They say you shouldn't kick a man when he's down, but I don't care what they say: It's time to kick some sense into the two local "parties" that are to political feasiblity what dog food is to fine dining.
I speak, of course, of the Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño--the "independence" party--and the party of Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico, known in Spanish as the PPR and around here as "the mess Rogelio Figueroa made."
Let Me punt the older would-be party first, the one with the so-called tradition of independence. Under the brilliant leadership of Rubén "Tsar-for-Life" Berríos, this party went from full-fledged opposition to pseudo-intellectual joke, barely pulling in 2.5% of the total votes cast in 2004. With any luck, it will pull that percentage again, but I expect it will barely crack the 2% barrier.
The problem with the PIP (as it abbreviates in Spanish) is that (a) Tsar-for-Life happened; (b) he never came up with any viable solutions for Puerto Rico and blocked anyone else's ideas from coming to the fore; (c) they all played footsie with Castro like butt-buddies in a prison cell and (d) eventually settled on seeing the party as a money-maker that required a year of work every four.
Yeah, the PIP raises its empty head come election time, grabs its millions as if it were an actual political party and then fades gently into the background, intent on patriotic karaoke night at the local bohemia bar.
Solution: With the inside track gained over the past few decades, the PIP could set its mission to unveil the incestuous calamity Our government has become, in all its wretched, nauseating detail. Sure they'll get burned for being part of it, but if Tsar-for-Life is really good for anything it's obfuscating his plethora of errors and magnifying his paltry successes. This gig would be like a walk on the beach for him. Again.
Now on to the non-factor that is the PPR. Under Rogelio Figueroa, the PPR has made as much of an advance as a brick in a wall. And given that the brick has more political savvy than Rogelio, that's treating the brick rather harshly.
Having thrown away the advantage of the outsider with an eye on reality in favor of being a laughingstock wannabe, what Rogelio and the PPR can do is shift the focus from what leadership they don't have to the leadership they actually can provide.
Solution: Take the money you will eventually get for the 2008 campaign and use it to monitor the government for the next four years. Use something like My Scorecard to keep track of the Fools and their idiocies and make this sobering information part of Our daily lives. You have the people, you'll have the money, all you need now is the will to do something instead of just pretending to play politics. Badly.
Imagine the impact of these two parties between now and 2012. One exposing the barrel of retarded snakes We have allowed to creep into positions of governmental power and the other forcing the government--and Us--to take responsibility for the day-to-day effectiveness and productivity of what is now a clannish den of thieves. Wouldn't you then feel more inclined to support either party, or at least acknowledge its existence?
And for those who still profess some emotion for either party, at least a modicum of newfound pride will seep into the connection, and who knows if this helps one or the other achieve that magical 5% level that means they've made it to the big leagues.
But I feel the little league mentality of both parties has become institutionalized. And as they say, don't send a boy to do a man's job.
The Jenius Has Spoken.