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[Editorial] Political Wrangling over Lee`s Comments

Posted June. 09, 2003 21:46,   


The interim session of the National Assembly has hit a snag without even gaining an inch. Reason? The chronic disease of politicians: saying and acting a way that only pleases themselves.

Yesterday when President Roh came back from his state visit to Japan, Grand National Party policy committee chairman Lee Sang-bae almost called his name—he defined the visit as Moron Diplomacy. Taking this as an excuse, the Millennium Democrats announced that they would not participate in the congressional examination of the executive branch. It`s also another example of the irrational behavior of politicians. Like the opposition party, like the ruling party!

Where are we now? Everybody`s worrying about the dragging economy. People say it is worse than during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. In short, we are facing another crisis. Moreover, diverse special interest groups are challenging and ignoring the rule of the law and the authority of the Roh Moo-hyun administration, and are further rattling their sabers to threaten the Roh administration to succumb to their demands.

All these issues, however, mean nothing to politicians. They should have been spearheading a campaign to overcome the foregoing dire circumstances. They don`t care about these matters though, and are fighting to the death to defend their own causes and interests. They are neglecting their duties, while urgent matters still await their attention, including the National Budget Bill, and the bill to introduce class action suits for securities transactions. Nonetheless, they opened the National Assembly one day, then shut it down the next. We are appalled.

Obviously, Lee`s comment crossed many lines. Excuses like rhetorical or dialectic statements cannot blur the fact of the matter. In the past, some opposition politicians used the word `moron` to criticize incumbent administrations. It does not however sound appropriate to describe a diplomatic action between two sovereign states as such. He should have known better and should have acted more prudently.

Still, Lee`s unreasonable behavior has nothing to do with a shutdown of the legislative body. And it does not justify the Millennium Democrats` walking off the job. We cannot help but suspect that the Millennium Democratic Party is intentionally waging their mini "strike" in order to get rid of public attention on its intra-party dispute and struggle over the hegemony of a new party to be born as successor of the party.

The Blue House should also know better. It should ponder over the negative perceptions people have about Roh`s visit to Japan.