The always interesting B.R. Myers has an interesting essay posted about the role the Lee Myung-bak conservative right played in the impeachment of fellow conservative President Park Geun-hye:
Not until Park Geun-hye’s presidency (2013-2017) did the issue make a strong comeback. Conservatives in the National Assembly were then roughly divisible into a faction loyal to Park and one loyal to her predecessor Lee Myung Bak. Naturally his followers had learned to like the presidential system during his occupancy of the Blue House (2008-2013), only to find it inherently despotic again the moment Park took over. What really worried them was the likelihood that she would take revenge for the “nomination massacres” that had occurred during Lee’s rule, when he had excluded many of her followers from candidacies in parliamentary elections.
Sure enough, there ensued the “nomination massacre” of spring 2016, in which even some of the most popular pro-Lee or “non-Park” politicians were bypassed for nominations in favor of the president’s people. From then on calls for a parliamentary system grew in intensity until the Lee-conservative press broke the story of the Choi Soon-sil scandal in the autumn of 2016.
It was just what many pols had been waiting for: a chance to get the public so angry about the status quo that it would finally sign off on a whole new system of government. Conservatives were confident they could remove Park with left-wing help without losing the presidency altogether. They would simply make the returning hero Ban Ki-moon their candidate while pushing hard for constitutional revision, then trounce Moon in the election. What could go wrong? [B.R. Myers]
Well a lot did go wrong if the Lee Myung-Bak supporters thought they could get Ban Ki-moon elected. He ended up quickly dropping out of the election because of what he said was all the “Fake News” published about him. It probably was all fake news, but if he can’t fire back against lies in the media he clearly did not have what it took to be the President of South Korea. Without a strong candidate the Korean right ended up getting trounced in the election now leaving them in a worse position than if Park remained President.
Speaking of fake news I am still curious to who doctored and planted the tablet PC for the media to find?:
The evidence has turned out to be thinner than was initially believed. The tablet PC on which Choi allegedly edited Park’s Dresden speech had so obviously been tampered with that the court did not consider it in Choi’s trial. It is still unclear how Park’s pressuring of businesses to contribute to this or that national team or foundation differed to a criminal degree from established presidential practices. We have to wait and see, but the recent decision to charge her even with meddling in her own party’s nominations suggests a desperation to find things that will stick. While she may well have deserved impeachment by absolute standards, she was probably less deserving of it than a few of her predecessors.
The planting of the tablet PC is the real scandal which no one in the Korean media seems eager to try and uncover. The finding of the tablet is in my opinion what turned the tide against President Park.
Anyway so what happened after President Moon took power? Well he staffed the Blue House with the same type of people that President Park had around her with hardly a complaint from the media and candlelight protest crowd:
The once bipartisan pretense that removing Park was a non-ideological response to her abuses of power is now upheld only by the right-wing impeachers and the foreign press. Upon his election Moon appointed several Gangnam leftists with records of tax avoidance, real-estate speculation, and the Choi-like pulling of strings on relatives’ behalf. This prompted much use of the crypto-Sinitic compound naero nambul, short for “When I cheat, it’s romance, when others do, it’s adultery.”
I recommend reading the whole essay at the link.