Over at PacNet, Professor Andrew Oros of Washington College has just published a smashing and breathtakingly succint review of Abe Shinzo's first year in office and the challenges the PM faces in the months and years ahead. (Link)
I part ways with the good professor (full disclosure: Dr. Oros is a family friend) in his advising Abe to make a greater effort at moderation, this in the interests of fulfilling long-term goals. Staying closer to the center would make sense if Abe himself were a centrist. However, as everyone knows, Abe is not a centrist: he is a creature of, if not the avatar of, the smoke-belching revisionist wing of the Liberal Democratic Party. The best Abe can do is to cover the entire road at some point on his journey, wobbling back and forth in the center area most of the time but every so often veering right and then just as crazily left, leaving a trail of dramatic skid marks.
Rather than being static and reassuring, life with Abe Shinzo is going to be dynamic and disconcerting.
In the past Abe would be called mercurial -- and be thought unreliable for it.
Nowadays we should probably say he is just being predictably chaotic -- and shrug our shoulders, if we can.