Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DPP Campaign suddenly turns brainless, exits high road

"None. My CHOAM Company directorship will bear the closest scrutiny." And he thought: Let him bring a false accusation against me and have it exposed. I shall stand there, Promethean, saying: "Behold me, I am wronged." Then let him bring any other accusation against me, even a true one. The Great Houses will not believe a second attack from an accuser once proved wrong ."

This is just [expletive] stupid..... the DPP has apparently decided to retaliate against the KMT for its brainless assault on Tsai using the Yu Chang/TaiMed case with an equally brainless attack of its own, a bank merger case from years ago. From the Taipei Times:
One day after DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) questioned Ma about the donation during the presidential debate on Saturday, the DPP made public court testimony by Fubon Financial chairman Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠) from a hearing in August 2009 during the second-round of financial reforms case against former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

............

In a move seen as retaliation against the KMT’s attack on Tsai Ing-wen over Yu Chang, the DPP cited a document on the merger of Fubon Bank and TaipeiBank in 2002, classified as top secret, to challenge the KMT after the party questioned Tsai Ing-wen for classifying a document on government investment in Yu Chang as top secret when she was vice premier in 2007.
Wonderful move, guys. The DPP's tightly run ball control campaign, with only minor errors, had been paying off in steady gains over Ma. Meanwhile the KMT had been running the most inept campaign imaginable, with Ma admitting meeting a major underworld gambling figure in Chiayi, Ma proposing a "peace accord", the Yu Chang accusation screw up... one could go on all day listing things. Now the DPP is doing the same thing.
  • The Yu Chang case is 4 years old. The Fubon case is even older!
  • The Yu Chang case was already explored for ammunition against Tsai three years ago. The Fubon case was also explored for ammunition before.
  • Like it or not, the KMT is now married to the Yu Chang narrative which it is now trying to play down (Ma said the other day “I’ve spoken to my running mate, Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), on the issue and we agree that this is not an election-related issue, but one that concerns the moral standards of government administrators,” Ma said.). The DPP is now stuck with this Fubon story. 
  • The attack on Tsai helped Tsai. Complete the equation now: the attack on Ma helped ____.
Last week the DPP was taking the high road. Independent voters and voters who flatter themselves that they are merit-based, policy driven, technocratic choosers (light Blues, in other words), could be comfortable that Tsai wasn't displaying this sort of one-party-is-just-like-the-other negativity. The DPP was in fact showing that when you don't behave like the KMT you can grow your support.

Great move, DPP brain trust.

Prediction: this is going to inspire the insipid Ma, who has been lackluster to date, create a small rally-round-the-flag effect, and on the whole backfire on the DPP.

Just needlessly stupid.

UPDATE: Good comments below. In particular this one says it may work out right:
That was under a situation that Ma was like the God in the eyes of many supporters. In that case, any scrutiny was wiped away quickly to keep the surface shining. 
But now, Ma no longer has that status. He is crippling down, and many insiders will keep coming out to tell the truth. For example, now we know that to get that merging approved, it requires an OK from 9 gov departments/divisions. Ma managed to get all 9 stamps in just several hours. This info has never surfaced before .
In comparison, in the Yu Chang case, Premier Wu criticized Tsai that there must be something wrong in Yu Chang project 'cos it was approved super fast, in as short as 10 days. 
Like Tsai said in a couple of occasions, Ma has never really been scrutinized. 
_______________________
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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well said. I was just thinking the same thing.

Hans said...

I felt the same way when the whole issue came to surface. I merely thought it was only a line that Tsai used in her debate to counteract Ma, never had I thought the DPP would use this as a trigger.

Who knows, maybe the DPP has something else to follow up with.

Robert Scott Kelly said...

Sigh. I read this last night and my thoughts were the same. Astonishingly inept move. Let's hope they drop it quickly.

Anonymous said...

They're two sides of the same coin. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Both parties are full of inept fools who are not fit to run a village much less a country, and it comes as no surprise that the DPP have done this. Their whole campaign they've been busy accusing the KMT of the same things as they've done so why not borrow the same tactics as well.

Rust said...

I think they are opening a battleground for the Oranges to enter, considering these news:

http://iservice.libertytimes.com.tw/liveNews/news.php?no=582170&type=%E6%94%BF%E6%B2%BB

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0X8eiy-el4w

If Song & Co. initiated this, chances are they wouldn't receive as much attention as would the Dpp. My guess is the Dpp will start retracting slowly from this, & leave Song & Co. this battlefield.

Feiren said...

Hmmm...so far this hasn't gone too well, but portraying Ma as taking campaign contributions over shark fin soup dinners with Taiwanese tycoons also fits into the DPP's 'we are the 99%' strategy.

I'm not sure this just a mud slinging response to Yuchang.

Even if I'm right, I think it's clumsy and Tsai would be better off taking the high road. This is Ma's race to lose. He's doing a good job. Don't help him.

Michael Turton said...

Rust, this is something LT should be pushing. Negative campaigning should be left to the subordinates and allies.

Michael

Sean said...

The attack on Tsai helped Tsai. The attack on Ma help.... Tsai! By the way, I'm a top candidate for DPP campaign manager.

PAUL said...

it's been proven that negative campaigning eventually works - at least here in the u.s. i guess the dpp has studied american election campaigns. and why should the kmt be allowed to constantly berate tsai to the public every single day about yu chang and make it into a campaign issue and give ma a moral podium to speak from to question tsai's integrity when he's possibly done something illegal and immoral?? that's totally two-faced and hypocritical!! he and kmt has got some nerve and i think he/they should be called out for it.

Taiwan Echo said...

Michael,

I had the exact same thought like yours. So, I expressed it in the Black Rain's blog. People there seem to have very different views (see the comments in this article). Some developments also help to shake my original thoughts --- maybe it's not as stupid as it looks.

One thing is what Rust mentioned above, the way the Orange jumped in. It makes the DPP's attack look like a prelude.

Also very key factor, you mentioned :
"The Fubon case was also explored for ammunition before."

That was under a situation that Ma was like the God in the eyes of many supporters. In that case, any scrutiny was wiped away quickly to keep the surface shining.

But now, Ma no longer has that status. He is crippling down, and many insiders will keep coming out to tell the truth. For example, now we know that to get that merging approved, it requires an OK from 9 gov departments/divisions. Ma managed to get all 9 stamps in just several hours. This info has never surfaced before .

In comparison, in the Yu Chang case, Premier Wu criticized Tsai that there must be something wrong in Yu Chang project 'cos it was approved super fast, in as short as 10 days.

Like Tsai said in a couple of occasions, Ma has never really been scrutinized.

If the data from XFuture prediction market is reliable, this Fubon case already made a big dent in Ma in the Taipei City (See the last figure in this article).

At this moment, I am not totally bought into those arguments yet. But my original thought of "that's a stupid move" is shaken quite a bit now. It might not be as stupid as what it appears to be.

Taiwan Economics said...

Hmm I think you're incorrect Michael. What seems clear, regardless of the legality of the donation, is that House Tsai *did give a large donation to Ma Ying-jeou / KMT. At the same time, Guo Tai-ming is running around trying to get pan-Blue legislators elected.

Contrast the big money of the KMT, the big money donations directed towards the KMT, and the big money of Guo Tai-ming with the sea of small piggybank donations garnered by Tsai Ying-wen.

This election is about influence and Tsai is running a campaign, the first in a long time, even by the DPP, that is not influenced by any kind of big money. This is huge. The contrast could not be more black-and-white.

Michael Turton said...

Thanks Echo. I hope it does work and I can post about how wrong I was.

Lorenzo said...

Michael, I agree with you partially. Following upon Einstein's advice, it is ineffective to damage the same enemy by the same attack that had not worked before. If there is no new evidence, new trace, new leak, or new witness, Fubon case is basicly a closed case.

But if there is new material obtained at hand or that might be attracted to come out by DPP's re-attact, it might turn out to be a profitable movement.

Soong & Co. have seen more clearly this week how Fear Facotr might work for them. Pan Blue Supporters is fearing that there might indeed a skeleton being found in Ma's closet because they and Ma have never been engaged in such 'vicious'(to their mentality) compaign in Ma's life time.

I would like to see if Soong & Co. can drive the Fear Factor high enough to pass a certain threshold such that it triggers a herd response among the Pan Blue Supporters. More likely those panic blue horses will stampede, to seek out a more assuring comfort, into Soong's than to Tsai's net.

Taiwan Echo said...

Well, well, well ... Here's a table of the "predicted vote counts" from xFuture:

=============================
Date Ma Tsai Soong
-----------------------------
12/09 41.82 50.24 10.31
12/10 41.61 50.04 10.48 #
12/11 41.54 50.45 10.96
12/12 41.32 50.56 10.49
12/13 41.26 50.48  9.18
12/14 41.24 50.74  9.34
12/15 41.28 51.05  9.62
12/16 41.39 51.66  9.23
12/17 41.60 51.88  8.83 *
12/18 41.24 51.78  8.62
12/19 41.39 52.10  8.49 **
12/20 41.90 51.31  8.29
12/21 42.11 51.23  8.72
12/22 42.18 51.07  8.96
12/23 42.23 50.67  8.68
============================

# Yu Chang case started. Tsai's votes increased.
* Fubon started, with Tsai mentioned it shortly in the debate;
** The DPP started beating it heavily on the Fubon case. Correspondingly, Tsai's support fall -- back to the level before Yu Chang.

So, if we are to believe what xFuture market shows, we would have to conclude that if there's any vote the KMT gave as a gift to the DPP with the Yu Chang case, the DPP returned the gift --- all of them --- back to the KMT with the Fubon case. The amount Tsai led is going : 8% --> 11% --> 8%. With 1%= 140 kVotes, 3% means 400,000 votes.

So, under these circumstances, Michael, our original instincts are more accurate than that of DPP's ...

Michael Turton said...

Thanks for these great comments. Have you written a post?

Michael

Taiwan Echo said...

Michael,

I did one in Chinese. Not yet in English. I wanna give it a couple of more days to see the trend go.

Even in the Chinese article I wrote, written 1.5 days ago, it already showed sign of "DPP returning the gift to KMT." How much more the gap will be narrowing? I don't know.

But, it's very hard to convince green supporters, who are now in a hyper exciting state. Quite a significant portion of them I saw on the net denied the falling sign and suggest that the DPP should keep attacking.

Now the DPP already ceased fire on Fubon. But, what the hell, they already closed door to 400,000 potential voters.

I don't believe that Tsai will opt to do things like this, 'cos it just doesn't fit her personality.

It does have the signature of old-style pro-TIers. That worries me -- no matter from what angle we look at it.

Michael Turton said...

I think they can get some of those voters back, but I agree: that they decided to do something this stupid is a bad sign. But at least they realized it was stupid.

One good effect -- it seems the Fubon attack has gotten the KMT to keep pushing its Yu Chang stupidity. So they may cancel each other out. But that is now the best we can hope for.


Michael

Taiwan Echo said...

You know what? As of today, the KMT already ceased fire on Yu Chang, and turned around to sue the DPP and PFP for their accusations against Ma's Fubon case.

And, the DPP ceased fire on the Fubon, and turned around to pick up the Yu Chang case again, with a press conference in which the DPP provided evidence showing the KMT committed two forgeries --- well, we knew that, nothing I didn't mention in your blog.

I am dizzy ....