Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can

The term historic has been bandied about too much over the past few years. I am off the opinion that something can only be historic once it has happened and we understand the full impact of the event. The election of the first African American to the position of US present may well be an historic event and it is interesting to note down our feeling while it is happening, but history will often portray a different version to what actually happened.

I have had to read an awful amount of nonsense from Conservatives and Liberal hawks over the past few months telling me that McCain, and not Obama will win the election (although to be fair both backtracked before election day). Let this be a lesson to everyone who blogs! It is easy to give glib partisan statements about current events and they can come back to haunt you.

Commiserations to John McCain. The guy is a true gentlemen who also deserved to be president and would have been better placed to lead the country after the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, he was not able to be himself during this campaign after taking some very bad advice from his campaign manager. If he had the result would have been closer.

I believe Obama's election, despite his inexperience and liberal voting record, is a direct consequence of George W Bush's failures. Finally we have something to thank him for. I do have one worry though. The expectations of the Obama presidency are now so high it may be impossible to meet them, particularly as the previous incumbent has left the country in such a mess. In 1997, I remember such a mood of optimism pervading Britain after Blair routed the Tory government of 18 years. This was eventually to be dissipated over ten wasted years as Blair held the mandate but failed to deliver, culminating in him bombing a defenceless third world country so his rich American friends could appropriate its economic wealth. I hope when Obama met Blair earlier this year he did not take his advice to seriously. If he did, he could put Americans off politics forever.


JPH said...

Agreed. Discussing this on Wednesday I too have compared this to the arrival of Blair's Britain back in 1997. Does this make us realists, cynicists, or what?

fake consultant said...

there is great support in the us for a stimulus package that "builds things".

such a package would repair bridges and roads, or might upgrade the electrical grid, to offer two examples.

not only would this benefit the economy, it's the type of thing that can be doled out in a politically helpful way...which should help to create some "bipartisanship by incentive".

people see the president at work doing what they want, and they support the president.

if the republicans decide to go party-line obstructionist, it's easy to punish those members of congress twice: build in other districts now...and call the obstructionist members out in two years when all members of the house have to run again.

the lesson of 2006 and 2008 might be that discenchantment with government, in the us, means congressional incumbents pay at least as heavy a price as a president.