I wonder if leftists in Mexico will soon be defining themselves by their opposition to President-elect Felipe Calderon — just as many American Democrats (and others on the left) define themselves by their hatred of President Bush. Like our president, Calderon won election by the narrowest of margins, “233,831 votes out of 41.6 million cast in the July 2 elections — a margin of 0.56 percent.” Yesterday, Mexico’s Federal Electoral Tribunal unanimously “rejected allegations of systematic fraud” and certified that election.
Despite that ruling, the man Calderon edged out, leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has vowed “to lead a parallel leftist government from the streets.” The Mexican president-election has appealed to all opposition parties to meet and come to an understanding after the close election. Yet, the leftists, like their counterparts north of the Rio Grande, are balking at an appeal to national unity.
Sounding like President Bush, Calderon said “We can have different opinions, but we aren’t enemies.” Still, “thousands of radicalized leftists . . . say they will stop at nothing to undermine his presidency.”
This doesn’t sound too different than some of the voices I heard when I decided to listen to Air America while stuck in traffic on I-70 in the mountains just east of Denver. They want to undermine the presidency of the man who, now nearly two years ago, won election (to a four-year term) by a convincing margin, pulling in (unlike Calderon) a majority of the popular vote and increasing — by a substantial amount — the number of votes he had won in the tight election of 2000.