Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PiS's days without Smolensk

Committed readers will recall the ultimately aborted attempt by an over 100,000-strong group to demand a "Day Without Smolensk" as the April 10 plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many others dominated media focus. The "Day" was abandoned after Law and Justice (PiS) politicians began accusing the group of being unpatriotic. That is, PiS used what was a protest against the political usage of Smolensk for political usage.

But PiS has seen the light. It is now reported to have de facto called its own "days with Smolensk." The cranky conservatives reportedly won't mention Smolensk until the one-year anniversary of the crash on April 10. That's days. Not just one measly day without Smolensk.

What's more, PiS has actually referenced issues not dealing with the plane crash in recent days. Yes, no Smolensk. Yes, PiS does actually have ideas that aren't related to it.

PiS will in fact reportedly organise conferences to focus on issues concerning citizens (i.e., how a nefarious network of liberals, leftists and ex-spies is responsible for grandma's tea getting colder faster; kidding). International experts will be invited. These are the Polski Tea Parties I've already referred to.

"PiS is not a party only focused on Smolensk, like they try to force us into being. We will show the public our opinions on various areas of life and point out what was done wrong," PiS member and optimist-in-chief Jaroslaw Zielinski told the conservative daily Rzeczpospolita.

PiS reportedly wants to use the tactics employed to good effect in the 2010 presidential election campaign. Then, Jaroslaw Kaczynski did not mention the crash and instead embraced a moderate message highlighting a new, improved Jaroslaw Kaczynski. It worked. He only barely lost to Bronislaw Komorowski.

But don't worry. The "new, improved" Jaroslaw Kaczynski turned out eventually to be just like the "old, bad" Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Smolensk will thus come back with a vengeance for the one-year anniversary of the crash on April 10. And there's little chance PiS won't use Smolensk in the October general elections as a bludgeon to try to beat its political enemies to a pulp. You can count on it.

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