SBY, Sox, etc.

We forgot to mention yesterday that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took his oath of office as the first directly-elected president of Indonesia. The news around here is good. People are attempting to be optimistic about his chances to foster real change in the Indonesian economy and society. SBY has already, though, called on Indonesians to be patient, not to expect too much out of him in his first 100 days. Of course, he’s right, but it brings the real problem with SBY’s presidency to the forefront. SBY is a former general, and he rose to power under Suharto. He ran without a sound policy platform in a party he created himself only six months ago when he announced his candidacy. The Indonesian people face the same “delegation problem” that any democracy faces: how can you be sure that the person to whom you are delegating responsibility is going to use his powers for good?

In other news, we are simply shocked by the outcome of the Sox-Yankees series. Shocked, but thrilled. We admit that we are not dyed-in-the-wool Sox fans like some of our friends, but if we can be ABB then we can be ABY too. Plus, seven years of living in New England has inserted itself into my (tp) blood. JM just likes rooting for the underdogs.

Tonight the Freedom Institute is hosting Diskusi Ramadhan, or “Ramadhan Discussions.” It is a chance for all the folks affiliated with the Freedom Institute to meet, break their fast together, and discuss some politics. Tonight we are going to be discussing Fareed Zakaria’s “Islam, Democracy, and Constitutional Liberalism,” a paper which recently appeared in Political Science Quarterly. Fareed is known as a public intellectual and pop-academic, and he is an expert on the Middle East, Islam, and politics. I (tp still) tend to find his arguments more well-written than compelling, and I have a couple of comments that I want to raise. We will take part in the discussion and be back with a breakdown tomorrow, assuming that we understand what they’re talking about.

Comments 8

  1. Josh October 21, 2004

    I’m ABB: Anybody But Boston. So let’s go NL!
    I read a story about SBY approvingly quoting Keynes and Hayek, so that’s a good sign, right?

  2. Tom October 22, 2004

    Why do people dislike Boston? I just don’t get it. It’s not like they’ve been taking away other peoples’ championships.
    SBY is, I believe, an opportunist, like every other politician. The fact that he quotes Keynes and Hayek–I’m not sure if he was pointing out contradictions or what–means that he’s well-read, not that he’s capable of making a big difference in a massively corrupt government. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

  3. Jeff October 22, 2004

    Tom, to clear up an earlier point, I am a Yankees fan, but not so much because of geography as heredity. My dad was a fan even before my folks moved north, I believe, and I started watching in the 70s in the era of Billy Martin, when the Yanks won the series a couple of times. My five years in Providence did not convert me away, and then the good years of the late 90s gave me hope about passing this love along to my own progeny.
    Not knowing what company I am keeping here on your blog, I want to be transparent about the fact that I was neither properly schooled nor rigorously tested in Yankees history and statistics (where was No Fan Left Behind?) and so I’m not sure I am worthy to claim the mantle (no pun) of “Yankees Fan.” Last night hurt, if that’s worth anything.
    Sam was seven and Joe was only four when the Yanks won the subway series in 2000, so it’s been a little frustrating for them. They remember the losses to the Diamondbacks and the Marlins. If he had any choice in the matter, Joe might be a Cubbies fan.
    But I don’t hate the Red Sox.
    No, actually, after last night, I do hate them. Really.
    Julie, if you like to root for the underdog, stick with the Sox.
    P.S. Just as I was writing I saw that you’ve got the Cards to contend with.

  4. Tom October 22, 2004

    Hey Jeff– As a mildly-committed Red Sox fan, I must say that I have to feel sorry for you. Your boys are still young, and I’m sure, if history is any guide, that the Yankees will continue to do better in the long run.

  5. Josh October 23, 2004

    “Why do people dislike Boston?”
    The constant narcissistic whining about the ‘curse’ is really annoying.

  6. Tom October 23, 2004

    I guess that could be annoying. You do realize that rooting against them prolongs it, right?
    Among the real Sox fans I’ve talked to, I never hear anything about the curse. I only hear about the curse from major news media and sports radio. And Yankee fans.
    I guess what I wonder is why Yankees fans hate the Sox so much. After being on top for sooooo long, you think they’d just start to pity them.

  7. Josh October 24, 2004

    If the Sox win, the stories about the Curse just change, they don’t end.
    I think Yankees fans hate the Sox because you could say ‘Why not just pity them’ about the fans of any other team for Yanks fans. You gotta hate someone, might as well be those massholes.

  8. Tom October 25, 2004

    I guess I can see a point about hating the Sox if you’re a Yankees fan because it’s just someone to hate. But my lord, you’d think that the type of people who bitch about the curse–mostly Yankees fans and sportscasters–would realize that whatever the curse is, it’s things that benefit the Yanks. Babe Ruth and all.
    And please. Hating the Sox because sportscasters bother you by the curse is dumb. It’s not like hating Nebraska, who deserve to be nuked. The Sox don’t do anything except for perennially lose. Trust me, the “end of the curse” will be big news for a week or so if it happens, and then you’ll get spots of it at the beginning of next year, then it’s over. If the Sox lose, the curse babble goes on FOREVER. Sportscasters will milk it until I don’t know when.

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