I just put up a long post over on EuroPundits; it's a translation of an article by Fernando Onega from the Vangua about Aznar's successor as PP leader, Mariano Rajoy. The article is very positive in tone, and virtually takes for granted that Rajoy will be elected as the next Prime Minister in the March 2004 general elections.
Be prepared for some very dirty tricks in the upcoming string of elections. Artur Mas, Convergence and Union's candidate for Catalan Prime Minister, has already accused Socialist candidate Pasqual Maragall of suffering from delirium tremens; Maragall is VERY widely rumored to be an alcoholic. This hadn't been brought up in public by an opposing politician before, at least not so loudly.
The rumor already being spread about Rajoy is that he is gay; this is alluded to obliquely in Onega's article. Rajoy was, certainly, a bachelor until he became a Cabinet member. Now, as Onega says, his sentimental life is stable.
Now, my opinion is that it doesn't matter whether or not Rajoy is gay. That's not going to affect his job performance, and there's no reason to prefer a gay to a straight or vice versa for a political post.* But if Maragall is a drunk, that is going to affect his performance. I would not vote for someone I knew to be an alky.
*Well, Ignatius J. Reilly does believe that there are reasons to prefer gay political leaders to straight ones:
As I was wearing the soles of my desert boots down to a mere sliver of crepe rubber on the old flagstone banquettes of the French Quarter in my fevered attempt to wrest a living from an unthinking and uncaring society, I was hailed by a cherished old acquaintance (deviate). After a few minutes of conversation in which I established easily my moral superiority over this degenerate, I found myself pondering once more the crises of our times. My mentality, uncontrollable and wanton as always, whispered to me a scheme so maginficent and daring that I shrank from the very thought of what I was hearing. "Stop!" I cried imploringly to my god-like mind. "This is madness." But still I listened to the counsel of my brain. It was offering me the opportunity to Save the World Through Degeneracy. There on the worn stones of the Quarter I enlisted the aid of this wilted flower of a human in gathering his associates in foppery together behind a banner of brotherhood.
Our first step will be to elect one of their number to some very high office--the presidency, if Fortuna spins us kindly. Then they will infiltrate the military. As soldiers, they will all be so continually busy in fraternizing with one another, tailoring their uniforms to fit like sausage skins, inventing new and varied battle dress, giving cocktail parties, etc. that they will never have time for battle. The one whom we finally make Chief of Staff will want only to attend to his fashionable wardrobe, a wardrobe which, alternately, will permit him to be either Chief of Staff or debutante, as the desire strikes him. In seeing the success of their unified fellows here, perverts around the world will also band together to capture the military in their respective countries. In those reactionary countries in which the deviates seem to be having some trouble in gaining control, we will send aid to them as rebels to help them in toppling their governments. When we have at last overthrown all existing governments, the world will enjoy not war but global orgies conducted with the utmost protocol and the most truly international spirit, for these people do transcend simple national differences. Their minds are on one goal, they are truly united, they think as one.
None of the pederasts in power, of course, will be practical enough to know about such devices as bombs; these nuclear weapons would be rotting in their vaults somewhere. From time to time the Chief of Staff, the President, and so on, dressed in sequins and feathers, will entertain the leaders, i.e. the perverts, of all the other countries at balls and parties. Quarrels of any sort could be easily straightened out in the men's room of the redecorated United Nations. Ballets and Broadway musicals and entertainments of that sort will flourish everywhere and will probably make the common folk happier than did the grim, hostile, fascistic pronouncements of their former leaders.
Almost everyone else has had an opportunity to run the world. I cannot see why these people should not be given their chance. They have certainly been the underdog long enough. Their movement into power will be, in a sense, only a part of the global movement toward opportunity, justice, and equality for all. (For example, can you name one good, practicing transvestite in the Senate? No! These people have been without representation long enough. Their plight is a national, a global disgrace.)
Degeneracy, rather than signalling the downfall of a society, as it once did, will now signal peace for a troubled world. We must have new solutions to new problems.
I shall act as a sort of mentor and guide for the movement, my not inconsiderable knowledge of world history, economics, religion, and political strategy acting as a reservoir, as it were, from which these people can draw rules of operational procedure. Boethius himself played a somewhat similar role in degenerate Rome...