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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The mis-named and ignorant Mr. Duguid

State Department spokesperson Gordon Duguid isn't just working in the wrong place to match his name, he's also not very bright. He claimed today that "[The U.S.] will continue to seek to maintain a positive relationship with Venezuela," which could only be true if the U.S. had been seeking to maintain such a relationship. Perhaps that's arguable, and certainly it can be excused as diplomatic talk.

But this can't be called anything but ignorance: "In the United States, we have term limits, but that's our practice." Well, it's true we have term limits for some offices, including President, but Robert Byrd, just to name one of thousands, would certainly be surprised to learn that term limits are some kind of "universal truth" that applies throughout elective office in the United States. And to the extent that it exists at all, it's almost entirely, perhaps entirely, a late 20th century phenomenon, and very much an anti-democratic practice (and to an extent an anti-Democratic practice as well), pushed by right-wingers as a way to increase corporate power and the power of lobbyists (two sides of the same coin).

Anyone claiming (as, to his credit, Duguid did not) that unlimited terms for office are undemocratic, even limiting the scope of the statement just to President, will have to explain why they think that the United States spent the first 175 years of its existence as an undemocratic country (at least from that standpoint only!).

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