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Pro Roh-Moo-hyun faction must overcome movie 멦he Attorney
JANUARY 02, 2014 01:03  
The movie 밫he Attorney is becoming a tremendous box-office hit. The number of viewers reportedly exceeded 6 million on the 13th day after the movie뭩 release. The pace will likely stay robust in the New Year as well. If the current trend continues to hold, the number of its cumulative viewers is set to soon top 10 million.

The story in the movie begins in the early 1980s when a taxation attorney takes charge of the Burim (Busan Hangnim) case in Busan. The movie features a number of scenes that remind people of the time when the late former President Roh Moo-hyun was serving as attorney. The movie뭩 hit gives politicians a great chance to jump into the bandwagon. Notably, leaders of the broader opposition camp who wish to take advantage of 밨oh Moo-hyun halo effect are making a flurry of positive comments.

People involved in the Burim case claim that 밒t was a fabricated incident of pro-North Korean movement that was made up through torture committed by the Chun Doo-hwan administration. They claim that this incident was recognized as part of the nation뭩 democratization movement. However, some conservative leaders refute such claims by arguing, 밒t is not a fabricated incident of pro-North Korean movement.

This writer has no intention here to debate the factuality of the Burim case, the background of the movie 밫he Attorney. But I cannot afford not to address the way members of the pro-Roh Moo-hyun faction perceive the 밃ttorney fever.

In an interview with a media outlet, Rep. Moon Jae-in, who is the de facto leader of the faction, said, 밫he Republic of Korea뭩 democracy has a long way to go. When comparing with the 1980s when the Burim case occurred, there is little progress made in procedural and political democracy.뵏 On the National Intelligence Service뭩 suspected intervention in the presidential election, he lamented by calling it 밶 kind of plot."

Moon뭩 message is that the situation at present is little different from that of 30 years ago. It complies with the main opposition Democratic Party뭩 political offensive that the Park Geun-hye administration is a non-democratic government. The opposition camp is a 밺emocratization force, and therefore fundamentally, it is staging a framing war of 밺emocracy against anti-democracy. This translates into the equation that 뱓he opposition camp is virtue and the Park administration is vice. This is aged practice of so-called democratization framing used by the opposition camp.

The pro-Roh faction뭩 bid to exploit the Roh fever cannot be criticized in itself. Just like the ruling camp staged Park Chung-hee marketing in the past, as a political group, the pro-Roh faction could utilize the fever as a tool for its political marketing. The Roh fever was the driving force that politically revived the pro-Roh faction. Since its loss in the 2007 presidential election, the pro-Roh faction called itself a 밺oomed group. The pro-Roh faction was able to revive through the 2010 local elections apparently due to the first anniversary of Roh뭩 death. As a result, the pro-Roh faction was able to secure the leadership of the Democratic Party in 2012.

It is paradoxical but the Roh Moo-hyun spirit went missing while the pro-Roh saw its revival. By blindly pursuing the instant gain of 밹oalition of the opposition camp, the faction took the lead in reversing core policies that the Roh administration had pushed for, including the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the construction of a naval base in Jeju. Rep. Moon had criticized rail workers strike as being illegal during the Roh administration, but he switched his stance to support rail workers` strike this time, completely reversing the policy. People around the opposition camp sarcastically say that 밒t is confusing who the original pro-Roh faction, anti-Roh faction, and non-Roh faction are.

In the last presidential election, leaders of the pro-Roh faction chanted aloud 밚et뭩 overcome Roh Moo-hyun. While the fence of the pro-Roh was solid, they would have realized the limitation of its poor expandability of votes. They thoroughly avoided self-innovation and reform, however. Critics can righteously say that they effectively cried 밄ravo in the bed alone at home.

Without doubt, The Attorney뭩 box-office hit will provide another opportunity to the pro-Roh faction. It could also be a crisis at the same time. Ten years can change the shape of mountains and rivers, and three decades is a time long enough to change them three times. Can they afford to keep the Roh Moo-hyun fence some 30 years since the Burim case without having a vision and strategy to establish a 밡ew Roh Moo-hyun?

With sympathy and anger alone, they can never change the world. The pro-Roh faction can survive only when it can overcome the movie 밫he Attorney. Now we have a New Year.

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