Commentary: Politics at Home and Abroad
I was listening to Mark Steyn on the Hugh Hewitt show about 30 minutes ago, and he lambasted British MP George Galloway as “the lowest of scoundrels.” Galloway used to visit Saddam, bringing him gifts like fancy chocolates and such. I was reading about his (Galloway's) Senate appearance yesterday, and, as Hugh concurred, there was little mention of any of his agredious behavior that was his whole purpose of attending the hearings to begin with. The MSM coverage made him appear as a parliamentary Michael Moore-type, focussing on his fiery tone toward the Senate sub-committee.
One thing my fellow Americans must remember is that there is a very big difference between the British House of Commons and the US Senate. British MP’s speak very candidly in Parliament compared to the overly polite stoicism of our Senators. I despise Galloway, but I do admire the refreshing, “gloves off,” un-PC nature with which he and other MP’s conduct themselves in the political arena. The diatribes from clowns like Byrd and Kennedy wouldn’t last 5 minutes in a Parliamentary system. Our congress critters could take a lesson or two from these folks, and it would go a long way toward their credibility with Americans who, like me, have no or very little faith in anything these guys say or do.
Watch some Parliamentary coverage on C-SPAN sometime, and you will find it much more engaging than watching our Congress in (non)action. I cringe when I think how our President would fare if he had to stand in front of Congress and field rapid-fire questions and attacks from the opposition the way Tony Blair does. Let’s face it, the President doesn’t do too well when he has to think on his feet; he has a lot of trouble even when he knows what questions are coming from the press and selects from a pre-determined list of reporters to call upon.
Since coming to New Zealand, watching how things work here (Parliamentary, similar to Britain) has been a very eye-opening experience and has demonstrated how insulated from much of the rest of the world many of my fellow Americans are. We in the blogosphere can do a lot to change that.