AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about the reaction to the unprecedented midnight ceremony in the president's residence last night handing over power to Calderon?
JOHN GIBLER: Initially, shock and laughter....people pretty much saw it as a gesture of the weakened legitimacy of the transfer of power.
DAVID BROOKS (not the NYT mook): Vicente Fox, the outgoing president, had to go to pray at the Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe and then returned at midnight for a private ceremony with no public and no popular participation in the fortress of the Mexican White House...
Felipe Calderon's party, the parliamentarians of that party, the congressmen, were terrified that Lopez Obrador’s party, the PRD, were going to take over the podium and that way make it impossible for Felipe Calderon to come in this morning and take the oath and whatever, so they rushed the podium.
AMY GOODMAN: The PAN.
DAVID BROOKS: The PAN did. And so the PAN has now taken over the podium for the last three days to make sure that there’s a little passageway where Felipe Calderon can come in. And so they’ve all stayed overnight. Two nights ago, they started singing classic Mexican songs in the middle of the night. There was romances going on. People were sleeping there, all holding their positions,
No question but the nervous system of nationhood goes into high alert at synapses of transfer. There's a clear unstated awareness - unstated in the US, normally, anyway -- that power will be, for a moment, surrendered, and therefore, before it is assumed, will literally be nowhere, invested in no one human being. Semiotic shockwaves pulse down mediaganglia into the fingertips of even the youngest of the assembled populace. It -- this moment in which the people actually/legally are the only 600-million-handed legitimate possessor of power -- doesn't manifest in some normal way, not surprising since it is a ghost, a
golem which during that tense interim is all there is, op cit
, vide supra
the Constitution -- the commentator will often say something about how, unlike in the rest of the bloody world, here the tradition of handing over the reins of government at the behest of the will of the people has been unbroken for over 200 years and this is nothing to sneeze at. There is a suspension of breath, a lethal mystery occuring, a shadow passing as just at this moment power does not reside, it's an open hose shooting stars into the night, snapping battalions deployed across the commonwealth to attention (but attending to what?), abhoring a vacuum that is never natural we feel power run into the only place it can run, into the props: the podium, the flag, tie-pin, cufflinks, dark suits, back-up dudes with serious phones. Were the successor to show up in whites with an ascot, or a turban, the transition quite possibly could hit a speedbump from which it would never recover, whether or not the chosen new leader had had to negotiate a path formed by a human chain of lovers and cigars, human love centipedes dreaming of golden positions besieging the props until the magic words are duly oathed, mouthed, mimed, with mows and grimaces worthy of Iwo Jima until the power slips off of the old dime splat onto the new, until which time may the Virgen
keep us children of the enlightenment safe oremus Ave Maria y Quetzalcoatl .