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Re: Pre-second-round analysis (David Johnson) writes:
 >This is a very good analysis Dan! Would this be the left side or the
 >right side of your brain on display?
 >Thanks for giving such early and useful thought to the fast evolving
 >political situation. 
 >Please give us more of these.
 >One thing struck me was how quickly Yeltsin and Lebed announced their
 >alliance after the election day. It seemed to me that it would have
 >made a better impression if at least a few days of "courtship" had
 >gone by. Such rapid action struck me as possibly exhibiting an
 >unseemly lusting after political success. Better to have waited a bit
 >for some "principled" bargaining. Did not seem the best PR. They both
 >end up appearing as greedy politicians, willing to toss overboard
 >positions and statements made only a few hours before.
 David, on the one hand you compliment me for my analysis and express 
 admiration for how quickly my predictions came true. On the other hand - 
 you do not understand the main fact that made my analysis so successful.
 And this fact is that, in the view of ALL Russian politicians, Zyuganov's 
 victory means the end of democratic elections and of basic freedoms.
 I mean, think about it. Lebed's, Zhirinovsky's, Fedorov's views on many 
 issues are closer to Zyuganov's than Yeltsin's. However, all of them have 
 either endorsed Yeltsin or at least expressed their unwillingness to vote 
 for Zyuganov.
 As I predicted, Lebed was offered Prime Ministership under Zyuganov and a 
 much lesser post under Yeltsin. As I predicted. And, as I predicted, Lebed 
 chose the lesser post with Yeltsin!
 And you accuse Lebed of "exhibiting an unseemly lusting after political 
 Don't you get it? If Lebed had joined Zyuganov, the two of them would have 
 had a 90% chance of winning in the second round. And Lebed would have 
 become a Prime Minister. 
 But Lebed chose Yeltsin and a much less prestigeous post. Is it REALLY
 "exhibiting an unseemly lusting after political success"? Or is it a 
 principled short-term sacrifice on the part of Lebed for the sake of his 
 country's prosperity and democracy?
 Yes, I did predict that what would motivate Lebed's decision to go with 
 Yeltsin is the realization that if Zyuganov comes to power and makes Lebed 
 his Prime Minister, there will be no more Presidential elections and 
 Lebed will be forced into retirement and oblivion in 2 or 3 years. But 
 don't you get what this all means?!!!!
 Look, you have been flooding the Usenet and NY Times and Washington Post 
 and probably all other US media with stories how undemocratic 
 Yeltsin is, how wonderful Zyuganov is, how all these negative stories 
 about Zyuganov were part of joint Russian-US media conspiracy against 
 that in reality Zyuganov is a true democrat, much more so than Yeltsin, 
 and that only people, brainwashed by the media, do not see Zyuganov's 
 And here we have hard-core Russian politicians from Lebed to Yavlinsky to 
 Fedorov to Zhirinovsky (who said that the people should vote for him and 
 not Zyuganov becasue he, Zhiri, is "the lesser of two evils") all making 
 their political choices based on the same belief: that Zyuganov is the 
 arch-enemy of democracy. 
 Look, David, you sit here in US and your fate will not change regardless 
 who wins the Russian elections. I bet that your scientific curiosity 
 spurs your desire to see if Russia will survive the second Communist 
 experiment. (I suspect you are a Communist idealist and want to see other 
 people experimented upon for yuor Communist ideals and scientific curiosity). 
 You have little to gain or lose in the Russian elections. Thus, you feel no 
 responsibilty for its outcome.