Btw, the above statements are based on some recent observations of real playground dynamics. In our neighborhood park, Julija and I often encounter Nastja, one tough little 5 yr old girl who is always doing, and proudly saying that she can do, whatever the boys do. Yesterday she asked her grandmother for her cane because one of the boys in the playground had hit her and taken something from her; babushka smiled as she let Nastja run off with the cane and proceeded to chase the boy all over the playground! Later, recalling the event to my Julija's mama, I thought out-loud that Ty should have been given such a stick in the Ukrainian playground. Ty's trouble, however, was that she had Yu to look to for assistance instead of the backing of granny-grandaughter solidarity. I hope that my Julija grows to be a bit like Nastja, and that she takes on some of the fighting spirit with which her namesake is karmically endowed. But I do digress.
My trouble with Yuri Lutsenko is that he pledged he would not, under any circumstance, work in a Ya cabinet but has now decided to stay in his post with Ya as his boss. Perhaps his mouth ran ahead of his mind a few times (he made this claim more than once), but in the context of Ukraine's politics, this does not look good--he looks like all the rest of the bad politicians who do things for power rather than principle and who therefore consistently make contradictory statements and acts. I do, however, appreciate that he resigned from the Socialist Party after Moroz's perfidy--I am now, btw, certain that Moroz is a svoloch. So no conclusions, yet, about Lutsenko: I will give him a chance. Is he being pragmatic, trying to have a positive impact? It is, indeed, very important that a pro-OR (i.e., a pro-democratization) person remain Interior Minister (to my mind it is already clear that the Regions have made no conversions). However, is it
Come to think of it, I had a similar crisis of uncertainty when the semi-progressive Senator Paul Wellstone (from the state of Minnesota) declared that he would run for a second term. Wellstone had pledged he would not run for a second term while campaigning for his first; the pledge was part of his populist attack on "career politicians." I was happy when he said he was going to run again--I agreed with him that he was needed in the Senate as the most progressive senator in the time of the GW onslaught. So maybe Lutsenko is taking a similar position. I want to believe him. But I will have to let his further actions speak. (Wellstone, btw, in the context of the US Congress, was almost a Communist--or, um, that's what his detractors said, conditioned as they were by the fact that the US consensus is so far to the right that anyone with a left toe is a Communist, but now I preach to the choir. Two great books from which to derive talking points to counter the BS about a contemporary liberal, let alone left, bias/consensus in the US are this and this. The first book is excellent in its analysis of how, even in more domestically liberal times, the US consensus has usually been much to the Right of the European, continental consensus. The title of the second book has inspired me to ruminate on taking its title and rewriting its theme as What's the Matter with Donbas?--a book to explain the similar dynamic in Ukraine as in the US whereby people vote for and/or support politicians and businessmen who ultimately stand against the common interest.)