The dramatic political crisis that had menaced Mexico's nascent democracy for the past month is settled. As a result, the country's next president may well be a populist from a left-wing party -- a prospect that gives heartburn to Washington and Wall Street.
Mexico's fragile democracy is under attack from its own government -- and may not survive. Yet the Bush administration's neoconservatives, who almost daily proclaim their commitment to protect -- and indeed impose -- free elections in the world's every nook and cranny, are silent. Turns out that their defense of democracy extends only to candidates who meet their approval.
A California Labor Union leader once described to me the 1966 campaign to re-elect Democrat Pat Brown as governor. “We had a massive campaign to identify our voters,” he said, “we contacted everyone at least twice, and we did a tremendous job of getting them to the polls on election day -- where they voted for Ronald Reagan.”
During the 2000 presidential TV debates, George W. Bush relentlessly repeated the tired Republican mantra that government, especially the federal government, is the enemy of American workers. As president, he's turned that rhetoric into reality.
Brad DeLong is a smart guy and a good economist. He makes the best argument one can that Bill Clinton and Bob Rubin did the best economic-policy job they could have under the political circumstances of the 1990s. But it does not convince.