Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 11:13 AM

The fat lady is singing for Mexico’s Lopez Obrador…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Finally, Mexico’s president-elect is the unflappable conservative Felipe Calderón

After he lost in a dead heat to George W. Bush in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, Al Gore demanded and got a partial recount of votes that he thought would change the final results. But it did not. And after U.S. Courts affirmed Bush as the duly-elected president of the United States, Gore did the honorable and sensible thing by conceding defeat.

What he could not have known then, however, was that he would become the godfather to sore losers in presidential elections all over the world. Because since 2000, defeated candidates everywhere have demanded and got recounts as a matter of course – no matter their margin of defeat. And the latest, and perhaps most notorious, in the growing rogues gallery of these would-be presidents is the iracible socialist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico.

But, to be fair, if any of Gore’s spawn is his legitimate heir, Obrador is it. After all, like Gore, Obrador lost in a dead heat to the declared winner – Felipe Calderón. And, like Gore, he immediately cried foul – alleging that massive voter fraud, orchestrated by Calderón operatives, cheated him of his victory.

Alas, like Gore’s, Obrador’s recourse to the courts has proved futile. Because, just as the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Gore’s claims of fraud, on Monday, Mexico’s highest electoral court rejected Obrador’s claims and is now expected – on or before 6 September – to affirm Calderón as the duly-elected president of Mexico. Of course, I predicted as much months ago – in this article here – before Obrador launched his Gore-inspired challenge to the initial results.

Unfortunately, unlike Gore, Obrador seems congenitally averse to doing the honorable and sensible thing by conceding defeat. Because, despite the court’s objective declaration that he is Mexico’s most controversial loser, here’s how Obrador greeted their decision:

Never more will we accept that an illegal and illegitimate government is installed in our country.

Nonetheless, in due course, I suspect Obrador’s more reasonable supporters will tire of his pathetic whining and hollow promises and accept Calderón as their president. I am mindful, however, that even 6 years later die-hard supporters of Al Gore are still pleading to anyone who would listen that Gore was robbed. Therefore, it’s probable that die-hard supports of Obrador will be pleading his case throughout the entirety of Calderón’s presidency.

NOTE: I am genuinely concerned that – instead of encouraging his disappointed and disillusioned supporters to respect the rule of law – as Gore eventually did so eloquently, Obrador (seen here greeting his followers at a “Calderón-nunca!-nunca!” rally on Sunday) will fuel their resentment and create a critical mass of anarchists who may destabilize Mexico for years to come.

After all, Obrador now fancies himself a latter-day President Benito Juarez, who led a roving, “unofficial” presidency from 1863 to 1867. But he seems more likely to emulate Hassan Nasrallah by turning Mexico City, where he once ruled as a populist mayor, into a state within a state – much as Nasrallah did by turning his Hezbollah-controlled areas in Southern Lebanon into a virtually autonomous state. (And we all know how well that worked out.)

Indeed, just as Nasrallah not only undermined the Lebanese government but also provoked a cross-border war with Israel, so too could Obrador undermine the Mexican government and create such economic stagnation and chaos in Mexico city that – instead of tickling across the border into the U.S. – Mexicans will begin crossing in droves.

But let’s hope his bark is far worse than his bite….

For now though: Viva Calderón!

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