Tuesday, February 05, 2008

They're Both Much Better Than the Alternative...

Blogging friend Brendan writes,
Tell America why a Canadian living in Japan thinks Obama should be president. We'll need that by first thing tomorrow, EST.

Well, Brendan, I'm usually a bit skittish about discussing American politics here, because frankly I don't think I'm well-enough informed to have an opinion that I'd expect anyone to take too seriously. I'm also not really sure who would make the best president, Mr. Obama or Ms. Clinton. I will not hesitate to say this, however: whether it's Obama or Clinton is pretty much irrelevant to the rest of the world, so long as it's not Bush or one of the new crop of asshats in Bush's party. I think the current Japanese government prefers Obama (they see Ms. Clinton continuing Mr. Clinton's shifting of focus away from Japan towards China; they also, being asshats themselves, probably wouldn't know how to deal with a woman being the most powerful person in the world; I, on the other hand, don't mind if the woman is on top... er, of the political hierarchy...). My own gut feeling is that Obama represents an opportunity for real change, both inside and outside the US, whereas Clinton might just cause the Right (and their wingnut minions) to dig in their heels.

By the way, did you know that post-WWII Japan was a lot like a possible post-war Iraq, and the fact that some Japanese play American football gives us a reason to be optimistic about Iraq, and that Iraq could be the next Japan? Neither did I, but I guess anything is possible in the magical world of Wingnuttia.


  1. ... frankly I don't think I'm well-enough informed ...

    That makes you different from the majority of the American electorate how?

    But seriously, thanks for the thoughtful effort. Hope it helped unclog the pipes, if nothing else.

    That wingnut article was truly vacuous. I'm convinced that Halliburton is paying these people to churn out these "bright side of Iraq" missives. It's hard to believe even the Bush dead-enders can still say "stay the course" with a straight face.

    On a related note, I propose: New rule: You're not allowed to pontificate if your closing sentence is "Only time will tell."

    Imagine how many electrons we could save if that rule were obeyed.

  2. Brendan,
    When you're feeling depressed about Iraq, just think about the Japanese playing American football!
    Looks like Super Tuesday hasn't decided anything (at least between Clinton and Obama), eh?

  3. I did know that about Japan.
    And it does give one hope for the future of Iraq.

    From what I have read, and what I remember (meaning please forgive me for any areas where I am flat out wrong) (hey maybe they should lead in with that line in politics too)
    The Japanese mindset seems to be a lot different than that of the people of Iraq. Japan accepted it had lost the war, they cared about keeping their people alive, and while generally considered a closed country, they were open to adapting ideas from other countries, if they thought there was some measure of improvement in industry to be gained by doing so (and then they tried, and often succeeded in bettering it, so now other countries have to look to them) so they were able to stop fighting, and start building.

    Emotionally it is very reassuring to know how far we can all come together in a span of time. I think of Japan and American people as getting along really well now. Something that at one point would have shocked people on both sides.

    I wont bother with the politics till they have the two main ones decided, otherwise I decide I like someone, and then "puff" they are gone. Which makes me disappointed and frustrated before I even get to vote.

  4. Looks like Super Tuesday hasn't decided anything (at least between Clinton and Obama), eh?

    Yes. But it could have been worse. I was happy to see Obama do well in states where he hasn't been able to campaign extensively, and I was happy that he pretty much tied Clinton; i.e., that the momentum wasn't an illusion.

  5. Taff,
    There is one absolutely gigantic reason that Iraq will never be another Japan: the Japanese were (and are) all Japanese: almost to a person they recognize a shared racial and cultural identity. The Japanese "model" simply cannot be applied to Iraq. Even with the best of all possible future outcomes, Iraq will never be "like" Japan. Sorry if I seem to be stating things a bit strongly, but there are absolutely no historical parallels between Japan and Iraq, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that there ever will be.

    I didn't mean to imply anything negative about Tuesday's results. Quite the opposite, in fact. It's nice to see something resembling democracy happening in the US again...