Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Brickbat: Enough With Iceland, Already!

Woody wishez folkz would stop flogging that poor, Icelandic pony and trotting out the utterly anomalous, irrelevant, irreproducible phenomenon they call the "Icelandic miracle" as if it bore the faintest relevance to ANY other place on earth other than ICELAND itself.
Yes, Iceland's "people" spoke and the State listened. Bankers wer jailed. Banks were closed. Parliament acted.
But consider:
There is one member of the Icelandic parliament for every 4500 citizens (and they're probably a relative). Your kids play together. You see 'em in church. As their representative, the MP probably DOES know the names of most of her/his constituents.
In the US, there is one member of Congress for every 750 THOUSAND citizens.
In order for a USer citizen to have an influence on their Representative comparable with the an Icelander, there would have to be around SIX THOUSAND members of Congress, instead of 435.
It's a matter of scale.
Everything about Iceland is about 1/1000 the USer scale: Population, land mass, economy, you name it.
So such comparisons are spurious, at best.

What Woody wonderz is: WHY is John Kerry the "ONLY OTHER PERSON" (other than Susan Rice) "in the conversation" about a replacement for departing Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton? ?  ?
There simply cannot be only two suitable candidates, can there? That's the Presidential myth, but I'd never thought it extended into the level of appointments, too.
Who else, you ask?
Say, I betcha Bill Richardson'd do it, I betcha. A Party that would put Madeleine Albright in the job cant have THAT many scruples.
Here's a list of six OTHER plausible (ceteris paribus), confirmable candidates, including Al Gore and Colin Powell, whose nominations would NOT occasion a Senate vacancy.

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