Monday, March 4, 2013

Grillo Grilled by Times Reporters, a Tasty Presentation

Just for the record: In response to Liz Alderman and Elisabetta Povoledo's adulatory profile of Beppe Grillo in today's Times, I copy here the comment I submitted. Grillo's seduction of Povoledo and Alderman is of a piece with his seduction of much of Italy--but seduction makes for dangerous politics. 

"At last a Times writer realizes that Grillo is not a 'comic' but a serious leader. But she misses a major point. Right now the M5S, Grillo, and his strategist Gianroberto Casaleggio need to make a choice. Option 1: They can make a pact to form a short-term government with the Democrats (who actually got the most votes--easy to forget) and push through a whole set of desperately needed reforms (anti-corruption laws, a rational electoral system, and more) already supported by both parties. Bersani and Vendola have put this deal transparently on the table, and are heaped with puerile insults in return. Or Option 2: Grillo and the M5S can abstain from any constructive cooperation, plunge the government into chaos (or force a corrupt coalition including Berlusconi into office), and then hope to seize complete control when the government collapses and new elections are held. While some may call Option 2 'democratic,' I'd call it putschist--any real democrat would be negotiating to make Option 1 work."