JANUARY 1, 2012 9:51AM

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Rate: 27 Flag

     I usually refrain from commenting on U.S. politics. After all, I'm not an American, and even though I'm a regular on Fark.com's politics tab, I have only a vague idea about how presidents are elected (except evil scads of money are involved).

     And anyway, it's just too easy to be mean. Think scaly piscine creatures, large tub of water, sharp percussive sounds. Not that many pols (on either side of the border) would get it -- intelligent discourse is so far over their heads that they can't even see the contrail.

    Still, it's becoming more and more difficult to ignore -- or at least keep from laughing right out loud -- when I read the nonsense that comes from Republican candidates. It really is hilarious ... if you take it as satire, or maybe parody. I'll skip right over the obvious stuff, like the urban definitions of Santorum and Teabagging, and get right to the heart of things.    

     At any given time, all the candidates -- real, like Romney, and surreal, like Palin -- are high up on the whack-o-meter. I mean, Bachmann agrees that a social media conspiracy is behind Obama's successful campaigning, and Gingrich says he's a "middle-class person". Really? Is anyone taking these people seriously?

     (Alas, yes, if the latest ratings are to be believed. Especially people over 65, who are Fox News's fan base. Lucky for us sentient carbon-based lifeforms, Jon Stewart comes out ahead of almost all of the FN talking heads.)

    But I think the pinhead-of-the-campaign award (at least so far) has to go to Rick Perry, the Texas man who would be king and living proof that there are three kinds of people in the world -- those who can count, and those who can't.

     Along with all his other gaffes comes this gem from Iowa, as reported by that sinister (think about it) organisation, the New York Times:

" 'Every barrel of oil that comes out of those sands in Canada is a barrel of oil that we don’t have to buy from a foreign source,' Mr. Perry said in Clarinda, earning a loud round of enthusiastic applause."

     Breathtaking. It's got to be a joke, doesn't it? I mean, it's bad enough that Romney apparently doesn't consider Hawaii to be part of America, but this....

     OK, never mind: Perry's in a class by himself, up to a Nigel Tufnel 11 on the stupidity dial.

     We up here more or less affectionately refer to Alberta -- where the tar sands he referred to are located -- as "Texas North", because it a) has a lot of oil b) is politically conservative c) was initially settled in part by whiskey-dealing thugs from below the 49th and d) is perhaps best known internationally as a dinosaur graveyard.

     But Alberta is still part of a sovereign nation not named the United States of America. So I'll lay out the obvious (obvious to anyone with an IQ in the high double digits): The oil Perry is talking about is being purchased from a foreign source.

     And while our current (lamentable but true) prime minister represents a riding in that province, and is slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun on many social issues, I think even he might be just the teensiest bit miffed at Perry's presumption and ignorance.

     But ... then again, maybe not. After all, oil's well that ends well.

  (Google map)

You see, governor, that large land mass to the north
is whole 'nother country.

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I never comment about politicos either.
Perry's hair doesn't blow in 80 mph wind.
Maybe Jay Leno can ride politico on a bike.
Digby has a annual Rat Wharf Bike Tour.
Over 60,000 bikers go to Digby to P.U.?
They try to pickup fisher men and women.

Nancy Pelosi can wrap her arms around you?
You can ride her etc., in `Nova Scotia, Canada.
Shelbourn County has only one stop/go light.
I was there for two months and still looking.
I been jailed, sober, and sang in the shower.
I never shed beast tears like a crock-dialer.
Hippo? Alley Cat, Gator, Newt Gingrich.
You make me want to ride a pork-0-pine.
Americans 'affectionately' consider us to be an extra state, self-governing so not a bother, but available for pillaging as required.
*Shakes her head*

American political candidates are geographically challenged when it comes to North America. Don't ask me why... perhaps it is because most of them haven't got the brains God gave an amoeba.
So if you're "Texas North" that would mean Rick Perry is your Governor!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Suckers!!!!!

P.S. You touched him last so you have to keep his ignorant ass!
I wish he'd get some posting - away from Texas - so we could muddle along without him. Your description, "Rick Perry, the Texas man who would be king and living proof that there are three kinds of people in the world -- those who can count, and those who can't." is my all-time favorite.
It's highly hilarious, Boaner, but I just can't laff at it anymore without choking. The second coming, I'm afraid, is upon us. Happy New Year, anyway.
If you sat here and had this crap thrown in your face every day and have no choice most days if you want to keep up with the news.. well, pardon my french please.. Even if you think Harper is awful.. these guys make him look like a King.
It is insane and have no idea why the Amercian public puts up with it. Its not like who they vote for can become President anyways. There is that darn Electoral College who crowns their King.
Just ridiculous and I could go on for hours but its a new year:)

For some of us this sort of thing is just well...embarassing. If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting another country you could never mistake it for the USA.

Dare I wish you and the tiny redhead a Happy New Year?!! I shall, in spite of the crazy goings on here I remain optomistic for the new year.
Bo, While our Tar Sands politics are nothing to be proud of, I'm almost out of words, once I stop laughing - - or is that crying? If he is not aware of what "foreign" means, I'm sure "sovereignty" is a word Perry could not even spell. His ignorance, arrogance and geography, well, speaks for itself ...

I'm glad it prompted you to post, though!
No, you can't make this stuff up. And since you bring up ignorance about Canada and matters Canadian, I (an American) remember an interview on television with Brian Mulroney about twenty years ago in which he pointed out that Canada was America's largest trade partner. This is still the case today. The Prime Minister added during that interview that the province of Ontario itself, setting aside the rest of Canada, would have been at that time America's largest trade partner.

It is very unlikely that most of the Republican candidates are sufficiently informed on Canadian-American relations. Most of us here in the States are not as aware as we ought to be of our neighbors to the north and south.

As an American, I find it entirely appropriate for people to comment on American politics. With the influence my country has on the rest of the world, every citizen of every country has an interest in how our politics sort out. We voters in America, however, have the ultimate responsibility. It is sad that many Americans view their voting rights with ambivalence and sometimes even disregard. It is sadder still that as an electorate we are not nearly as informed as we ought to be.

I love my country, and I worry about it. No society can sustain itself for long on consumption and diversion, nor can these things rescue a nation and a planet from crisis.

The humor that the enemies of the American political right find in the current slate of Republican presidential candidates is a dark and grim humor indeed. Because the two-party system has a stranglehold on our democracy, we need both parties to represent thriving, substantive, informed, constructive agendas despite their fundamental disagreements. With the Republicans putting on this absurd and farcical display and the Democrats standing for little more than not making themselves seem as ridiculous as their opponents, solutions to our country's problems and our contributions to the solutions of the world's problems are increasingly unlikely to come about.

So, in short, it really is a joke, isn't it? And really, it's no laughing matter. But if we don't laugh, we'll cry.
So Canada is part of the US??? He is a shining example of the failure of the US school system!
You mean Hawaii is NOT part of Japan? News to me. Happy New Year! : ) R
Considering that our government has leased the oil bearing 'tar sands' of Alberta to American companies for development and exploitation, he's not so very off base at all. If America has obtained the rights to it, is it not then American?

Our governments have always bent over backwards to cater to American needs for natural resources. We are such good little lap-dogs.....*wag, wag*.........
Yep, Art, you're right -- it really is goofy.

Could be right, Myriad.

Been a lot of head-shaking in this household too, Missus.

Oh, gee, thanks a lot, Amy, for the thought of touching him. Now I have to worry about cooties too? I think I just threw up a little.

Dianaani, maybe the president will get him out of your collective hair and appoint him ambassador to Canada.

Yeah, Matt -- what rough beast, its hour come round at last....

Linda, Harper may be a right-winger to us, but he'd be well left of centre in the US, I believe. Actually, that's kind of scary to think about.

And right back at you, my good friends BuffyW and Paul. I try to remain optimistic too.

Miss Scarlett, I know exactly what you mean. I spend a lot of time following politics here and abroad, and it truly isn't just American pols who are ignorant, uninformed or plain stupid. And thanks for saying that.

Paul, thanks for your considered and interesting response. One of the very great things that I've learned on Open Salon over the past three-plus years is how eager people here are to learn more about themselves and others. I think your politicians, and ours, for that matter, grotesquely underestimate the hunger their constituents have for real, factual information. Instead of reasoned and civilised debate, they deal in platitudes, fear-mongering and promises they know can't be kept. I love my country too, but I fear my government.

Yeah, Poppi, exactly. What made me cringe even more is that the audience applauded him.

No, but it might be part of Kenya, Trudge. Can't wait for that to appear on WingNutDaily. And happy New Year to you too.
You're in a dyspeptic mood today, Sky. Sure, I know -- the old branch-plant economy, hewers of wood and drawers of water, arguments have some validity.

But they're paying through the nose for it.
Nobody in America knows geography, much less geopolitical issues. That's why we have tv shows like "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader." The answer is, Not likely.
Get down on your knees and be grateful that you live in Canada, even with the * weather. Remember: Canada is America's good twin.
He's competing in a tough field Boanerges. Cain's incoherent Libya interview is tough to beat and then there's Bachman who saluted the Founding Fathers' struggle against slavery.
Perry has really embarrassed himself, and Texas, in this campaign, and he's proven to be a bigger clown than even I had imagined.
But. wait; from Detroit we go south to enter Canada, It's easy to see how that might have confused a governor from a southern state. Surely he knows that Mexico is a foreign country.
it's just so damned embarrassing, what the Dopes of the Right say, makes me wish i could walk through life with a holograph above my head that says 'democrat' or 'not one of the doofuses' or something. isn't this part of why some europeans call us the ugly americans? maybe some canadians do, too. or they will now. gah. the stupidity is just too, um, deep.
Obama is so weak, yet the Repubs could not come up with a strong candidate. The party does not have a relevant total platform.

I think political parties are like being in a bad relationship. People only see what they want to see.
You would not believe me here if I said, or maybe you would, how many this Canada is just like America Boan.
When I mention I lived there for 8 years, they all want to know how they can move there.
I never understand why they don't see the Great White North as a foreign country.
Nice map, btw...
Obviously Perry has never tried to cross the border back into the U.S. with a couple cases of LaBatt Bleue in the back seat...
Hey Sally, how're things? Americans aren't the only ones geographically or geopolitically challenged. Just check out our leading newspapers.

Oh, yeah, ONL, I do. I used to tell a similar-minded colleague that there isn't a week goes by that I don't find a reason to be grateful for where and when I was born.

I know, Abrawang. I don't think even The Onion at its most bizarre could come up with some of the stuff I see daily on the Fark politics tab.

And the beat goes on, Pro. Yesterday, he was discussing the "bumps and grinds" of campaigning. That's one pole dance I don't want to see.

John, yup, and that's an answer to a trivia question no one who hasn't lived around here will ever get. In fact, I'm 45 miles southeast of Detroit.

Yah, Femme, and like I said to Pro, the beat goes on. The thing about Americans is that we like you guys just fine; it's your politicians we can't stand. Well, most of us can't stand ours, either, so I guess that's OK.

KK, that's an astute comment about relationships and politics. How many people are actually swayed by the stumping?

Hello, Mission. Good to see you. I can't imagine living anywhere else in the world -- or at least, not the parts of it I've seen. I consider myself fortunate indeed. I'm glad you enjoyed your time here.

I'm a fan (duh) of Canadian beer, Smithery, but I can't imagine what it'd be like trying to get an undeclared 24 back across the border. The heavens would fall in.
This is the kind of writing I read and cannot comment because I find myself at a loss for something intelligent enough to say. Please let me suffice by quoting your last phrase, ". . oil's well that ends well" and rate with appreciation. R♥
You know what is so sad about this for me? That I'm so utterly unsurprised anymore by statements like this from the mouths of Perry and his ilk.
Thanks, Fusun.

VA, the hits just keep on coming, too.
For not knowing about American politics you sure as hell echo every thought on American minds. Where in the fuck do these people come from and people GIVE THEM MONEY to try to be Prez. The money is WASTED (except what the idiots pocket) they have people that don't have housing, jobs, food, etc., they if elected do not pass any meaningful legislation and what they do pass is only favorable to a few. The system is broke and illegal in every sense the world is an advertisement for your entertainment only nothing is free nothing is believeable. Oh how I do love the Caymans, Great Post Bo I find I get a bad headache when I have to think about politics. My best to the PLR and yourself my friend.......o/e Good Day
Very educational. Us Brits could learn a lot from Canada.
Thanks, O/E, for the vote of confidence. At least, that's what I think it was. The electorate everywhere -- and not just in the US -- remains wilfully and woefully ignorant, a situation on which the demagogues rely with great delight. My best to M and Co.

Thanks for chiming in from across The Pond, CreekEnd.
The fact that such a brain dead idiot can be elected to govern anything at all, I'm afraid says more for the electorate than it does about him.
Agreed, Fay. As the NYT story noted, the audience actually applauded when he said that.
Yeah, this is just limited to one of the political parties. The members of the other are perfect, correct, and good looking.

Remind me, again. Who's the guy that thought we had 57 States?
Hey, Unc, thanks for chiming in. I thought I made it clear (at least in the comments) that I don't have much use for pols generally, including the venal meatheads up here. God knows, I spent enough time with the cretins at all three levels.

I singled out the Republicans in this post because there is such amazing stuff coming out of the primaries. Obviously, the Dems aren't doing much this year, so I couldn't really lambaste them. And, yeah, I never did get the 57 states thing -- even I know better than that.