November 6, 2012

"The disappointment that all Americans may be harboring over the Obama term is nothing compared with the garland-wrenching grief in Europe."

"It’s not the disappointment; it’s the hope we can’t bear."

Garland-wrenching? I don't know. It's an op-ed in the NYT by one A.A. Gill. A Brit, perhaps.
Mr. Obama’s coolness, his inability or unwillingness to project warmth, to compliment those who felt insecure, or for whom a pat on the back or a mention, a mere mention, would mean a great deal, is the most inexplicable snub seen from Europe....
Sounds nuttily needy, but here's the crux of it:
In Europe, the gamut of electable politicians is pretty much the same in every country, but there is no European equivalent to the Republican Party, not until you get to Hungary or Serbia. Democrats would partially overlap with conservatives or Christian Democrats here, but the absence of any sort of electable socialist movement in America is a constant subject of incomprehension. We believe the left wing is always a necessary element in the balance of democracy.
And that's what you're wrenching your garland about? Wrench away, wretch.

84 comments:

Scott M said...

You would have thought Europe had gotten enough left wing government back in the 20th century.

gmama3 said...

Misery loves company. They are worried we could escape complete economic collapse.

mojavehicular said...

Sounds more like pearl-clutching than garland-wrenching.

Salamandyr said...

So it doesn't bother him that there is no Republican party in Europe, but that there are no communists in the US? What a winner.

Who speaks for individualism?

X said...

this reminds me. the holiday season is here. need to take my wreathes down to Mr. GarlandWrench for a tune-up.

EMD said...

I'm saving my garland-wrenching for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when I'll be trying to unknot it and put it up for Christmas.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I often wrench my garlands, but only if they need it. You have to get yourself a good quality garland wrench in order to do a proper job.

Carol said...

Sounds like the old notion that socialism in one country won't work. Every country has to be socialist, I guess so there's nowhere to escape it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

We both see very different places when we look at the globe: we are struck by America’s constant, furious obsession with the Middle East, the fond and venerable bearing of ancient grudges against the vestiges of Communism, the bizarre choice of friends and enemies.

You know, he's right: our choice of friends has been pretty bizarre.

Bob Ellison said...

There's a person somewhere who doesn't like America. Sob!

Shouting Thomas said...

In other words, the EU has virtually banned traditional conservatism, and that's good.

But, the U.S. needs a popular socialist party.

The socialist party does exist in the U.S., but has never gained any traction with the voters.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If the guy's really British, you'd think the existence of the UKIP would leave him a little less puzzled over the existence of the GOP.

Marshal said...

Carol said...
Sounds like the old notion that socialism in one country won't work. Every country has to be socialist, I guess so there's nowhere to escape it.


It's less that people need to escape than that the empirical comparison point cannot be refuted by the socialists. And you're exactly right, this is why Europeans want us to turn socialist along with them. So as their ideology bankrupts their countres they can claim "economic freedom would have been worse", much as Obama is doing now.

Paul Zrimsek said...

This garland-wrenching happens every time Mrs. Malaprop tries to rend her garment.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Gill's op-ed is a typical whining complaint that the US is not Europe, as if their overtaxed, hyper-regulated, infantilized populations are in a really, really good place right now. It's true, the useful half of the European gene pool had moved to America by 1900.

dreams said...

Lets remember that the American taxpayer has paid for the defense of Europe for the past fifty years while they have wallowed in their socialism pigsty. What do we do when the USA like the whole world has run out of other people's money?

EMD said...

constant, furious obsession with the Middle East,

Wonder why?

traditionalguy said...

Obama needs to get him a new birth certificate from Italy so he can move to Rome and run for election in a bigger Mafia area than ChiTown.
They will love him even better up close.

And Barry can collect on his chit and bee added to the Fiat Board of Directors.

Also his work done on drone hits should translate into at least a mafia soldier's entry rank for him. Then he could work his way up.

gerry said...

Bitchy whining.

They have bankrupted the continent.

Businesses are rushing out of France to avoid the new tax rates (75% top rate, I believe) since "portable offices" mean high earners may conduct business via the web and almost-free telephone service from anywhere else.

Bring the military home, let the continent flush itself into its self-made sewer.

Oh, Obama didn't write? It's because Europe is prdominantly white. Right?

Dave D said...

Dreams:

We have run out of other peoples money and are spending FUTURE people money. Sick and twisted.......

Broomhandle said...

Genuinely hilarious. Much of Europe has moved beyond parody.

rcommal said...

There was a feeling that for the first time in a generation there might be a president who was the sort of American Europeans yearned to love. He seemed to have a very European perspective: his non-establishment background, his cadence, the liberality all promised to be one-worldy.

My God, talk about insufferable, not to mention full of gall. Condescending, too.

virgil xenophon said...

The basic reason the socialist party has never gained any traction in the US is, as one historian once put it, "...due to the ready availability and low-price of beef-steak."

But Obama's trying real hard to fix that..

Tarzan said...

I wrench my garlands from time to time and the wife is perfectly fine with it. Don't see what the problem is, really.

David-2 said...

I'm surprised he didn't mention how promising it was that America finally elected its first black President, so that he could join the pantheon of illustrious black European prime ministers, Presidents, etc.

Oh wait.

I meant, minority European prime mininsters, Presidents, etc.

Oh. Wait.

chuck said...

Ha, Ha, he is conflating the Republicans with the nationalist/fascist movements in Hungary and Serbia, a rather common problem with Europeans trying to make sense of American politics while relying on the lefty propaganda that they get from the European media. The problem with Europe is precisely that they don't have any analogue of the Republican party. Liberty is the stepchild among Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. The European tendency has been towards the last two.

Shanna said...

the absence of any sort of electable socialist movement in America is a constant subject of incomprehension

America is full of people who left Europe (among other places) on purpose.

MayBee said...

The BBC loves Obama. Loves him loves him loves him. I know more about what Obama is up to on any given day than what David Cameron or even the Queen is doing. I know more about what Obama is doing than I do about any other world leader, European or otherwise.

The BBC morning show actually showed footage of Obama voting in Chicago.

PatCA said...

We didn't get any expensive state dinners! Waaaaa!

People are waiting in line in the cold to vote today here, Mr. Gill. We don't go in for this ennui crap.

ricpic said...

The best and the brightest Eurotwits are perfectly content with double digit unemployment for their proles. That's not even the new normal, it's the world without end permanent misery normal but it's for them, not us, so it's A-OK.

LordSomber said...

"Lets remember that the American taxpayer has paid for the defense of Europe for the past fifty years while they have wallowed in their socialism pigsty."

Europe is the teenager who lives in his parents' basement. He loves his "free" lifestyle but still hates his parents for it.

bgates said...

his non-establishment background

I'll never forget the 2008 election night coverage showing tears streaming down the dirty cheeks of the chimney sweeps and fishmongers who had been plucky little Barack Obama's classmates at Harvard Law School.

Paddy O said...

America is the Republican party of Europe.

Bunch of religious kooks and small government zealots from Europe getting together to form a more perfect union.

And ever since Eisenhower had his way with Europe in the 1940s, there's been a pretty strong Republican presence there standing off against the forces of communism... literally so for many decades.

Chef Mojo said...

It never ceases to boggle my mind that Europeans can't seem to grasp that this country was founded by Europeans who didn't want to be Europeans anymore.

There's a reason why we're the way we are, and why we tend to give two shits about what Europeans think of us.

kcom said...

"He seemed to have a very European perspective: his non-establishment background, his cadence, the liberality all promised to be one-worldy."

But we're not in Europe. See the problem?

lemondog said...

Garland-wrenching

Or maybe garlic wrenching....?

Colonel Angus said...

the absence of any sort of electable socialist movement in America is a constant subject of incomprehension.

When you look at the current Democrat leadership, its about as socialist as European standards. There is clearly a large socialist wing in the Democrat Party. They just wont admit it.

dc said...

Does that mean that Margaret Thatcher was Howard Dean's ideological soulmate?
I don't think so.

lge said...

That guy sounds like a slobbering idiot. Or slavering idiot. Or slobbovian idiot.

I'll gladly throw a monkey-wrench in his garland.

Shouting Thomas said...

It never ceases to boggle my mind that Europeans can't seem to grasp that this country was founded by Europeans who didn't want to be Europeans anymore.

Yes. The ideological obsessions of Europe are precisely what Americans don't want.

Colonel Angus said...

It never ceases to boggle my mind that Europeans desire for more socialism in the face of collapsing economies as a result of socialist policies.

It's the definition of insanity.

Fred Drinkwater said...

@rcommal: from the editorial:
There was a feeling that for the first time in a generation there might be a president who was the sort of American Europeans yearned to love. He seemed to have a very European perspective: his non-establishment background, his cadence, the liberality all promised to be one-worldy.

What a short memory Mr. Gill must have. Has he forgotten James Earl Carter? Oh, I guess Carter does not fit - he was, after all, a hick, not an urban intellectual. Also, he may not want to remember Carter for some other reason; I wonder what that could be?

Seven Machos said...

Just so guys know, there's a dog whistle in the graf Althouse quotes. Those parties this guy mentions in "Hungary or Serbia" are modern-day Nazi parties.

Fuck this douchebag.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Paddy O:
"America is the Republican Party of Europe"

Nicely put, sir.

Fred Drinkwater said...

@rcommal: from the editorial:
There was a feeling that for the first time in a generation there might be a president who was the sort of American Europeans yearned to love. He seemed to have a very European perspective: his non-establishment background, his cadence, the liberality all promised to be one-worldy.

What a short memory Mr. Gill must have. Has he forgotten James Earl Carter? Oh, I guess Carter does not fit - he was, after all, a hick, not an urban intellectual. Also, he may not want to remember Carter for some other reason; I wonder what that could be?

traditionalguy said...

The European States still feel more comfortable with a Roman Imperium over them. When the Pope lost his clout, they started competing to be Roman Emperor of Europe. Since then England France, Germany and Russia were at each other's throats. for 400 years.

But here in North America we chose the Scotch-Irish Presbyterian Rebellion way.

That way is inflexible in their eyes, and Barack gave them a hope to reconquer us.

ASnd the Queens and Kings of England have never forgiven us for rebelling and they never will.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Fred-

He did say for the first time in a generation...

Carter was a generation ago.

Baron Zemo said...

"The term "garland wrenching grief" refers to the effect that a fan feels when their team signs a free agent pitcher from the Cleveland Indians or Baltimore Orioles. This of course referst to Wayne Garland who was perhaps the worst free agent signing in the history of baseball."
(Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract 1985)

Nathan Alexander said...

If Europe loves Barack Obama so much, why has no European nation ever elected anyone like him?

Colonel Angus said...

If Europe loves Barack Obama so much, why has no European nation ever elected anyone like him?

NIMBY

edutcher said...

The Euros were hoping that, with an un-American, anti-American POTUS pushing America onto the sidelines, Europe could reclaim its rightful place in the world.

With an American President, we may be able to avoid a return to 1941.

Methadras said...

We believe the left wing is always a necessary element in the balance of democracy.

And that belief lends much to your utter doom Europe and why your failed nanny state cradle to grave social welfare policies heaped on top of ridiculous open border policies have and will continue to crush you into the meat grinder of insolvency. You're ideology is a fail. A giant, miserable batch of political, socio-economic fail.

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Comanche Voter said...

I've got an Australian friend who is a diehard Obama supporter. He writes to tell me that Americans really don't appreciate the level of interest overseas in American presidential elections. And of course the poll figures show that most of the people who don't actually have to live in a palace that The Bamster (mis)governs are still wildly in love with him.

But this Brit op ed writer has tipped to the fact that The Bamster doesn't really much care about Europe--or anything else save his re-election.

And what my Australian friend (and this Brit op ed writer) don't understand is that your average American voter (I count myself as one) doesn't give a piece of flying buffalo poo what these guys want.

Firehand said...

"Dear Barack:
Why haven't you called? What did I do wrong?
Loving but puzzled,
the EU"

And please note that if we did get 'involved' with them they'd only approve if we bent over and handed them a bottle of lube. Sorry, We don't mind being involved, but we're not going to do it by your rules.

Firehand said...

Ever get the feeling that they'd be happier with the world if there was still a Belgian Congo, a German East Africa, and so forth?

Tibore said...

"It’s not the disappointment; it’s the hope we can’t bear."

Shorter A.A. Gill: "OMG, Americans aren't Europeans, and Obama's no savior. (*SOB*, *WHIMPER*)"

Tibore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"You would have thought Europe had gotten enough left wing government back in the 20th century."

Whether or not that's true, they certainly haven't seen any left wing government from the Obama Administration.

Seven Machos said...

Robert Cook -- Germany and in fact all or Europe needs a strong, national, socialist government. Don't you agree?

Robert Cook said...

"Lets remember that the American taxpayer has paid for the defense of Europe for the past fifty years."

If that's what you want to call it; more accurately, we have kept our forces there to make sure they understand we're in charge. We don't pay to defend anybody else...we pay to defend our own interests.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook -- Germany and in fact all or Europe needs a strong, national, socialist government. Don't you agree?"

No.

And yes, I get your little jest.

Thorley Winston said...

I've got an Australian friend who is a diehard Obama supporter. He writes to tell me that Americans really don't appreciate the level of interest overseas in American presidential elections. And of course the poll figures show that most of the people who don't actually have to live in a palace that The Bamster (mis)governs are still wildly in love with him.

I’m a Minnesotan and we experienced something similar from 1998-2002. A lot of people from outside our State were smitten with the idea of Governor Jesse “the Body” Ventura. Those of us who had to put up with his shenanigans while in office, not so much.


Seven Machos said...

I knew you would.

You are obviously intelligent, just woefully wrong about so much. Check your premises, I'd say.

virgil xenophon said...

7M et al re: "National Socialism" and Europe's love for Obama. My CPA and I used to joke that if Hitler were reincarnated today half of Germany would STILL reflexively shout Sieg Heil! and extend the arm, lol.

Geoff Matthews said...

Has anyone pointed out that fascism is a socialist (as in national socialism) movement?
The US is more of a Nationalist Free Enterprise.

Sam L. said...

Well, they do believe that what they see of us in the movies and on TV, and what they read of us in the papers, is true.

When will they ever learn?

Nora said...

Gill should stick to food critic and not venture into politics. At the moment Democrates in the US are much closer to socialist parties of Europe, than to any centrist parties. Also the parties shift positions and Labor under Neil Kinnock was very much more a socialist party than Labor under Tony Blair. Gill is supposed to know that before offering any opinions on party positioning anywhere in the world.

Anglelyne said...

...his non-establishment background...

?!?

It's remarkable how many people who consider themselves informed seem to know absolutely nothing about the president's background.

Robert Cook said...

"Has anyone pointed out that fascism is a socialist (as in national socialism) movement?"

They've tried to...Jonah Goldberg wrote a book about it. But comparing the Nazis to socialists is like comparing the Republican Part Abe Lincoln was a part of to the metastasized lunatic fringe that is the Republican Party today.

In other words, the comparison is specious.

Robert Cook said...

"When you look at the current Democrat leadership, its about as socialist as European standards. There is clearly a large socialist wing in the Democrat Party."

I think you've been hitting the 'shine a bit hard, there, Colonel, suh!

Colonel Angus said...

If that's what you want to call it; more accurately, we have kept our forces there to make sure they understand we're in charge. We don't pay to defend anybody else...we pay to defend our own interests.

In reality it was to form a mutual defense treaty so we didn't have to go over there for a third time.

Robert Cook said...

Oh...and Europeans are not interested in American Presidential elections for abstract ideological reasons. They know that whoever is the president of the USA will have a profound impact, good or bad, on them.

They just err in believing Obama is anything other or better than a standard-issue Wall Street factotum. He's more a technocrat, perhaps, a wonk rather than a George W. Bush-styled bully boy...at least overtly. Obama has not been shy about wielding American power to wreak death and destruction on other lands and peoples.

Michael K said...

"But this Brit op ed writer has tipped to the fact that The Bamster doesn't really much care about Europe--or anything else save his re-election."

What is funny is that it was all an act. He thinks Austrians speak Austrian. He scorns fellow Americans who don't speak another language but he doesn't either. Maybe they just like being lied to. They've followed enough liars to their doom.

Colonel Angus said...

I think you've been hitting the 'shine a bit hard, there, Colonel, suh!

Not at all. The leadership of the current Democrat Party consists of far left socialists who firmly believe the government should control everything. Health care, auto industry, all should be firmly in control of federal beaurucrats.

Heck, the two big government takeovers of private industry were touted by the current President and his lackeys as huge achievements.

hamcentral said...

Does anyone else want desperately to click on that Arabic-looking text and find out what kind of spam it is? I'm too worried for my PC security to give in to my temptation.

Methadras said...

Geoff Matthews said...

Has anyone pointed out that fascism is a socialist (as in national socialism) movement?
The US is more of a Nationalist Free Enterprise.


Of course. I point that out to our resident fascist, Inga every day. She's from Austria. It's genetic in her case.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

hamcentral said...

Does anyone else want desperately to click on that Arabic-looking text and find out what kind of spam it is? I'm too worried for my PC security to give in to my temptation.


Babelfish translates this as...

Chat and forums iraqna said ...

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Seven Machos said...

Click on it, you pussies. What's the worst that can happen?

Robert Cook said...

"Not at all. The leadership of the current Democrat Party consists of far left socialists...."

The 'shine has caused permanent brain damage, I'm afraid.

Palladian said...

A.A. Gill is a total asshole and is reliably wrong about everything. He's mostly known as a restaurant critic, and he's tenth-rate at that as well.

He once shot a baboon just so he could "find out what it felt like to kill someone".

Colonel Angus said...

Mr Cook, as you pine for a type of government that only exisits in your brain induced fantasy, you should refrain from making such diagnosis.

Marshal said...

Babelfish translates this as...

Chat and forums iraqna said ...

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It must be garage's sockpuppet. That makes exactly as much sense as his last comment.

hombre said...

Yes, the Europeans are all rooting for Obama, as is Russia. It's a matter of schadenfreude.