Opinion, by Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 1973 film epic “High Plains Drifter” stars Clint Eastwood as an anonymous stranger who crosses the high plains until reaching Lago, a town threatened by a band of outlaws. “Planalto” (meaning high plains) is synecdoche for the Brazilian government; Brasília, where outlaws seem to teem, borders the artificial “Lago Paranoá”.
The Curmudgeon, edging further out onto the limb upon which he climbed a few weeks ago, believes that Brazil needs a High Plains Drifter to replace Dilma as President and lay waste to the outlaws besieging the Lago. Furthermore, he has a candidate in mind: Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia, aka Michel Temer, currently Vice President.
The headlines these days are full of political bombs exploding around Dilma. Her unpopularity has risen to an astonishing 71 percent, worse than President Collor in 1992. Two traditional leftist political parties (PDT and PTB) that gave weight to the government “power base” have announced their impending independence.
That’s not all. Dilma’s Chief of Staff Mercadante, known for his vituperative attacks on the opposition, yesterday praised PSDB, seeking a non-aggression pact and a new coalition. Senate President Renan met with PSDB leaders and said that Cunha will definitely put impeachment on Congress’s agenda. And finally, VP Temer, meeting with leaders of the power base, said, explicitly, the country needs someone to unify it.
It is clear to everyone in Brazil that Dilma is incapable of that. PSDB lost the election, and lost its credibility when voting against Dilma’s austerity programs. The Presidents of both houses of Congress are under investigation for criminal activities.
Who’s left? Michel Temer, a respected constitutional law professor and legislator, known for working with all sides of the political spectrum. He was President of Congress three separate times, including twice when PSDB was in power. He’s untainted by corruption charges. He’s been drifting over the High Plains for some time, so he knows who the outlaws are.
Dilma would do well to resign, and allow Temer to finish out her term.
The Curmudgeon will issue more “presidential” smidgens as often as they occur to him, please stay tuned.