In the driving rain López Obrador told supporters not to accept the decision of the tribunal and vowed to continue the demonstrations.

“They supported the delinquent that stole the presidential election,” López Obrador said. He also said the tribunal made a “political decision, not a judicial one.”

López Obrador, of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, had demanded a full recount and has said that he would not accept the results of the partial recount. He also has said he plans to declare himself the president of Mexico, regardless of the tribunal’s decision. ~The Washington Post

You have already heard all the serious commentators tisk-tisking at Lopez Obrador for his lack of respect for the results of the democratic process, the need for electoral victories to be recognised by all parties for the integrity of the system, and so on and so forth.  But if people respected electoral outcomes, where would Yushchenko and his Ukrainian nationalists be now?  It doesn’t seem fair that illegal antics and street protests shouldn’t get you something for your trouble.  There should at least be some kind of consolation prize–like being made governor of Chiapas! 

I think the main reason Lopez Obrador did not win massive Western aid and propaganda support wasn’t that he was a member of Mexico’s leftist party or that he is more hostile to Washington, but because he did not have a colour scheme and enough impressive music concerts.  The two colours of green and red from the Mexican flag would have been very festive, and would have filled American onlookers with a peaceful feeling of Christmastime.  In New Mexico, the Green and Red Revolution could have found handy expression in chile roasting events and giant feasts of homemade New Mexican food; Gov. Richardson would probably had gone down to mediate the electoral dispute himself.  But Lopez Obrador screwed up.  He didn’t know that street protests now need to have a theme and a PR label–simple political resentment and angst is so 1960s.      

So let us take a moment to celebrate the fact that we have a PRD myth of a stolen election so soon after the Democratic myth of a stolen election.  This will help to create solidarity and understanding between our two countries, as almost everyone on either side of the border, regardless of political affinities, will have someone on the other side with whom he can identify.  Republicans and PAN men can laugh heartily at wild conspiracy theories, and Democrats and the PRD can simmer and bubble in their stew of bitterness.  The rest of us can sit back and enjoy the entertainment of such a ridiculous system for selecting a head of state. 

And, really, we should be willing to learn from our Mexican neighbours.  When Lopez Obrador finally does declare himself President, some might consider this to be in poor form or even possibly illegal, but I think he is just taking party politics to their logical conclusion.  So often we hear that a President is a President “of all the people,” but we know this isn’t really true, so Lopez Obrador has come up with the obvious solution: simply have another president to cover everyone not really represented by the winner.  Before you know it, we could have a slogan that would make the Kingfish himself proud: “Every man a President.”  It is not as poetic, but if modern presidents are anything to go by this is a much better deal for the average Joe than being a measly king. 

This dual presidency could create some problems when it comes time to organise governments, execute laws or direct the military, but I’m sure that the two presidents will sort everything out amicably, just as so many other rivals for control of the Mexican government have over the last two centuries.  Perhaps it will encourage us to dust off the New Jersey Plan and show the Mexicans up by having the three Presidents suggested by William Paterson.  So, thank you, Manuel, for showing us the way.