[EDITORIALS]Sing the same old tuneEqually disappointing were the opening speeches of the Grand National Party's leader Suh Chung-won and the Millennium Democrat leader Hahn Hwa-kap at the National Assembly. Devoid of any hint of redemption or apology for the 50 days that the Assembly was held hostage in partisan bickering, the two men delivered tired political rhetoric, singing the same old tune that we all have heard much too often. The investigation of the president's sons and their affairs is a job for prosecutors, not for busy politicians throwing blame at one another.
Mr. Suh called for a special investigation of President Kim and warned that "a serious decision" would be made if the president refused such an investigation. Of course, the seriousness of the scandal has left the whole country outraged and disappointed and, yes, the president is in big part responsible for this. But must that be the only thing on the entire agenda for the National Assembly session? As the leader of the majority party, Mr. Suh failed to present any vision or leadership for the National Assembly.
Mr. Hahn's speech was pathetic to the point that it made the heart bleed. His speech was a series of efforts at shifting the blame of the scandal to the president's staff and the investigative agencies, and trying to keep his party free of that blame. This is the party that chose the man who was the president's chief of staff during the times when the president's sons were at their most corrupt. This was the party that flared up in holier-than-thou rage when the question of the president's son being involved in corruption was first brought up. Ironically, Mr. Hahn is a member of the now fast-fading Donggyo-dong faction, the group of President Kim's closest friends. "I'd have nothing to say even if I had 10 mouths," was the ambiguous comment he gave, but he cannot be free from being blamed for the wrongdoings of the president's sons.
If the party has been left in a precarious position because of the sins of the president, wouldn't the right thing be for members to try to atone for the party along with the president? The negative tone of the speeches in the Assembly presents a very depressing picture of what lies ahead for this country. Will the National Assembly find its way out of this mud fight? Or will it become nothing but a source of worry and burden for the people? Right now, those answers are unclear.