There is a kind of provincialism that attends much of the "right" political attitudes, actions and words. One example of that isolationism is seen in the act of the new Speaker of the House of Representatives' refusal to attend the state dinner at the White House for Chinese Premier Hu Jintao this week. As former National Security Advisor to President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, put it on CNN's GPS this week, the decision was unwise since the Republican party is a co-partner in government in Washington.
Snubbing the Chinese Premier because of who knows what issue, even including the outsourcing of jobs, and the exacting of technology transfers to the Chinese for permission to produce American goods in their country, or for not taking a strong enough stand against North Korea or whatever....the U.S. interests are not going to be better served by the Speaker abdicating his responsbility by refusing to attend. His presence is not an endorsement of the Obama administration; he presence is not a condoning of any specific act of either commission or omission on the part of the Obama adminstration. He absence is merely a reflection on his extremely poor judgement and reflects badly on himself, on his pary and his country. He ought to know better!
Another sign of provincialism is evident in the "parting of ways" between Keith Olbermann and MSNBC last Friday evening, when the announcement was made on the Countdown show of which Olbermann was the face and voice and much of the mind. To silence Mr. Olbermann, either by MSNBC former owner/managers (under the General Electric brand name) and/or the new owners, Comcast...just as the sale/takeover was approved by the Federal Communications Commission, looks suspiciously as if the new owners might have made it part of the deal that he had to be evicted prior to their formal takeover. Voices of the left, especially that of Mr. Olbermann are few and far between, and the money and influence of the right continue to grow to the exclusion of any rebuttal from the left. And to compare the 'opinion' shows from Fox, including O'Reilly, Hannity and Beck, where the facts barely matter, with the Countdown show, is like comparing the intellects of Palin with that of Obama....they are not even in the same ballpark. This is an unapologetic plea for Keith Olbermann to resurface and to continue his fight for the 'left' in his own unabashed and unapologetic way, where he can and will keep hope alive for a second term for President Obama, and hope alive for the resurgence of the American middle class. We are all watching!
Another example of narrow mindedness comes from the autobiography of Carol Simpson, a black news reporter whose story entitled, Newslady, is replete with stories of her being confronted with unabashed racism when, for example she showed up at a farewell party for one of the correspondents at ABCNews who was being transferred to Moscow, only to be asked by an executive of the company why she was not wearing a uniform and an apron and serving hors d'oeuvres. (Ms Simpson is proudly black!)
Depending on your perceptions, there is a kind of provincialism that accompanies the Canadian Prime Minister in all of his attitudes, actions and policies. One of the latest was his patronizing of the Canadian people and the leader of the Liberal Party for the atack ads that depict Mr. Ignatieff as 'not coming back to Canada for you' because he has apparently been working elsewhere (establishing a considerable reputation as a scholar on human rights, while teaching and writing at Harvard for two decades). Another was his pompous assumption that the Canadian people have grown comfortable with the government he leads. Another is his hands off approach to the environment (5 ministers in 5 years, none of whom made an ounce of progress because the Prime Minister is the real Minister of the Environment, as well as all the other ministers). Canada has become a laughing stock simply because the Prime Minister is not prepared to enter the arena with some form of carbon tax that would reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, and thereby increase the costs of production of those products whose production process emits large amounts of the dangerous gas.