Diminishing returns to the casquillo diet


The government’s latest orchestrated outbreak of opposition-baiting tirades is, frankly, tiresome. Time was when the opposition really could be riled, baited, worked up and even split by a savage enough string of non-sensical public accusations of coup plotting.

It’s a playbook that worked beautifully for chavismo from 2002 through 2006 or so. But the steaming bowls of bullet-casings hit the point of diminishing returns a long long time ago.

From the point of view of the opposition’s ideological development, you could see the last 12 years as a slow, difficult progression towards abjuring the casquillo diet altogether. The undercurrent of panic that shines through chavismo’s the-coup-is-coming harangues these days stems, precisely, from the realization that what used to be easy – goading the opposition into intemperate, anger-led decision-making – has now become very, very hard.

One thing is clear now: the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática is no Coordinadora redux. Organized, methodical and – as it now seems clear – skilled at gaming out the consequences of today’s moves fifteen or twenty moves into the future, we’re no longer the putty-in-the-hands-of-JVR we once were.

What’s novel here is the feeling of having a strategy, too. It may be the right one or it may be the wrong one, but it’s there, it’s been thought out and it’s being applied carefully.

The string of public pronouncements – led by Teodoro but echoed by several others – decrying a few military high official’s flirtation with coupsterism if Chávez loses the 2012 election didn’t just happen by accident.

Turns out we’re the rusos, y nosotros también jugamos…

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    • The funny thing, though, is that they’re shying away from the “guerra a cuchillo” trope and going more towards the tried-and-tested they’re-planning-a-CIA-backed-coup meme.

      The guerra a cuchillo theme must have been focus grouping miserably for them to turn around and reverse it – now it’s not that we’re disorganized, it’s that we’re SO organized we must be conspiring…

      • It is difficult to explain for them, how a “saco de gatos” without money, is getting more and more space in polls, so they have to explain it another way: HIPER organization driven by The Empire.

    • Reminds me of the old P. Poleo articles predicting conflicts within Chavismo, and the whole oppo “Ya Chavez se jodio” mentality.

  1. You know…I definitely think Chávez has cancer…and yet, and yet: for some days after I first heard about it I was thinking: “what if it is just a new tactic after they saw people’s increasing apathy towards magnicidio announcements?”

    Since 2010 we haven’t heard about the magnicidios. I thik Chávez was very pissed off scientists could not find out Bolívar was poisoned or something.

    • That’s the next accusation. The MUD or CIA caused his cancer.

      They won’t know how but in their souls they are responsible. ha, ha

  2. The MUD is certainly showing cohesion, but I’m not sure their concerted FAN comments are goal oriented truths (a-la-rusa), versus truths that all of them agreed were good to let out. Chavismo’s method is so goal oriented the truth part is optional.


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