Letter From Athens: SYRIZA’s Circle of Confusion

The first rule of politics: Never Ask For A Vote You’re Going To Lose. That’s why U.S. President Barack Obama wisely backed off asking the Congress to approve his wish to launch an attack on Syria for using chemical weapons to kill thousands of people, mostly women and children. He didn’t have the votes.

That led to Russian President Vladimir Putin also becoming President of the United States and setting foreign policy for Obama, who – like former shameless Greek Prime Ministers George Papandreou and Costas Karamanlis was forced to take a back seat – but that’s another matter.

Major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras, who’s been floundering in his attempt to convince the populace to rise up against Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ coalition government, has been taking a bigger licking than a Timex watch, but he just keeps on ticking although he doesn’t know the time of day.

Tsipras’ tired mantra that Greece should abandon its deal with international lenders putting up $325 billion in two bailouts to prop up the essentially dead Greek economy – the country’s on welfare – is believed by no one except himself and a few advisors who’ve deluded themselves.

He proves it’s easier to complain than govern and so far hasn’t come up with a single idea on how he would find the money to run the country if he’s ever elected, which would be the final death knell for Greece, which is already on life support.

Before he decided to shoot himself in both feet at the same time they were in his mouth when he got the Parliament to debate a motion to censure Samaras – which was doomed to fail and did because Tsipras can’t count and apparently didn’t know the government had the votes – he was already losing control of his disparate collection of Maoists, Trotskyites, neo-Communists, Leftists, anarchists, ecologists and fringe elements.

Tsipras got a big diss from the only noted lawmaker among SYRIZA’s 72 Members of Parliament, 91-year-old WWII hero Manolis Glezos, who, at 19 – along with his friend, the now late Apostolos Santas – sneaked onto the Acropolis in 1941 when the Nazis occupied Athens, took down the Swastika and put up the Greek flag, for which Glezos’ brother was later executed.

Glezos said SYRIZA doesn’t have any idea how it can keep its promises to keep on spending if it ever comes to power. Tsipras said if he ever becomes Prime Minister that he would reject the bailout terms of international lenders that came with harsh austerity measures, re-hire all fired workers, restore salaries and pensions, and cut taxes, a mathematical impossibility.

Glezos, who wasn’t afraid of Nazi machine guns, doesn’t kowtow to the 39-year-old Tsipras, who couldn’t run a hot dog cart. “People ask me where the money will come from, but I am afraid that our answer is not convincing,” said Glezos.

In Samaras’ New Democracy Uber-Capitalist party and that of his coalition partner, the PASOK Anti-Socialists, that kind of insubordination and back talk would lead to an MP being booted from the party, but Tsipras can’t do that to Glezos without being booed off the stage.

When Theodora Tzakri, a PASOK member, voted to support the no-confidence measure SYRIZA brought in a silly attempt to undermine Samaras for sending in riot police to evict fired former members of the closed state broadcaster from its headquarters, she was expelled.

She drew a sharp rebuke from PASOK leader and State Hypocrite Evangelos Venizelos because she had always supported him and went along with the Draconian measures and harsh conditions that are antithetical to the party’s alleged principles.

But even though Greeks are being crushed by the austerity measures that Samaras once opposed, then embraced once he became Prime Minister – and which he now says he opposes even as he vows to keep them coming – Tsipiras hasn’t been able to convince them he’s the man to save Greece.

Even though a number of polls had SYRIZA and New Democracy running neck-and-neck in popularity, they all showed a big majority of those surveyed thought Samaras was far and away the better choice for Premier, another of those curious Greek contradictions that have replaced logic in the country that invented it.

Tsipras has repeatedly called on students at the country’s schools and universities, as well as citizens, to take to the streets and bring down the government. What he obviously hasn’t done yet is convince them that he has an alternative plan for governing the country and the money to bankroll it.

The phony grandstanding ploy to censure Samaras should be the last time anyone even considers taking anything seriously that Tsipras says because he’s just a boy in a man’s world of politics.

A rally called by SYRIZA to mobilize mass protests outside Parliament the night of the censure vote flopped worse than a Honey-Baked Ham franchise in Tel Aviv with only a few thousand die-hard types showing up to wanly complain.

Samaras declared that the government had emerged “much stronger” after the SYRIZA leader made a rookie mistake in calling the vote and that it would now serve out its term until 2016.

By then, the real poll will be called when elections are held and this time Tsipras will lose again because, as Glezos said, the SYRIZA leader couldn’t buy a clue, let alone a vote