On the 12th, Frank Hsieh's tone was even harsher. "If the Chen administration continues this way, Taiwan will be left with nothing." He also added that "You (Chen) have destroyed Taiwan's competitiveness, how does that qualify as love for Taiwan?" This was nothing less than an accusation that Chen Shui-bian was Public Enemy Number One, was a detriment to Taiwan, and was leading Taiwan down the road to utter destitution. The language and tone of Frank Hsieh's criticisms of Chen Shui-bian have been far harsher than Ma Ying-jeou's.

Chen Shui-bian's unexpected response to continued attacks by Frank Hsieh was to turn the other cheek. He airily dismissed Hsieh's statements as "Election rhetoric. No need to take it too seriously." But can the sharp opposition between Hsieh and Chen really be dismissed as nothing more than "election rhetoric?" If Chen and Hsieh have real differences, to the point where Hsieh has accused Chen of leading Taiwan down the road to utter destitution, shouldn't the two hash out their differences, and let the Democratic Progressive Party and the people understand where they each stand? If on the other hand, the Chen vs. Hsieh confrontation is a half real, half fake charade, then won't the voters see right through it? Do Chen and Hsieh really think that Hsieh can talk his way into the the presidency next year?

Frank Hsieh wants to draw a line of distinction between himself and Chen Shui-bian. He wants to draw a line of distinction between himself and the "Taiwan Independence Economic Doctrine" advocated by Chen Shui-bian and the Democratic Progressive Party. This is an article of faith for the Democratic Progressive Party. Can Frank Hsieh really say that "With Chen as president Taiwan will be left with nothing, but if I am president everything will be different?" After all, Frank Hsieh is the Democratic Progressive Party's nominee for president. If he is elected president can he really refuse to abide by the "Resolution for a Normal Nation?" Can he really refuse to foment Taiwan independence? Besides, Frank Hsieh pledged to "Rectify names and author a new constitution within five years." Can he really jettison the Democratic Progressive Party's "Taiwan Independence Economic Doctrine" after he is elected president? Has Frank Hsieh really forgotten that after winning the presidential primary, party elders warned him "If you don't promote Taiwan independence after you are elected, we will force you to?" Frank Hsieh may draw a line of distinction between himself and Chen Shui-bian. But can he really draw a line of distinction between himself and the "Resolution for a Normal Nation" and the "Taiwan independence without pause doctrine?" Can he really draw a line of distinction between himself and the entire Democratic Progressive Party?

Eight years ago, Chen Shui-bian was elected president on the basis of his "Five Noes" and "New Centrist Path" platform. His tacit understanding with the Democratic Progressive Party was "Let's first win the presidency, then we can talk about policy." Now however, Chen has become what Hsieh calls a "Taiwan independence autocrat." By contrast, after eight years Frank Hsieh faces circumstances that are completely different. Hsieh must operate within the limits of the "Resolution for a Normal Nation" and the "Taiwan independence without pause doctrine." He has been hijacked by Chen Shui-bian. He is under duress from party elders who are forcing him to promote Taiwan independence, or else. How can he possibly say "If I am president, I will forsake Taiwan independence, and refuse to be a second Chen Shui-bian?"

Can Frank Hsieh really free himself from Chen Shui-bian's captivity with nothing more than a disclaimer or two? Can he really talk himself free of the Democratic Progressive Party's "Taiwan independence without pause doctrine?" Can he really win next year's election on the basis of his fast talk and slick manner?

In the ongoing duet cum duel betwen Chen and Hsieh, both individuals rely on their ability to talk up a storm. Will the Chinese people on Taiwan once again drown in the saliva generated by the Democratic Progressive Party's empty rhetoric?

2007.11.14 03:13 am



謝 長廷確實在步步進逼、步步試探。五日,謝長廷發表「大赦台商」等高論,並稱:「每個人當總統,有不同風格,在不違反民進黨黨綱下,各有空間。」最關鍵的一 句話,是在區別扁謝的「不同風格」。次日,扁即回嗆,反對取消「百分之四十上限」,並稱謝在行政院長任內及初選時皆已為此背書。接著,八日謝長廷在美國商 會又回批,「他(扁)做不好、做不夠、沒有做的,我來做。不然,選新總統有什麼意思。」甚至又說:「泛藍攻擊他(扁),他若沒有深綠支持,就沒有人支持他 了。」至此,謝長廷表白自己不是「深綠」,並公然指陳水扁已是「深綠支持的獨夫」;若無深綠支持,陳水扁就無以立足。沒想到,謝長廷意猶未盡,十一日再開 砲:「馬英九與陳水扁總統有許多情結,但明年五月他們兩人都要退出了。」這更儼然是仿馬英九的口氣指陳水扁「來日無多」,最多只能作祟肆虐到明年五月。進 而,謝長廷十二日的口氣又更加麻辣:「(扁)政府再這樣管下去,台灣將會一無所有。」又稱:「你(扁)讓台灣沒有競爭力,怎麼是愛台灣?」這更不啻是指陳 水扁根本是台灣的罪人,害台灣,要害到台灣一無所有。謝長廷批扁的措辭與力道,已經遠遠超越馬英九。

陳水扁被謝長廷連番砲轟,其反應竟是 唾面自乾;只是輕描淡寫地說:「有些選舉語言,不要看得太嚴重。」然而,扁謝這種針鋒相對的尖銳情勢,豈是一句「選舉語言」即可輕鬆帶過?倘若扁謝確有歧 見,甚至已經到了謝指扁會將台灣害到「一無所有」的地步,二人豈可不就此徹底辯論,向民進黨及國人交代清楚?反過來說,倘若這只是扁謝二人表演的一場半真 半假的政治雙簧,則如何可能不遭眼睛雪亮的國人看穿識破?難道扁謝又想只憑言語機鋒再贏得明年的總統大選?

謝長廷與陳水扁切割,且其下刀 的切割點正是陳水扁及民進黨堅持的「獨派經濟」之肯綮所在。這種歧見,是對民進黨靈魂本質的一種歧見,謝長廷豈能說「他(扁)當總統要把台灣害到一無所 有,我當了總統絕不會像他一樣」?畢竟,謝長廷是民進黨提名的總統參選人,他當總統後難道能不遵行《正常國家決議文》而繼續搞台獨?何況,謝長廷亦承諾 「五年正名制憲論」,則豈有可能在當選總統後即推翻民進黨的「獨派經濟」?謝長廷難道忘了,在他贏得總統初選後,黨內大老已有言在先:「你(謝)當選後, 若不搞台獨,我們會逼你搞!」謝長廷即使可與陳水扁劃清界線,但他豈能與《正常國家決議文》的「不斷台獨論」劃清界線?又豈能與整個民進黨劃清界線?

八 年前,陳水扁在民進黨全黨「先贏再說」的默契下,以「新中間路線」及「四不一沒有」當選總統,如今扁竟然成了謝口中的「台獨獨夫」;相對而言,八年後謝長 廷面對的情勢已全然不同。謝如今是在《正常國家決議文》的「不斷台獨論」之範限下,及在陳水扁的挾持下,又在黨內大老「逼你搞台獨」的要脅下,他豈有可能 說「我若做總統,放棄台獨,不做第二個陳水扁」?



No comments: