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« The GOP Debate | Main | Dear Sen. Schumer: Words fail me »

August 07, 2015

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Please have a sedative, or better still a large whisky, to hand because I have a suggestion to make. You system 'over there' of choosing your president has sunk to the level of a Saturday night amateur talent show. The American public as a whole have no way of gauging the politicians who have jumped up onto the platform from nowhere so they judge them as they would the contestants in oen of Simon Cowell's ghastly shows.

It's time you changed to a parliamentary system. You can always chose some retired astronaut or war hero - or a transgender footballer if you are a soppy Leftie - to do the job of shaking hands with visitors to the White House. If the House can be turned into a parliament in which the party members vote for their leader from those who are in the House then at least they would do so with a modicum of knowledge as the strengths and weaknesses of the person concerned. Similarly, because the House would be reported on in daily detail (as the Commons is 'over here') then so to the people (dread word!) will have much more of an idea as to the leader's worth.

Anything is better than he current farrago!

I'd say you nailed this. To me and the others watching with me, Rubio appeared the most articulate and prepared but also canned. And that certainly wasn't what the crowd was looking for. Kasich should get an award for giving the same answer to the most questions, referencing balancing the federal budget, without actually mentioning the name of the president under whom this unparalleled achievement was accomplished.Someone named Clinton I believe. I can't remember anything Walker said. Cruz made clear his war is as much with his own party as the Democrats and that is where your campaign donations to Cruz will go.

Trump dominated by virtue of expectations that he would. And now the full dimensions of the Republican party's Trump problem is there to see. As many have said, including Priebus, The Donald has tapped into a constituency within the Republican party that disdains politics as usual (basically hates the Republican party in its current incarnation.) Trump does clearly understand the concept of leverage and maybe also mutually assured destruction. And how bankruptcy is a tool of negotiation. He's got them by the short and curlies. When this is all over Trump will have to go back to being a famous billionaire and his opponents within the Republican party will have to get used to saying President Clinton again.

Actually with the Donald as an opponent, Sanders could win.

The debate was preternaturally dull. Fox must have been using subliminal messaging to get me to watch the whole mind numbing non-event. I'm going to watch Fox more often. Everything was totally predictable except the Trump statement of treasonous intent and Kasich getting applause instead of torches and pitchforks for his preachment that gays should be loved. Does anyone else get the impression Megyn Kelly is the result of injection molding?

Parts, at least...

What do you mean by footballer, John Bull? If you Brits wouldn't have given up so easily we'd be a Commonwealth country and wouldn't have to suffer the indignity of our elections, not to mention the extended slave economy and gun violence. Own up, it's all your fault. Quitters.

I always thought she was hydroformed which would account for her hollowness.

And the thing is, Donald Trump probably wouldn't mind another President Clinton. The rich did juuuuust fine when Bill was in office.

Parliment isn't that much better than the U.S. Congress. From Back to Methuselah-- G.B. Shaw

CONFUCIUS. Were it otherwise, the Government would have too much to do to think.

BURGE-LUBIN. Is that any excuse for the English people electing a parliament of lunatics?

CONFUCIUS. The English people always did elect parliaments of lunatics. What does it matter if your permanent officials are honest and competent?

BURGE-LUBIN. You do not know the history of this country. What would my ancestors have said to the menagerie of degenerates that is still called the House of Commons? Confucius: you will not believe me; and I do not blame you for it; but England once saved the liberties of the world by inventing parliamentary government, which was her peculiar and supreme glory.

CONFUCIUS. I know the history of your country perfectly well. It proves the exact contrary.

BURGE-LUBIN. How do you make that out?

CONFUCIUS. The only power your parliament ever had was the power of withholding supplies from the king.

BURGE-LUBIN. Precisely. That great Englishman Simon de Montfort—

CONFUCIUS. He was not an Englishman: he was a Frenchman. He imported parliaments from France.

BURGE-LUBIN [surprised] You dont say so!

CONFUCIUS. The king and his loyal subjects killed Simon for forcing his French parliament on them. The first thing British parliaments always did was to grant supplies to the king for life with enthusiastic expressions of loyalty, lest they should have any real power, and be expected to do something.

BURGE-LUBIN. Look here, Confucius: you know more history than I do, of course; but democracy—

CONFUCIUS. An institution peculiar to China. And it was never really a success there.

BURGE-LUBIN. But the Habeas Corpus Act!

CONFUCIUS. The English always suspended it when it threatened to be of the slightest use.

BURGE-LUBIN. Well, trial by jury: you cant deny that we established that?

CONFUCIUS. All cases that were dangerous to the governing classes were tried in the Star Chamber or by Court Martial, except when the prisoner was not tried at all, but executed after calling him names enough to make him unpopular.

BURGE-LUBIN. Oh, bother! You may be right in these little details; but in the large we have managed to hold our own as a great race. Well, people who could do nothing couldnt have done that, you know.

CONFUCIUS. I did not say you could do nothing. You could fight. You could eat. You could drink. Until the twentieth century you could produce children. You could play games. You could work when you were forced to. But you could not govern yourselves.

BURGE-LUBIN. Then how did we get our reputation as the pioneers of liberty?

CONFUCIUS. By your steadfast refusal to be governed at all. A horse that kicks everyone who tries to harness and guide him may be a pioneer of liberty; but he is not a pioneer of government. In China he would be shot.

Interesting take, DA. I was having a go at David in a way I didn't think he'd know how to answer, and so far he hasn't come up with anything. Shaw was an ironic fellow wasn't he? Still, would we rather have the social consciousness of Canada or the US? We can probably agree their healthcare system and elections are far less Dada.

Having Confucius claim China had democracy was probably just making fun, but his explanation of pioneers of liberty is perfect for the current Republican Party.

@ Peter & Stephen

She's very nearly lifelike though.

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