Cristina strips him naked, Macri shaves him
In an image of high hairdressing – art and science with which he has built his pedestal – Javier Milei walks towards the forum, while Cristina undresses him and Macri waxes him. Reality clears the drafts of the new government. Milei seems to find a way to divide responsibilities among the forces vying to help him. Their weakness is attractive and everyone rushes to offer their coat. He is currently rehearsing to distribute roles to start his administration: for Peronism the governability, and for Macrism the management.
He celebrates Cristina de Kirchner's signal of support for him with the candidates for the presidencies of the chambers. At the same time, Milei met again with Mauricio Macri in a high-ranking meeting – it happened on the 8th floor, of a home whose owner I don't want to remember, let him tell you – with some future officials of the new cabinet. They do not choose discreet settings but places under the public gaze, in full view of ushers, doormen and neighbors, of which there are many. They were accompanied by former Macri officials who will join the economy area.
The Preferential Option for Peronism
Peronism assures him the votes he needs in the chambers to start with some tone, after an election that makes him one of the weakest presidents in history, comparable to Arturo Illia and Néstor Kirchner, due to the poor support of his own votes: 29.99%. That fantasy that the vote in the runoff counts feeds Cristina's chicane of giving her the presidencies of the chambers.
The message carried by the transitional trafficker of the Armenian line – Eduardo Valdés – lays Milei bare in his smallness. Appoint the presidents of the chambers, but let them be yours, not allies, that is, neither Ritondo, nor Pichetto nor Randazzo. They deny that there are secret clauses, but in this push Peronism is more united than ever. It's not a time for fights, you have to recover from defeat and this pact with Milei helps a lot. They do him a favor, but it leaves the new president naked and breaks the political agreement between Milei and Together for Change.
If he accepted Ritondo, he would bring deputies from that bloc closer to Milei, who is now at their mercy. Now its legislators are forced to reach an understanding with a Peronist bloc of 105 deputies that lists two possible leaders. One is Máximo Kirchner, the other is Gustavo Bordet. They are going to try to put an end to the secular fight between the Peronism of the AMBA and the Peronism of the interior, which contributes to the outgoing governor of Entre Ríos.
Macri believes that Peronism no longer exists, Milei does
Macri, who has lists of possible officials, completes the grid in which Milei also has notable shortcomings, such as management. He is taking positions, even those that have the least sympathy for him, such as Patricia Bullrich.
He believes that he must help Milei so that the Cambiemos program, which Milei made his own in form and substance, does not fail. If that happens, the night will come for everyone and there will be an ebb of Peronism. Milei snubs him when he doesn't give him the areas that Mauricio could have wanted, although he is generous with the rest. But let them come one by one, without uniforms.
This wiggling of names serves Milei to send signals inwards: this Sunday he confirmed Luis Petri for Defense. There are things that radicals don't do and it's something that defines them, even if it was in the negative way. It is an insurance against the advances of the revisionists of the military policy of the previous governments. With his mere presence, he puts a stop to any delusion of La Biela – the putative seat of the new government, which won the stop from Tabac, the cenacle of Creole political sensationalism.
He is convinced of Guillermo Francos' theory that governability is going to be given to Peronism and not Cambiemos. An unpalatable pill for Mauricio, who believes that Peronism no longer exists. But it adapts, like the rest of society, to the experiment of building a government with a president without power. Civil society is powerful in Argentina, it can even do without the existence of a government – today there is almost none. You can expect a president with no team, no party, no territory, no governors or legislators. They drop the atomic bomb on Argentina and it bounces back.
For Sigismund, who is not Freud
At this point, it is worth putting the personal characteristics of the characters on the table. A Spanish saying says that "one madman makes a hundred." It means that certain strange personalities, as if on fire, exert an attraction on others of the same species, as if it were an irresistible magnet, as if they needed each other, and fed on the same fire.
If this were the case, the words of Sigismund are valid, who is not Freud, but the character of Life is a Dream, who plays on the unreality of power and the boundaries between reason and dream: "Me in sumptuous palaces? / Me between fabrics and brocades? / Am I surrounded by servants/so lucid and spirited? (...) To say that I dream is deception; / I know that I am awake. / Am I not Sigismund? / Give me, heavens, disappointment."
Milei still pinches herself wondering, rightly, how her dream came true. Never has anyone achieved so much with so little.
This Saturday, the Teatro Regio de Chacarita bid farewell to the staging of this classic by Calderón de la Barca in the exquisite version by the British Declan Donnellan. Our representatives would have learned a lesson if they had seen it. He leaves very realpolitik reflections, such as the one he recalls: "In such battles / those who conquer are loyal, / the vanquished are traitors."
"The monkey is more Menem than you" (Menem)
For those who do not believe that Milei, as Ramón Puerta says, is more Peronist than Massa, or that the runoff was an internal contest between Menem's Peronism and Cristinista Peronism, the phrase that Zulemita attributes to her father, Carlos Menem, is enough as proof. When Martín Menem took Milei to meet, the former president was able to tell his people: "The monkey is more Menem than you." And if that's not enough, pay attention to the agenda of Victoria Villarruel, who this past week went to the Senate and met with the Peronist blocs – the "homeless," who don't have their own governor in their provinces — and with the PRO. But he ignored those of the Radical Civic Union.
The new president's choice of some agreement with the tribes of Peronism has an elementary reason, almost of political physics. Peronism has 105 deputies and boasts of reaching 39 senators. If Milei's force adds its legislators, it can comfortably sit down to talk about the enactment of laws and other decisions that need legislative support more comfortably than dealing with the web of the remnants that remain of Together for Change.
Peronism managed to destroy Cambiemos
Cristina took the lead with the announcement that the presidency of the chambers corresponds to Milei's party because she won the elections. It's a chicane, because the number that counts for these precedences are those of the first round. The runoff is a penalty shootout. In the first round, the new congress was decided, and that is the x-ray that expresses what each one is worth: Peronism got 37 points; Milei couldn't break the 30-point ceiling; and Juntos por el Cambio went to the sidelines.
Cristina's argument is that a president cannot have a speaker of the house from another party in the line of succession. The ultimate goal is to deny Together for Change an important positioning. It completes the great move of Peronism in these elections: to destroy Cambiemos as the force that took them off the field in the last decade. He governed with Macri for four years, and for the other four years he controlled Congress. The defeat of Sergio Massa was the end of that history of declines of Peronism, which starts this cycle with only 7 governorships (the 8th is of a partner, the radicaloid Gerardo Zamora). Peronism's sponsorship of Milei in the PASO and in the first round, with structure, funds, candidates, oversight, etc., achieved the objective.
Now he has to succeed in deepening the divisions of what was Cambiemos, which is waging a free-for-all fight over the remains of the fuselage. The defeat is a good one if the result is the disappearance of Cambiemos, which compromises the non-Peronist electorate, which held 8% of the vote for 42 years. Now, that vote of the middle sectors will have to rebuild a new beloved who represents them. The commitment of this electorate to Milei is episodic, they had no candidate and they supported him to beat Massa.
Cristina maintained, once again, the position of handing over the presidency of the chambers to the new ruling party, in contradiction with the wishes of Peronism to assert its first minority. In 2015 he endorsed the names of Federico Pinedo as provisional president of the Senate and Emilio Monzó in the Chamber of Deputies. Those two names mattered, which the rest of Peronism accepted as drinkable. When they had to be renewed in 2017, Cristina had the same idea.
This time Peronism is frowning again, but it is facing a government like Milei's, which has no one nearby who does not have a commitment to Peronism. Either they are the veteromenemists with the surname Menem or compatible, including Patricia Bullrich, who began her career as a Menem supporter in the 90s against the grossism of the Capital. Or the presence of Guillermo Francos, who is an official of this departing government, in its cast. Maybe there's snarling. At Tuesday's meeting of Peronist governors at the Banco Provincia, Gildo Insfrán, governor of Formosa and president of the PJ Congress, grumbled. They put a local adversary, Francisco Paoltroni, senator for the minority, as provisional president of the Senate, a thorn in the side. They promise to compensate him (and José Mayans, another critic of this Christian support) with the limits they will put on him in the arming of the Senate's leadership.
Like Cecilia, but without Massa or block
In the House of Representatives, the operation of putting Martín Menem in place is cleaner. They displace him Cristian Ritondo, who has his own career and dispels that fantasy of a day, which was the nomination of Florencio Randazzo. He has no political experience and will be a delegate of outside forces. Cecilia Moreau was already there, but she had Massa and an important bloc behind her, the first minority. Ritondo could add deputies, Randazzo governors, but Peronism gives them more than 100 friends, for a day, of course. It is better not to offend one or the other.
This Menem has no political value, except for the boost that his cousin Lule Menem can give him, who does have an interest in politics. Martín is a businessman who embodies in mileism the resentment against the advances of Macrismo. As a Menem supporter, he understands that gastronomy is the continuation of politics by other means: never has so much politics been done in meals as with Menemism.
He enabled his participation in the grill "El estanciero", in the Las Cañitas neighborhood, to host the meals of the resistance against the yellow advance. He achieved the goal with his nomination. It will have 38 deputies. In the House, the rules say that the presidency is elected by a simple "plurality of votes." Even if the other blocs abstain, Martín is left with his own votes, alone and alone.