Remember when Shih Ming-teh was going to camp out in front of the Presidential Palace until Chen Shui-bian stepped down? All bluster of course. As the media have reported, Shih is going to be a recluse — until Chen Shui-bian steps down. Jerome Keating notes:

Shih Ming-deh has recently returned from the sunny climes of Thailand where he basked while whatever remnants (if any) there were left of his red shirts withstood the wind, rain and cold outside Taipei Main Station. Now Shih is plying another grandstanding move. He pledges that he will be true to his word, that since his coup did not topple Chen Shui-bian, he will become a recluse. He will retire into a small apartment near the main Taipei Main Station and stay there until Chen steps down in 2008.

Lots of people live a reclusive life in a small apartment near the train station, but only Shih can manufacture any media moments from it. Long past his sell-by date, as Shih was bidding reporters good-bye and closing the door to his new apartment, he told reporters that the public should vote Blue, and if they don’t vote Blue, they should cast an invalid ballot.

I’m not worried, though. I’m sure the BBC will go right on breathlessly reporting about how Shih’s demonstration was a non-partisan demonstration designed to “highlight corruption.” It’s one thing to err, but another to persist in it. As my favorite Vulcan once observed, just be sure you’re not confusing empiricism with stubbornness.

But enough scoring on the klueless BBC. Bottom line: it’s heartbreaking to see Shih Ming-teh, whom so many of us admired for so long, become a shill for the people who once put him in jail. What was it all for, Nori?