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Time Interviews Tsvangirai

By Jesse Taylor
Sunday, June 15, 2008 23:58 EDT

Time Magazine interviewed Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday:

What do you say to those who are calling for this runoff to be scrapped, claiming that there’s no way the election can be free and fair, and urging you to form a joint government with Mugabe?

This is democracy on trial. Do people want democratic change, or do they just want accommodation of a loser? Why did we go into the election if that was the case? We could easily — before the election — have negotiated a government of national unity without having had to subject people to this violence. Now my view is that there is no basis that the runoff should be scrapped, because no one has got the legal constitutional power to scrap it. The conditions are not free and fair; in fact, the conditions are so hostile for the opposition that talk of an election under these circumstances is ridiculous. So I think that what is important is to go ahead with the runoff, see what the international observers can do to mitigate against some of the extreme cases and just get down to resolve the issue. Perhaps that will be the way of resolving the issue.

This is the fundamental issue at work in Zimbabwe – is Tsvangirai a perfect leader? No. But he is an alternative to Mugabe seeking legitimate power in a legitimate manner. Capitulation to a joint government, even if it doesn’t legitimize Mugabe per se, still allows for Mugabe to justify force as a method of democratic participation and provides an obvious public relations selling point for him – these beasts knocked at our great foundation, and Mugabe tamed them.

After the first round of elections in March, you told TIME that the country was entering a new phase, which was about the transfer of power and easing Mugabe out of office. Do you still see it like that? How has the post-election violence changed the game?

It still remains the focus. It is the transfer of power. It’s a contest for power now; it’s no longer about voting in terms of what percentages, et cetera. It still remains, How do we transfer power from a man who believes he has got the divine right to rule forever and who does not respect the will of the people, because the will of the people was expressed clearly on March 29, and it will be reaffirmed again on the 27th of June. But still the remaining question is, Will he concede? Will he accept a smooth transition? That still remains a vexing question.

The issue here, of course, being the response of surrounding nations. If the community at large treats the MDC as the legitimate leaders of the country following an election victory (or at the very least casts doubt on Mugabe’s far more likely rigged results), Mugabe’s transition becomes an issue of accepting the will of the world at large. If the results are regarded as a dispute between rival factions, Mugabe will still lead the largest and most powerful faction in the country, and retain military control over a failing state.

Go ahead and read the rest.

Bam Bam goes bye bye from Concerned Women for America

By pams

Matt “Bam Bam” Barber, one of the “like-minded men with Concerned Women for America,” has decided to leave one of the curiously estrogen-free posts at the organization, policy director for cultural issues (homo-obsessive Bob Knight was the director of its Culture and Family Institute). The Advocate: Barber is moving on to work with two strongly pro-family organizations in Virginia, the Liberty University School of Law and Liberty Counsel. CWA founder and chairman Beverly LaHaye said,…


Fools, I tell you

By Amanda Marcotte

Read Frank Rich on this illusion the McCain campaign is trying to create that irate female voters, mad about Clinton losing, will decamp to McCain. Now. I’ll wait. Avedon has a good read on this: Frank Rich says the disarray among Democrats and smooth sailing McCain is just a media…


Ain’t No Sunshine

By Jesse Taylor

Yes, conservatives are happier than liberals. Lying to yourself tends to make you happier than people whose first thought when they see a homeless person sleeping under a bridge isn’t “Ooh, I could go for a cupcake!” It would strike me that you don’t want to sell an entire book…


It’s Time To Stop Saying It’s Time To Move On

By Jesse Taylor

Some prominent black conservatives don’t seem to have gotten the message…yet. Just as Obama has touched black Democratic voters, he has engendered conflicting emotions among black Republicans. They revel over the possibility of a black president but wrestle with the thought that the Illinois senator doesn’t sit beside them ideologically.…


Bamboo Reviews: Sex and the City

By Amanda Marcotte

Warning: I spoil. Get used to it. I love Jesse’s idea of doing “Bamboo Reviews”, so I thought I’d review Sex and the City, which I did end up seeing after all. I think I have a taste of what the people who voted for Hillary Clinton because of the…


Just why would we get the idea that he’s McSame?

By pams

This is brilliant. The Jed Report has a mashup of the obliteration of John McCain…by John McCain on whether he’s hand-in-glove with Dear Leader. And here is today’s WTF moment by McCain, via The Carpetbagger Report: “I will look you in the eye and promise you that I will get…


Random Question

By Jesse Taylor

Almost every major gas station you go to these days allows you to pay at the pump with a credit or debit card, and includes a keypad that allows you to input a PIN, choose a receipt, ask for a car wash, etc. These pads obviously include numerical keys as…


Well, I never

By Amanda Marcotte
Saturday, June 14, 2008 21:51 EDT

I just watched the final episode of this season’s Battlestar Galactica. Holy fucking shit. That is all.…


This ain’t no party, this is empathy boot camp, ladies

By Amanda Marcotte

Those evo psych quacks are getting craftier about pushing their message (in essence: women are less worthy than men and therefore should have to do more work for less pay)—the trick increasingly is not to flatter male egos by telling them that they’re meant to roam around town fucking everyone…