Befallen head of state Richard Nixon infamously said back in 1977 that “When the president does it, that means it is not illegal.” President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner seems to agree with that controversial interpretation of the law and the Constitution. The only difference is that she pretty much doesn’t give a shit about what you think.
Today, Cristina made use of the Cadena Nacional for the 26th time this year (the 28th, if you count since December 10 like we do) under the false pretense that she wanted to communicate the opening of God knows what. Her excuse is that, since the media allegedly fails to tell the public about bits of “great news,” she is forced to use the Cadena to shove these announcements down our throats. Very thoughtful of her, thank you.
Now, it’s true: technically, she is violating the Constitution. But like Nixon would say, it is not illegal when the president does it. Ot at least that’s what it seems like.
Because today’s announcements were mostly about promoting and praising her presidential candidate Daniel Scioli and criticizing and hating on his main contender Mauricio Macri (PRO) and mayoral candidate Martín Lousteau (ECO). I don’t know about you but I think 30 minutes of incessant propaganda in favor of one specific candidate disguised as a public service announcement seems kind of unfair.
And to my Kirchnerite friends, I’d like to say that I’m not a Constitution-thumper. Far from it. But when you look the other way and enable whoever’s in power to do whatever the fuck they want just because they belong to your party of choice, bear in mind that in a not-too-distant future the tables could turn and someone you don’t like could be elected into office. If they want to use it for nefarious purposes, what’s to stop them? Cristina did it too.
So, speaking from Santa Rosa, the capital of La Pampa, this is what she had to say:
Here are some highlights from today’s Cadena:
- “I’d like to talk about figures. I know many of you are not interested in figures, but without them… brother… we are not going anywhere. You can’t govern a country with bullshit and balloons but with figures and administration. And we know something about that.” (The “balloons” part is a direct reference to Macri’s PRO party, which always celebrates election victories with tons of balloons).
- Regarding last night’s mayoral debate, she mentioned candidate Martín Lousteau, who happened to be her Economy Minister in 2008 during the farming sector conflict (and ended up getting fired). “During last night’s debate, some were trying to teach us a few lessons… especially one who cost me blood, sweat and tears.” Yes. That would be Lousteau.
- “Today we launch a new credit line for small and medium-sized producers.”
- Regarding Merril Lynch’s predictions for Argentina: “I will bet Merril Lynch we’ll grow more than 1.4 percent.”
- “We are not here to criticize anyone, but we like people who take responsibility, because we take responsibility.” Except when there’s a terrible train crash or a prosecutor turns up dead. In that case she’s nowhere to be found.
And my personal favorites from today:
- “Please pardon my feminism… But when the going gets rough, it’s us women who have to stand in front of the line.” *slow clap*
- “You can never be a great woman unless you have a great man by your side.” Aaaaand now she’s ruined it.