Thursday, October 09, 2003

Here's the Vangua's response to the California elections. The most wrong thing said in today's edition is by ex-editor-in-chief Lluis Foix; this is his first paragraph in his article in today's Opinion section.

The Californians have fired a governor, when he had been in office for less than a year. Such a thing had not happened in the United States for more than eighty years. It is a practice permitted by the Constitution but rarely used in order to add a referendum factor in American politics. If it happened in the Golden State, it could be repeated in any state and for any elective position in the United States.

Just to clear things up right now: No. California and some other states, I don't know how many or which ones, have the possibility of a recall election in their State Constitutions. Some states do not have the recall provision, and neither does the national, federal government. So they can't recall George Bush, for example.

There is a difference between recall and impeachment. You can be recalled any time somebody gets up enough signatures on a petition wanting to get rid of you, for whatever reason, but only in a state that permits it! A politician can only be impeached under Federal law if he is accused of breaking the law, of committing a "high crime or misdeameanor". You can't impeach someone just because you hate his guts, like they did to Gray Davis in California, you've got to have a criminal charge. The impeachment, done by the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Congress, is the equivalent of an indictment; a trial is then held by the Senate and if the accused is found guilty, he is removed from office. Clinton was impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate. Andrew Johnson is the only other president they tried to impeach; the attempt failed in the House, by one vote. A dozen or so federal judges have also been impeached at one time or another; some were convicted, some acquitted.

Dumbshit Vangua correspondent Andy Robinson, in LA, was very surprised to see Schwarzenegger standing in front of a huge flag that said "Republic" and "California". Uh, Andy, that's the California state flag, don't you know, and it says "California Republic". There's a big-ass bear on it. It's left over from like 1848 when the California Anglos "declared independence" from Mexico when the Mexican-American War broke out.

Here's Andy's (Andy is a socialist limey who openly proclaims his dislike for all things American) analysis; he's been talking to someone named Mike Davis who wrote a book called "City of Quartz".*

...More than the American dream, Schwarzenegger's attack is rooted in white rage: "More than responding to economic situations," (Mike Davis) says, "it is the reflection of the rage of the white population against immigration, which has been whipped up by far right radio stations."

Oh, come on, that is just patent bullshit. Nobody, but nobody, no serious political analyst, thinks "white rage" brought Gray Davis down. I haven't seen it suggested, and I've been following this story through the thoughtful division of the American media. Andy doesn't bother to find anyone who might disagree with Mike Davis's analysis or point out that, like, Mike Davis is living in a Left Coast Berkeley dreamworld. By the way, Andy also alleges that

...the electrical crisis that occurred in 2001 in California, with a series of blackouts and exorbitant electricity price hikes--the beginning of the end for Gray Davis--was the result of fraudulent activity by a group of companies--among them Enron--that have tight connections with the Republican Party.


Says Eusebio Val in Washington:

...The current president could be the victim, as happened to Gray Davis, of popular frustration about the high level of unemployment, the budget deficit, the extension of poverty, and lack of health care, in addition to the rising cost of the neocolonial adventure in Iraq. One symptom is incarnated in Howard Dean, ex-governor of Vermont, who is capitalizing on the enormous river of unhappiness in American society and is becoming one of the most solid aspirants for the Democratic nomination.

Forget it, Eusebio, that's just plain ignorant. There is no popular frustration about the economy on the national level. We're growing at three percent and unemployment is at six. There is no extension of poverty; people are getting richer in America. Incomes are rising, not falling. Health care is simply not an issue; most Americans are happy with the health-care system, though God knows it needs improvement. Most Americans, while not thrilled about the way the postwar has gone in Iraq, would not classify the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as a "neocolonial adventure". And Howard the Duck has about as much chance of being the next president as I do. Sure, angry people love Howie Dean, but NOT EVERYONE IS ANGRY AT BUSH.

Error number one: Eusebio is assuming as fact (there is an enormous river of unhappiness in American society) something that has yet to be proved. This is called "begging the question". Vanguardia reporters seem unusually prone to it when informing their readers how miserable everybody in America is. It's basically an article of faith here; Americans are richer and their country is more important, but goddamnit, they're really angry and miserable and not nearly as well-off as we are here in paradisiacal Barcelona. I think they do this in order to feel better about themselves.

Methinks that what some foreign reporters are seeing is the furious rage that leftist Democrats feel against Bush, and they are assuming that such rage exists among all Americans, when in reality it's confined to a fairly small minority. I mean, what "enormous river of unhappiness" has Eusebio seen in American society that the rest of us can't find no matter how hard we look? Last summer I was in the States for a month and everybody looked pretty happy to me, about as much as they are here in Barcelona. There are some really pissed-off partisan Democrats, true, but they are nowhere near a majority. Hell, they're not even a minority in control of their own party.

So why do they hate him so much? Because he's a rich frat boy. It's got nothing to do with his actions or policies, they just hate his guts for aesthetic reasons. He's one of that nasty clique of popular kids and none of the pencil-necked geeks can figure out why they're so popular, because the geeks are so consumed by self-pitying knee-jerk disdain for uncaring unfeeling undeserving rich kids who get MBAs from Harvard.

Hint: Journalists tend to be ex-pencil-necked geeks in high school, and they still haven't gotten over it.

*UPDATE: I googled Mike Davis. The guy is a nutjob. He's an ex-SDSer and an ex-Commie who's now 57 and on his fifth wife. Check out this story about him from the LA Weekly back in 1998. It's full of embarrassingly stupid stuff Davis did; my favorite is when he assigned his class to go walk around the worst neighborhood in town just to prove that it wasn't really that dangerous and one of those idiots actually got mugged. Really, read this one, I mean it. You will then wonder why some people seem to have actually taken Mr. Davis seriously enough to make City of Quartz a "standard text".

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