Choo is a risk

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Choo is a risk

Is it too much to ask for decorum from the chief of the ruling party? Choo Mi-ae, chairwoman of the Democratic Party (DP), called the splinter liberal People’s Party whiny losers and hoodlums for voting down Kim Yi-su, nominee for the chief justice to the Constitutional Court. The enraged People’s Party refused to table the other top court nomination — Kim Meong-su as the head of the Supreme Court — unless Choo apologizes. It has been only two months since the president’s chief of staff had to get involved to clear the air after Choo created a standoff with the opposition with her fiery comments.

Aside from the fact that she has caused a risk of a first-ever vacuum in the post of chief justice at the Supreme Court, Choo raises serious questions about her eligibility to head the ruling party. She claimed that former Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook was wrongfully indicted and tried when Han was released after completing her prison term. During the height of the impeachment rallies early this year, she raised an unnecessary social scare by arguing that the Blue House was readying to declare martial law.

A ruling party leader should try to untangle political complexities and mediate to find common ground. But Choo does the opposite. She causes confusion and conflict and makes enemies with the opposition. Even her members complain that she is worsening matters for the president and the government. Some even suspect she has other motives for her hyped advocacy of the president.

If Choo cannot contain herself and is incapable of decent politicking, she should surrender her post. She is not fit to run the ruling party in the opposition-majority legislative if she is merely out to pick a fight with the rival camps. She is burdening the president, her party and the people. Her domineering ways are no different from the “past ills” the president has been out to get rid of.

JoongAng Ilbo, Sept. 15, Page 34
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