The End of Dynasties (updated)

..this season’s Super Bowl was epic indeed. It would either cap the Patriots’ bid to break the record for the Miami Dolphins (18-0), or bring a trophy home, for the first time in a very long time, to New York…

No, I’m not talking about the Arroyos (who are as strong as ever), but the recent victory of the New York Giants over the New England Patriots. Vying for popularity among Americans with their election’s Super Tuesday (where a majority of states would be holding their caucuses), this season’s Super Bowl was epic indeed. It would either cap the Patriots’ bid to break the record for the Miami Dolphins (18-0), or bring a trophy home, for the first time in a very long time, to New York. I remembered, not a few years ago, when the Philadelphia Eagles set to break off the chain of victories and there was a heady feeling among the Philadelphians that now was their place in the sun. They never snatched that victory, but the Giants’ success seems a vindication for all of them, who were steamrolled by the Patriots in the latter’s quest for football legacy. It was not an attempt that failed: though they did not surpass the Dolphins, they could at least say that no one in this decade can surpass the feat they achieved. They held their own record. The defeat must have broken their coach Belichick’s heart, but to him is this message: “Be a king to your men”.

 

Speaking of New York, it would seem that the polls there seem to favor Hillary Clinton over Barak Obama (though the polls were wrong before—nobody expected Clinton to win New Hampshire). It is true that the American media has been waging their own negative campaigns with what they deem the “undesirables”: Ron Paul has hardly been ever mentioned; the Republicans, they say, are down to two candidates (conveniently ignoring Mike Huckabee, who surprised everyone in Iowa); and of course their attack on Hillary Clinton. However, the last was not in itself groundless.

A few years ago, Clinton seemed to represent change, at a time when an anti-Republican fervor was sweeping the nation, over the failures in Iraq or scandals among the lawmakers. But for all her appeals of solidarity among the minorities and women, she has all the savvy of what in the Philippines we would call a “trapo” or traditional politician. She has been breaking all conventions to win. Pledging along with other Democratic candidates not to campaign in select states that were penalized by their DNC, she broke the pledge and campaigned anyway, and obviously she won in those states. Clinton, it is said, is also packing the DNC with her delegates, such that even with a popular vote victory for Obama, she would still win. Add this to the psychological effect of her “winning” Florida and Michigan, and the popular vote in Nevada (though it was an Obama victory in the way of delegates). In disgust, not a few within the Blogosphere have expressed an intention to not vote, as Clinton had it “wrapped up for her anyway”, or, an even worse fate among liberal Democrats, voting Republican.

 

 

The Clinton-ian dynasty is not something to look forward to, either, though in comparison to the Bush years Bill Clinton’s presidency “smelled of roses”. The US military was once bogged down in the Bosnian-Serbian war, and failed to provide UN support (except at the last minute, being beaten by the Australians) when the Indonesian militia were slaughtering East Timorese. The Bin Laden problem began to surface in his Presidency. And, though a lot might disagree, Clinton only reaped the economic prosperity that began with the Bush policy of “economizing”. Even through all this, though, at hindsight Clinton’s age still seemed so much simpler and better, but that may be just waxing reminiscent.

One thing is for sure: the Bush dynasty is finally coming to an end. The controversial (and some would say disastrous) war in Iraq, the slow transformation of the American economy (away from the focus of welfare), and what many Americans would say “the lies, lies, and endless lies”, will end in 2008.

 

Meanwhile, back in the Philippines, there is news of a growing majority among the lawmakers intent on ousting the Speaker, Jose De Venecia. Here then is another dynasty on the chopping block. Czarina Arroyo is not even being subtle about it, not appearing in the “unity” golf game, and using her son as proxy. She wants political decapitation, and immediately. With Congress in control she would have the edge against her other sworn enemy, EDSA, and its brain child, the 1987 Constitution. De Venecia could marshal support to strike back against her, but who? Ramos no longer has the influence of the top brass. Magdalo’s failed attempts in 2003 and last year signify the weakness of the idealistic junior officers.

Beyond the 2008 US elections, two years on, would be our own elections, for both the Legislative and the Executive offices. A lot could happen in the span of two years, enough breathing space for Czarina Arroyo to move. And move, she most definitely will.

 

 

UPDATED: Jose de Venecia, the man who made Congress, finally lashed out on the Czarina. It was done, he was gone, but he wanted to make sure that he could hurt her. The most basic act: hurt.

Like a man forced to play the last acts of his tragedy, he went into a vitriolic speech, accusing Arroyo of everything that we already know. And the lawmakers, almost to a man, voted in the way we already know. For what are tears to a man who has been served well by their master, however harsh and cruel she may be to others?

And now, truly, she has her Congress. We, as a people, are living farther and farther away from the EDSA of our fathers.