Not one word of apology
As the Bangkok gubernatorial election approaches, polls continue to show the Pheu Thai candidate in the lead. But there's something indecent about the prospect of a Pheu Thai candidate - any Pheu Thai candidate - winning Bangkok's city hall.
In 2010, to vote for any candidate from a party known to have aided and abetted the red-shirt protest would have been unthinkable. And the party did not only support the red shirts. The two were (and remain) intertwined financially, politically and ideologically. Jatuporn Promphan, a key protest leader, was already a party MP in 2010. Nattawut Saikua, a man who publicly incited his supporters to burn the capital, became a party MP the following year - along with other leaders of the protest.
To add insult to injury, after the fires gutted more than 30 buildings in the capital, the silence from Pheu Thai was deafening. Not one prominent party MP managed to squeeze out a statement of sympathy or support for the city's residents, let alone an apology - something, anything that might indicate the party was made up of halfway-decent human beings who deplored mass arson as a form of political expression.
But there was not one word, not one expression of regret, not one hint of assurance, not one "sorry". Not one word.
Were I a Democrat strategist, I would have created a very simple ad with that very phrase as a tagline: "Those who couldn't muster one word of support, one word of sympathy, one word of kindness when the city was under attack - now claim to care about its residents? It's hypocrisy that shouldn't be rewarded with victory! If they were silent then, they don't deserve a voice now."
"Not one word? Not one vote!"
What's odd is that Bangkokians need to be reminded of this at all. Bangkok's residents are tough, and Thai politics almost Darwinian, so maybe some voters don't mind a little civil strife and arson so long as they also get cheap cars. And when it comes to the candidate Pheu Thai obediently put up on orders from Thaksin Shinawatra, they will have the option of kicking him out as easily as they elect him - if they elect him.
Still, Thaksin must be smiling right now - and for many residents of Thailand's capital, that can't possibly feel good.