Those citizens operating in a “plague on both houses” mode were offered plenty of ammo this week as the Blues launched another attack on the Presidency, which isn’t going to be successful, after which they promised to destroy the government by bringing down the premier, and Persident Chen Shui-bian responded to his critics by calling for constitutional change, entry into the UN, and the return of the KMT’s stolen assets, three things that aren’t going to happen. It’s good to know that politicians on the Beautiful Isle are focused on concrete policies that are important in the daily lives of its denizens…

First, Chen’s announcement, made at the 20th anniversary ceremony for the DPP’s founding:

In particular, Chen stated that Taiwan needed to cope with “three major mistakes” left over from the KMT authoritarian period. First is the so-called “constitutional legitimacy” issue in which the KMT located the legitimacy of Taiwan’s constitution in its claim to be the legitimate government of “China,” he said. The second is the question of Taiwan’s entry into the United Nations, and the third the DPP’s referendum to repossess the “ill-gotten party assets” worth “hundreds of billions” in New Taiwan dollars acquired by the KMT through its party-state during the authoritarian period.

Chen’s recent calls for desperately-needed Constitutional reform sparked a mini-flap last week when the US said it wasn’t happy about it, while China, like Woundwort watching Bigwig float away in the rain, had its usual snit fit:

China criticized Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian Wednesday for a plan to change the constitution and rename the island.

We are paying close attention to ‘constitutional reforms’ in Taiwan and are keeping careful watch over the situation, a Chinese government spokesman said, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Turning from authoritarians abroad to their pals at home, the Blues promised to bring down the government

Pan-blue lawmakers yesterday vowed to bring down the government through a no-confidence vote in Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) should the second recall motion against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), scheduled to be put to a vote next month, fail.

People First Party (PFP) Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) made the threat.

“The rationale behind toppling the Cabinet is that this would enable us to form a new legislature so that we could introduce another recall motion to depose Chen Shui-bian,” Lee said.

The Blues’ obsession with taking out Chen has now led them to propose that, if they fail to bring down Chen, they will bring down the government so they can form a new legislature….so they can bring down Chen. There’s no clearer statement of the radicalism of the Blues, who are willing to destroy governance on the island so that they can bring down a President who now has less than 18 months left in his tenure. The Blues are not a stability party; they are radical reactionaries, and they will cheerfully sacrifice the interests of Taiwan, Japan, the US, and the region to achieve their goals. I hope policymakers in Washington are following this closely. You’ve picked the wrong side, guys, and the Blues are going to betray you in the end.

Meanwhile more than a dozen major bills remained stalled in the Legislature. The Control Yuan appointtees have not been approved and the backlog is something like 20,000 cases. There is no chief prosecutor for the nation. The Examination Yuan is operating on a minimal budget. The Presidency has been completely hamstrung. The Premiership is going to fall, which may engender a serious Constitutional crisis…. all because the Blue-controlled legislature has decided that it is going to obstruct the Chen Administration in all things and at whatever cost. Who has failed Taiwan? The Blues, not the Greens. Seems to me the DPP should be pointing this out, constantly, with everyone on message, 24-7….