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2009-03-10 Home Front: Politix
Obama Stiffs the Brits
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Posted by Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 2009-03-10 11:04|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6474 views ]  Top

#1 Ok, can't believe I'm doing this, could argue that ol' Hill was more or less correct when she stated that our democracy is/was older than parts of Europe's.

After all, we've had the same Constitution and system of government for over 230 years. Britain's had theirs longer, I believe, but the rest of the continent.....not so much.
Posted by Cornsilk Blondie 2009-03-10 12:19||   2009-03-10 12:19|| Front Page Top

#2 Hit the damn submit button prematurely....grr.

Meant to say that since Britain doesn't have a formal constitution, I'm not sure really what date to use as the start of their current form of government. Magna Carta? The end of the reign of Oliver Cromwell?

But the point still remains, we've been at it for a while longer than most of the Europeans, even though they don't wanna admit it.
Posted by Cornsilk Blondie 2009-03-10 12:23||   2009-03-10 12:23|| Front Page Top

#3 It's a dubious democratic tradition given the power of the monarchy through the Victorian era and the fact that the House of Lords is an appointed body to this very day.

Europe's democracy before the dubious E.U.? I give up -- would that be the Third Reich or the Roman Empire?
Posted by Darrell 2009-03-10 12:44||   2009-03-10 12:44|| Front Page Top

#4 Cornslik Blondie

What you say is true but polite people don't boast of having a bigger, nicer house than the people they are visiting and politeness is a job requirement for a diplomat. That is as in "if you aren't you don't get the job".
Posted by JFM">JFM  2009-03-10 12:47||   2009-03-10 12:47|| Front Page Top

#5 Agreed, JFM. On the other hand, given that she was in Brussels at the time I can't help but feel that it was a welcome rebuke to EU condescension and posturing towards the US.
Posted by lotp 2009-03-10 13:18||   2009-03-10 13:18|| Front Page Top

#6 Hillary was wrong for the simple reason that the United States of America is not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. If she means we are free and have elected governments and rule of law then okay. But there is a big political difference between a democracy and a form of government such as ours.
Posted by Jack is Back!">Jack is Back!  2009-03-10 13:31||   2009-03-10 13:31|| Front Page Top

#7 Had Clinton said "Republic" instead of "democracy" the comment would have been more accurate. However, in either case it was a condescending remark and was understood as such. (Personally, I'm more embarrassed by the schoolgirl "reset button" stunt, which would have been stupid even if it hadn't been screwed up).

The bigger issue is the administration's emphasis on "change", "fresh start", "reset", etc. Successful foreign policy requires consistency. The administration is telegraphing to our friends that they cannot count on us, and to our enemies that our principals are flexible.

Posted by DoDo 2009-03-10 13:37||   2009-03-10 13:37|| Front Page Top

#8 lotp

It would have been right for Bolton or Rice to say that given how much abuse the United Staes and the Bush administration had got from the Euros. But this isn't Obama's policy so the answer is that Hillary just gaffed and seems not to be suitable for the job.
Posted by JFM">JFM  2009-03-10 13:39||   2009-03-10 13:39|| Front Page Top

#9 Just to be clear, I'm only defending the accuracy of her statement.

I'm appalled that she went and said what she did, as I am appalled by the Obamas going out of their way to demonstrate their total lack of class during the Gordon Brown visit.
Posted by Cornsilk Blondie 2009-03-10 13:43||   2009-03-10 13:43|| Front Page Top

#10 DoDo - to the extent that Bambi has any principles, they're definitely flexible.

JFM - none of the idiots in charge right now is suitable for the job.

The only joy I get from all this is thinking about the buyer's remorse people around the world who demanded we elect Bambi must be feeling that we stupidly did elect this clown, and with him his Clown Posse. At least we won't be suffering alone.... >:-(
Posted by Barbara Skolaut">Barbara Skolaut  2009-03-10 13:44||   2009-03-10 13:44|| Front Page Top

#11 <<< Meant to say that since Britain doesn't have a formal constitution, I'm not sure really what date to use as the start of their current form of government. Magna Carta? The end of the reign of Oliver Cromwell? >>>

It is a moving feast but the genesis of the current form was probably the 1832 Reform Act which had to address the issue of the massive movement in population as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution. Manchester has 250k population but only 1 parliamentary representative whereas south of London there were "rotten boroughs" with only a handful of voters and a seat in parliament.

In addition the House of Lords was never responsible. Not even now. But its powers as a House of Review have been continually limited until the most recent changes by Blair which gutted much of the tradition. Lloyd George helped as well early in the 20th Century.

The Magna Carta preserved the rights of property owners. The interregnum resulted in a more limited monarchy on the subsequent ascension which actually saved it relative to the fate of monarchies and principalities on the Continent in later centuries.
Posted by Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 2009-03-10 13:50||   2009-03-10 13:50|| Front Page Top

#12 Thanks for the tutorial, OSfB7794! I only know some vague generalities about British history, so you helped fill in a gap or two in my knowledge.
Posted by Cornsilk Blondie 2009-03-10 19:52||   2009-03-10 19:52|| Front Page Top

#13 But there is a big political difference between a democracy and a form of government such as ours.

Which will be amply demonstrated when the California Supreme Court overrules the Prop 8 vote demonstrated that we indeed have a ruling class. We have the facade of representative government which has forsaken representing anything but special interests.
Posted by Procopius2k 2009-03-10 21:37||   2009-03-10 21:37|| Front Page Top

#14 IMNSHO - Proc 2K - the CASP will affirm it, but grant status to those wed in the interim, thereby pissing off everybody (nota bene: I support Civil Unions, but don't call it "marriage")
Posted by Frank G 2009-03-10 21:51||   2009-03-10 21:51|| Front Page Top

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