DPJ policy wonks are decent people and as such lack a quality essential to a successful political career － the ability to believe your own lies. So one of the most painful things to watch had been a DPJ representative trying to pretend that the DPJ was serious about helping out in Afghanistan and was working on a bill but that didn’t matter either way because the DPJ had definitely put forth a firm proposal of its own and besides everything was the LDP’s fault anyway without giving the impression that the DPJ was hopelessly divided on the issue and was reduced to using it purely as a tool in the political game. The introduction of its bill, at this late point in the game under the instigation of party leader Ichirō Ozawa, merely reinforces that impression.
I’m not surprised. After all, Mr. Hatoyama had even referred to prospective shifts in public opinion as the determinant of DPJ decisions on this issue*.
I might have something more to say about the bill when it goes up on the DPJ website. But in the meantime, it looks highly unlikely to me that the bill will have solved any of the objections that were raised against the ideas floated by the DPJ.
Incidentally, all this should have little effect on the Fukuda-Ozawa debate when they face off next month**. The only change will be the addition of a DPJ text, not much of a talking point when you think about it.
* Another demonstration of the DPJ’s lack of dissembling skills.
** The two leaders do not thrive in a public debate format. They are like basketball teams without a good half-court game. Mr. Fukuda collects baskets on putbacks and stolen inbound passes, while Mr. Ozawa relies on two-hand set shots and free throws.