Friday, May 02, 2008

You Can Check Out Any Time You Like

In the first panel of the cartoon Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo, clad in tennis wear, is preparing to serve. From outside the panel come catcalls and taunts. "Go ahead, show us what you've got! C'mon, you aren't scaring anybody."

Fukuda rears back, tosses the ball in the air, and unleashes a terrific serve.

The ball come zinging back at him as if on fire. He only just ducks down in time.

The catcalls continue, "Oh, that was brilliant! Why don't you try it again?"

Fukuda again rears back, launching an even more powerful serve.

The ball comes sizzling back, clocking Fukuda in the forehead and knocking his glasses askew.

"Whooopeee! Come on, serve it for real this time! Hit it with all you've got!"

Readjusting his somewhat bent glasses, and wiping the sweat from his forehead, Fukuda rears back even further and unleashes a monstrous serve--that comes back like a bullet, knocking him to the ground.

It is then that the frame pulls back, revealing the whole tennis court. Ozawa Ichirō, Hatoyama Yukio and Kan Naoto are all on the other side of the net, their rackets down by their sides, shouting encouragement to the PM. Ozawa leads the jeers, yelling, "Oh, please, please; one more time. That was awesome...of course, whenever you're ready to stop serving against the back wall and instead hit a ball in our direction, that would be great too!"

* * *

One would think that after all the self-inflicted wounds and humiliations over the last few months, the PM and the ruling coalition would have learned a simple lesson: get the ball out of your side of the court. For every issue, the PM and the ruling coalition have found themselves incapable of getting the ball to drop in the Democratic Party of Japan's side, forcing the DPJ and its leaders to actually do something other than just stand around shouting imprecations.

Unbelievably, it is about to happen again. On May 12, the sixty day limit on the road construction bill will expire. It will become possible for the ruling coalition to pass the bill using its two thirds majority in the House of Representatives.

Unfortunately the road construction bill coming up for override is not the road construction bill the Fukuda government wants. The bill that is up for reapproval is a public relations nightmare, an execrable promise of a decade-long matsuri of pork.

"But you know," the DPJ is saying with a huge grin on its face, "You guys passed it once already. Two months ago you thought this was an absolutely fabulous, absolutely essential bill. And you voted for it. Surely you could not have changed your minds about this bill in just two months! That would be irresponsible and unserious--and you are the serious, responsible party! Everyone knows that. So override. Pass this monstrous bill. We dare you. We double dare you."

And the PM and the ruling coalition leadership are simply stunned. They launched a laughingstock of a bill--an absurdity--over to the opposition-led House of Councillors, daring them to leave it alone--only to see their own howling creation land right at their feet, untouched and unchanged, for them to either reject (and won't that look smart--voting for a bill only to reject it only two months later) or pass using the override provision, inviting the public to go ballistic with righteous indignation.

Leaving the PM and the leadership to wonder, "How is it possible the ball is back in our court, AGAIN?"

Funny things happen when you don't play with others, choosing instead to play with yourself.

Later - We may be looking at game, set and match.

Tobias Harris notes that a snap poll by The Asahi Shimbun finds the Fukuda Cabinet's support level at a mere 20%.

Now the Tokyo Shimbun has come out with a rival poll finding support for the Cabinet at 19.8%--which, the paper, bless its leftist little heart, is calling "a support level of only 19%".

Guess folks might be upset that gasoline station owners raised prices a nice round 30 yen per liter yesterday?

(No, no, it is not price gouging to raise fuel prices 30 yen per liter during Golden Week when the tax being revived is only 25 yen per liter. Perish the thought.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yep, they clearly went blind.