Friday, February 22, 2008

Apparently, "democracy" is context dependent.

On the one hand:

Mr. President, can you tell us what it means for the United States that — for the U.S. policy — that Castro has said he's going to step down? And how is that going to change things for the U.S.?

... The international community should work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions that are necessary for democracy. And eventually, this transition ought to lead to free and fair elections — and I mean free and I mean fair, not these kind of staged elections that the Castro brothers try to foist off as being true democracy.

Then again:

Exclusive: U.S. urges Pakistanis to keep Musharraf, despite election defeat

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan _The Bush administration is pressing the opposition leaders who defeated Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to allow the former general to retain his position, a move that Western diplomats and U.S. officials say could trigger the very turmoil the United States seeks to avoid.

U.S. officials, from President Bush on down, said this week that they think Musharraf, a longtime U.S. ally, should continue to play a role, despite his party's rout in parliamentary elections Monday and his unpopularity in the volatile, nuclear-armed nation.

That's all you get. I'm not wasting a good punchline on that one.


The Seer said...

For the Love of God! He's going to ask you to keep Stephen if "there's no clear winer"in the next election. Or even if there is.

E in MD said...

You mean the kind of democracy where every vote of the people is counted and the President isn't decided by the Supreme Court?

Or does he mean the type of election where one party doesn't buy off or get bought off by the company making the machines people will be voting on and changes the voting laws so you can't challenge an election result anymore?

E in MD said...

2001, the year democracy by the people became an inconvenient buzz word to those with the power.

Joe said...

Time to go back and read Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" again:

In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning.

The Seer said...

In other words, false prophet, "supporting democracy" is like "supporting the troops." Except, of course, that we really do support the troops. Wear red! (It's Friday.)

¢rÄbG®äŠŠ said...

E in MD, I think he means the kind of democracy where a US-friendly individual is somehow installed in the top office.

Ti-Guy said...

I've given up worrying about democracy and would rather concentrate on issues that are clearly anti-democratic. They are easier to identify, since the forces behind them are identified by their dishonesty and the desperate actions they take to hide that fact.

We don't have true democracy, so it's practically impossible to deal with something that doesn't exist; in any case, democracy is a complex of institutions and processes, not a thing per se. What we do have are the measurable, real world events brought about by the actions of anti-democratic agents, and those are, at least in theory, subject to challenge and remediation.

Red Tory said...

If our media wasn't so completely fucking useless, someone might have asked Bush (and for that matter, McCain as well as the two Democratic frontrunners) why the United States has no problem whatsoever supporting the virtual dictatorship of Islom Karimov in Uzebekistan. Just one example amongst MANY of un-democratic regimes (with some of the the trappings of popular "democracy" — for example, Uzebekistan had "elections" back in December, but uh-oh, no opposition parties or candidates were able to participate...)