Opinion, by Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Everyone knows that Brazil’s legal and political system is a complete disaster, and that the country of Brazil is well on its way to becoming a failed state, following the example of the State and City of Rio de Janeiro, which are both in that category. Therefore, everyone wants “reform”.
Everyone, that is, except the politicians who have become rich and (in)famous by gaming the system for their own personal benefit.
After Dilma was dumped by the Chamber of Deputies, Vice President Temer assumed office amid hopes that, as someone who understood politics and politicians, he would be able to rescue Brazil from its dismal doldrums. His appointments to the economic team further strengthened these hopes.
Those hopes have now been dashed by a chorus of corrupt Congressmen, a parliament of pettifogging politicians. President Temer, busily burying his head in the sands of China grubbing for money, has been unable to create any majority that will carry out what needs to be done.
There is now a sign above the doors to Congress, reading “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate.”
The reason all those who pass those doors must abandon all hope, is that everyone inside them knows that President Temer is at least as venal as they are. The 300 scoundrels, firmly ensconced in command with one of theirs installed as leader, intend to remain there, by hook or by crook.
Make no mistake, there will be no more “reform” in Brazil this year or next.
Pension reform? Dead in the water.
Tax reform? Died stillborn.
Lava Jato? Awaiting the guillotine.
Election reform? Surely you jest.
The Curmudgeon was one of those who had hope. No longer. As another poet, resident in Tuscany, once said: “And what I want to know is, how do you like your blue-eyed boy … Mister Death” [Ezra Pound, Buffalo Bill’s Defunct]