Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Political Pops

Political succession can be scary. Scary funny. Scary uncomfortable. Scary sad.

For the funny, consider the announcement that Ethan Hastert will run for congress. Ethan, son of one of Rolling Stone's 2006 10 worst congressmen and disgraced former speaker Denny, has no experience, except what he learned at his father's knee. Perhaps it will be enough ... at least for a few laughs.

For uncomfortable, consider the position of Kim Jong-nam, oldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Although KJ-n once seemed to be on the path to leadership, a little bit of his own crazy and his pop's (and perhaps his mother's death) have contributed to his younger step-brother, Kim Jong-un seeming to be the favorite to succeed his father, who succeeded his father. [Earlier: Entertaining Evil] It is possible that KJ-u may end up disappeared in the succession, but other than that the North Korean succession might make for a lukewarm BBC political soap, except for the part about people acting crazy who are in control of nuclear weapons.

And if you're in the mood to cry while wondering what could have been different if a son had been allowed to follow the path of his father as a tribal chief, The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does not Forget tells how the son tried to bring his father's murderers — men who said they were only carrying out (i.e., not guilty of) the madness of Idi Amin's Uganda — to justice.

Funny, scary or sad, it's all just the politics of the place as a son succeeds a politico father.

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