Monday, August 14, 2006

Europe, still the sophistication capital of the world

What happens, here in the States, is one political party or candidate will fire an over-the-top, vitriolic attack at the other party or candidate. In response, the aggrieved will express shock, shock at such unfair rhetorical excess.

It was once custom for the aggrieved to wait a certain period of time -- so as to claim moral high ground -- before launching an over-the-top vitriolic attack of their own and continuing the cycle.

Lately that "certain period of time" has been reduced to however long it takes to process the assault and formulate an equally venomous comeback. Yet, surprisingly, moral high ground is often still claimed. A wary public asks "when will it end."

I have no answer to that question, but I do have a pretty good idea as to what will come next in the battle to see what political "team" can out-slime the other.

It started in more of a geopolitical context when, a few months back, a British tabloid
printed a photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel changing out of her bathing suit. A century ago this would have triggered world war, but in the new, neutered European Union Germany could only strike back at England by printing unflattering photographs of England's soccer captain David Beckham's family.

Last week, France incorporated this development into domestic politics when French tabloids printed photographs of socialist presidential hopeful
Segolene Royal sporting a bikini. Soon enough a bathing suit shot of her likely conservative opponent, Nicolas Sarkozy, surfaced. Now French papers were able to run both images and allow potential voters to compare and contrast.

All reports point to Royal and Sarkozy being in-shape and stylish. British Prime Minister Tony Blair
didn't fare as well this weekend when a photograph of him vacationing on a boat in Barbados, while his countrymen camped in Heathrow Airport, prompted the headline "Bold and Defiant. Well, the Trunks Are."

In the interest of equal time the British papers also critiqued the bathing suit choices and grooming habits of Tory head David Cameron.

When exactly this new trend for flesh in politics will cross the Atlantic, I don't know. But given our current political climate it will get nasty quickly.

In light of this, I've heard Independent Joe Lieberman has hired a personal trainer and is spending as much time on his abs as he is on the campaign trail.


Katie T said...

Reason #352 why old Hil' needs LiLo by her side through the entire campaign trail. No one's asking them to be BFF's - but if the photogs are going after flesh - I'd rather see Linds

JT said...

Though not technically her flesh, we have been seeing a lot of Hillary lately.