Thursday, August 07, 2003

This is La Vanguardia's page two signed editorial from yesterday. Now, in Spanish and Catalan politics, the Vangua is a tolerably good and not overly prejudiced source. They really are pretty moderate; if you're a non-extremist CiU or PSC voter, they're up your alley. They don't much like the PP, though they respect Aznar, and they're not big fans of the Republican Left or the Communists, either.

When the Vanguardia turns on a Socialist leader, it's all over. Zap has been getting slammed by the standard right-wing papers, ABC, El Mundo, and La Razon, and that's understandable, but the Vangua doesn't slam a Socialist until it's pretty clear he's a loser.

Historical note: Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile completed the Reconquest of the Iberian Penuinsula in 1492, conquering the Nazari kingdom of Boabdil with its capital in Granada.

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is spending a few days of rest with his family in Granada. There he'll have the meditate about the devastating effects that the lack of leadership, the internal "family" struggles between the Muslims themselves, and, above all, the implacable efficiency and military discipline of the Castilian-Aragonese troops had on the Nazari Muslim kingdom. Boabdil, as we know, had to sign the surrender before the Catholic Monarchs and turn over the keys of the Alhambra before the scorn of the last sultan's own mother: "Don't cry like a woman over what you couldn't defend as a man," they say she snarled at her own son. In his vacation refuge in the Granadan town Almunecar, Zapatero must meditate over whether he has confronted the terrible crisis of credibility that having so many public officials whose real job is that of a property-development agent is causing the Socialist Party. Far from grabbing hold of the tiller, the Socialist leader seems to have opted to wait, probably because he is desperate. But he should not forget that inaction is lethal when you are facing Jose Maria Aznar, whose political discourse--despite his manners--and propaganda machine are just as effective as Ferdinand the Catholic's troops against the indecisive and defenseless Nazari sovereign.

Zap is toast. I mean, getting compared with Boabdil around here is like, I dunno, who's the biggest loser in American history? Jefferson Davis? Cornwallis? Walter Mondale? The '62 Mets?

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