It’s the singer, not the songPresident Roh Moo-hyun had a news conference with journalists from Internet media outlets and it was unimpressive. As he only has one year left in his term, people expect to see that he has matured. However, his infantile obstinancy persists in crucial areas.
He asked reporters to tell him why a constitutional amendment is a bad idea when some 60 percent of the people say it is required. The reporters remained silent. The president gained confidence and repeated his arguments for a constitutional revision. He doesn’t seem to realize that even those who think a four-year two-term presidency is better than one with a five-year single-term oppose his cherished amendment. In fact the same policy can produce different reactions depending upon the intentions of the person who proposes it. An invitation to dinner is charming when it’s given by a friend, but it’s terrifying when it comes from Hannibal Lecter.
President Roh’s clouded reputation is built on his violation of the Constitution over his propsal to transfer the capital and his request for a vote of confidence that was not even stipulated in the Constitution. And he has threatened to step down on a bewildering number of occasions.
A constitutional amendment seems unattractive because a president who no longer commands respect is its advocate. After enduring Mr. Roh’s misrule, many believe that the person who occupies the presidency is more important that the institutional rules.
The president offered reporters some lame excuses for the casual rhetoric he has recently thrown around. The president said he asked his office to make a list of his lingusitic blunders. He said that, in their proper context, his words were not problematic. He explained that he talked casually because he wanted to become a friendly president. If so, he does not respect the people, who want their leader to talk and behave with dignity appropriate to the position.
When asked about what he believes to be important characteristics required for the next president he answered that he hoped someone who knows politics will be elected. We wonder if he thinks of himself as someone who knows politics. After all, he proposed a grand coalition out of the blue, throwing the country into chaos. He caused instability by threatening to retire so often that his words lost all value. It would be helpful if he finally achieved some maturity during his last year in office, but it seems more likely that Dr. Lecter will become a vegetarian.