Friday, November 14, 2008

The Democratic Progressive Party: Licking Blood from the Knife

The Democratic Progressive Party: Licking Blood from the Knife
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
November 14, 2008

Chen Shui-bian has been taken into custody. The Democratic Progressive Party claims that his arrest has "humiliated the Democratic Progressive Party."
If the DPP is still covering up for Chen Shui-bian, and still considers his words and deeds representative of the Democratic Progressive Party, then Ah-Bian's arrest would of course "humiliate the Democratic Progressive Party." But if the Democratic Progressive Party were to publicly declare that Ah-Bian's words and deeds are serious violations of the values and standards of the Democratic Progressive Party, and do not represent the Democratic Progressive Party, then how precisely would Ah-Bian's arrest "humiliate the Democratic Progressive Party?"

Some say that if anybody should be setting off firecrackers in response to Chen Shui-bian's arrest, it is officials of the Democratic Progressive Party. They may have been jesting, but they were right on the mark. Over the past few months, Chen Shui-bian has been running amok, attempting to make a comeback. On October 25 he was welcomed by crowds at Jingfu Men, who shouted, "Ah-Bian, way to go!" Over the past few months the DPP has been attempting to transition to an "era without Chen Shui-bian." To its dismay, it suddenly found itself inextricably entangled with Chen Shui-bian. As a result, the party's image has suffered, and the party's ideals have been compromised. Now that Ah-Bian has been arrested, the Democratic Progressive Party need no longer remain Ah-Bian's hostage. It ought to seize the opportunity to heal itself, and give itself a new lease on life.

Inexplicably, a counter-current has emerged from within the Democratic Progressive Party. The DPP Central Committee has spun Chen's criminal prosecution as a case of "the justice system becoming a political tool." This spin, disseminated through the ranks and to the public, has morphed into a "humiliation of the Democratic Progressive Party," a "humiliation of the people of Taiwan," and "breaking the hearts of the people of Taiwan." The DPP legislative caucus has even spun it as a "new 228 Incident." Most incomprehensible of all, Luo Wen-chia, Tuan Yi-kang, and other DPP black sheep have opportunistically accused the Special Investigative Unit of "pandering to the mob" and "subverting justice."

Chen Shui-bian has been arrested. He is no longer running amok. He can no longer make trouble for the Democratic Progressive Party. As a result, representatives of this counter-current have chosen to intervene on his behalf. They know their intervention will not allow Chen Shui-bian to expand his influence. They calculate that by expressing sympathy and solidarity with Ah-Bian they can reap the rewards of "chivalrous conduct" at little or no expense to themselves. In short, the Democratic Progressive Party wants a free lunch. No sooner was Ah-Bian was arrested, than they seized the opportunity to attack the justice system on Ah-Bian's behalf. In fact, they are "licking blood from the knife." Aren't they afraid of cutting their own tongues?

The DPP says that trying Chen Shui-bian "humiliates the people of Taiwan," that it amounts to a "new 228 Incident." Are such arguments reasonable? Are they fair? The Democratic Progressive Party insists that "arresting Chen Shui-bian humiliates the Democratic Progressive Party." In fact it is Chen Shui-bian's scandals that have humiliated the Democratic Progressive Party. The DPP insists that arresting Chen Shui-bian has "broken the hearts of many Taiwanese." In fact it is Chen Shui-bian's insatiable greed and rampant corruption that have broken the hears of many Taiwanese. The Democratic Progressive Party insists that arresting Chen Shui-bian is "tearing society apart and creating social polarization." Have they forgotten how Chen Shui-bian and the DPP have been tearing apart society and creating social polarization? The Democratic Progressive Party wants to spin Chen Shui-bian's arrest as a "new 228 Incident." Are they responding to the will of the majority? Or are they defying the will of the majority?

Polls reveal that only 11% of the public believes that Chen's prosecution is "legal persecution"; 60% percent considers Chen's prosecution a clear case of prosecuting corruption. Only 8% believe that bailiffs beat Chen Shui-bian; 63% do not. What exactly are the Democratic Progressive Party's political moves accomplishing? Should they continue pandering to the fringe, to the point where they can no longer extricate themselves? Or should they reconsider what mainstream society expects of the DPP?

It is Chen Shui-bian who has humiliated the Democratic Progressive Party. The Democratic Progressive Party continues to stand up for Ah-Bian. It cannot bring itself to disown Ah-Bian, This is what has brought disgrace upon the party. Chen Shui-bian's most grievous sin was to destroy society's core values. The Democratic Progressive Party is entitled to demand that the justice system adhere strictly to due process. But it is not entitled to defame the justice system. Luo Wen-chia and others who are demagoguing Chen Shui-bian's arrest, are abetting criminal wrongdoing.

Chen Shui-bian is currently "fasting." He has issued a "ten-point statement." He is hoping to set the poltical agenda. He may be released after being held for two months. If the DPP can not control this counter-current; if pro-Chen elements within the party seize control, the DPP may find itself riding a tiger.

The problem with Chen Shui-bian is a problem with society's core values. The public sees Chen Shui-bian's arrest as a defense of society's core values. If the Democratic Progressive Party perists in uncritically supporting Ah-Bian, it will only dig itself a deeper hole.

The public sees Chen Shui-bian's arrest as the long overdue prosecution of a corrupt official. If the DPP attempts to spin this as a "228 Incident, Redux," what will it be doing, but licking blood from the knife?

2008.11.14 02:51 am



有人說,陳水扁被收押,最該放鞭炮的是民進黨;語雖嘲謔,卻是一語中的。過去幾個月,陳水扁四處趴趴走,鹹魚翻生,出現一○二五景福門前眾人高呼「阿扁加 油」的場景;但民進黨卻在這幾個月中,從宣示開創一個「沒有陳水扁的時代」,竟而突然陷入一個被陳水扁糾纏不放,以致黨的形象日益惡化、黨的路線愈益混濁 的困境之中。如今,扁被收押,民進黨暫可中止被扁凌遲;自應趁機療傷止痛,開創新生。

但是,此際似乎在民進黨中竟又出現一股逆流。黨中央對扁案的定調是「司法淪為政治工具」,此一論調向下向外延伸演化後,就成了「羞辱民進黨」,「羞辱台灣 人」,「使台灣人心碎」,甚至立院黨團將之定性為「新二二八事件」。尤其令人匪夷所思的是,連羅文嘉及段宜康等原持批判立場者,在扁被收押後,也立刻發表 投機性的言論,指特偵組「譁眾取寵」、「破壞正義」。

陳水扁被押,現在已不能趴趴走,也就不能為民進黨製造麻煩;因而,這一股逆流自會覺得,此時醞釀一種為陳水扁打抱不平的氛圍,既不會助長陳水扁趴趴走的氣 焰,又可藉對扁表示同情與聲援,以收「情義相挺」的順水人情。民進黨若打著這種「無本生意」的如意算盤,在扁被收押後反而開始藉攻擊司法來挺扁,不啻刀口 舔血,難道不怕會割破民進黨的舌頭?

審判陳水扁就是「羞辱台灣人」,就是「新二二八事件」;這樣的論述是否理性?是否公平?民進黨咬定「收押陳水扁就是羞辱民進黨」,但其實是陳水扁的醜行惡 跡「羞辱了民進黨」。民進黨認為「收押陳水扁,傷了很多台灣人的心」,但其實是「陳水扁的大貪巨腐,傷了更多台灣人的心」。民進黨說,收押陳水扁是「撕裂 社會/製造對立」,何不回想這幾年來一直到今天,陳水扁及民進黨更是如何「撕裂社會/製造對立」?民進黨若要把「審判陳水扁」操作成「新版二二八」,這究 竟是回應多數民意,或是要與主流社會為敵?






No comments: