Requiem for the Red Shirts
This morning's edition of the China Times ran a series of articles and op-ed pieces announcing the end of Shih Ming-teh's ill-fated, misguided, and self-serving movement to oust President Chen. Zhongshan precinct has revoked demonstration permits for the next two weeks, Shih has apologized to his followers for miscommunications and generally, and the protestors have been told to go home for the next two weeks. The next rally is planned for whenever the investigation into Chen's management of a secret slush fund concludes. I wouldn't be holding my breath if I were a protestor.
Suddenly the China Times has woken up to the fact that Chen was never going to resign unless he or a blood relative were indicted, that the entire movement is needlessly provoking ethnic tensions, and that it is fundamentally undemocratic. They are now noting the falling numbers and that centrist voters are tired of the mess in Taipei and provocative behavior of the mobs on Tuesday. Chen Ju is now back in the race in Kaohsiung thanks to the reds, and Ma Ying-jeou is suddenly looking a whole lot less invincible than he did a few months ago.
Welcome back to the real world.