Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Let's Get Together

Surge or merge - By Bruce Reed - Slate Magazine

I was amused by the news the other day that Britain and France contemplated a merger in the '50s, back when such notions were all the rage? (Anyone else remember maps that had Egypt and Syria as one country, the U.A.R.?) But Bruce Reed sees the news as a jumping-off point for a modest proposal of his own. "Given his abysmal standing in the polls and in the world," Reed avers, "perhaps we should worry that President Bush will be forced on bended knee to make a similar offer. Forget the surge – what if Bush wants to merge?"

Somehow I don't think this is what Bush meant by "I'm a uniter, not a divider." But after spuriously suggesting that Bush secretly wants to join hands with France, Reed makes a more serious suggestion:
But if Bush is desperate to merge, let me suggest a different target: Canada. The benefits to us are obvious: massive natural resources, low health care costs, a safe haven from global warming. Merging with Canada would be like merging with Britain and France at the same time – and Quebec offers the taste of France without all the fat. Bush could finance the whole deal with the border control savings from the first year alone.

For a president at 30% approval, a U.S.-Canada merger (under the new name "AmeriCan") can only help. Conservatives will be thrilled to learn that Tom Tancredo was wrong – Bush's merger isn't with Mexico. Liberals will admire Canada's stance on same-sex marriage. Best of all, every American will welcome the hope that comes with any merger: the 50-50 chance that your chief executive will be the one to go.
Not that Stephen Harper would be any better, but that does sweeten the deal, doesn't it?

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