The Daily Show: International House of Pander-Cakes

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I talk a lot about our elections, but let’s take a look at what’s going on in the rest of the world. A few weeks ago in Russia, newly reelected President Vladimir Putin was sworn in after winning the election in March. Meanwhile riot police battled protesters nearby. Opposition leaders claim Putin won because of fraud and ballot stuffing.

What a bunch of sore losers, and by sore I mean they’ve been beaten brutally. Say what you will about Putin’s melodramatic governing style — strong-arm tactics, hard-line repression of free press and dissent in any form — you can’t top his stoicism in victory. Seriously, the man’s face during his swearing-in looked like how I imagine a Dostoyevsky novel would. At least the Russian people were overjoyed.

“Putin has usurped power, and he is going to illegitimately and illegally come to power again,” said Oleg Sukhov, a lecturer interviewed on camera. What a nice man, that Oleg. He will be missed.

Let’s move west and see what happens when you combine disparate European countries with a variety of cultures and languages, one made-up currency, a global financial meltdown and a social safety net that offers workers 30 weeks of vacation a year, a full pension at age 26 and cradle-to-grave chocolate.

Riots, that’s what. The rioting means either the fault line between Europe’s ruling class and its denizens has cracked open or Manchester United has just drawn with Barcelona. Yes, austerity has proved to be quite unpopular amongst the newly austere, and the effects are being felt electorally.

“In Greece the two main parties, the center right and the socialist parties, who backed the international bailout, together only won only about a third of the vote in parliamentary elections. Voters rejected them both in favor of more extreme parties on the left and right,” MSNBC reported.

Interesting. Rather than choosing a single path, Greece has gone with the bipolar approach. In Greece, 20 neo-Nazi candidates came into power and they elected old-line communists to rule at the same time.

You know what may get us out of our chaotic political situation? What if we took two failed, yet opposing ideologies — you know, the ones that battled in WWII — and hired them. It’s like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, only instead of chocolate and peanut butter, you combine s--- and poison.

Then again, these are “neo” Nazis; they might be different from the classic Nazis. Maybe less hate and a young, fresh flavor the kids can dance to.

Nope, their platform is to “seal their borders with mines.” I guess that explains Greece’s new tourism motto: “You’ll be fine if you stay in the middle part.”

France also held elections a couple of weeks ago, where President Nicolas Sarkozy squared off against Francois Hollande. Voters were given the choice of a diminutive, middle-aged establishment bureaucrat with an implausibly hot wife, or a diminutive, middle-aged socialist bureaucrat with an implausibly hot girlfriend.

I don’t care who won. This is just yet another thing to add to my list of things I don’t understand about France. Why do your elderly bureaucrats have really hot spouses or girlfriends? That goes right in between why your skunks are so date-rapey and Gerard Depardieu.