You will have already noted, if you are following this incredible process which many Americans quite sincerely believe is the pinnacle of democracy in action, that Obama lost a couple of states to Clinton which you might have expected he would win. I startled friends by predicting he would lose those, because I had read Bageant’s book. We have to remember that that occurred within the framework of the Democratic membership. The reason why he lost those couple of states will play out in many more states in the Presidential election when everyone who wants to can vote.
Anyone who has read Bageant would not have been surprised by the sub-prime crisis either.
Bageant isn’t writing about the Presidential race or the sub-prime crisis, he is writing about the US social and political landscape using the environment from which he escaped and to which he has now returned as a live-in observer, as the glass through which he sees America … darkly. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the temptation to add that.) He is talking about the rotten and rotting foundations upon which the great wobbly blancmange of the United States stands (which is not to say it is the only blancmange; keep an eye on Wimbledon this summer). It is fascinating stuff. And kind of terrifying.
I’m doing an hour on it at the local U3A (University of the Third Age) next week.
Yada yada yada. People have predicted Obama’s losses as often as they predicted Apple’s failure as a corporation. And they both keep on winning.
I’ll bet you a gallon of prune juice (loser drinks) that Obama wins in November with a solid margin. We’ll see a very large surge in new registrants, and many of the old right-wingers will not vote for McCain. As for racists, there’s no way to change them.
Now, could we discuss the Ozzy mistreatment of aboriginals, jack rabbits, cane toads and the whole rotten blancmange of Down Under?
Right after you explain to me what a jack rabbit is
I must admit, being Australian, and this being the first US elections I have paid much attention to, you do seem to have a very strange system in place there. As for who will win etc, I don’t think I have anywhere near enough information to comment.
PS - Why would anyone want to protect cane toads? Weren’t they introduced to give Queenslanders something else to hit with golf clubs?
At least, Obama is the first candidate I can understand. Not that I understand policians’ jargon, but the way he speaks English does not demand subtitles even for a non-native English speaker like me. He seems to speak with his chest, not with his nose (like Bush or Hillary), and doesn’t seem to chew words while speaking (like McCain).
Since American presidents rule on about half the non-English speaking world, I guess this is a good thing.
You and I both know that there is no point in even pretending to know what a US “citizen” will do. Heck, less than 50% of them even bother to show up to vote anymore. And then of those that do, less than 50% know the position their “candidate of choice” has on any particular issue.
Here is what I propose. First we all beat vic-k with empty bottles of jammy (that we emptied) until we are senseless. Then we pray to what ever god we ascribe to that the morons and idiots that vote have had their cranial-anal removal surgery. Following that inevitable disappointment we hope with no reason to hope that which ever liar^H^H^H^Hpolitician was actually chosen will only lie^H^H^Hdestroy this country a little.
Yes I am cynical. I see no hope for this country no matter who is elected.
Good grief, Druid, you do go off. I’m not predicting that Obama will lose but if you read Deer Hunting With Jesus – the book is not about Obama or the forthcoming election, by the way – you might just get an insight into a very substantial element within the US body politic that is not very apparent at a glance and not only has a significant impact on politics but since it is a growing part of the population, it will have a major impact on a whole lot of other things as well.
In this Democratic preselection, that group came into play – obviously – in only two or three States. It will come into play more widely in the actual Presidential election.
You may be right that Obama will trigger a bigger turnout than the usual 25% or so, but that could work against him as well as for him. And don’t forget those touchscreen voting machines run by private companies … which have been overt Republican supporters.
You would show respect by capitalising “Aboriginals” if you wish to use that term. “Indigenous Australians” seems to be the current “in” term, which I find teeth grindingly painful. How about we settle for Koories – a word from one of many original languages. I have family and friends of that ilk. I’m not sure how the generally horrible and shameful treatment of Aboriginals by the invading English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish in Australia, and the failure of the dominant group that grew out of that, reinforced by successive waves of immigrants mainly from Europe, to achieve an appropriate and encompassing rapprochement with the dispossessed, impacts on the question of the US population and whether it will vote for Obama.
Cane toads, jack rabbits? Que? I am at a loss. The blancmange was a Pythons reference.
Deer Hunting with Jesus is a great read that will bring you to tears, especially if, like me, you have roots in that Scots-Irish Southern stew. Bageant writes from Winchester, VA, just a few miles down the road from the town that turned out Lynndie England. His book explains why people one paycheck away from bankruptcy vote for Bush and are glad to do so.
A jack rabbit is a large hare found in the western states. The jackalope, however, is a fictional animal.
For a less hyperbolically spittle-flecked take on how regional Americans (speaking here as a regional American: a native Southerner living the past 35 years in rural New England) got to be who we are, have a look at David Hackett Fishcher’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. A thousand pages of extensively footnoted scholarship that leaves you saying “Holy Shit, so that’s why…” a lot.
It’s especially interesting to go to the UK, to the four epicenter’s of the four principal English-speaking migrations to pre-Revolutionary America, and see how much of what we are still exists in where we came from. You can get your butt kicked in a bar fight by looking at somebody the wrong way in Alnwick, Northumberland, just as easily as in Madisonville, Tennessee, and for exactly the same reasons, by the descendants of the same people, who have been as they are for a thousand years and counting.
Obama’s chances of winning may depend, more than anything else, on whom he selects for vice president. If he chooses to salve the wounded feelings of those hapless dreamers who assumed Hillary would be crowned this year, I may hold a garage sale, hoping to raise enough for a one-way ticket to Southern France.
If he chooses to engage head-on with his primary skeptics, he’ll pick someone like Jim Webb, with roots in rural Virginia and enough war-hero mojo to take on McCain in an ass-kicking contest. In that event, I’ll take a bus down to visit friends and relatives in Maryland/Virginia/West Virginia/Tennessee, and join the campaign.
My choice would be Bill Richardson, who would bring executive experience and foreign policy experience, and would help with the Hispanic vote. (He’s got no charisma, but Obama’s got that in spades.) Hillary would be a disaster: she wouldn’t help with Obama’s negatives, and brings several truckloads of baggage of her own. Putting her on the ticket would do more to motivate the far right than anything McCain is likely to do. Another Senator, like Webb or Edwards, would be neutral at best, and negative if McCain picks a governor or former governor. Picking a governor other than Richardson would be no worse than neutral, and probably positive depending on who it was.
The good news is that Obama seems to be a pretty smart guy, and seems to have put together a pretty good team, so he can probably figure all of this out for himself.
As a “far right” type person who like to think that I am not entirely hopeless, an Obama/Clinton ticket would cause mass hysteria. Every uneducated, living, non-felon southern bumpkin (50% of which I am related to) would vote McCain. So while I am not fond of Obama I really hope he keeps his head screwed on and selects someone a little less … Hillary. Any one else will be like Quale to Bush, or What’s-his-name to Carter (I know his name I am making a point). Basically just a possible contender 8 years from now.
On the other hand, given McCain’s leftist tendencies (of which I approve) an Obama/McCain ticket and a McCain/Obama ticket might actually work. Most of the country wouldn’t notice, and quite frankly they aren’t all that far apart. That is unless you look at the relative place in the alphabet where thier parties are Located.
Just a thought.
And no I have not been drinking.
Yes i know thinking a dangerous pastime and I have been asked to stop.
Richardson would be an excellent choice; governors are by experience and proclivity better suited to governance than senators. Also, it might be wise of the D’s to keep in chamber as many senators as they can, at least until they have a filibuster-proof majority. (I dream of the day Lieberman is relegated to office space in an abandoned factory in SouthEast DC, and assigned to the Post Office and Maritime Mapping committees.)
I brought up Webb because he’s an interesting and multi-faceted character, and because his background suited him particularly well to the tenor of the discussion to that point.