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“It’s always darkest just before it goes totally black” — actual McCain quote


 

Each of us has two countries: our own and America. When America has an election, it is as much the whole world’s, or nearly so, for America is our laboratory, the place where all our hopes and ideals about democracy are put on trial, and as such we all have a direct stake in the outcome — not just because of what it might mean for American foreign policy or Canada-US relations, but because we are all invested in the United States: intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.

I spent election night — the American one I mean — in the company of about a thousand conservatives, or I imagine they were: it was the Albany Club, after all. And yet the applause was sincere, if not deafening, when it was announced that Barack Obama — the Most Liberal Senator Ever — was the victor. Such is the historic nature of his candidacy, but also the transcendent appeal of his personality. We will see if he is truly post-partisan, but he is certainly cross-partisan.

Still, it can’t have been a happy night for Republicans, or conservatives, all in all. So, to cheer up my right-wing friends, here are a few straws they can clutch at:

1) It was closer than it looked. There was a reason McCain stumped till the end, notwithstanding all those national polls showing Obama with a 6 or 8 or 10 point lead: because national polls don’t mean squat. It’s the electoral college that counts, and had a couple more pieces fallen into place, McCain might have squeaked out a win.

The race essentially turned on a handful of states: Florida, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Iowa. All were Bush states in 04, all went Obama this time. But not by much: the average margin of victory in those states was about four percentage points, meaning a two percentage point swing would have given them, and their 102 electoral college votes, to McCain — enough to put him in the White House.

Well, not quite. The average margin in the first four of those states was actually just two percentage points. But it would have taken a miracle for McCain to close the gap in Virginia (five points), Colorado (eight points) or Iowa (nine points). Still, it could as easily have been a narrow win for Obama as the blowout it appears. It wouldn’t take much to make the Republicans competitive again in those states in ’12, especially because…

2) This economy blows. If ever a president inherited a mess, Obama has: a massive financial crisis, a bone-crunching recession, a deficit heading north of $1-trillion, you name it. People will cut him some slack at first, but the longer it goes on, the greater the likelihood that he will end up wearing it. At the very least, it is going to put some severe restrictions on his ambitious spending plans. On the other hand…

3) The Democrats in Congress are not nearly as sensible as Obama. In a more evenly divided Congress, Obama would have the whip hand, insisting that his fellow Democrats stick to the centre or risk alienating the broader public and handing Congress back to the Republicans again, as they did in the early 1990s. But with strong majorities in both houses, the Dems will be tempted to overplay their hand. That may be even more of a nightmare for Obama than the recession.

4) Sarah Palin will not be the nominee in 2012. Or not if McCain’s people can help it. Exit poll data shows she was a major drag on McCain’s hopes, but nothing like the drag McCain’s aides clearly plan to be on Palin’s: the anonymous interviews dishing the dirt on her are absolutely scorching (sample: she allegedly thought Africa was a country). Palin is a talented politician, but if the GOP has any future, as my friend David Frum argued recently, it will not come from going back to the same old NASCAR-dad well. Maybe this defeat can be the start of a new strategic vision for the party.


 
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“It’s always darkest just before it goes totally black” — actual McCain quote

  1. Maybe the media should stop worrying about how we should feel about events and concentrate on what we might know about them.

  2. The bit at the beginning of this article (I only skimmed the rest) is over 200 years too late. The American experiment was a world shaping event, but its long over. Today America lags far behind in diplomatic and cultural acumen. Only in military strength and some aspects of technology are they truly ‘the leader of the free world.’

  3. “Most Liberal Senator Ever”

    Oh puh-lease

  4. Did anyone else read the Frum peice? It was pretty good. Basically called for an end to the divisive, culture war, social conservative politics that served GWB so well in getting elected. I liked it.

  5. Caps on Most Liberal etc were meant to indicate “irony.”

  6. “Still, it can’t have been a happy night for Republicans, or conservatives, all in all.”

    I am conservative and was happy because McCain would have been the death of conservatism in US for a long time indeed. And it ties in with your second point about how the economy sucks the big one and you can take it to the bank that president will be wearing it when the next election comes around in 2012.

    “It was closer than it looked”

    From what I can tell, Obama won because of increased turnout of blacks and millions of conservatives who sat on their hands and didn’t bother to vote.

    “Exit poll data shows she was a major drag on McCain’s hopes”

    Michael Barone was talking about how exit polls were wildly inaccurate this year. Also, I think it’s weird how much Palin was supposed to do. She’s considered a failure by some because she didn’t increase base support while also attracting independents. Only Palin was expected to do this, all Biden and past vp’s were expected to do was attack opponent and let top of the ticket attract the voters.

    “but nothing like the drag McCain’s aides clearly plan to be on Palin’s: the anonymous interviews dishing the dirt on her are absolutely scorching”

    I think this is some kind of Rovian plot to make her even more appealing to the base than she already is. A few elites looking down their noses at her, and the clowns from McCain campaign blaming everything on her even though that was one of the worst run campaigns I have ever seen, will just make the base like our Sarah even more.

    And there are rumours that most of the anti-Palin stuff is coming from former Romney staffers who joined McCain’s team once Mitt dropped out. Romney thought he was next in line for nomination in 2012 but now realizes he has no chance with Palin around.

    “it will not come from going back to the same old NASCAR-dad well. Maybe this defeat can be the start of a new strategic vision for the party.”

    I think winning the NASCAR vote is still the way to go. The new strategic vision, which I agree needs to happen, will have to attract the same people but with different policies. The repubs need something more than tax cuts for economic policy and they have to focus on health care as well.

  7. “Today America lags far behind in diplomatic and cultural acumen.”

    What are you talking about? The U.S. is the only country that matters when it comes to diplomacy, I have yet to hear anyone suggest Canadians or Japanese should be brought in to broker peace in Middle East or whatnot.

    The same goes for culture. I guess I missed all the German bands, Nigerian made movies and Korean books that have you thinking that Americans are culturally unimportant.

  8. I guess I missed all the German bands, Nigerian made movies and Korean books that have you thinking that Americans are culturally unimportant.

    Do you speak German, Hausa/Yoruba/Ibo or Korean?

    What Mr. Coyne meant is that every Americanised Anglo-Canadian has two countries…the one he’s stuck with and the one he wishes he had been born in if only he had been more virtuous in his previous life.

  9. would anybody really care what bush or condi thought if she didn’t have the missle launch codes? thought not.

  10. Ti-Guy

    I speak a little German and Korean but not sure why that matters. It was Mike T who claimed that Americans are cultural and diplomatic laggards and I was pointing out that’s nonsense on stilts.

  11. That’s an assertion, not an argument.

  12. Floundering education system.

    Terrible health care system with rapidly deteriorating indicators.

    Chaotic and inconsistent electoral system.

    Broken financial system.

    Fading manufacturing system.

    Out-of-control government choking it’s own constitution.

    The only encouraging sign is that people are actually prepared to wait in line for 5, 6, 7 hours to vote. The sad fact is they have to wait in line 5, 6, 7 hours to vote.

    Conservatives may be looking there – where else is there?

    But I’m not.

  13. “It was closer than it looked.”

    Ha, ha, ha, … good one, Andrew.

  14. Obama must not fall for the demands that he cure America. His leadershipo role can only be to inspire his people, inspire them to solve problems which can be solved if good-will is present; to inspire, move, people to solve their own problems by capturing his frame of mind, his attitudes, his values, his energy.

    Those who talk of Obama being tested by the many challenges facing America are undermining him. He has been tested, he has been chosen, to lead and lead he must. But solutions to social and financial problems while they are there, of course, these can only be discovered if we now work together, inspired by his way.

    Obama is not a Saviour, a Riddle Master or a Despot, he is a Leader of a democracy. Ask no more.

  15. “It was closer than it looked”.

    Well, maybe, but only because it doesn’t look as close as many thought it would be.

    Obama received over 2.2 million votes more than the previous record for most votes ever in the history of the Republic (and they’re still counting). McCain got over 2 million votes less than John Kerry did in 2004. And the Obama/McCain Electoral College breakdown will be SHOCKINGLY close to the Clinton/Bush Sr. E.C. breakdown, which is a surprise to me (C/B was 370/168, O/M looks like it’ll be 364/174). Add to that the highest percentage of the vote for a Dem. since LBJ in 1964, and a gap between Obama and McCain of around 7.7 million votes (and potentially still climbing… still a fairly large number of votes to be counted) and I have to say, I didn’t think it would be that big of a win.

    So, to me, even if reality is closer than the appearance, reality is still a bigger gap than I expected. I figured on a 3-5 point gap and 320-350 E.C. votes, not a 7 point gap and 360+, but that’s just me. What can I say, I just didn’t foresee Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana ALL going for Obama.

  16. “The Democrats in Congress are not nearly as sensible as Obama. In a more evenly divided Congress, Obama would have the whip hand, insisting that his fellow Democrats stick to the centre or risk alienating the broader public and handing Congress back to the Republicans again, as they did in the early 1990s.”

    I believe this essential insight is flawed. It is Obama, not congress, that is more likely to make ideological lurches. Why? A strong Democratic majority means that the Democrats are winning in places more conservative than the places Obama needs to win for his re-election bid. For instance, Obama probably won’t be thinking about how to win Texas, but for at least 12 Democratic incumbents (and for potential future incumbents, who Howard Dean cares about) Texas matters.

    Who voted for the Democratic congress? Despite its bad reviews, the Democrats added 12 congressional seats. Now in 2006 they won 52-44 in the popular vote, since they did better this time, it is probably save to conclude they won by at least ten points – larger than Obama’s margin.

    How did Obama win? Well he applied the Karl Rove lesson and focused on voter turnout in essentially the same coalition Kerry ran with (voter turnout increased more from 2000 to 2004, yet where is Bush and Kerry’s medal?). Yes Obama won places like North Carolina and Indiana, but he did so by finding more people that already agreed with him, not by finding more moderates*. Moving to the centre would diminish the enthusiasm that made him president.

    *Independents went 52-44 for Obama this time, they went 49-48 for Kerry last time, that doesn’t look like a wave of post-partisanship. Obama didn’t do much better among Republicans either, the key to his success was the shift from even partisan identification in 2004 to a 7 point Democrat lead in party id.

  17. Ow! Ow! My bones!

  18. DR says:
    “Most Liberal Senator Ever”
    Oh puh-lease

    AC says it was case-sensitive irony.

    OK. But can anyone confirm that he was the most “Present” senator ever? Prorating for his short tenure, of course.

    Wow, President-Elect Obama, congratulations. A junior senator who barely got to know where the bathroom was, made a specific point of NOT voting yea or nay in many difficult senate votes, and who ran a presidential campaign as a blank slate but pressing the “hope” and “change” keys with the electronic organ set to “evangelical orator” style, will in January be sworn in as leader of the free world. Remarkable.

  19. I am not intellectually, emotionally and spiritually invested in the United States! I don’t subscribe to the American bravado. I see a black President and I think, big deal, so many other world leaders are black. I don’t ‘give it’ to the Americans, ok? You may say that if it wasn’t for them our borders wouldn’t be secure. Well Bush made his play for our northern waters and I say the best policy is not to suck up to them.

  20. “Floundering education system.
    Terrible health care system with rapidly deteriorating indicators.
    Chaotic and inconsistent electoral system.
    Broken financial system.
    Fading manufacturing system.
    Out-of-control government choking it’s own constitution.”

    All true, but there are also massive problems facing other Western European countries. Some are the same, but they have a few unique ones “declining birth rates, unassimilated immigrant populations,
    And Western Euopean countries look good to East European countries. The next century may be belong to Asia, but their recent slowdown, and China’s reaction to Obama, shows just how dependent they are on the West.

    I think the comments above attributing the anti-Palin comments to the Romney camp making the most sense, and I think a lot less of him for it.

  21. Close doesnt count, as Mr Gore can testify. That being said, the “conservative” side was not decimated in the worst of all conditions. This is a strategic fact that Obama has to take into account for 2 and 4 years down the road. Of course success breeds success and he can ignore that fact if he governs well.

    Andrew, I have a question I wish someone would address. Why are there no names being attatched to the Palin gossip? It isnt like it is national security. Could we get a committment from you that Macleans will severely limit the use of anonymous sources unless it is of serious consequence, like Adscam, national security, health threats etc….perhaps we can start naming names as in people should keep their mouths shut because a reporter is always on the record, or is that just a quaint romantic notion?

  22. Truemuse – ‘I see a black President and I think, big deal, so many other world leaders are black.’

    That would be why it IS a big deal – there should have been a black president before now.

  23. thewiz,

    why would that be? Black pop is between 10 and 12% of the US population. Given that that for half the history of the US they didnt have the vote and were held back from education then there really wasnt a qualified pool from which to draw until the last 20 years.

    If Powell had run he could have won, probably would have won. And if we are counting genetics here, which seems to be the point, Powell would have been a “black” president since both his parents were, unlike Obama. And should someone scream that shoudlnt matter, I would agree with you. Can we please move past all of this now. Given the choice presented before the electorate the right canadidate won, not because of skin colour but because of tempermant campaign skills etc.

    There is only one president, and it should never be won because of some kind of racial or geneder preference, it should be because of other qualities matching needs at the time. Please lets not apply affirmative action to the highest office in the land….it should be brutally darwinian as to who wins and who loses. The office of POTUS neither belongs to or is owed to anyone.

  24. stephen,
    I certainly do believe that Obama has the qualities matching the needs at this time.

  25. truemuse
    Nov 6, 2008 20:43
    I am not intellectually, emotionally and spiritually invested in the United States! I don’t subscribe to the American bravado. I see a black President and I think, big deal, so many other world leaders are black. I don’t ‘give it’ to the Americans, ok? You may say that if it wasn’t for them our borders wouldn’t be secure. Well Bush made his play for our northern waters and I say the best policy is not to suck up to them
    —————————

    The difference is that those black leaders were elected by black nations.

    America is the only white nation to elect a black leader and commander-in-chief.

    You seem to be a bit resentful of America, which is understandable, but nobody is asking you to worship your southern neighbour. America is a good nation with good people, just like Canada. You may not agree with all her policies, but I think the world can congratulate America for coming this far in her history and drop the resentment.

    Few Americans support the Bush administration, and Barack Obama has won a landslide. Considering how many people have been bashing America over the last 8 years because of president Bush, after the message America has just sent to the world, it would only be just to embrace America and her choice and congratulate her for it.

  26. Stephen – I agree, it’s time to move past racial distinction and into a more colour-blind era.

  27. I disagree Andrew : speaking as a 100% through and through Conservative myself, I and a group of my friends are all overjoyed that Obama won! The reason is not as you expect though and has nothing to do with transcendance and all that guff. It is very simple as one of the PM’s problems was the invalid and incorrect assumption that Bush and Harper got along these Harper Bush clone attacks cost. Now we have a whole different ball game and my boy Stevie knows full well how to play these cards and I have no doubt that we Conservatives will be able to get all sorts of things done, because I doubt the next complaint about Harper will be = Oh! there goes that Obama Clone Harper – nope doesn’t work. Harper will be able to use the favorable opinion most canadians have of Obama and the best part will be that this will drive left wing nuts absolutley insane up here! ROFL LMAO

  28. Will your boy be lecturing Obama on harmonizing jelly beans ?

  29. Is it me or the font in the comments section is so small that it is not even funny to read anymore?

  30. As usual Andrew is fair and insightful here, but since election night this post has grown stale-dated on one point: the size of the victory.

    With all the votes counted, it turns out Obama won the popular vote by about 7 points – slighly but definitively on the high-side of pre-vote polling predictions. That combined with 365 electoral votes – all earned by non-incumbent, black candidate makes this a big and resounding win.

    Also,the fact that the election turned on a handful of battleground states is not so remarkable as the number of truly contested states (gone are the days when Pensylvania, Ohio and Florida were the only real question marks) and their shift from dependably conservative to up in the air.

    been overtaken by the facts ia couple of mistakes begs to be corrected: now with all the votes counted the popular

  31. Pavobritannia,
    Can I point out that the Commander-in-chief of the Canadian Military is a Black Woman?
    She is also the Head of State in Canada.
    Are we a ‘White Nation’? I don’t know what that means.
    The election of Obama was not about race, even THOUGH America has alot of racial tension. So I don’t see why his win has to be about race. I heard so much from Americans afterwards “This could only happen in America”. Well look over here. Our Governal General is Black.

    karen

  32. Canada has a few good cards in its hand in the relationship with the US. I hope our Prime Minister does what he has to do to defend our national interests while also being a good friend, neighbour and ally. I hope we see an end to all the anti-American crap about our PM being “to cozy” to the President, or ‘in his pocket” or his “clone” and all the other phrases those of the grand Canadian Inferiority Complex like to trot out every time we engage with the US. We are important to the US but we are not a serious issue for them, or them for us. Our relationship carries on at many levels and is well managed and relatively trouble free. Good luck to President Obama, may he achieve all that he promised and raised hopes for.

  33. (5) There was practically no difference between any of McLame’s and The Savior’s policies anyways. From illegal immigration to bailouts to bombing foreign countries, both these candidates would and will do exactly what they are told to do. Period.

    “People will cut him some slack at first, but the longer it goes on, the greater the likelihood that he will end up wearing it.”

    Or the people will end up wearing it. A yoke that is. Ever wonder why the obsession with conscripting Americans of both sexes into a “national service” program “as large as the armed forces”? The leash tying Americans to their president can be jerked in both directions. Obama could very well end up as another FDR, and more’s the pity. Or Mussolini.

    Read up on world history from 1918 until 1945 (or until 1954 when the Dow Jones index once against reached the level of 1929). I recommend reading “Paris 1919”, “America’s Great Depression”, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” and “Crisis and Leviathan” for starters. If you think that the same path of increasingly interventionist policies, followed by conscription, followed by an arms race, followed by world war can’t be trod again then you just aren’t paying attention.

  34. None of my hopes and ideals about democracy has ever been put on trial in an American election.

  35. Oh, I read the David Frum piece: the same condescension without any of the usual triumphalism because, really, the Republican Party ain’t a party I would ever go to. Who would? The lingering image of Republicanism after this election is of a sea of white faces grinning at that idiot John McCain appointed second in line to the presidency. Some aren’t even grinning. They’re down in the trailer park oiling their hunting rifles and grumbling about how somebody’s gonna have to show the world how they still knows how to keep their nigras down.

  36. Exit poll data shows she [Palin] was a major drag on McCain’s hopes

    Actually, it doesn’t. Among those who said Palin’s selection was a factor in their decision, McCain won 56-43. She actually appears have had a small positive effect.

  37. I’d like to see the question. Then I’d like to see the thought processes that went into answering it. Then I’d probably conclude that the whole of the polling methodology is as astygmatic as ever. However, from consulting myself, I know this: Palin confirmed a lot of Democrat votes and sent a bunch of undecideds over to Obama. But then, everyone should have voted for Obama. Who wants to associate with that throwback grabbag of white-faced Republican losers, and crackerheads?

  38. Ti-Guy
    Nov 6, 2008 17:23

    Maybe the media should stop worrying about how we should feel about events and concentrate on what we might know about them.

    Hi Ti-Guy,

    True, very, very true! With a few exceptions, Andrew being on eof the major ones, the Ta;king Heads, aka, Wolf Blitzer, Faux news, etc., have been feeding off the bottom for so long they can’t see the sunshine anymore.

    Fortunately, the American people ignored them by a 53% majority and elected, actually ELECTED, a new President. The figures leave no doubt what the American people thought and what their choice was Barack Obama-President-elect of the United States of America.

    All other opinions are moot in light of the democratic choice the people made.

    Still, the Talking Heads will pontificate to each other, but the people simply are ignoring them. The Slur du jour will be around for some time to come because these opinionated buffoons, like any other addict, will need quite a bit of time to go through rehab.

    Fortunately, the American Thanksgiving Day is coming soon and the Cold Turkey Treatment will be in full swing.

  39. Anyone watch ’60 Minutes’ yesterday? The Obama Team showed what real Americans and wise thinkers truly are.

    Likewise, the segment on Ted Turner was very revealing.

    The segment on Hazardous Waste that is being hsipped to China was one everuone should watch. The North American (and European) consumers are literally poisoning the people in China, not to mention the Plastic Sea in the mid-Pacific Ocean.

  40. “The North American (and European) consumers are literally poisoning the people in China”

    Err, no, that would be their *communist* government that’s literally poisoning them.

    Try to find a company that is chucking lead and arsenic into a river in China or spewing coal smoke which *doesn’t* have communist government leaders or government departments/agencies as major shareholders or as silent partners and which *isn’t* subsidized by government owned banks. Please get back to us when you find one.

    If you want to stop your pollution from ending up in a Chinese person’s diet then stop participating in your own government’s ridiculous recycling programs. That’s how a lot of the crap ends up over there. If you simply throw your batteries in the garbage they’ll get buried under tons of other waste and sealed by clay in a Canadian landfill rather than getting pushed up a smokestack in China. Also, avoid throwing newsprint and cardboard in the blue box, this costs too much to recycle and wastes energy and chemicals. And those plastic water bottles … you know what a “grigri” is?

    BTW … I heard that when the melamine-tainted milk scandal broke, it was revealed that the communist leaders of China some time ago established private, organic farms for themselves and their families. Darn those North American and European consumers for making them do that.

  41. Al Heck Brakes

    Certainly Al, you, of course, play no part in the problem because the end result occurs on the soil and in the waters of another country. Had you watched the ’60 Minutes’ segment you would have known (maybe you do and simply are a NIMBY adherent?) that the waste was illegally exported to China from the U.S.. and the ‘publically clean/privately dirty’ exporter knew very well what was being done.

    As to your other diatribe on recycling, I would conclude you are really saying ‘I am too lazy to participate.’

  42. Quote of the Day!

    “I bet she knows what a community organizer does now ”

    Quoted from New York Daily News:

    “Sarah Palin says she’ll ‘plow through the door’ if there’s an opening in 2012 or beyond”

  43. Mon cher quebecois separatiste – if you wish a larger font size, hold down the control key (Ctrl) while rolling the wheel on your mouse. Voila, instant size adjustments.

  44. Andrew,
    You might want to go back and review item 4 it appears the rumours about Palin were a hoax (especially the Africa thing). M. THOMAS EISENSTADT” AND THE “HARDING INSTITUTE FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY dont exist, check Hot Air or The New Republic.

  45. “I would conclude you are really saying ‘I am too lazy to participate.’”

    No, I’m saying it’s a waste of time and money and a lot worse for the environment than if government didn’t force people to recycle stuff.

    I remember we had a gigantic, poisonous tire fire in Ontario back in the 90s … good thing we diverted all those tires from landfill eh? That’s exactly what I’m talking about. All you precious politicians did is create incentives to export all the poison to China, while they pretend to be “saving” you from non-existent environmental problems. Thanks, Big Brother.

  46. Every party includes at least one. You know, that guy nursing a Coke instead of a Red Maple Premium Lager. The girl who stays sober while her friends get stupid. The one holding the keys, ready to help their friends return home safely. The Designated Driver. Every party needs one. In the wake of Obamanation, the Republican Party surely does.

    For the conservative movement and conservative principles to have a future in the United States, those of us who are the GOP’s *designated conservatives* must take the keys away from our inebriated republican friends who drank McCain’s spiked Kool-Aid. “It’s always darkest just before it goes totally black” is exactly right for the McCain-Bush “compassionate whatever” partiers- they’ve blacked out the whole party on a financial bailout binge of billion dollar proportions!

    For more, visit the home of a designated conservative at http://dcon2012.wordpress.com/.

  47. Re Coyne’s “Exit poll data shows she was a major drag on McCain’s hopes” and then his “Palin is a talented politician”
    What talent exactly would that be, sir? Albatross?
    Marnie Tunay
    http://www.myspace.com/FakirsCA

  48. I disagree with Mr. Coyne’s statement that Ms. Palin is a talented politician.

    In my view, talented politicians have a number of very basic skills, none of which she demonstrated, i.e., an ability to articulate complete sentences; an ability to answer questions posed; and an ability to understand that if you throw mud at others, some might come back at you. These are basic skills to be expected of even the most ordinary politician.

    However, there is a more significant and serious flaw Ms. Palin demonstrated that should impede her progress as a politician. Specifically, a talented politician, and indeed a talented PERSON of any note, must be able to understand what s/he don’t know and where s/he would go to source accurate information to improve that knowledge.

    Not only does Ms. Palin have a deplorable lack of knowledge about the world (past history, recent history, and/or current events); but, she pretends that she actually has that knowledge. Moreover, given that she doesn’t admit to what she doesn’t know, she clearly will not seek out opportunities to learn from experts to improve her knowledge base. Finally, not only does she not have the necessary knowledge, and not only does she not admit that she doesn’t have the necessary knowledge, but she also does not know where to go to source relevant knowledge to improve her understanding.

    This makes Ms. Palin a very dangerous politician, not in any way a talented politician. Hopefully she will disappear into the past, but like others who do not learn from their mistakes, I fear she is doomed to repeat history and will continue to be the butt of political satirists like Tina Fey.

  49. The media continually mentions that the downturn in the economy killed McCain’s election hopes. It was more his woeful response to the downturn (suspending his campaign) that killed his election hopes. Obama will be as good as Bush 43 was bad.

  50. Obama’s election is of course largely a symbolic gesture from within a dysfunctional political system. For Americans of colour his election somehow validates a belief in ‘America the Free’ and those other ideological promises that make up so much of the ‘American Dream.’ However the realities, as we shall soon see will be for more discouraging.
    1. Obama was groomed and supported by the Chicago Mayor Daley machine, probably the most notorious and long-lived political machine in American politics. (Clinton, though packaged in the media as the Democratic Party’s dream candidate was dumped by the Daley Machine.) Probably the old pols recognized a winning smile when they saw one. However such support comes with a price. The Faustian dilemma.
    2. Obama will be helpless to address the fundamental problem in American politics: the ‘Checks & Balances’ system. Though boosted in American Civics class as a positive feature in US politics, the result of internal tension between the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature, actually results in hopeless deadlock. Benjamin Franklin the native American genius of the age, recognized this then and described the US Constitution as a wagon with horses pulling at both ends. Ever wondered why the USA does not have a national medical system; why America’s last declaration of war was in Dec 1941, though it has attacked countless countries since then; why the government is unable to control the Pentagon and its minions in what Eisenhower described as ‘the military industrial complex’? The reasons all come back to governmental deadlock. Internally it is almost impossible to get anything substantial done in the USA. President Kennedy described it this way: ‘Who cares if a President spends his whole presidency fighting to increase the minimum wage a dollar. But in Foreign Policy, there a President has real power and can have some real fun.’ (You might have noticed I am paraphrasing a little but the essence is the same.) As ‘Commander in Chief’ a President can invade countries, change regimes, obliterate millions of ‘enemies’ and get his name in the history books. Therefore the intoxication of power that overcomes most American Presidents. A Declaration of War requires Legislative debate and support but a ‘police action’, an intervention, some SE Asian ‘peacekeeping’, well, a ‘war’ against ‘terrorism’ well…
    3. Obama takes over an America that is essentially bankrupt and running on 24/7 presses printing money. If the world finally recognizes the ‘Emperor’ has no clothes, the whole economy could well collapse. Obama’s experience and background in such matters? Basically zip. So he’ll continue to make lofty speeches and stand like an icon to idealism while the financial sharks bite each others tails.

    So the USA has a 18th century constitution and a 19th century ‘imperial attitude’ in our 21st century. No wonder they seem so out of step to the modern world. As a Canadian I’ve spent my life shaking my head at the antics south of the border. Just cross the bridge from Windsor and keep your head down.

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