Only one thing left to do.

Last night we were up late watching the live satellite feed of the massive demonstrations just now getting underway in Taipei to attempt to depose Taiwan’s current president of ineffectiveness: Chen Shui-Bian.

The issues at hand are numerous real and alleged scandals that have touched far too close to Chen, coupled with complete dissatisfaction from his support base on pushing forward Taiwan’s sovereignty and violent opposition to sovereignty from the KMT and other pro-China parties. It’s a no-win, thankless job, and getting stuck in the controversy of corruption has tipped the scales way over. Everybody wants him out.

Chen had long been a proponent of Taiwan’s sovereignty and standing up to China’s aggression. If he was still true to that agenda, it occurs to me that there is one thing he could do, right now, that would propel Taiwan’s bid further along than anything anyone has done before: Resign.

If he made the smart move to sacrifice his own position and resign, two things would happen. One is that the outspoken nutcase Annette Lu would then become president. She would probably take Taiwan’s bid a hell of a lot farther in two years than Chen has done in six, and the PRC would be up a creek again. The other thing that would happen is that Taiwan would be showing the people across the strait what a real people’s government does when there is dissent. The protests in Taipei remind me of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, except what if the result here was actual real reform? No tanks, no deaths, just the people demanding change and a president stepping down. What message would that send to China, eh? Rise up.

Anyway, my opinion is that a resignation would be an absolutely brilliant final move by Chen, if he was smart enough to do so. My suspicion though is that his pride is going to get in the way and he won’t be able to see the forest for all the trees, and he’ll try to ride out the protests. That would be sad – it’s time for him to move on.