Thursday, September 08, 2005

Now that it's (all but) over

I know that not a few people are relieved that the impeachment complaint against the president has finally been junked, not because they harbor a special fondness for Mrs. Arroyo but simply because it has all gone, er, tiresome. Sadly, even the quest for justice is susceptible to ennui. Ask Don Quixote.

For the opposition and its many supporters, their defeat is almost inexplicable, like like death--natural, yes, but still incomprehensible. How did they lose when they had almost everything one can wish for in impeaching a president? The Garci tapes are like manna from heaven PR-wise; the only thing that could possibly have topped it was a VCD sex scandal with the president in bed with a man not Mike A. (to which effect some in the opposition tried to insinuate, describing in one scandal sheet the sexual adventures of the allegedly nymphomaniac GMA).

What is so goddamn hard about ousting GMA? The extreme left and the perfumed class combined couldn't budge her. The Cory magic disintegrated before her. Even our hyperventilating and incendiary national dailies failed where in Erap's time they were execeptionally successful. Why, not even a daily-updated PCIJ blog with links to all and sundry revelations against Mrs Arroyo achieved quite the same impact as the outfit's erstwhile revelation of Erap's mansions. Why? Why, Oh why is Mrs. Arroyo so seemingly impregnable, like an unmoveable little barnacle off the bank of the Pasig River?

Simply because it is hard to vilify her. And you need this to manufacture outrage that can propel a People Power revolution(which FVR understood only too well). If anyone will bother to look inside the capital's student campuses, the present Anti-Gloria movement has failed to deliver enough buzz. Not enough students are talking about it. And you need students for People Power because they swell the crowds at a cheap cost and they don't need to go to work.

By President Arroyo's seeming weakness, it is hard to recruit forces against her (I think there is a suitable passage from the Tao Te Ching about this, which I'm too lazy to look for at the moment). Outrage is reserved for powerful personages. If you're small, people only laugh at your foibles (or make your embarrassments ringtone for their cellphones).

Personally, I am resigned (okay, I'll admit it, even a little elated) that this episode is finally winding up or at least not proceeding with the same crescendo as before. Unlike the Anti-Erap movement where some of us ended up looking good with our idealism, the anti-GMA is only portraying all of us in a bad light. Rather than leaving our hearts with comforting assurance as to the innate goodness of men, the anti-GMA alliances are only leaving a especially disturbing bad taste in the mouth: Ping Lacson linking arms with priests, Satur Ocampo dissuading proletarian farmers of Hacienda Luisita from protesting against their landlord, various socialites pretending to be "civil society," Butz Aquino invoking the memory Ninoy while sharing spotlight with the latter's murderers.

What now for the opposition? If God is truly on their side, as they claim He is, surely one year would not be so hard to bear before filing another impeachment complaint. Or if they really find Mrs Arroyo insufferable, well, I guess, they can always try a more adventurous-- and final--solution to the nation's predicament.

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