Welcome to Peronism
Por Ignacio Fidanza
Argentina's markets crisis and the struggle with the IMF are the early signs of a transition of power.

The IMF delegation led by Alejandro Werner, IMF director for the Western Hemisphere, just experienced explicit Peronism this week. They had not left the offices of candidate Alberto Fernández yet and he had already accused them of being the ideologues behind Argentina's economic disaster, anticipated a future rejection of their financial program and, as if it was not enough, in some media outlets they were being accused of plotting a coup for an early departure of President Mauricio Macri.

In those 24 hours of fury, while they clarif that they had never asked for the exit of Macri, the combination of these disturbing messages exploded in the markets firing the dollar and the country risk.

It was a well-articulated maneuver that sent a clear message: The tea party with Macri and Dujovne, where they used to discuss the financial program, was over. While he was on it, during the meeting Alberto leaked to the specialists a bomb: He warned them that if they do not make the adjustment more flexible, Argentina could ignore the agreement with the Fund and close a new one with China, as it was revealed by LPO. It was a message for the Fund, but also the White House.

We are in the presence of a fascinating process: The return to power of Peronism. Some analysts are surprised by the complexity and even contradiction of the political reality that Alberto has to lead. Strictly speaking, it would be more surprising to find an orderly Peronism, well structured in the ideological. The many souls that live inside that rich political movement are the hallmark that makes it unique. A pathology or virtue, depending on who looks at it, but without a doubt, its distinctive characteristic.

Which Alberto is the real one? The moderate one who speaks to the powerful economic forces in the summit organized by Clarín? The Alberto who promised to pay the debt and refers affectionately to his friend "Héctor", or the one who, in the last 24 hours, threatened to salt the Earth if the IMF does not play nice? The answer is obvious: Both. That is the nature of Peronism and that is why it is so absurd to compare it to Chavismo.

Macri's problem

But not everything that happens can be explained away by a show of strength, by this warm-up before an inexorable return to power.

Macri also contributes to the current crisis when he chooses the impossible option of traveling on opposing roads. When, in the morning, he sends his minister Frigerio to deactivate the anger of the governors and at night he sends the radicals to attack them.

The president does not quite understand that the communicational cynicism of Chief of Staff Marcos Peña and political advisor Durán Barba, who applaud the dialogue while raising a confrontation, died in the Waterloo of the primary elections. Politics and especially the economy killed the trolls, the big data, in short, the idea that a mix of appropriate intervention in social networks along with large media models can shape and lead society.

Macri got bold with the mobilization of last Saturday, Peña returned to the frontpages and it was also a return for that hemisphere of Cambiemos that bets on polarization, and in the end, on the most rancid anti-Peronism. And the Peronists counterattacked. For a simple reason, at the peak of the previous currency crisis after the primaries, Macri asked Alberto for help, in what is well understood was the beginning of a possible transition. And then he stirred the conflict.

Macri is thus again caught in the false dialectics of those who led him to his current failure and to bring his political strength to the brink of extinction. It is not about surrendering to the Peronists or deepening the division, nor was it true that generating a State policy pact with Peronism at the beginning of his government was to hand over the Government.

This is about his inability to compete electorally in an agreed-upon framework, not to innovate in his attacks against his rivals, so that whoever wins in October, the country transits with the least possible turbulence.

Macri and his inner circle are seen by a lot of political players as people who do not comply with the agreements or rather, who fail to comply when they are no longer convenient to them.

It its now evident that his closest advisors have known how to work a certain natural aversion to Peronism inside the President. Feeding a vindictive and a little paranoid outlook that made Argentina miss a historic opportunity to start a process of convergence and political normalization. Because you can't ask for the understanding while demonizing the other.

But that intrinsic duality of Macri's experience with power is even more dysfunctional today, for the simple reason that there is an unavoidable electoral defeat at bay. 

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