As he usually does on Fridays, Minister Luís Roberto Barroso posted on Twitter a triad of tips for his followers. He nudged Bolsonaro, who tends to grow thick whenever he encounters a more refined irony than his own.
To listen, the president of the Superior Electoral Court recommended a song sung by Waldick Soriano (1933-2008): “Passion of a Man”, which many know as “The Letter”.
It was an allusion to the surrender letter that Bolsonaro outsourced to Michel Temer to inform the nation that he had “no intention of attacking any of the Powers” with the undemocratic outbreak of the 7 September acts.
To reflect, the magistrate quoted a phrase from a Holocaust survivor, Italian author Primo Levi (1919-1987): “Each era has its own fascism.” It was as if Barroso wanted to link Bolsonaro’s crazy rhetoric to Mussolini, a kind of dean of political obscurantism based on the principle that the rifle is worth more than the beans.
To read, Barroso recommended the book “My Stories of Others”. In it, writer and journalist Zuenir Ventura writes about people with whom he lived. Among them, Genésio Ferreira da Silva, the witness to the murder of the protector of the Amazon rainforest Chico Mendes, whom he took in his home from 13 to 21 years old, after meeting him while covering the case in Acre.
Not by chance, one of the captain’s glass heels is his dislike of preserving the Amazon. In an interview given at the dawn of the Bolsonaro administration, then anti-environment minister Ricardo Salles declared that Chico Mendes was of no importance.
Salles left the government by the back door after being hung upside down in the headlines as a protagonist in an inquiry in which he was accused of protecting loggers in a scheme to illegally export logs to the United States. Ironically, the investigation was opened by Alexandre de Moraes, the “scoundrel” of the Supreme Court.
Written by the duo Milionário and José Rico, the song that Barroso sprinkled on Twitter contains an emblematic stanza. The verses are reproduced below:
friend i wanted to be present
to see what she feels
when someone speaks on my behalf
I don’t know if she loves me
I just know she mistreats
a poor man’s heart
The day before, Bolsonaro had expressed his intention in his weekly live on Thursdays to talk to his enemies, including Barroso, “even though today he gave me a hard time.” The president was referring to a speech the magistrate had given at the TSE on Thursday morning to counter the president’s baseless attacks on electronic voting machines.
“All the good people know that there was no fraud and who is the faker in this story,” Barroso had said. “When failure knocks at the door, culprits must be found.” In his own way, Bolsonaro mocked Barroso’s announcement about the creation of a commission to improve the transparency and security of the electronic electoral system.
“If he announces that he is announcing new protective measures at the polls, it is because they have a loophole,” stated the president on live. “It’s because, Barroso, they are penetrable. Do you understand, Barroso? Minister Barroso, do you understand? The urns are penetrable, people can penetrate them.”
In the analogy insinuated in the verses of the song immortalized by the voice of Waldick Soriano, Barroso would be scandalized if he could “be present” to witness the moments when Bolsonaro mentions his name in the intimacy of Alvorada. The minister seems not to ignore that his aversion to the printed vote sharpens the president’s bad slaps, inspiring expressions of base slang. The president says things that, if exposed in the window, would mistreat “the heart of a poor man.”