Opinion, by Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Curmudgeon writes this as the Chamber of Deputies is still choosing the members of the Impeachment Committee. As the Curmudgeon predicted yesterday, no one can say what PMDB will do. PMDB’s party leader in the Chamber chose only anti-impeachment deputies for the Committee, but the backbenchers have rebelled and joined an opposition coalition to submit another list of Committee members.
The latest surreality check involves the guy with the most to gain if Dilma is impeached. A day or so ago, Michel Temer, the Vice President, wrote a letter to the President, complaining “you’ve never trusted me or PMDB”, alleging she’s always favored PT, her own party. The day before, Dilma had said she had absolutely no reason to mistrust Temer.
Now she has several reasons, because someone leaked the letter to the press and the proverbial compost ingredient hit the proverbial ventilation equipment. Temer says Dilma leaked it, Dilma says Temer leaked it; everybody is in a tizzy.
Former Minister Padilha, a Temer protégé, claimed it was only a talking point agenda, not designed to foment a split in their relationship, nor to indicate Temer was favoring impeachment. No one believes Padilha (duh!) so everyone now knows Temer has come over to that side of PMDB that thinks it knows where its bread is buttered. [Not the PT side.]
The PMDB movers and shakers gathered and declared themselves “astonished” at the letter. Some have wondered out loud (albeit anonymously) whether Temer, now age 75, may be losing his cool as he feverishly chases one last shot at the Presidency.
Of course if the charges now pending against them are upheld in the Electoral Court, both Dilma and Temer would be forced from office. Someone has suggested that both Dilma and Temer should resign. In either case, new elections would be held, where (in the case of resignation) Dilma and Temer could run again!
The Curmudgeon finds that a completely surreal scenario.
The Curmudgeon has lived in Brazil for a very long time, but he still doesn’t know where the buck stops. Nevertheless, he’s going to keep looking.