America, Henceforth

(First published, Independent Australia)

In years to come it will be agreed, I think, that this election destroyed as a political force Abe Lincoln’s party, the Republicans, and a couple of things that Romney said were the death-blows to that great, sometimes idealistic, American adventure.

One was that illegal Mexicans should ‘self-deport’. As stupid as saying most New Yorkers should ‘go home to Israel’, it meant that eighty-five percent of the most fecund minority the Latinos will never vote Republican again and Florida is lost forever, and Nevada, and California, and eventually Arizona, and with them the whole electoral ball-game.

The other was that FEMA should be wound up, and its powers of rescue and salvage bequeathed, eventually, to private companies profiting from them after tornadoes, tsunamis, oil spills and superstorms. It meant no Republican President would be there for them in a catastrophic weather event and the tornado states, so long Republican, would vote the ecological-communitarian ticket, Green or Democrat, hereafter.

Lesser rogue things contributed of course, but not as much. Romney advocating that General Motors and Chrysler be allowed to go out of business. Ryan saying a raped twelve-year-old who disposed of her unwanted pregnancy should go (presumably) to gaol. Mourdock calling that pregnancy ‘a gift from God’, and Romney not withdrawing an ad in support of him. The Karl Rove anti-gay marriage strategy persisting long after it was clear most people have a gay sibling, cousin, or friend from school. And so on.

And the net result will be a one-party America, one more like the the one the Kennedys intended, a semi-Scandinavian social democracy; though more envenomed, now, by the self-acclaiming gangsterdom of the greedy Reagan Eighties, and the underlying bootleg Twenties undiminished before it.

That criminality will be tested in the next few weeks, as the Tea Party continue to try to refuse to increase the tax rates of billionaires in a time of national crisis, and Obamacare settles in as a way of life, and the Public Option is again discussed, and more and more Republicans hear from their constituents how out of touch with the times they have become.

America will change fundamentally by Christmas I think, and probably change for the good.

We will see how it goes, and if, at last, the audacity of hope kicks in.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Bob before you get too excited, go take a look at Dinesh DSouza’s new documentary called “2016: Obama’s America” in which the filmmaker examines Obamas pedigree and comes to some startling and frightening conclusions as to where he is taking that country. It’s worth a look. I saw it the other night. It has already raised the hackles of the darling left media’s obsession in airbrushing any imperfections out of their first black president. But where did he come from? How did he manage to convince America that he could be trusted the way Jesse Jackson and others could not? The film tracks down his half brother in Kenya, his socialist anti-colonialist mentors and trawls through his fathers history to reveal a very unlikely president carefully dismantling it’s instruments of power and prestige. A manchurian candidate no less. The antithesis of what Americas founding fathers would have hoped for. Do watch the documentary. It reveals another side to Obama that your readers should be aware of.

    • I know a lot about his forebears and siblings having read — as you have not — Dreams From My Father and see no problem in his being a socialist in storm-smashed times that require no less of any leader who sees, like him, that capitalist insurance cannot cover any more what global warming has wrought, enormously, on the planet. What is wrong anyway with redistributing wealth? It means more shoes and underpants are bought, more trips to Disneyland taken, and the economy prospers.

      I think, however, that he was not ‘sent’ and is just what he seems: a young man whose mum died needlessly from a fucked health care system and whose school friends died of heroin and car crashes and despair in gaol and who sought to improve the lot of his fellow citizens in the American underclass and worked out a way to do it.

      • I agree with your main conclusion that Obama has captured a bulk of the votes of the people that want to be placed on the public drip of entitlement.
        You are correct. America under Obama will go down the gurgler, the same European path to stagnation and poverty. A lower standard of living for all.

        This might be a good thing. A socialist thing.

        The rides in Disneyland might still occasionally work, but the price of the ticket is now cheap and affordable for all.

        • Hello Frank, it’s just these sorts of posts that make me wonder about the way the Right argues.
          I mean, you say that “America under Obama will go down the gurgler”, the suggestion you’re making, no, the bold statement you’re making, is that America under Romney would not.

          Now I’m curious. Could you please list a range of policy/programs that the Republicans have that would redress the “going down the gurgler” scenario.

          Don’t get me wrong: I believe that the system has been playing Russian roulette with itself for many decades now, and am under no illusions that those trillions will grow - it’s just that I’m always struck by the “them, not us” arguments from the Right.

          Regarding your “public drip of entitlement” comment: I provide this link for your consideration. Please take due note of the private “entitlements”.

    • Well, Frank, Romney ought to be pleased that he at least got the vote of the redneck/hillbilly states :smile:

      • Well let’s take a look at the Kennedy Obama analogy?
        Under Kennedy NASA was given a directive to land a man on the moon before the end of the 60s.
        Under Obama NASA was given a directive to reassure Muslims that they’re cool dudes and foster better relations.
        Innovative stuff like that. Hope etc…
        Talk about emasculating a respected scientific body.
        I want America to be great. To boldly go where no socialist would dare to go. I want them to fire rockets off at unchartered worlds. Fill ‘em up with Gillards cabinet and fire them off at black holes where they belong, that kind of thing. Makes sense?

  2. You lost me on your second paragraph. How are illegal immigrants from Mexico comparable to citizens of New York (and what on earth does Israel have to do with anything? More New Yorkers are black or Hispanic than Jewish).

    More to the point, why would you interpret this election as a death knell for the Republicans? The result of the Presidential campaign was a lot closer than four years ago: the Republicans suffered a much bigger wipeout with Barry Goldwater in the 60s, and survived by regrouping and moving to the center. I don’t see any particular reason why that might not happen again if saner heads than Donald Trump’s prevail.

    And of course the Republicans still control the House. While minority groups have always tended to vote Democratic, they do it for different reasons - I’m not sure that black Americans would be more sympathetic than white Americans to illegal migrants, nor am I sure that the Hispanic vote is necessarily as homogeneous as you believe.

    All in all, I think your eulogy is a tad premature.

    Most important though, I find it mind-boggling that you think it would be a good thing if America were to become effectively a one-party state. Not a believer in democracy, then? Benevolent dictatorships are still dictatorship, and the lack of accountability costs the people dearly in the end.

    • Mexicans don’t think of themselves as illegal, nor, for two thousand years, did Jews think of themselves as infidels, or, when persecuted for their faith and culture, illegal. Many tried in the 1930s to get to America and were sent back to Nazi Germany.

      Many Mexicans do not want to die in drug wars and prefer America. To tell them to ‘self-deport’ to a place of great danger is like telling Jews to ‘self-deport’ to Vienna or Berlin in 1940. Got that?

      You have to tell me how the Republicans will get the women’s vote back. Thirty-six million of them voted Democrat this time. Thirty-nine million, after Obamacare, will next.

      Tell me how. How do they get the women’s vote back.

      • Bob - there is a difference between being a refugee, which the Jews fleeing Hitler certainly were, and an illegal migrant, which is what the vast majority of the Mexicans are. Don’t believe me?

        First, comparatively few of the Mexicans crossing into the US ever make refugee claims at all. They move to the US to find work, not to flee persecution. Admittedly, the low US acceptance rate of Mexican refugee claims may also have been a disincentive. However, the acceptance rate for Mexicans making refugee claims in Canada is something in the neighbourhood of 10%. And Canada is generous when it comes to refugee assessments. So, sorry, but I don’t accept your argument that the situations of Jews fleeing Hitler and Mexicans looking for work are comparable.

        Nor do I necessarily see that the Republicans have lost the woman voter forever. The figures this time round are pretty much what they were in 2008. No big change at all. And according to the Guardian, the big female support for Obama came from young, single women, while Romney got the older married ones. Demographics being what they are, those women may well shift to the right as they grow older.

        And I haven’t seen the breakdown for how women voted in the other elections, but remember, the Presidential election wasn’t the only game in town on Tuesday: the Republicans weren’t exactly wiped out in the Congressional game.

        So I still don’t see where you’re getting this apocalyptic view of the GOP crashing into oblivion on the basis of what was at heart a somewhat indecisive outcome when you look beyond just Obama/Romney.

        • Hmm. How many Jews fled Germany ‘legally’? What are you talking about? Was Ann Frank a ‘legal’ refugee?

          Which Mexicans’ lives are not in danger if they stay? Can you name one? How many have died in the drug wars? Fifty thousand? A hundred thousand?

          No, as women get older, they die. And those under thirty are voting Obama seventy percent. Soon seventy percent of all women will be.

          Which means, does it not, the end of the Republican Party.

          Say why it doesn’t.

          • About 280,000 Jews fled Germany and another 120,000 fled Austria “legally” before the war. Anne Frank wasn’t one of them, and wasn’t any kind of refugee, since she never got out of Holland (not Germany). The US took in about 95,000 before the Germans clamped down on emigration by Jews.

            That’s not the point. The Jews were genuinely fleeing persecution; for the most part the Mexicans are simply looking for jobs. That’s one of the reasons the numbers making asylum applications is so low, and why the Canadians and Americans are finding so few have genuine refugee claims. It is quite true that the drug wars have caused about 50 to 60,000 deaths over the last six years (not all of them by any means innocent bystanders) – but they do not rage throughout Mexico and many parts of the country are largely unaffected. It’s interesting to note that illegal migration out of Mexico has declined drastically in the recent years, even as the drug wars have raged: perhaps it’s just possible that the weak US economy isn’t the pull factor it once was. Of course, that would tend to undermine the argument that everyone is fleeing for their lives.

            And by the way, did you know that Obama has stepped up deportations to Mexico over the last few years? 300,000 in 2010 alone. So perhaps you need to brush aside some of the romantic haze through which you’re seeing Obama.

            And you’re still missing my point: there has been very little change in the percentage of women who supported Obama vs those that did not. While I don’t know the figures for women who supported Democrats vs Republicans in the Congressional or State races I suspect they haven’t changed much either. You see the election as indicative of a sweeping change, and I just see an American divided and likely to remain so for a long time. After all, those married, 40 year-old women who supported Romney in spite of all his gaffes are going to be around for a long time yet. And, based on my personal experience, I have no particular reason to believe that the way someone votes at the age of 20 will be the way she votes at the age of 50 or 60. Why would it be? My own understanding of the world, my experiences, my priorities are much different now than they were then – and surely my experience is not unique.

            Anyway, back to the real thrust of my original posting: why would it be desirable for America to become a one-party state?

            • Indeed, many well-heeled Jews got out of Germany, seeing the writing on the wall as the Nazis tightened the noose in the Nuremberg laws, restricting and strangling the Jews economically and professionally.

              The poorer ones were the ones with nowhere to go and no-one to accept them.
              They were the victims of the Final Solution, along with the Jewry of the conquered nations.

              Several million of them.

              • @DougQ - I don’t dispute your point at all. What I dispute is comparing the situation of Mexicans today to Jews in Germany and central Europe in the 1940s. There is no comparison, and to claim that there is strikes me as minimising what the Jews were facing.

              • Nazi Germany had plans for “massive”deportations of Jews to Palestine and other places. Indeed, Eichmann himself went on an SD tour to check out the possibilities. While they had good contacts with the Haganah, the British, unfortunately, didn’t even let them into Palestine and the plan came to nothing.

                Not that there was anything necessarily humanitarian about that. Simpler I expect. In the early USSR they deported shiploads of intellectuals too before they got around to getting the Gulags into industrial scale production. Wannsee was a long way off in those days.

                • Indeed; Eichmann proposed sending them to Madagascar, or to Palestine. The Wannsee conferencewas however a chillingly logical step, once the subjects are defined as useless eaters who cannot otherwise be ejected.

            • Frangipani you must learn to count. The younger women overwhelmingly vote Obama and the older women are dying. In four years’ time three million of the older wor women will have died and three million of the younger women come on to the electoral rolls. This will mean a million more votes for Obama. And a million more young male Hispanic votes out of maybe a hundred and one million voting. This is the ball game.

              Count, can’t you.

              What is wrong with you?

              • I count rather well. The women under 35 voted for Obama, the women over, for Romney. A few of the oldest will drop off the perch in four years’ time, but a few of the youngest will change their votes. What is it about that that you don’t understand?

                The numbers are actually pretty clear: Americans are very divided, and while Obama came out as a clear winner at the Presidential level, the Democrats did not come out as clear winners at the Congressional or State levels. Hardly the cataclysm you portray.

                And you still haven’t addressed my last point: why would it be a good thing for the US to have a one party system?

  3. Michael Lawrence

    I commented on this blog recently that Mitt Romney was in the ‘Goldman-Sachs’ camp, like G W Bush and John McCane. His single biggest campaign contributor indeed turns out to indeed be Goldman-Sachs, the largest beneficiary of the GFC, with Bank of America the second largest contributor. It is still amazing to me that 48% of voters think fit align their fate with such an individual; most of them will never understand how good it is for them that they lost.

  4. The entire Republican strategy of non-cooperation with Obama in order to secure his ousting has failed. Totally failed.

    They will now need to do some reassessing and soul-searching.

    With any luck they will come to the conclusion that their country should now come first, and that they should cooperate with the President and pass one of his budgets.

    In case you were wondering, they have not passed a budget since 2009.

    • “pass one of his budgets”

      You jest, surely. Obama has not presented a budget for three years.

      Nothing to do with fillibusters either. All it needed was a straight 51-49 vote in the US senate.

      • It is you who jest :

        “Obama has not presented a budget for three years.”

        Total nonsense! There is a Republican majority in the House of Representatives who think they know better than the President’s Federal administration, with all its thousands of public servants and dedicated advisers.

        Voodoo economics of the Reagan era is touted by the discredited Tea Party and the Republicans silly enough to believe them.

        There were so many alterations and additions proposed to all of Obama’s budgets, in each year of his term, that they ceased to be his budgets.

        • I can’t be bothered to engage in the rubbish that goes on for debate here, but get a grip will you?

          Republicans interfering with the “Obama Budget”??

          No budget means NO BUDGET. Nil. Zip. Obama has presnted NO BUDGET, geddit?

          • I need to qualify this. For the sake of the high school kids who also might not follow US politics as closely as they might.
            Should not have said “presented” (or even “budget” really), because while Obama did neither of those things, a series of token and unserious proposals purporting to be a budget could not even get a Democrat vote in the Senate (97-0, not even Harry Reid or Al Frankin) and a proposal based on the phantom 2013 plans was defeated 414-0 in the House of Reps (not even Pelosi) A “budget”?. Republicans doing the damage? No, the time for excuses is over, election won. No need for spin from Australia.
            As far as I can see these are the only two Proposals to get to a vote.

            • Could you please outline the Republican/Romney programs and policies that would have seen a reversal of American fortunes please MRyutin?
              I only ask you this because Frank is away and you’re the only other Right advocate here.

              I’m not in high school but am willing to learn.

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