Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In the News

Well, not in ours...

Pince Andrew made some remarks critical of Bush ten days before he is supposed to leave on a trade mission to the US. They have caused quite stir in the UK. Here are a couple of them:

"[There have been] occasions when people in the UK would wish that those in responsible positions in the US might listen and learn from our experiences."

"why didn't anyone listen to what was said and the advice that was given?" [in reference to Bush's (non-existent) post-war Iraq strategy]

Seriously though, this stuff caused a fuss? First of all, those are comments most Americans would agree with let alone Britons, a majority of whom never supported the war to begin with. The whole business is so painfully English. No one really disagrees with what he said, but is the principle of it so there has to be some sort of half-hearted uproar.

What is even better is how the government emphasized the impropriety of his actions:

"The remarks are not just unhelpful but the timing could not be much worse as the Super Tuesday primaries unfold."

That bit just seems to be pompously English to me. Now, I read British papers. They are quite well written and have a more international slant to them than American ones do. That being said, even if Andrew had said Hillary Clinton was a witch and he had seen her luring children into her candy house and gobble them up, I don not think it would have had the slightest effect on Super Tuesday. That is A.) because people who like Hillary know that about her already and think that is the sort of strong leadership America needs right now (if you don't already know my political leanings now would be a fun time to guess) and B.) because nobody in America cares what people outside the country think/say about our leaders or are even internationally oriented enough to notice something like this.

America's lack of real interest in the abroad does concern me, but those particular comments from the government source amused me because they make it sounds like the opinion of a minor British royal could have had a determinative effect on Super Duper Fat Tuesday and/or plunged the US into a civil war. Yes I know, figureheads are supposed to be neutral and the like, but really Andrew has a long ways to go if he is ever going to live up to his father's ability by just opening his mouth to blow diplomacy out of the water like an a-bomb going off in a kiddie pool (yes, I will miss him).

In recent memory, the only time I can remember people in the UK having an impact on a US election was the last presidential one when the Daily Mail was having readers write to undecided voters in Ohio to try and get them not to vote for Bush. The problem with that is that the list they had was not of undecided voters, but of people who hadn't voted recently. Now if there is one thing Americans like it is being told by their former colonial masters (sorry, but the revolution is still a big part if our national mythology) it is how to vote. Shockingly, a great many of the people who received the letters went to go and vote for Bush just because of the letters.

This concludes my observational rant.

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