There is in the Chamber a fictitious Brazil in which nothing the deputies do is so serious as to justify a punishment, much less impeachment. An inhabitant of this parallel world, Eduardo Bolsonaro has already referred to a deputy as Peppa Pig, the pig in a cartoon; he has already ordered people to put their masks “up their asses”, he has already defended the return of the AI-5 and has just made fun of the torture suffered by Míriam Leitão during the military dictatorship. The Chamber lives with the militia mandate of the president’s son, pretending that it doesn’t exist.
Targeted by new requests for cassation in the Council of Ethics of the Chamber, Eduardo says they want to spend his term on the blade because of “a joke”. It is in this fiction that no soap opera author would subscribe to the unbelievable that the Chamber decided to live. Colleagues have spared Eduardo Bolsonaro before. They will re-file the process now.
The difference between dictatorship and democracy is that in democracy the right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously when the joke is a crime like the apology for torture. As part of the Penal Code, it would result in a messy sanction: three to six months in jail or a fine. Cancellation, accompanied by ineligibility for eight years, would be more appropriate. But the chance of that happening is non-existent.
Unpunished, a militia deputy in the corridors and on the House floor is a character in constant mutation. From embarrassment it becomes a habit, from habit it evolves into a parameter and, when you realize it, nothing else needs to be explained much —from the secret budget to the use of the plenary as a den of thieves— in the Legislature that pretends that nothing happened.
Eduardo Bolsonaro arrived in the Chamber with 1.84 million votes. It was a historic record. The deputy goes to the polls in October. The voter of São Paulo can revoke it. Or he can do like the Chamber, pretending nothing happened. In this case, he will be an accomplice of another militia mandate.