Tempus Fugit: a blinded Néstor Kirchner considers smashing the hourglass and fleeing forward

After failing in his bid for Telecom, Cristina Fernández’s husband has understood it is time to triple the stakes. While the institutions, business community and political opposition shield themselves, the only alternative for Kirchner is to bring forward the presidential elections to scare political parties so they won't be able to offer him battle in 2011.

17 de Agosto de 2010
Sooner than he expected, Néstor Carlos Kirchner has come across a deluge of bad news, which places him in a more than compromising position. Some sources have reported that this compendium of bad news is spiced by the conjugal struggle with Cristina to elucidate who will be the ruling party presidential candidate next year. He insists on his chances (denied to him even by supportive pollsters) while she, keen sighted, takes note of Oberdan Rocamora's writings on the issue and resorts to silence as she pinches followers from Néstor's circle. This corporate-marital argument is not a minor issue, since it is bringing Kirchner closer to the edge of a nervous breakdown, due to the stressful nature of the skirmishes. Undoubtedly, the loss of Telecom has added up to the worst headlines for the former strong man from Santa Cruz. That dark soap opera featured angry businessmen, novice front men, industrial espionage and even VIP prostitutes, a mess that found a good reporter in the pen of Carlos Pagni, a columnist for La Nación newspaper. But Kirchner did not lose the "mother of all battles" (Telecom) thanks to the National Government opposition. The President's husband has been defeated at the hands of his own clumsiness because, failing to assess the consequences of his actions, he did not perceive he was confronting the Argentine branch of the Bildelberg Group (the Werthein Clan). The head office always comes in aid of its subsidiaries. And this case was not an exception. The first week of August accounted for one blow after another for Néstor Carlos. By the end of it, the private encounters between Clarín CEO, Héctor Magnetto, and leaders of the "dissident" Peronism were revealed. Kirchnerism had thought that, in order to align Clarín Group, it would be enough to harass it with the sloppy issue of the humiliating DNA tests to the children of Ernestina Herrera de Noble, prolonged until they matched the whims of the government offices and those of that plutocrat entity run by Estela Barnes de Carlotto and her associates. But Magnetto reacted in a way the Government had not expected, namely, by devising a personal meeting with those having better chances of ejecting the Patagonian couple from power through vote. As if that weren't enough, the business community came out "with their feet first" and their main leaders, whom the Government tried to divide by all means possible, didn't pull their punches in assertive statements to demand respect for private property and investment. That crusade, would later add the support of Ricardo Lorenzetti, who appears as the only respectable executor of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Argentine Republic. A while before that, the Farming Sector had bared their teeth at the Rural Society farm show with a hard-hitting speech by Hugo Biolcati, a physical and rhetorical space in which concurred opposition figures such as Mauricio Macri and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá. Naturally, the only ones criticising the words of the main speaker came from the own federal government and its political allies, all showing signs of evident solitude, when it came to replying to the concepts of the Argentine Rural Society man. Then, there is the -at this point- boring ersatz of the National Congress, in which the "Banelco scandal" has noisily reappeared. Facing this issue, the large news media will probably knock themselves out but, on the other side, there is a citizenry associating the terms "Congress", "Senators" or "MPs" with ideas of "corruption", "theft", "swindle" or worse, for which the most graphic and raucous euphemisms are not even suitable. Days ago, a brittle comment was made by a certain legislator, who declaimed: "At least, in the times of the Banelco scandal, there was dignity. "Kirchnerism, which has shown an exemplary (though certainly diabolic and Machiavellian) creativity to sum allies from among opposing parliamentarians, seems to refute the criticism by repeating its motto stating that "this is not the first time in history political wills have been purchased." And it is here, in Congress and in those empty sizzles among MPs or senators of one camp or another, where reside the worst aspects of the Argentine version of democracy. And what is even worse is that the favourite self-defensive resource of the corrupt is to invite those denouncing them to "go before a Court of Law." Twofold nonsense, since it is very easy to push the rest to file their lawsuits when you know perfectly well you have already hired the wills of the magistrates, thanks to your condition of eternal highest bidder. In any case, the news that will start to spread in the traditional print media during the next weeks will have to do with the Frente para la Victoria parliamentarians abandoning the bloc for having been unequivocally exposed already. Just as El Ojo Digital has been anticipating, there are strong rumours about the migration of José Pampuro, who will end up being ejected from the old pro-government airship together with his own group of four-five senators. Albeit Néstor Carlos and his apparently "respectable" operator, Juan Carlos Mazón, had been doing their homework well when it came to "drawing in" new friends, the fact is that the very high exposure of the supermarket senators purchase issue has ended up discouraging many of them, who now have even had the nerve to shout before the media phrases such as "I was told Ask for whatever you want". In the end, it will be uphill for the Kirchnerism to continue resorting to the wallet as in the "golden times". The old trick of passing the envelope under the table at Tabac café doesn't even seem too useful any more. Of course, the individuals who are slyly hanging about Coronel Díaz Avenue, digital camera in hand, could add a lot more to their books. In times of mediocrity, even the corrupt get clumsy and sloppy. Traditional bars are no good because many of them have incorporated wide front picture windows. Sending emails with tax haven account numbers is also a thing of the past, since, in the view of one of El Ojo’s friends in the shadows, "Everything can be bugged or hacked". The jet black scenario overwhelming Néstor Kirchner and by extension, his wife, the President of the Nation, was only missing some new and notorious case of street crime to magnify the anger in the streets. This "straw that broke the camel's back" appeared with the La Plata bank mugging incident which ended up with a dead baby and its mother’s life on the line in a hospital bed. The videotape appearance of the woman's husband, shouting and bursting into tears after a police officer told him what had happened, constituted an extremely gory image. Analysed from the media approach, this has not been just another incident, since it has served for the television viewer to be clearly reflected, as in a mirror, in this reality that could engage him at any moment. However, it is worth mentioning that no street crime is "just another crime". There still are innumerable anonymous cases that the media are unable to reproduce in their feature articles. The remaining members of these shattered families have all the right to express their rage as they stand as mute witnesses to the media appearances of an unbearable Daniel Scioli, or Aníbal Fernández himself, criticising the alleged "political manipulation" of the facts. From the Kirchnerist extemporaneous perspective, only government officials have the right to express opinion. TV viewers and radio listeners have also had to tolerate the Minister of Foreign Affairs Héctor Timerman, who has fallen out vociferously with journalists finishing off with phrases such as "I'm a hooligan; get used to it". Neither should we “belittle” the Kirchner Administration initiative to facilitate, when the time comes, the liberation of half a million extremely dangerous convicts so they may vote for their candidates in the elections coming up. Finally, for the ruling party and its acolytes it is difficult, if not impossible, to position their government as the only champion of justice and freedom, accusing all those not sharing the same ideology of conspiracy or insurrection. If you look closely, on the other side you will find the Church, the Armed Forces and the security forces, the farming sector, the political opposition, the business community and the average Joe and Jane. Have by chance all the Argentinians become coup supporters overnight? Is it enough for the Pink House to show Gastón Pauls and Florencia Peña as its strongest advocates? What alternative has Citizen Kirchner got left? To acknowledge, once and for all, the Latin expression Tempus fugit, or "time flies". The manoeuvre of the ruling party to energise the Emergency Decree No. 937/2010 was a sine qua non condition. This way, it has managed to consolidate its pact with Vice President Julio Cobos and the Radicalism to remove the dissident Peronism from the electoral equation for 2011 assuring a negotiated continuity. El Ojo Digital already anticipated the secret meeting between the former president and the current vice president, a few weeks ago, in a downtown hotel room, where they negotiated the terms for maintaining the statu quo and delineating a non-aggression pact so the Radicals may return to power with Stolbizer, Carrió in a new version of the Alianza and Néstor behind the scenes. In the Federal District, for instance, businessman Francisco De Narváez has already been stripped of his Unión Celeste y Blanca party label. The move marked by this new Emergency Decree has only to wind up an early presidential election since, otherwise, either Néstor or Cristina could lose in October at the hands of a record rejection rate, provided they were to surpass a primary election. But precisely because of that the government offices located at 50 Balcarce St. have decided to administer the coup de grace to the political parties. To say that no one was ready to confront an individual such as Kirchner now sounds like an obvious argument. To the street crime issue, Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández have added -by the way- a “bonus" to the citizenry, in the form of a 93% increase in their electricity bills and of a 35% for gas bills; a factor bluntly baring the Grand Finale of subsidies, which will sooner or later extend to a “coming clean” about transport fares. If anything, rather than Tempus fugit, a more suitable expression could well be Tempus frangit -fractured time. For Néstor Carlos Kirchner has finally decided to smash the hourglass against the wall. By Matías E. Ruiz, Editor, El Ojo Digital. e-Mail: Twitter: English translation by Annie Arregui (e-Mail:
Author: Matías E. Ruiz, Editor