Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The pictures on the telly this morning are amazing, street parties in Washington, Jesse Jackson with tears in his eyes, the new First Family standing on stage.

Cynicism glands are already starting to do their stuff so I've probably got about another thirty minutes before I remember how fucked the United States is and how Barack Obama is probably going to be spending the bulk if not all of his Presidency sorting out the absolute mess that the Republicans have made of the country in the last fifteen years.

One of the most striking differences between the United Statesian and British modes of politics is that when failure encourages a party to head out to it's extreme that impulse doesn't tend to achieve much in Britain whereas it reaps dividends in America. William Hague, Iain Duncan-Smith and Michael Howard all proposed going further and further to the Right after the Tories were ejected from power in '97 and it didn't do them much good, David Cameron has swung left and it's working, though it's equally that people are sick of the party in charge. But in the United States, ALL the Republicans who were standing to be their candidates were various degrees of batshit insane.

What has been depressing over the last week is that people have been even talking about Sarah Palin standing in 2012. Really? It's the Religious thing that I don't think secular people can understand, but the misadventures of Shrubya in office I would have hoped would have taught the Religious Right that God doesn't help you make up for an incuriosity about the world around you and an ignorance of how things work. If the Republicans had any sense they'd try to find a member of their party who actually knows what a conservative is and has conservative values rather than looking for a holy fool so devout they have stigmata. Leave them for the Catholics.

But yeah, good news last night. The United States can finally stop being embarrassed on the world stage (think of that Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa strain their neck muscles because they've never had to hold their heads high before with respect for their father) and rededicate itself to actually trying to help make the world a better place again.

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