We criticise our politicians a lot in New Zealand, with good reason. Whatever their own stated noble reasons for entering politics, like their compatriots overseas they end up as apologists for the status quo. American politicians however, like most things American, take things to the extreme. A hillarious example (to an outsider who doesn’t have to live in the US) is their Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner. He cries so often when giving speeches that he has been labeled as “weeper of the house”. He seems to exemplify everything that is rotten in the American political system and why Congress only has a 13% approval rating. Below is a quote from the beginning of Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone Magazine article on Boehner. Ouch! Imagine a New Zealand journalist/commentator talking about a kiwi politician like this! Just not done old chap even if it has foundation.
“John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich….
The Democrats have plenty of creatures like Boehner. But in the new Speaker of the House, the Republicans own the perfect archetype — the quintessential example of the kind of glad-handing, double-talking, K Street toady who has dominated the politics of both parties for decades. In sports, we talk about athletes who are the “total package,” and that term comes close to describing Boehner’s talent for perpetuating our corrupt and debt-addled status quo: He’s a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him to get the job done.”