The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial yesterday on Zap and Spain. As you might have imagined, it's not precisely pro-Socialist. It's generally good, but we have a couple of quibbles.
The Zapatero government has encouraged Catalonia, the Basque Country and other regions in this highly decentralized state to seek new autonomy deals that call into question the current constitutional order, and may be a stepping stone to the possible break up of Spain.
That's a little catastrophic, I think. The Catalan statute is going to be tossed out by the Constitutional Court. If, somehow, the statute survives, it's still nowhere near a step toward independence. I don't see Spain breaking up anytime soon. And Spain is not highly decentralized, at least not by American standards. Spanish regions have much less power than American states.
And, to complete the picture of a state divided, wounds from Spain's awful 1936-39 civil war and the subsequent four decades of General Franco's dictatorship that most people assumed were long healed were ripped open by Mr. Zapatero. In a break with previous Socialist rulers, he openly plays politics with history. Rusting Franco-era statues are ceremoniously torn down. The church and the so-called bourgeoisie--the enemies for the divisive Second Republic of 1931-36--have come under attack. Anyone on the right is, often by implication, a fascist.
That paragraph starts out OK. Zap has been irresponsibly waving the bloody shirt of the Republic. If the worst consequences so far are the removal of a couple of statues, that dumb Salamanca archive thing, and several boring documentaries on TV2, though, it's not yet time for us on the right to get agitated. Also, I have not heard Zap and the PSOE attacking the Church or the "bourgeoisie." Some juvenile loudmouths on the left, like Pepe Rubianes and his ilk, will attack anything that smacks of authority, but Zap hasn't gone that far. And, again, there are elements on the left of the PSOE that do throw around the word "fascist" to mean anything they don't like, but American idiotarian leftists do that all the time. Zap hasn't called the PP fascists, at least not yet.
I feel like I'm defending Zap, which is not something I want to do. I would never vote for him, and I hope he loses the next election. But he's not evil, he's just rather naive and not very smart. Spain will survive him.