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Donovan: North Korea is a Monarchy

At long last, the Democrats may have found their Sarah Palin, a Republican Vice Presidential candidate much criticized for having said, probably not in jest, that one could see Russia from Alaska.

In an extensive interview with Hartford online radio network’s “On The Horn”, 5th District U.S. House candidate Chris Donovan several times referred to North Korean dictators as monarchs (not butterflies), a flub that would portend alarming ignorance in lesser Republican candidates. Mr. Donovan called both the elder Kim Jong IL and his peachy-cheeked son “kings.”

Here is a transcription of Mr. Donovan's remarks on Korea:

"Horn: We have things going on in North Korea I want you to comment on… What do we do with places like North Korea, where we have the boy king?

"Donovan: Well, it’s still pretty much of a mystery right now. We’re seeing more of North Korea than we’ve seen in decades. I mean, the stories that were told to the populace about the former king and his exploits on the golf course (pause), amazing the information going on. Again, like what’s going on in the Arab world, it’s a challenge for us. And it’s an opportunity for us as well. We’ve had tough years with North Korea in the last few years, due to the personality of the then king. I think we should reach out as aggressively to the new king. There’s a better way. We can help your populous of your country where people apparently are starving. And the Unites States can play a role. I know that in South Korea, there’s a real bitterness towards the former king. I think the United States can move into a place where maybe South Korea can’t, and try to pull them in and help them change in a way that is helpful to the area, as well as helpful to the United States and helpful to the people. I see this this as a real opportunity. I think we should do our best to say – all right, there’s a new king."

Mr. Donovan also said of Cuba, a country proximate to Florida – though it cannot be seen from there – that it ‘is not a wealthy country.” Cubans under King Castro, who make about $9 dollars a month in salary, are considerably less wealthy than state workers in Connecticut. Both the Castro brothers, who through state regulation more or less own the means of production in Cuba, are wealthy. A few years ago, Cuba’s dictators did away with caps on salaries that assured doctors should receive the same salary under socialisimo as people who cleaned their offices, according to a report in The Guardian. That experiment in capitalism may prove beneficial. It also may result in the kind of wage disparity increasingly denounced here in the United States by Mr. Donovan, who may be surprised to discover that unions are frowned upon in wealthy Cuba.

NOTE: The text has been corrected. Mr. Kantrowitz pointed out that Mr. Donovan did not say, as initially reported on this blog, that Cuba was wealthy. He said it was NOT wealthy. On a second hearing, Mr. Donovan’s “NOT wealthy” is obvious. My thanks to Mr. Kantrowitz for calling it to my attention.


Don - The head of state in North Korea has been an inherited post for the last 2 generations - so king isn't so far off.

Also listen to the interview again - Chris said Cuba is NOT a wealthy country.
Anonymous said…
Don, can you give me audio of Donovan's comments re Cuba? Because I listened to the interview, and don't know what you are referring to.

Also, what is the difference between North Korea's ruling family and an actual royal family? Son, then grandson? With absolute power!

Anyway, love your blog. I just think this one is a stretch, and again I'd love to hear that Cuba quote if it exists.

Go Ron Paul!
Don Pesci said…

Click on the "On The Horn" link in the text.
Don Pesci said…
Not every king is a dictator; that's probably the correct term for the father and son team in Korea. Napoleon, who had himself crowned emperor by the Pope of the day, was both. The "founder" of North Korea, father of the late Kim Jong IL, was, according to Korean mythology, born on a holy mountain; so there is an aura of otherworldliness that hangs around the first two dictators. Don’t worry about Donovan; he’ll get up to speed eventually.


See Note on textual change. Click on "On The Horn" for broadcast.
Anonymous said…
Chris Donovan = Sarah Palin.

100% accruate comparison.

The Democrats need to find a better nominee for the seat who won't be such an embarrassment or won't lose the seat for the Democrats.
Anonymous said…
An actor playing Palin on SNL said she could see Russia, not Palin herself
Don Pesci said…

On the difference between "kings" and "dictators," we must both bow to Mark Twain: The difference between the right word and the wrong word is the difference between a "lighting bolt" and a "lightning bug." I don't know any modern commentator or politician, other than Mr. Donovan, who has referred to the twin Korean dictators as “kings” five times in eleven successive sentences. Twain would have given him life for that. His remarks on Korea are a little frothy, don’t you think?
Don Pesci said…

Yes, you are right. There is a good discussion of the miss-attributed statement here:

After the crush of false reports, the line "I can see Russia from my back yard" falsely became attributed to Palin. She said that Russia could be seen from parts of Alaska. It is a serious problem for the non-fiction side of news reporting. The public is not always able to distinguish between parody sites and the real deal. And impressions, unless they are challenge, soon become settled in the public mind.

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