The reverberations of Mario Draghi ending up in the Palazzo Chigi are falling heavily on the majority that supported the Conte government and, after the implosion of the M5S, are striking at the heart of the PD with the resignation of Zingaretti.
While on the surface his gesture might come like a bolt of lightning from a cloudy sky, the words used by the secretary to justify his stepping down offer the rawest and most eloquent description of what is now the leadership group of the PD. But also of the sidereal distance that separates it from the dramatic and tragic condition of the country, from the popular classes that it should theoretically represent.
Zingaretti doesn’t shy away from the problems, and uses very clear concepts and terms: “daily guerrilla warfare,” “shameful polemics over government seats.” Thus uncovering what lies under the rug of a facade of unanimity. And more: if this “I’m out” is only a tactical move to put his opponents against the wall and to re-launch his candidacy for secretary at the next national assembly, the price of this unveiling is, however, very high.
It is a disheartening spectacle for the poor PD voter, already reduced to the confines of the restricted traffic zone in the center of large cities. And it is especially so at this time, with the Draghi government that has had the effect of rejuvenating the right wing, skilled in playing the government-opposition double game.
And, more generally, it is an objective representation of the shift to the right of the political axis: for having given new wind in the sails to Salvini, Meloni and Berlusconi, as well as for its distinct technocratic nature, making itself the perfect water carrier for those whose politics bends towards fascism.
Beneath the “text” addressed to public opinion, Draghi’s message in the subtext is clear: do you see in what conditions the parties are? Don’t worry, now we are here, the best, most prepared and faithful servants of the state. Of course, adherents of the infamous slogan of being “neither right nor left.”
The quagmire of the PD is the true fruit of what it has been able to sow in recent years, the product of the long crisis precipitated after the electoral defeat of 2018, when the Democratic Party succeeded in the feat of shrinking down to its lowest point in history.
But Zingaretti’s secretariat, instead of the base for a reconstruction, has functioned as an umbrella under which to shelter from the rubble left behind by Renzi. One of those umbrellas which spins around at every gust of wind: from “never with the M5S” to the government with the Five Stars; from “never into government without elections” to a coalition of national emergency, delivered down to the nation straight from the President’s palace.
It was uncertain, vacillating and immediately crippled by the split set up by Renzi, Riyadh’s favorite politician, who also controlled the parliamentary groups. And, as if that were not enough, grappling with the structural degeneration of currents of local small-time party bosses, a challenge made more difficult by the new entry of Stefano Bonaccini, the Democrat with Lega tendencies who is already angling for the top spot, oblivious to the fact that if there hadn’t been the Sardines to make him win the battle against Salvini, he would now be one of many regional councilors.
Zingaretti did well to resign, albeit in a questionable manner, announcing such an important choice on Facebook.
But perhaps he would have done better to accept the challenge of the Congress by putting the vexed question of the identity of the PD front and center. An identity undermined at the root since its birth, but which clamorously came to the surface with the primaries of 2013, a favor granted to Renzi, and then with the exploit of the European elections of 2014.
On the contrary, having pushed back the reckoning, postponing it until after the local elections, he has given life to the infernal internal struggle, forcing him to defend himself from the unseemly daily guerrilla warfare, which he rightly denounces as “shameful.”
Also because challenging his opponents to a discussion at the Congress would have brought out Renzi’s people, now renamed “reformists,” so—one might speculate—he would have had to fight them with a clear and decisive placement to the left, with consequent fallout on alliances. This would have been an exposed flank of his detractors. Now that the talk of the party’s majoritarian vocation and imaginary bipartisanship is over, it remains unclear what alternative they would put in the field, compared to the majority built with the Conte government.
The fact is that, with the vertical and horizontal disintegration of the M5S and the clash at the top of the PD, we can say with good reason that there is great disorder on the center-left, and the situation is not great.
Not at all.
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