Monday, September 12, 2005

Ill Wind May not Blow to the Whitehouse

While cruising around the blogosphere this weekend, I came across this blog, which is usually about Northern Ireland politics, but this post addresses the latest news in America. I think it is worth reprinting in full. It comes from this site here.

By Newton Emerson:

As the full horror of Hurricane Katrina sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if this is the end of George Bush's presidency. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that every copy of the US Constitution was destroyed in the storm. Otherwise President Bush will remain in office until noon on January 20th, 2009, as required by the 20th Amendment, after which he is barred from seeking a third term anyway under the 22nd Amendment.


As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the entire political agenda of George Bush's second term will not still be damaged in some terribly satisfying way.
The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that the entire political agenda of George Bush's second term consists of repealing the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, with a clear Republican majority in both Houses of Congress, he can carry on doing pretty much whatever he likes.


As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if the Republican Party itself will now suffer a setback at the congressional mid-term elections next November.
The answer is almost certainly yes, provided that people outside the disaster zone punish their local representatives for events elsewhere a year previously, both beyond their control and outside their remit, while people inside the disaster zone reward their local representatives for an ongoing calamity they were supposed to prevent. Otherwise, the Democratic Party will suffer a setback at the next congressional election.


As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if an official inquiry will shift the blame for poor planning and inadequate flood defences on to the White House. The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody admits that emergency planning is largely the responsibility of city and state agencies, and nobody notices that the main levee which broke was the only levee recently modernised with federal funds. Otherwise, an official inquiry will pin most of the blame on the notoriously corrupt and incompetent local governments of New Orleans and Louisiana.


As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.
The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.


As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnist are asking how a civilized city can descend into anarchy.
The answer is that only a civilised city can descend into anarchy.


As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should be held responsible for the terrible poverty in the southern states revealed by the flooding.
The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody holds Bill Clinton responsible for making Mississippi the poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as president, or for making Arkansas the second-poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as governor. Otherwise, people might suspect that it is a bit more complicated than that.


As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should not be concerned by accusations of racism against the federal government.
The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody remembers that Jesse Jackson once called New York "Hymietown" and everybody thinks Condoleezza Rice went shopping for shoes when the hurricane struck because she cannot stand black people.
Otherwise sensible Americans of all races will be more concerned by trite, cynical and dangerous political opportunism.


As the full horror of that sinks in, this columnist is simply glad that everybody cares.


Just a note from your humble friend and blogger: I am often surprised at how much people from other countries know about us and how little we know about them, and even about ourselves, in comparison. And how clearly they see through the political rhetoric and see only the facts.

I also find it interesting that blogger.com spellcheck thinks the words "blog" and "blogger" are spelled wrong, but that's just me.

7 comments:

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I think part of it has to do with the U.S. being such a dominate super power for the past 50-60 years. We do hold a lot of influence, social and economical. So it behooves others to learn English and study America. Unfortunately, we don't reciprocate the same level of interest and knowledge about other countries. That ties in, I think, with our seeming arrogance and self-centeredness. I know Canadians on a couple of message boards who can debate American politics, but I know very little about how Canadian government runs and I could never tell you who the leaders are of most countries, without looking them up. I'd like to change all that. It's hard enough, though, keeping up with American politics and history.

Our schooling is woefully inadequate as Americans, when it comes to learning the affairs of other nations, let alone our own.

I think we live in a kind of bubble, having succeeding generations of our citizens live in a country that has not been invaded by armies on its shores. Our consistent security against foreign enemies has probably contributed to our overall disinterest in politics and world events, whereas, in other countries where life maybe less stable, it is important to be involved in the affairs of government. Your very life and livelihood depends upon it.

Poison Pero said...

Thx for that article Mark....That was excellent.

tugboatcapn said...

Wordsmith, our own schools do not even teach children how our Government works. They haven't for decades now.
I was taught precious little about Civics when I was in school, and I graduated in 1984.
What I know about the workings of the political system, I had to go out on my own, and find it where I could.
I am not surprized at all that people from other countries know more about how our Government works than we do.

Mark, once again, you have blown me away.
Posts like this one make me want to close down my pitiful little blog, and just read yours.
Well done, my friend!!

tugboatcapn said...

Oh, and my version of spellcheck works much better than the one provided by blogger.
I just yell over my shoulder, "Baby! How do you spell Blog??"

Works great!

Xena76 said...

Mark, that is amazing!! It makes me wish today that I taught English or Civics. It would most certainly be an assignment of some sort.

Marie's Two Cents said...

That was a great link! I cant get over the fact that there are other countries out there debating OUR politics. Quite Funny.

Mary said...

What a great article, Mark!

I wish Newton was on the editorial board of the New York Times.

Better yet, he should be the editor.