Leaders resign over economic issues in Germany, Japan. Why not in the US?

Germany's president and Japan's prime minister resigned because of comments or problems related to the economy. Could US officials take a hint?

Markus Schreiber/AP
German President Horst Koehler announces his resignation May 31 following criticism about remarks he made on German military deployments abroad. He appeared to link military deployments abroad with the country's economic interests. Japan has also seen a rash of official resignations over economic matters.

What in tarnation is with all these surprise resignations tonight?

The President of Germany just resigned in the middle of his term, marking the first time this has ever happened there.

And don't even ask about what's going on in Japan, where news just broke of a surprise resignation for the Prime Minister. If you're keeping count, this makes four straight Japanese leaders prematurely stepping down from office. Four. In a row. If they still practiced Seppuku over there, the streets of Tokyo would be slick and squishy with spilled entrails.

The proximate causes for both resignations this week were economic in nature. In the case of Germany, President Köhler let slip a reality that everyone was aware of but no one in the party wanted to voice - that Germany's military was operating in Afghanistan primarily to protect the country's corporate and mercantile interests. In the case of Japan, the Mt Fuji of Debt has once again become an issue of concern in the upcoming election and Hatoyama decided to sacrifice himself to help the party.

One wonders why it is that more American leaders haven't stepped down in light of, say, at least 11 years of nearly uninterrupted failure. The only way any politician steps down here is if they're caught tapping their feet in an airport mens room.

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