Who Won?

The cultural chauvinism of US pundits has been in full swing since the elections in Spain over the weekend. New York Times columnist David Brooks leads off this morning’s opinion piece: “I am trying not to think harshly of the Spanish.” Well, la-di-dah, Mr. Brooks.

In the minds of most of the pro-war opinionators, the Spanish “caved” (one of last night’s banners from MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country”) to terrorists by electing José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as prime minister over José María Aznar, despite the fact that Aznar had joined the US “Coalition of the Willing” (COW) against the wishes of some 90% of the voters last year. Guys, that’s democracy. Sure, Aznar’s party was up a few points in the polls before the bombings last week, but so was Howard Dean before he landed in third place in the Iowa caucuses.

In the minds of Brooks and his ilk, the Spanish are now no better than the French; shameful sheep who can be terrorized into “appeasement”. I have to say, he doesn’t seem to have had a very high opinion of one of the primary partners in the COW. You have to wonder what he thinks of the Italians.

What I find intriguing is that at the same time Spanish voters are repudiated for supposedly letting a terrorist attack affect their elections, US voters are being urged by ads for George W. Bush to vote for him because — wait for it — of September 11.