Monday, March 15, 2004

Here's a piece from the New Republic that is entirely over-optimistic. The author seems to think that Zap can be persuaded to go back on his promise to pull troops out of Iraq. Absolutely not. Zap is a weak leader: his victory shocked everybody, including himself. He does not have the Socialist Party united behind him; he's a member of the Madrid party apparatus faction and he beat out Jose Bono, the leader of the "regional barons" faction, by one vote in the most recent contest for prime ministerial nominee. Another group he'll have to appease is the hard-left Alfonso Guerra faction, not to mention the Catalan faction. He is not going to take any chances on offending anybody, so he is going to complete his promise on troop withdrawal to the letter. That's what he got elected on, and that's what he's going to have to do. This is THE issue and Zap can't go back on that. If he does he'll betray his voters and weaken his position both as party leader and prime minister.

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