How others see us

The Norm Coleman – Al Franken recount story is a hit — sort of — in Europe.

On Wednesday, MPR’s Mark Zdechlik was on the BBC’s Up All Night. Once you get past the mangling of Mark’s name, it’s even more interesting to hear the questions. The host apparently thought the race between the two was over. But when you hear Mark explain the process, one wonders how anyone overseas can wonder what’s wrong with Minnesota.

“Why didn’t anyone weigh into this long before?” the commentator asked, referring to the Supreme Court ruling in the Gore-Bush clash in 2000 49 days after the election. “There is no sense of a clock running here at all,” he said incredulously.

“We urge more patience on you,” he said.

Meanwhile, All Things Considered host Tom Crann was on the radio in Dublin. The host on RTE Radio 1wondered why a Democrat in “one of the bluest states in the union” couldn’t easily win an election in which Barack Obama swept to victory.

Told by Crann that Coleman was appealing this week’s decision, the host intoned, “Oh, good lord.”

Why does Europe care? Is it a fascination with the democratic process in the colonies? Or the fact it involves a former comedian?

  • GregS

    Europeans have always held more interest in the west than the east.

    I remember huge demonstrations in Europe in 1969 against US “imperialism” in Vietnam – which appeared rather odd given the utter silence by the Euro-radicals when the Soviet empire re-established itself in Czechoslovakia in 1967.

    The same silence was repeated in 1980 when the Soviet empire extended itself into Afghanistan and the same opposite of silence erupted when the US finally did something about Saddam.

    Europeans have a loopy obsession with the US….it take their minds off problems in their own backyard.

  • Elizabeth T.

    Most (all?) of them have parlimentary governments. This, simply put, couldn’t happen there. Government elections are just as big a deal with the pop media. But, hey, we’re different. Same sort of culture, but drastically different approaches to self-determination.

    Like rubber-necking passing a burning wreck on I-35W. They can wipe their brows and say “thank god, it’s not us.”