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 Post subject: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:22 pm 
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There's no doubt about it. The European media has given Sarah Palin a hard time. One European newspaper called the idea of a Palin presidency a "half-baked Alaskan nightmare"...

...But soon the carping began, and it was not confined to what U.S. rightists like to dismiss as the "liberal media elite."

We were, the Irish Times warned, "just a heartbeat away from the biggest half-baked Alaskan nightmare." Britain's Financial Times said his selection of vice president raised serious questions about John McCain's judgment and added: "The Palin appointment is yet more proof of the way that abortion still dominates American politics"...

...Since then the scorn has been constant, the jokes unrelenting, the YouTube exposure devastating. But let us dispel one bit of nonsense from the start. It is nothing to do with Sarah Palin being of the feminine gender.

Europeans have been astonished that America has never had a woman president. After all we in Britain elected the redoubtable Margaret Thatcher three times as prime minister. Norway did the same with Gro Harlem Brundtland. Germany has a female chancellor, Angela Merkel, even if she does tend to underline the remark I once heard from a British Ambassador: "A German joke is no laughing matter."

Nicolas Sarkozy's socialist challenger for the French presidency was the elegant Segolene Royal...

...For Europeans, who were alienated during George W. Bush's first four years by a president who showed little interest in their continent and patently cared nothing for the opinions of its leaders, the turning point probably came with the appearance on the Katie Couric show when Palin confessed to not having had a passport until 2006.

Europeans are appalled at the thought that someone who wants to be vice president of the most powerful nation on earth had so little interest in the rest of a world which is so vitally affected by the decisions of the man, or woman, in the White House.

And they are not much impressed by explanations that her parents did not have the money to send her on a fact-finding tour of the world as a student. Anybody with the money to own an SUV, hunt moose and drive a snowmobile has the money to travel.

It was the American Mark Twain who reminded us all that "travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness." If Sarah Palin wanted to be loved in Europe she should have got about a bit.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:20 pm 
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It is nothing to do with Sarah Palin being of the feminine gender.

Europeans have been astonished that America has never had a woman president. After all we in Britain elected the redoubtable Margaret Thatcher three times as prime minister. Norway did the same with Gro Harlem Brundtland. Germany has a female chancellor, Angela Merkel, even if she does tend to underline the remark I once heard from a British Ambassador: "A German joke is no laughing matter."

Nicolas Sarkozy's socialist challenger for the French presidency was the elegant Segolene Royal...


So let's see. The enlightened Europeans have discovered true gender harmony while the chauvenistic and piggish Americans still live in the dark ages.

The "elegant" Segolene Royal was not elected president. She got about as close to the French presidency as Hillary Clinton got to the American presidency.
In the 1970s, British political observers couldn't believe that Thatcher could ever become PM, precisely because she was a woman, almost up until the day she won the leadership battle. At any rate, both Thatcher and Merkel became heads of government by becoming the leader of the biggest party in the lower house of the national legislature. Who would that be in the USA?
This list also ignores all the countries that haven't had a female head of state, for example Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark, Finland...
So the Norwegians and Irish have elected female heads of state. Alaskans, Arizonans, Texans, New Hampshirites, and Michiganders have too.

Spare me the superiority complex.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 4:45 pm 
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The Europeans are entitled to their opinions, we are entitled to ignore them...............Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:42 pm 
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It's also funny because many real people in Europe can't believe that there would be any question who should win the election - the War Hero, of course.

I have close relatives in Ireland and the Netherlands so this only comes as being from their perspective.

Personally, I am pretty happy being the opposite of much of what Europe has to offer in most cases. It cracks me up when they say our leadership ignores their continent and the opinions of their leaders...HA! POT KETTLE BLACK! They (read leadership) only seem to care about us when we are saving their butts or rebuilding their infrastructure.

Hey Kevin, at least say "excuse me" when you drop an arse-blast disguised as a New Topic!

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:45 pm 
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abalone wrote:
The "elegant" Segolene Royal was not elected president. She got about as close to the French presidency as Hillary Clinton got to the American presidency.

Hm, no. If Clinton had won the democratic nomination, that would've been a better analogy.

abalone wrote:
This list also ignores all the countries that haven't had a female head of state, for example Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark, Finland...

Many of which have had Queens which, prior to the 20th Century, often were heads-of-state.

abalone wrote:
So the Norwegians and Irish have elected female heads of state. Alaskans, Arizonans, Texans, New Hampshirites, and Michiganders have too.

A fairly disingenuous combination of the national and regional definitions of the word "state."

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:49 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
Many of which have had Queens which, prior to the 20th Century, often were heads-of-state.


Yes, and some of those Queens won their elections by landslides... :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 4:55 am 
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What works in Europe, may or may not work here. Keep in mind, they also had some winners too. Benito, Adolf, the love duet of Louis "Let them eat cake" Marie, to name but a few.


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:37 am 
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WE ARE SPARTACI wrote:
Hostrauser wrote:
Many of which have had Queens which, prior to the 20th Century, often were heads-of-state.


Yes, and some of those Queens won their elections by landslides... :lol:

Yeah, I thought of that after I posted it. :roll:

To try and salvage some pertinence, I refer you to the American Vice-Presidency, also not chosen by the voters. People SHOULD be voting on the Presidential ticket, yes, be most people mainly/only look at the Presidential candidate. Bottom line, when you look at the nomination process, the people at least have some say as to who gets the presidential nomination for each party; the people have absolutely no say in who's going to be the second-in-command of their country.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:46 am 
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Hostrauser wrote:
abalone wrote:
The "elegant" Segolene Royal was not elected president. She got about as close to the French presidency as Hillary Clinton got to the American presidency.

Hm, no. If Clinton had won the democratic nomination, that would've been a better analogy.

I think not. Arguably the winner of the Democratic nomination was the odds on favorite to win, and certainly she was one of the three people with a chance to win. In the first round of the 2007 French presidential election, the main three candidates were Sarkozy (31%), Royal (26%) and Bayrou (19%). I think Hillary came just about as close as Royal.

abalone wrote:
This list also ignores all the countries that haven't had a female head of state, for example Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark, Finland...

Many of which have had Queens which, prior to the 20th Century, often were heads-of-state.

If you want to count the queens, then you need to eliminate Thatcher. I'm going to ignore the queens and consider Thatcher to be more of an achievement for gender equality.

abalone wrote:
So the Norwegians and Irish have elected female heads of state. Alaskans, Arizonans, Texans, New Hampshirites, and Michiganders have too.

A fairly disingenuous combination of the national and regional definitions of the word "state."


The population of Norway is 4.6m; the population of Ireland is 4.2m. The corresponding figures for the US states I listed are Texas 23.9m, Michigan 10.1m, Arizona 6.3m, Alaska 0.7m, and New Hampshire 1.3m. The comparison of European states and American States reflects the fact that these are similarly sized political units.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:58 am 
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Meaningless. California has a larger population and larger economy than dozens of nations. That doesn't put the election of California's governor and the election of the leader of a similarly-sized nation at the same level. A state governorship is not a position of significant international influence. Schwarzenegger can't declare war on anyone or affect trade agreements, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:06 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
WE ARE SPARTACI wrote:
Hostrauser wrote:
Many of which have had Queens which, prior to the 20th Century, often were heads-of-state.


Yes, and some of those Queens won their elections by landslides... :lol:

Yeah, I thought of that after I posted it. :roll:

To try and salvage some pertinence, I refer you to the American Vice-Presidency, also not chosen by the voters. People SHOULD be voting on the Presidential ticket, yes, be most people mainly/only look at the Presidential candidate. Bottom line, when you look at the nomination process, the people at least have some say as to who gets the presidential nomination for each party; the people have absolutely no say in who's going to be the second-in-command of their country.


And yet it's not an appointed position (in the traditional sense) either. Wonder what would happen if the primaries decided both; winner gets to run for President, 1st runner up for VP? That would mean that anyone running must be willing to play second fiddle. It would also encourage a more temperate primary cycle to prevent self-inflicted wounds that might fester during the general election.

Or what about completely separate tickets? We could end up with a split-party White House. The poor VP might find his or her tenure to be filled with the most menial of tasks though while under the direction and control of the opposition's Presidency.

Obama/Palin 2008? (don't care about your affiliation, but they would make the best LOOKING Prez-VP tandem in history!)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
Schwarzenegger can't declare war on anyone or affect trade agreements, etc.


WRONG! Haven't you seen his movies? He can declare war on everyone!

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Baked Alaskan
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:10 pm 
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WE ARE SPARTACI wrote:
Obama/Palin 2008? (don't care about your affiliation, but they would make the best LOOKING Prez-VP tandem in history!)


Haha....I wish I knew how to post it on here, but a friend just sent me a picture from Dancing With the Stars that was photo edited to show Obama dancing with Palin...it is very very funny.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:00 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
Meaningless. California has a larger population and larger economy than dozens of nations. That doesn't put the election of California's governor and the election of the leader of a similarly-sized nation at the same level. A state governorship is not a position of significant international influence. Schwarzenegger can't declare war on anyone or affect trade agreements, etc.


As the EU grows more and more significant, increasingly, neither can the various European executives.

I think this meaningless argument has just about run its course, but I couldn't resist a last shot.

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