Reader P. W. asks:
"It sure looks like Koizumi has worked wonders with the mess he created, while the good old DPJ has floundered badly. Would you agree? And how would you explain it?"
The short answer (the only answer I have time for right now) is that Koizumi did what he always said he would--but only when it suited his political needs.
He warned that he would dissolve the Diet out of spite if his much watered-down postal privatization measure were rejected. His clueless opponents thought he was bluffing. They forgot that his favorite movie is "High Noon." In the movie, the hero is abandoned by everyone: his bride, the townspeople, his brothers-in arms. Nevertheless he stays on to take on the bad guys, alone if need be--because he just knows that facing down the bad guys is the right thing to do.
Much to everyone's shock, the populace absolutely grooved to Koizumi's following through on his threats to dissolve the Diet and throw the postal rebels out.
He then spiked the punchbowl by nominating a bevvy of very attractive and talented women to take on the chinless creeps among the LDP post office rebels.
Suddenly way ahead in the polls, he was smart enought to reverse his much-feared promise to go to Yasukuni on August 15--for why make such a controversial and provocative move when you are on the cusp of blowing out all of your enemies in the general election?
Since then it has been a constant bashing away at the Democrats for their perfidious political opportunism --"they call themselves the reform party yet joined hands with the most decrepit of the LDP dinosaurs to defeat the postal privatization bill!"
Now if the Prime Minister can keep the whole confection believable for only six more days, he will be sitting pretty.