The White Rose Becomes Tsai Yu Chang
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 16, 2011
Summary: Tsai is now a presidential candidate. She was once the "White Rose," the "little dragon maid." She is now "Tsai 18", "Kong Xin Cai" (water spinach, a vegetable with hollow stems, suggesting a lack of substance) and "Tsai Yu Chang." Her personal image has been shattered. But if she is elected president, she may well shatter the Republic of China's image along with her own. The public is disillusioned. Three years ago everyone hoped that Tsai Ing-wen would reform the DPP. Today however, we know that the DPP has corrupted Tsai Ing-wen.
Full Text Below:
Our editorial on the 10th spoke of "Tsai Ing-wen's Three Illusions." Today's editorial speaks of "Tsai Ing-wen's Three Shattered Illusions."
During the December 3 presidential debate, Tsai Ing-wen expended the most energy defending herself on three issues. One. Cross-Strait relations. The evening before she proposed a "cross-Strait dialogue working group." The day of the debate, she talked up a storm, struggling mightily to explain her "Taiwan consensus." Two. Her image as a champion of justice. At least twice she reiterated that "My campaign committee is not the same as my cabinet." She even assured President Ma that "The person standing before you is Tsai Ing-wen, not Chen Shui-bian." Three. Her view of national governance. She said "The international community seldom recognizes our national flag and our national title. We have been able to do little about it. There is only one solution to these problems. A new political party must take office, A new president must lead Taiwan."
Tsai Ing-wen knows that these three issues are her three greatest weaknesses and three greatest embarrassments. She struggles to justify herself, but has trouble convincing listeners. This reflects her "three shattered illusions."
Three years ago, Tsai Ing-wen took on the role of DPP Chairman. This may have been her wish, or the wish of the public. Either way, the wish was that she would transform the DPP. The most important transformations the DPP needed to undergo concerned its views on cross-Strait relations, its image as a champion of justice, and its views on national governance. But during the debate President Ma zinged Tsai Ing-wen when he said "I, Ma Ying-jeou, reformed the Kuomintang, The DPP on the other hand, corrupted Tsai Ing-wen." Ma hit the nail on the head when he addressed these shattered illusions.
One. Cross-Strait relations. On the one hand, Tsai Ing-wen promises to maintain peaceful cross-Strait exchanges. On the other hand, she insists on repudiating the 1992 Consensus and reneging on her own commitments. Tsai Ing-wen categorically refuses to recognize the 1992 Consensus. She stubbornly digs in her heels, no matter what the cost, She refuses to compromise with Beijing even as she promises to "actively seek opportunities for dialogue with the other side, and create possibilities for interaction with [Mainland] China," and set up a "working group on cross-Strait dialogue." Tsai Ing-wen knows that in the event she is elected president, she cannot afford a falling out with Beijing. Nevertheless she refuses to change her tune before the election. She would rather permit herself to be blackmailed by Beijing after the election. Anyone still hoping Tsai Ing-wen can smooth over relations with Beijing can forget about it.
Two. Tsai Ing-wen's image as a champion of justice. In early 2000, Chen Shui-bian's slogan was "We must rise to a higher level, not sink to a lower level." Now look at Tsai Ing-wen. She chose Su Jia-chyuan as her vice presidential running mate. She drew up a dubious list of nominees for legislator without porfolio. She adopted Chen Ying-chu's "two dollar yuan persimmons" election ploy. She is a suspect in the Yu Chang Technology Company scandal. Bullets are still flying. The public wonders whether she will pardon Chen Shui-bian. These are problems she has evaded and afraid to face. When Tsai Ing-wen reiterated that "My campaign committee is not the same as my cabinet," she was admitting that she was surrounded by shady characters and was unable to extricate herself. When Tsai Ing-wen insisted that "The person standing before you is Tsai Ing-wen, not Chen Shui-bian," what people saw standing behind her was "Chen Shui-bian and Company." Three years ago Tsai Ing-wen was known as the "White Rose." But over the past three years this image of her as a champion of justice has been shattered.
Three. Her vision for national governance. Tsai Ing-wen says if the DPP returns to power and she becomes president, the international community will recognize our national title and our national flag. She made these monumental, deceitful, and hollow boasts in broad daylight. How can anyone continue to believe that Tsai Ing-wen will govern on the basis of reason? Tsai Ing-wen cannot even bring herself to place a national flag on her own podium during DPP campaign rallies. Yet she makes these empty boasts. Just look at any DPP rally. One will not see a single ROC national flag present, Any expectations that Tsai Ing-wen will govern on the basis of reason have long been shattered.
Turn a cold eye on Tsai Ing-wen. She had a cleaner image than most other presidential candidates in recent memory. But her image was still muddy. Compare Tsai Ing-wen to Chen Shui-bian. On cross-strait relations, Chen Shui-bian proposed a "New Centrist Path" and "Five Noes." Tsai Ing-wen on the other hand refuses to recognize the 1992 consensus. This makes her the first presidential candidate to propose clashing head on with Beijing during an election campaign. How strange is that? Compare their images as champions of justice, When Chen Shui-bian was rising to power, he was perceived as the embodiment of 'honesty, dillgence, and patriotism." Tsai Ing-wen on the other hand, is associated with Su Jia-chyuan's corruption, with questionable nominations for legislator without portfolio, for an economically destructive persimmons campaign, and for involvement in the Yu Chang Technology Company scandal. How unexpected. Consider their views on national governance. Chen Shui-bian's campaign theme was "Hold on to your dreams, join hands with hope." Tsai Ing-wen's campaign theme is "Next stop, a showndown with Beijing!"
Tsai is now a presidential candidate. She was once the "White Rose," the "little dragon maid." She is now "Tsai 18", "Kong Xin Cai" (water spinach, a vegetable with hollow stems, suggesting a lack of substance) and "Tsai Yu Chang." Her personal image has been shattered. But if she is elected president, she may well shatter the Republic of China's image along with her own.
The public is disillusioned. Three years ago everyone hoped that Tsai Ing-wen would reform the DPP. Today however, we know that the DPP has corrupted Tsai Ing-wen.
十 二月三日的辯論會中，蔡英文對三個問題的辯護最力。一、兩岸關係：她前一晚拋出了「兩岸對話工作小組」，辯論當天又費了很多唇舌解釋「台灣共識」。二、公 義形象：她至少說了兩次「我的競選團隊不等於治國團隊」，甚至告訴馬總統，「站在你面前的是蔡英文，不是陳水扁」。三、治理憧憬：她說：「我們的國旗和國 號經常走不出去、也拿不出去；這些問題要解決，只有一個辦法，那就是換一個政黨來執政、換一個總統來領導台灣。」
三 年多前，蔡英文就任民進黨主席，無論是她自己對自己的期許，或國人對她的寄望，都是盼能見到她帶領民進黨轉型，最重要的項目即是「兩岸關係／公義形象／治 理憧憬」；但是，在辯論會中馬總統的一句話，「我馬英九改變了國民黨，而民進黨卻改變了蔡英文」，正是直接道出了這個「幻滅」。
一、 兩岸關係：蔡英文一方面承諾一定會維持兩岸的和平交流，但另一方面她又以堅持否定「九二共識」來摧毀自己的承諾。蔡英文斬釘截鐵否定「九二共識」，這表示 她不惜一切地固執己見，不與北京妥協；但她又宣稱「將積極尋求與對岸對話的機會／營造與中國互動的可能」，且稱將成立「兩岸對話工作小組」。這樣的矛盾， 顯示蔡英文亦明知，她若當選也絕不能與北京鬧翻；但是，蔡英文卻仍選擇不在選前調整論述，而寧可到了若當選後讓自己受到北京的挾制。事態至此，若有人仍寄 望蔡英文能夠平順處理兩岸關係的可能性，可謂已告全盤幻滅。
二、公義形象：陳水扁在二○○○年出頭時，打的是「要 向上提升／不要向下沉淪」的口號；但看一看蔡英文，她卻有蘇嘉全這樣的副總統候選人搭檔，又有那一張充滿爭議的不分區立委名單，再有「陳盈助」、「兩元 柿」那樣的選舉操作。何況，她自己又沾上「宇昌生技」的「量身自肥」議論，至今子彈仍在飛行之中；再加上是否特赦陳水扁這個「嚴肅的問題」，也讓她一直迴 避而不敢面對。當蔡英文說「我的競選團隊不等於治國團隊」之時，她其實是在揭示她已陷於那些牛鬼蛇神的包圍挾持之中，不能自拔。聽蔡英文說「站在你面前的 是蔡英文，不是陳水扁」，人們卻看到了站在她背後的「陳水扁們」；此對三年多前以「白玫瑰」之姿登場的蔡英文而言，不啻是公義形象的幻滅。
三、 治理憧憬：蔡英文竟然說，換民進黨執政，換她當總統，她就能讓國號與國旗走出去，拿出去。光天化日下竟能說出這樣的假、大、空話，還能相信蔡英文宣示的任 何治理憧憬嗎？因為，事實是，蔡英文連插一支大幅國旗在她的競選講台上都辦不到，卻怎麼會如此吹牛不打草稿？只要看民進黨造勢場合見不到一面國旗，即知蔡 英文所宣稱的任何治理憧憬必告幻滅。
冷靜觀察蔡英文，即可發現，她是歷來較具實力的總統候選人中，形象顯得較「清 新」，卻亦是形象相當「渾濁」的一位。若以陳水扁與蔡英文相比，在兩岸關係上，陳水扁冒出頭時，主張的是「新中間路線」、「四不一沒有」；蔡英文卻是「否 定九二共識」，這使她儼然成為歷來第一位在競選時即主張與北京攤牌對撞的總統候選人，豈不古怪？在公義形象上，陳水扁崛起時楬櫫的是「清廉／勤政／愛鄉 土」；蔡英文則是「蘇嘉全／不分區／牛心柿／宇昌案」，大異其趣！再就政治憧憬言，陳水扁發跡的主調是「有夢最美／希望相隨」；蔡英文的號召則不啻是： 「下一站，與北京掀桌對幹！」