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Yes they can!

I attended a US Election Night Party in central London last night. It was wall-to-wall Obamamaniacs. They had badges (or ‘buttons’ as you Americans call them) on sale and while my first choice would have been Bob Barr, I chose a McCain/Palin one just to piss everybody off. Significantly, the Obama/Biden badges were on sale at £5 each while the McCain/Palin ones were going for a knock-down £3. A portent of things to come, I thought.

Anyway, since Perry has manfully tried to steer us all towards optimism this morning, I felt compelled to sink my hand into the mud, dredge up a big, smelly, greasy, filthy dollop of pessimism and smear it all over you. Oh come on, you know you love it really.

So, the USA has finally got its version of the Tony Blair/New Labour revolution and, if our experience is anything to go by, then ‘get ready for da pain’. I wish someone had had the foresight to slap an export restriction on it. It means (as if you have not already guessed) a whole heaping helping of new taxes and regulations but, most tellingly, a huge expansion in the public sector payroll. What better way to ensure future election success than with an army of loyal, grateful and dependent voters? That’s how they did it here. Welcome to the client-state. Can they do it? Yes they can. And they will.

The Republican Party (which I care little for) is probably buggered. Not only is it going to take them a long time to get over the now-universal loathing of ‘Bush and the neocons’ but they are also likely to paralyse themselves with an extended period of intra-party squabbling about which directon to take. Furthermore, it is very unsafe to assume that they will move in the right direction. We made that mistake here after the Conservatives got their clocks cleaned in three consecutive elections. “They have no choice”, we said “but to take the party in a more free market, libertarian direction”. Boy, were we wrong about that. Instead, they decided that what they needed was a big dose of what the other guy was having. Don’t be surprised if you find that the whole centre of American political gravity has shifted semi-permanently to the statist/left.

However, libertarian ideas (which I care a lot for) are also probably buggered. The Keynsians are busy priming their pumps which means that not only are things going to get worse, they are going to made worse. But do you think that Mr. Audacity and his chums are going to get the blame for that? Think again. “Unregulated, free market capitalism” (as if we have ever been within a cruise missiles range of any such thing) has already been fingered as the culprit for this crisis of regulatory statism and that gigantic lie has now become the accepted narrative. As I always say, its perceptions that matter. For crying out loud, the epidemic of violent youth crime in this country is still being laid at the door of Margaret Thatcher (“She created a greedy, me-first society where nobody cares about other people”).

Furthermore, we can expect to have to deal with an emboldened IslamoLeft. Regardless of whether or not there is any objective justification, they will see this as a vindication of their efforts meriting a redoubling of their political ‘jihad’. I’m not necessarily referring to bombs on buses here but, if I was them, I would be drooling at the sight of all those 20-something “Yes we can” chanters and gearing up to harvest a fresh crop of Useful Idiots (a Western commodity so reliable that it really ought to be the subject of a futures contract, like pork bellies or cocoa).

So, there we have it. Several reasons to be uncheerful. What do we do? I have no idea. Probably carry on doing this. What else can we do?

Have a nice day.

And come back soon.

Missing you already.

39 comments to Yes they can!

  • Sunfish

    Around 9 or so my time, I heard that McCain was going to give a speech. I thought “Come on, don’t give it to him, at least make him steal it!”


    Today makes three times in my three decades and change that I’ve watched the world change: a wall fell in Berlin, two buildings fell in lower Manhattan, and last night.

    Events #2 and #3 don’t feel all that different.

  • Dave B

    “Instead, they [the Conservatives] decided that what they needed was a big dose of what the other guy was having. Don’t be surprised if you find that the whole centre of American political gravity has shifted semi-permanently to the statist/left.”

    I don’t see it that way.

    The Conservatives are pushing a platform for decentralising power from Westminster to local gov’t, and individuals. (policing and schools being the big ones here)

    They’re want non-state actors to provide welfare/education services (taking the state out of service delivery, big win).

    Want to return Quango power to councils/Westminster. (After reading How to Destroy the Enemy Class the other day, this looks ever more sparkly 🙂 )

    The proof of the pudding and all that, but I’m quite excited about changes that the Conservatives delivering on their platform could bring.

  • Ian B

    Dave B, my impression of Call Me Dave’s plans is it’s not what it appears to be. Seen through my cynical, rheumy eyes, they are the next stage of the construction of the progressive state.

    One of the key elements of the progressive plan is the floating off of powers from democratic institutions to progressive/enemy class institutions, to entrench them beyond the will of the people. What those isntitutisons are doesn’t particularly matter. For instance, they might be quangos. Or they might be non-profit organisations. Or they might be giants, but that’s something else entirely.

    The key point is that at the end of the process, the only actual function of the parliament/government is to act as a source of authority, beyond which it does nothing. By being the legitimate government, it provides the authorising power to the actual legislating body, which is governing by enabling powers but run by non-democratically responsible actors. So the key thing here is whether state power is being weilded or not, and not whether the government does it or an Enemy Class agency does it; in fact we’d prefer the government to do it since then at least it is in some way democratically responsible. This is why the Enemy Class have so hard pushed the idea that the government can’t be trusted and an “independent body” must govern instead so whatever it is isn’t “a political football”.

    So when Call Me Dave talks about his post-bureucratic bollocks he actually means handing more state power to bodies enabled by the state. It’s more progressivism. He may for instance decide to hand welfare over to charities- which are almost universally Enemy Class corporations. The charity then gets to have power over vast amounts of money and people, with its power to do so enabled by the state. This is more power to the Enemy Class. It’s not smaller government, it’s government even bigger and contracted out beyond parliamentary control. It’s not a Big Win for us, it’s a Big Lose, and Dave gets a win too since he can fool a lot of people that he’s being somehow libertarianish a bit.

    Just about the only thing worse than massive state welfare administrated by bureaucrats is massive state welfare adminstrated by charitycrats; worse than state schooling is state funded schooling run by Enemy Class corporations. It’s not a step closer to the free market; if anything it’s a step away. This is the unbridled corporate state in action.

    Dave is One Of Them, not One Of Us.

  • Stephanie

    What do we do? I have no idea. Probably carry on doing this. What else can we do?

    Not much else, I don’t think. Aside from making sure the philosophy doesn’t fall into total obscurity (worse than it is now), I suspect it’s utterly out of our hands. I think it will take a major shift in belief throughout the majority of the West, at the very least. (Even if one or two countries go libertarian, globalization will likely drag them back left. I believe this is part of what’s happening with the US.) Such things have happened before, but they can’t be induced: you either get lucky and end up with the next Christianity or Enlightenment or Marxism, or — more likely — you don’t, and the majority continues on their way.

  • Dave B

    @Ian B
    I take you point about charities, but as I understand it businesses would also be welcome. In the case of schools, I would expect that they’d mostly be be run by the heads as owner/manager type outfits.

    The Conservative party does have bright eyed true believers in the mix (I’m thinking here of the Hannan/Carwell Direct Democracy types, IDS social justice, anti-EU, free marketeers etc) So I don’t think you should just assume the worst.

  • Thaddeus: I think you are really just bitter about the Roma match.

  • Millie Woods

    The world is divided into do-ers and be-ers and by and large the be-ers live on the left of the political sprectrum the do-ers on the right. The fact that the US government is now overloaded with be-ers is both cause for alarm but also for smirking because be-ers talk but never do much.
    The US will stagnate at best, decline at worst but the Nancy’s and Harry’s are really an ineffectual lot and when the spoiled brat electorate has had its fill of promises, promises but no real change for the better the tide hopefully will turn and the mess will be cleaned up.

  • tdh

    Want further cause for pessimism?

    In Federalist paper 10, Madison writes:

    “[S]uch [i.e. “pure”] democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. … A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt [in a republic] to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it, in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district than an entire State.”

    The Constitutional protections having been removed, we are more subject to, and now in peril of, the consequences of united faction. This is why it was important to keep the ignoramus/liar Alito off of the Supreme Court, for what was, to momentarily give him the benefit of doubt, a complete misunderstanding of Madison’s advocacy of the increase in the number of factions in order to prevent the problem of faction.

    The most predictable thing about the collapse of civilization is a great decrease in population. If this happens again, we will be facing not the 3/4 population decline in post-Roman Italy, but rather something that will make The Road Warrior seem a depiction of paradise.

  • James

    Latino immigration is having ominous implications for Republican electoral competitiveness. Importing voters looks a pretty good long-term strategy for the Democrats.

  • Brad

    To consider this election as some monumental move left in total, Bush II is/was slightly to the left of JFK. It’s not like we had anything close to a bastion of individual liberty that we now have lost. This election is simply the next logical step in the long coming sovietization (in the practical sense, not the theoretical) that both parties have been party to. Again, the only difference is pacing. I’d much rather have it ruin me now, or be able to fight whatever fight I am forced to make now ( sooner) rather than later. I’d only feel a sense of loss if I was not sure that some element of individual liberty was done in last night. But it wasn’t. The road ahead is what it is. The only difference is if we are meeting it at 90 mph or 60 mph.

  • Wayne Whig

    unfortunately, I can’t find a single thing I disagree with in this commentary

    (very unfortunately)

  • llamas

    Sunfish – be of (better) cheer. There is a bright side.

    H. L. Mencken observed that democracy is the idea that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it, good and hard. And that’s where we’re headed.

    President-elect Obama is presently a possum in the headlights. Bereft of any original policy ideas of his own, he, just as much as we, is at the mercy of the new Congress that we all just elected.

    I’ll take a wild flyer of a guess and say that I think you don’t much care for what you know about Obama’s positions. Well, then, you’re not going to like the new Congresscritters that just rode into town on his coat-tails At All.

    And that’s a Good Thing. Because if you don’t, and I don’t, chances are, most other reasonable folks are going to absolutely vapor-lock when they see what the new Congress has in store for them.

    ‘You want to tax WHAT?

    My 401k? It’s not enough that it just hit the bottom of the tank, now you want to tax my contributions as well?’

    ‘Wait a minute – you’re going to limit my overtime/tax it more heavily?’

    (Try selling that idea in suburban Detroit)

    ‘You promised a tax cut for 95% of working Americans – where’s mine?’

    and – thanks to the sheer f*cking genius of our Founding Fathers – in just two years, this collection of numbskulls and chuckleheads will be on the breadlines where they belong, and we will have a Republican Congress and a Democrat president – which is as good a recipe for growth as we can hope for, since it ensures that the government is so completely cross-bollixed that it can’t actually do anything, thereby keeping us safe from its ‘help’.

    I predict that, in less than a 12-month, President-elect Obama will actually be at loggerheads with his own party in the Congress, as the public takes turns in roasting them for some of the bull-headed cr*p that they want to try and foist on us. Once the voters actually start getting what they voted for, ‘good and hard’, I think there will be a backlash that with make 1994 look like a walk in the park. If there is a really-good foreign-policy crisis in the mix – even sooner. Obama simply does not have the leadership, the skills or the experience to impose himself or his ideas on the nation in any significant way. He is Pelosi & Reid’s tame poodle, and as they go, so will he.

    I saw a piece of video (widely re-broadcast) that shows an Obama supporter crying that now she won’t have to worry about her mortgage, won’ty have to worry about putting gas in the car anymore – if she helps Him, He’ll help her.

    Well, come about May, when her mortgage bills just keep on coming and the tank of her car does not magically refill, she’s going to be asking – where’s mine? And when she then sees her net income go down – she has a job, ergo, she’s going to pay more taxes in ObamaDemocratWorld, and the price of gas does not go down, and her 401k is still in the tank . . . you see where I’m going with this?

    President-elect Obama has promised to solve all of the world’s problems. Every one. It’s right there in his speeches. We’re all going to be happy and prosperous together. He said so.

    And when he fails to deliver – as he must, since he has no actual power to do any of what he promised to do – and when the Congress starts to do what it REALLY had in mind all the time – the balance will change, quick and hard.

    It will be hard days getting there. But the pendulum always swings back to center, and the further form center that it has been dragged – as it was yesterday – the hard the swing back.



  • dr kill

    Well stated, sir. I believe you are correct.

  • John K

    I saw a piece of video (widely re-broadcast) that shows an Obama supporter crying that now she won’t have to worry about her mortgage, won’ty have to worry about putting gas in the car anymore – if she helps Him, He’ll help her.

    I haven’t seen that video, but it’s instructive. Socialism in its many forms is in effect a form of cargo cult isn’t it? Vote for The One and the money will appear as if by magic.

  • llamas

    Here is the video in question:


    I think it represents the feelings of quite a number of those who voted for President-elect Obama.

    ‘Cargo cult’ is not a bad description. And the disappointment may be coming soon.





  • Steve

    Regrettably, you are right. In a choice between trouble and catastrophe, they chose catastrophe. We will now feel the cold wind blow across the pond.

  • llamas

    And already, I see Russia is beginning to rattle its sabers.

    I think it would be very unwise to ignore the entrenched and endemic racism that’s prevalent in Russia, as well as in many European nations. I would not be a bit surprised to see one of the former Soviet-bloc nations, or even one of the Old Europeans, do something boneheadedly-stupid simply because of the racial preconceptions they have about President-elect Obama. Many Americans would be quite stunned to hear the sorts of racial stereotypes and racist slurs about Africans and those of African descent which are commonplace in Europe.

    FWIW, what I fear above all else is that Iran or one of its clients loses its mind to the extent of deploying a nuke – however primitive/ineffective it might be – against Israel. Just a spent ICBM with a yellow trefoil on it would be enough. The doughty Israelis will not stand for anything like that, and will commence to beating a wide and painful path through the Near East, possibly using tactical nukes themselves. And I think that President-elect Obama will freeze-in-place, unable to decide what to do when torn between a) his sympathies and political ties to the US Camel Corps and b) the US pro-Israel lobby which underpins the Democratic party with money and votes. He won’t be able to vote ‘present’ on that one, and it will happen so quickly that he won’t have time to deploy his favourite technique, which is to sit back and wait for winners to emerge.

    As a famous writer has described, such a conflict would rapidly devolve to being fought by majors and colonels, and would be completely immune to centralized C&C. President-elect Obama would not be able to talk the crisis away – swift, decisive action would be required, and he does not strike me as a man who does anything swiftly or decisively. And it is for those moments that we keep a President around – to do the right thing when everything goes sideways.

    I actually fear that scenario more than the scenario of a nuke – however primitive/ineffective it might be – on US soil – as horrible as that sounds.



  • “What do we do? I have no idea. Probably carry on doing this. What else can we do?”

    Scale it up.

  • Sunfish


    I know all too well what the new Congressassholes have in mind: we’ve just elected two of them to the House and moved one from House to Senate. I don’t know about Betsy Markey[1], but Jared Polis is another one of the “I’ve got my millions and socialism is just what you ‘little people’ need’ people.[2] He’s a pint-size Soros. The diet cola of Soros-just one calorie, not rich and evil enough.[3]

    As for Udall…this is going to be interesting.

    My hope is, they’ll prove to be such a clown college that you turn out to be exactly dead on.

    I’m thinking of changing my registration to D in hopes of steering my reps into the worst sorts of cartoonish moonbattery and get them singing from the Code Pink hymnal in a district where that won’t fly so far.

    My fear, though, is that either the mutant zombies from the Planet Zandor will continue to stagger around mumbling ‘hope….change….hope….change….’ and eating brains because the rest of us can’t figure out who swapped the embalming fluid with worcestershire sauce.

    Screw it. The riots didn’t happen, so I’m just going to bang in sick tonight, drink lots of Arrogant Bastard Ale (in honor of our new President) and watch some Beavis and Butthead DVDs (in honor of our new President and Vice-President.) And post random pop-culture references to Samizdata. I have high hopes of getting nasty and crass enough to work my ex-wife into this too.

    [1] Replaced Marylin Musgrave in what should have been a relatively-safe R district. Although, that may have been partly because Musgrave is a real piece of work herself.

    [2] I’ve met Polis. He’s a user. If he thinks you can do something for him he’s a first-rate ass kisser. If not, he’s an unmitigated arrogant stroke. Unfortunately, he was rich enough to buy himself the Dem nomination in the district that includes Boulder, which is possibly the safest Dem seat in Colorado.

    [3] Does anybody else automagically think of Blofeld when you hear the name Soros?

  • tdh

    Fascinating. The problem of faction is clearly exacerbated to a great degree by advertising in several respects: the resulting homogenization of thought, the use of special effects to dumb people down, cost-effectiveness, the ability to overwhelm truth with repeated lies, psychological targeting, the ability to represent reality vividly but falsely, adaptiveness, the ability to suppress the appeal of competing factions, unity of message…. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have large contributions from non-citizens to fund it all, or a ready mass of mindless mendicant myrmidons.

    Perhaps the transition to digital TV will have some salutary effects. When WFXT (Fox) went off the air for several days about a week before Halloween, I thought I’d miss House, at least. Nope. I’m looking forward to Liberation Day in February. Unless we have to go to re-education camps to avoid being mad as hell and/or not being going to take it any more, via that, um, crucial soul healing.

  • Samsung

    “Can We Fix It? Yes We Can!” – Barack The Builder.

    Is it me or has the Messiah come back to Earth? Is this the Second Coming? Does this mean we can all live happily ever after now under cotton candy skies? Is this politician going to heal the world, turn back the waters and bring Peace on Earth? Where’s his magic wand?

    All I can see on the TV is wall to wall Obamamania. In all my life, I have never seen such a toady brown-noising wankfest by the UK main stream media. Was the TV coverage of Blair’s winning of the Premiership this bad?

    This whole cultish phenomena reminds me of the Python movie, The Life of Brian….

    BRIAN: Well, they think I’m the Messiah, Mum. … They believe he can give them hope– hope of a new life, a new world, a better future!

    Obama has placed himself on one hell of a high pedestal. So many unrealistic high expectations from so many people. He aint Jesus.

  • “So, the USA has finally got its version of the Tony Blair/New Labour revolution”

    Seems to me Tony Blair was “New Labour”, i.e. – somewhat of a “centrist”.
    Obama seems to be more “Old Labour”, i.e. – a commie.
    Maybe Tony Benn.
    I’m afraid you’re too optimistic.
    (Though, not being British, I might be wrong about Blair).

  • Nick E

    Believe me, I understand the pessimism: I live in Cambridge, MA, which is currently consumed by a fit of blind hero worship that would make Hitler proud. But I’m not pessimistic about the next couple of years. Here’s why:

    1) The best way to interpret the election is as a final middle finger to the Bush era (for the non-Americans, that means “fuck you”). Given that Obama’s administration will almost certainly continue the Bush tradition of corporate welfare, corruption, and a complete disregard for addressing problems that the people think important, I think Americans may tire of our experiment with Bolivarian revolution rather quickly. In other words, Obama will in all likelihood be more of the same.

    2) Sad to say, assuming Obama and the Congressional Democrats drive the American economy off a cliff in the next few years, it should also remove all doubt among Americans as to the wisdom of socialist economics. Just as our experience with Bush removed all doubt about the merits of neoconservatism. The post’s implication (i.e., that life in America will somehow be rosy under an Obama presidency) seems to depend on the assumption that socialism isn’t a catastrophically stupid way to run one’s economy.

    3) An awful lot of Americans – probably a majority, certainly a plurality – consider themselves economically conservative and socially moderate or progressive. If you want to know why Obama won, ask yourselves this: why the fuck would this group of Americans vote for the Republican party after 8 years of Bush? This was the single biggest reason why no love was lost for John McCain. If the GOP can rediscover its identity as the party of fiscal conservatism and social liberty, the present state of affairs will be short-lived.

    4) Um, does my employer have offices in Switzerland?

  • It must be just me, but every time I heard Obama make a speech about change, hope, hoping for change, changing your hope, hopity hopity hope, etc., I thought of Charlie Goes to Candy Mountain. We all know how that ends.

  • Joshua

    Hard to believe no one’s yet brought up the historical irony of Obama’s election coming on (reckoning by London time) the fifth of November.

    I have the sinking feeling that both our nations could use a latter-day Guy Fawkes right about now.

  • Ken

    @ Nick E.

    “2) Sad to say, assuming Obama and the Congressional Democrats drive the American economy off a cliff in the next few years, it should also remove all doubt among Americans as to the wisdom of socialist economics. Just as our experience with Bush removed all doubt about the merits of neoconservatism. The post’s implication (i.e., that life in America will somehow be rosy under an Obama presidency) seems to depend on the assumption that socialism isn’t a catastrophically stupid way to run one’s economy.”

    Seems, IIRC, it took us nigh on 50ish y’rs to deal-somewhat-with the FDR?LBJ “legacy”. And we couldn’t/didn’t make a clean sweep, even then.

    “Despair is a sin.” I sin.

  • Tim S

    Nick E: “assuming Obama and the Congressional Democrats drive the American economy off a cliff in the next few years, it should also remove all doubt among Americans as to the wisdom of socialist economics”

    No amount of proof will ever satisfy a socialist. They already have the entire course of history to see the superiority of capitalism for creating economic wealth.

    Socialists simply hate individualism and love the use of violence against anyone daring to be successful.

    What can we do? Persuasion is useless. The only option ultimately will be to resort to violence ourselves.

  • TomC

    I saw a piece of video (widely re-broadcast) that shows an Obama supporter crying that now she won’t have to worry about her mortgage, won’ty have to worry about putting gas in the car anymore – if she helps Him, He’ll help her.

    I think The Daily Mash puts it best.

  • tdh

    The Chairman-O propaganda that I’ve been hearing on a radio ‘news” station reminds me of the early days of Castro’s rule in Cuba, as described in Against All Hope, by former political prisoner Armando Valladares. The Cubans didn’t know they’d put a Communist into power, either.

    I/m reminded again that I liked Obama’s si-se-puede Spanish version for its amusing translation potential: yes it can. When combined with murderer Teddy Kennedy’s hasta-la-victoria sieg-heilness, it makes great sense.

  • This is a fucking disaster.

    A complete tit-arse fuckeration to utter buggeration and shitteration.

    This is a complete wankathon of a cunt-up.

    The USA has fallen. Now I’m not saying McCain would have been grand but at least he wouldn’t be a complete toss-pot.

    We now have a grand narrative and it sucks. It sucks Ron Jeremies pork sword (my wife met him once, in Florida). Everything will now be the fault of Bush (there is some truth in that) and every cock-up and disaster of the Obmanation will be laid at the door of the “forces of Conservatism” (where did I get that one from – Google it.

    We are fucked up the back passage and round the outside loo. I can’t fuckin’ believe it. I mean Rev Wright and Bill Ayers and all that. Surely?

    America, America, you voted for a man because he was black and you got a Marxist instead.

    We have stood together so many times. I used to feel thoroughly at home in your country and you have now totally fucked the pooch. Oh, I know, we did it in ’97 but two wrongs and all that…

  • Laird

    “mass of mindless mendicant myrmidons”

    Great alliteration there, tdh. Made me smile. Thanks.

    llamas, you really are an optimist, aren’t you? I’m happy for you (and Perry), but I just don’t see it that way. It doesn’t matter that that ditz you cited still has a mortgage payment and an empty gas tank; she won’t think to blame The Messiah. Liberals are graded on their intentions, regardless of actual outcomes; conservatives are graded just the opposite. That’s not going to change in two years.

  • Gabriel

    Seems to me Tony Blair was “New Labour”, i.e. – somewhat of a “centrist”.
    Obama seems to be more “Old Labour”, i.e. – a commie.
    Maybe Tony Benn.
    I’m afraid you’re too optimistic.
    (Though, not being British, I might be wrong about Blair).

    A lot of New Labour (though not Blair) are ex-Marxists. They shed the collectivization of agriculture doo-dah, but kept the thuggishness, contempt for bourgeois liberty and hatred for any and all established traditions.

    Now the thing to bear in mind is that when it comes to Obama is that Ex-Marxist is quite literally the best thing we can hope for.

  • Paul Marks

    Agreed, that Barack Obama is an ex Marxist is the best we can hope for – he certainly is not an anti Marxist (he shows none of the signs of someone who has rejected his philosophical background), so one can only hope for a pragmatic leftist who will just wreak what is left of the economy, rather than destroy civilization itself.

    Of course neither Mr Blair or Mr Brown were exMarxists – so the American position is very bad indeed.

    By the way, good luck with the Israeli elections.

  • Paul Marks

    The Republican party:

    Easy way to tell which way it is going.

    Watch “Mitt” Romney and his people (the people who are telling lies about Sarah Palin).

    If Romney and his people prosper the Republican party will continue its decline – if they do not there is a good chance the Republican party will recover.

    It really is a simple as that.

    Romney is the ultimate establishment person.

  • Tedd McHenry

    So, the USA has finally got its version of the Tony Blair/New Labour revolution…

    For Canadians on this thread not familiar with British politics, allow me to translate: “So, the USA has finally got its version of Pierre Trudeau…”

    llamas, I enjoyed your comments and I think that if it turns out as you predict it will be a testament to the brilliance of the American founding fathers, and a much healthier outcome than the 15 or so years of Trudeaupia we got in Canada.

  • Paul Marks

    The Founding Fathers left the United States with a Constitution that strictly limited the power of the Federal government – but the Constitution became a dead letter long ago.

    “Obama is Blair” or Obama is Trudeau.

    No he is not – his training was in a far more ruthless school.

    Please wake up everyone.

  • Gabriel

    By the way, good luck with the Israeli elections.

    Heh.* The argument is already being made that Israel must re-elect Kadima because a Likud government would be unable to deal with Obama, hence jeopardising Israel’s international position.** Despite Kadima being (a) a gang of criminals, (b) completely incompetent and (c) proven completely wrong on their core founding policy (the Gaza pullout). I suspect that Israel will buy it. Tzipi Livni will be the next prime-minister and she will have to buy votes for her “destroy Israel through concessions to sworn enemies” policy through even more bungs to the special interest parties.

    On the plus side, because of Netanyahu’s last term as finance minister, Israel is now in the weird position of having possibly the soundest monetary/fiscal system in the western world and Kadima probably won’t screw that up too much (judging on form). True, it’s hardly beating off tough competition here, but you take what you can get.

    * I say “Heh” because “I want to shoot myself in the head” is perhaps too much of a downer to be starting a post with.
    **That’s not entirely untrue of course. The full might of the U.S. empire is for th next four years to be mobilised in the support of Social Democracy and against states like Israel that stubbornly insist on things like sovereignty and civilization.

  • Gabriel

    Final note to the last addendum

    “and not in the inconsistent and jerky way that it was during Bush’s second term.”

  • I was chatting about the election outcome with a pal the other day, who has kids of “a certain age”.

    Bearing in mind the amount of breakage that Obama has to “fix”, and his oft-quoted catchphrase “yes we can”, he is now, in both our minds, “Barack the Builder”…