The Plastic Hippo

November 6, 2012

Riders on the storm

Filed under: History,Politics,World — theplastichippo @ 3:16 am

Image via NASA and ABC News
Image via NASA and ABC News

There are many weird things happening in the USA at the moment. Perhaps the weirdest could be the decision by the Republican Party to nominate Mitt Romney as commander-in-chief or the fact that with polling stations about to open, according to pollsters, the actual result is too close to call. President Romney? What? Weird scenes inside the goldmine, man.

Obama swept into the White House in 2008 on a tide of hope and optimism following eight years of buffoonery courtesy of George Dubya Bush. A month after Obama`s inauguration, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed which committed federal budgets to counter the recession caused by irresponsible greed and unregulated banks during the second Bush administration. The financial stimulus to infrastructure, education, health care, welfare and increased fairness in the tax burden has resulted in economic growth and a fall in unemployment. Within days of his inauguration, Obama instructed the military to plan a staged withdrawal from Iraq.

Eleven years earlier, in 1997, Tony Blair swept into Downing Street on a tide of hope and optimism following 18 years of privatisation, ideological greed and arrogant sleaze under Thatcher and Major. In its first term, Blair`s government introduced devolution, the Human Rights Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Good Friday Agreement and the minimum wage. Sadly, Blair and now Obama realised that there is more to winning an election than keeping promises and that they were required to tread carefully so as not to incur the displeasure of the rich and powerful. The faceless, nameless and usually wealthy, white, male vested interests are governed solely by individual gain and not democracy. They are happy to see walking, talking manikins rather than credible statesmen and, whatever God they follow forbid, stateswomen.

Both Blair and Obama proved to be disappointments. Teflon Tony blew his credibility with double talk and a couple of illegal wars and is now a ridiculous figure. Obama is happy to continue with illegal drone strikes in non war zones that kill civilians in the hope of taking out some crazy war lord who might be attending a tribal wedding. The USA is one of only three countries not to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the others being Somalia and the newly formed South Sudan. The African rogue states wish to continue forcing children into armed militias as combatants and the US, under pressure from “Christian” fundamentalists, would prefer to be allowed to commit the state sanctioned execution of children found guilty of certain crimes.

There is still a long way to go but a quick look at the alternative is truly chilling. Some Americans seeing the bills going up at Walmart, Denny`s Diner and the gas station might want to think again before chanting “anyone but Obama”. The Republican Party, or Grand Old Party as they like to call themselves, has selected Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan for VP. Both men seem to have been sprayed with a mixture of fake tan and polypropylene and are both very adept at making money, not for the common wealth, but for themselves and their wealthy, anonymous backers. Natural heirs to Nixon, Reagan, Bush Senior and Junior, these GOP moronic manikins could be the public face of global economic manipulation and could have their fingers on the nuke buttons and, in terms of criticism, civil disobedience and economic advantage, the control of deadly drones.

There are some Americans, mostly Republican, who claim that the 2012 election is an internal matter and is not the business of the rest of the world or independent election monitors. As in Florida in 2000, there are already rumours of some rather dodgy practices preventing early voting and as the US is the single largest economy on the planet and the most heavily armed nation, the man with the nuclear codes is definitely our business especially if there is even a sniff of electoral fraud. With the polls in the US unable to predict a clear winner given the margin of error and political bias of the polling organisations, the BBC conducted a poll of the rest of the world. It makes for interesting reading:

Image via Huffington Post and BBC
Image via Huffington Post and BBC

Perceived wisdom suggests that public opinion shifted against George Dubya following his poor response to Hurricane Katrina wiping out approval of his macho stance after 9/11. Obama could not have bought public opinion approval without the arrival of Super storm Sandy. With Atlantic City and Lower Manhattan under water and power out along the eastern seaboard, the President was able to be, well, presidential. The American public have hopefully noted that Romney`s “aid rallies” only sent “aid” to swing battleground states and not the Democrat states suffering the aftermath of Sandy. Voters have also hopefully noted that senior Romney associates have described the storm as “God`s punishment” for Obama`s position on same sex marriage and abortion. Another senior Romney associate has asserted that it is impossible for a victim of rape to become pregnant and that if she does become pregnant, then that is “God`s will”, presumably as a punishment for her sins. The next 36 hours will tell the rest of us if the American people are going to tolerate and accept this ignorant and bigoted garbage which will make the planet a much more dangerous place to inhabit.

When Obama was elected in 2008, a friend copied me in on an e-mail she had sent to another friend who lived across the pond. It simply said: “Welcome back America. We missed you”. We can only hope that Wednesday does not see an e-mail hitting the in box waving goodbye again to the land of the free.


1 Comment »

  1. Strange days indeed.

    Obama has, for sure, been a let-down, but your comparison of him to Blair is a little excessive. I agree that Obama still panders to the view that America is somehow a special place, able to ignore world opinion and plough its own, often illegal and immoral furrow.

    However, Obama wants to tax the more privileged, reduce the influence of big business, limit military spending and believes in a (sort of) national health and welfare system. Any one of these policies is enough to unseat him, given the weird, self-centered view of the world adopted by the majority of voting Americans. (Ironically, had Labour taken a similar stance in 2010, they just might have survived.)

    Always the pessimist, I fear the tradition of a President being given 2 terms might be broken. If this happens, we might as well get our coats.

    The Realist

    Comment by The Realist — November 6, 2012 @ 12:35 pm | Reply

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