The president’s bet is to build a regime that will dominate Mexico for decades.
The Mexican opposition faces a very difficult situation. Despite the fact that almost all the statistics show that the country is worse than in 2018, López Obrador maintains popularity levels similar to those it had at the beginning of his government.
Worse still, the president has turned this popular support into a margin of a political maneuver to consolidate comfortable pro-government majorities in the Congress of the Union and in most of the local legislatures; In addition, in the last 3 years, it has captured for its movement 18 of the 32 states of the country, in a streak that could get it another 7 governorships to be renewed in 2022 and 2023.
This would allow him to reach the 2024 elections with an almost absolute dominance of the mobilization structures of the vote, transforming the inertia of victory into a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, where his expectations of victory help him to convince businessmen and politicians to do so. get on the ship of the obradorismo, instead of being marginalized in defeat.
The Mexican opposition, before the song of the official promises
The Mexican opposition is being seduced, and that seduction is having subtle but powerful effects. For example, last week opponents bitterly complained about López Obrador’s tyrannical tendencies but approved (with almost no debate in between) the president’s proposals for the Supreme Court (on November 23) and the Financial Investigation Unit ( November 25). They were votes where the opposition could contain AMLO’s agenda, and it did not.
The effects of this seduction became even clearer on December 1. López Obrador celebrated the three years of his inauguration with a political rally in the Zócalo of Mexico City, which brought together some 80,000 supporters, including 4 of the 7 governors of Acción Nacional, the main opposition party.
Yes, the PAN governors of Yucatán, Chihuahua, Durango, and Quintana Roo not only attended the event to politically support the same president that their party has denounced before the OAS, but they also spent time taking selfies with the main “presidential candidates” of the labor movement and showing them off on Twitter.
Why so much love?
Because state budgets increasingly depend on the whims of the federal government; because the national leader of the PAN himself recognized in an infamous audio that his party has lost 5 of the 6 governorships that will be elected next year and because Andrés Manuel has already put on the seducer’s suit, offering positions in his administration to opposition governors that they are loyal to him.
First, he announced that he would take the recent ex-presidents of Nayarit and Sinaloa (from the PAN and the PRI) to the federal government, and on November 17 he offered a similar agreement to the PAN governor of Quintana Roo. AMLO said openly that he is “very comfortable with the work that the governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquín, is doing” and once his term ends, he will speak with him “to convince him to continue helping us.”
Obviously, the grateful Carlos Joaquín went to cheer on the president, along with three other governors from his party, who apparently are also looking to AMLO for a budget, refuge, and political future.
The great risk of seduction
The risk is that it will become a vicious circle: the more power AMLO accumulates, the easier it is for him to convince the Mexican opposition to approve of his whims, and the more he seduces opponents, the more powerful he becomes. This translates into a growing asymmetry of power in favor of the consolidating ruling party, which could reach 2024 with the victory practically guaranteed and the elections turned into a mere formality.
The bet of President López Obrador is that of a regime that dominates for decades and is building it, because it continues to add political successes despite its failures as a government and because those who should counterbalance it are too busy negotiating their own escape routes, turning into the path to the Mexican opposition in the simple drainer of the regime, as it was during the 20th century. That’s sad.