Canada grades the U.S. for its 2011 politics

Do you care?  If you don’t, I wouldn’t bother reading this article.  But I think it is important to know what our neighbors to the north think about us since they are more progressive in their approach to issues like gun control, consumer rights and health care than we are.  Considering just those aspects of Canada’s government, you would be right if you assume their attitude toward American politics is that 2011 was, as they describe it, a year of “lowlights.”
Gabby Giffords

The article from the Montreal Gazette starts with the assassination attempt on Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, which one year holiday will pass this coming Sunday.  As the paper put it, the year began with good intentions by President Obama in his State of the Union Address but basically ended there.  If there was ever a time in recent history where a reevaluation of gun control was called for, and just might have been demanded by the American public, it was then.

It was soon after that a Republican controlled House decided that it would block anything the Obama administration did just for the purpose of insuring that he wouldn’t be a two-term president.  The dysfunction commenced and lasted right down to the last day of December, 2011.  GOP House Speaker John Boehner was quickly reigned in by the radicals of the Tea Party, led by Rep. Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, and remained under their thumb until the end of the year.

The Keystone XL pipeline from Canada produced a flip-flop on the part of Obama, just when environmentalists thought they had won a major battle.  The President decided to allow earlier consideration of the project when the GOP became obsessed with its approval because of their claim it would create jobs.  Critics think Republicans did harm to its eventual passage by their insistence that it be included in the tax relief bill.
And then there was the birther controversy over whether Obama’s birth certificate was valid.  Canadians considered Donald Trump the “crackpot” he is when using the issue to discredit the President.  Even today there are still two fruitcakes pursuing this stupid theory after the President already provided evidence of his birth in Hawaii.  There was also Rep. Anthony Weiner’s tweeting photos of his genital to a woman.  A Democrat from New York, he first denied, then admitted what he had done, and the resigned in disgrace. 
Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin was around for a while, goading her pathetic followers into thinking she would run for President, when she had no intention of giving up the lucrative speaking engagements these feeble-minded people pay dearly for.  Canadians saw the sadness in the ineptitude of the 112th Congress to accomplish anything, including what they consider “one of the worst pieces of kitchen-sink legislation,” the 2-month payroll tax cut.

House Speaker John Boehner gets the nod as the “weakest political leader’ due his complete lack of control over the Tea Party in the GOP caucus.  He simply could not deliver the votes ending up in a loss of credibility with the White House, Democrats, even Republicans in the Senate.  It almost seemed at one time that Boehner wanted to work with President Obama on a range of issues, but then the Tea Party jerked him back to reality through moves by Eric Cantor.

Regardless of what Canada thinks of U.S. politics, the important thing is what do Americans think of their political situation.  With Congress at its lowest favorability rating ever, 9 percent, that seems painfully obvious.  Andrea Mitchell of NBC News said it best: she commented that only the military has a favorable rating in government.

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