In 2012, John French and Alexandre Fortes wrote in the pages of this journal about Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, and the legacies and challenges of Brazil's Workers’ Party (PT).1 Writing from a moment in which many imagined the future of the left emerging from the “country of the future,” French and Fortes reiterated the sentiment that we were living then “not only in an epoch of changes but in a change of epochs,” in which the historical roadmaps of the past did not hold sway.2 In such a context, for those wishing to understand PT governance, one salient question involved the ways in which the Lula government had broken with the past (11), and one compelling answer evoked Stephane Monclaire's notion that “political life is not above or beyond the day-to-day” (22).

Those ruminations have acquired contorted significance in the tumultuous near-decade since they were...

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