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Monday, March 13, 2006

Bush is doing relatively well compared to his buddy Silvio

(you know the guy who gave a speach in Italian in the Senate room to 10% of the joint session of congress).

An approaching election can get on one's nerves if one is well behind in the polls. Also prosecutors have just asked a GUP (a judge whose role is similar to that of a grand jury) to indict Berlusconi. This second event is common enough that Berlusconi should be used to it by now.*

The result is that he walked out of a TV studio during an interview accusing Lucia Annunziata of being prejudiced against him (she is a smart and honest person so of course she is). He and his followers complain about media bias (really they are not joking). This is definitely much more absurd than Rupert Murdoch complaining about media bias as Berlusconi controls almost all of Italian TV (the interview was on the public channel whose patronage was assigned to the communists back when they existed. It is the very low budget one of 6 more or less major channels which is not totally biased in favor of Berlusconi. The interview was, I think, part of a deal in which the moderator of the big debate tomorrow is well less pro Berlusconi that Berlusconi is anyway).

But then the breath taking part is that Berlusconi showed the video at a political rally. He claimed that while walking out in a huff when asked tough questions he showed how polite he is.


Compared to Berlusconi Bush is excessively prone to self criticism.

He also said "Da presidente del Consiglio, giuro che lascio la politica se dimostrano le accuse nei miei confronti" that is 'as prime minister I swear that I will leave politics if they demonstrate the accusations against me." They have already done so at least twice (the second time by the way according to a unanimous verdict by a 3 judge panel the president of which had previously publically called for a moratorium on trials of Berlusconi and his firm). He is not in jail because of the statue of limitations not because of any lack of proof.

Speaking of proof, I have long claimed that, if God exists, He must be principally motivated by a sick sense of humor. As of yesterday, I consider the case proven.
What other possible explanation is there for Berlusconi's electoral strategy ?

*Foreigner's might not know this but the usual pattern is that he is indeed indicted. Then maybe he changes the law so his act is no longer a crime. Then he is tried and convicted or maybe acquited on the grounds that the statute of limitations has run out or (once) acquited on the grounds that the act is no longer a crime. So he appeals (always a right). The final judgement of fact has often been that his acts were criminal when committed (4 separate cased). He has not been finally convicted because of an amnesty (Villa Maccario), the change in the law (Al Iberian II falso in bilancio) and the statute of limitations (Al Ibirian I huge illegal donation to Craxi, Toghe sporche II (Ariosto) money paid from Berlusconi's bank account to Renato Squillante a crooked judge). The statute of limitations clock does not stop when charges are brought and good lawyers can delay things indefinitely. Also the Italian courts are very slow even when not hampered by defence attorneys whose traditional role is to delay things (Berlusconi's lawyers do this only part time as they are also members of parliament and spend some of their time changing the law).

This makes Berlusconi's recent pledge even more absurd than it would otherwise be.

Clearly Berlusconi understands that Italians find the Italian judicial system impossibly complicated (true) and boring (tutti i gusti sono gusti I love it). Thus they notice he is not in jail and all Italians who have checked and noted that he has been found guilty but not punishable again and again never voted for him to begin with.

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