Sunday, December 29, 2002

JB Armstrong has some interesting thoughts on Josh Marshal's proposition that recent electoral victories by Schroeder, Lula and Roh indicate that anti-Americanism is catching on in political races around the world (I commented on this earlier). JB thinks that Marshal is over-emphasizing Schroeder's cricitism of Bush and not giving enough weight to the impact the Greens had in the German election:
... The Greens saved Schroeder's skin. The Social Democrats lost seats in the Bundestag, after sliding from 41% in 1998 to 38.5% in 2002. Schroeder's open break with Bush certainly won him some votes, but it didn't win the election for the left-alliance; it was the Greens, who went from 6.7% to 8.6%, under "straight talking" Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, the most popular politician in Germany. It was the Greens who pulled up the rear, winning the election for Schroeder. I know. It's doubtable that the beltway Democrats will be giving the Greens a bit of praise, anywhere, anytime soon.
Yes. The Greens were necessary for Schroeder to form a ruling coalition. But, doesn't this support Marshal's thesis? After all, the Greens are even more anti-Bush then Schroeder was and they, as JB points out, gained quite a few seats. BTW, the German Greens and the American Greens are very different creatures. After all, quite a few oppresive communist regimes used the word "Democratic" in their official names. That doesn't mean they are akin to each other. JB does bring up an interesting side question to all of this: how much of these recent campaigns were anti-Bush vs. anti-American? This is an important distinction, since anti-Bushism can be cured by a simple election while anti-Americanism will take a lot more work to overcome.

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