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Well. That Settles *That* - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Well. That Settles *That* [Nov. 11th, 2008|09:18 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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Alaskan governor will consider presidential bid if God wills.

All inadvertent self-parody aside, a week down the road and I still don't think I've ever been so glad to have been so wrong. My friends and I cheered when McCain appeared on screen and made his concession speech. Like so many others, the idea of a "black" man winning the presidency of the United States of America seemed, until a week ago, even more outlandish than the idea of a woman being elected to that office. Better yet, Obama seems like a thoughtful and intelligent man who just might have the imagination to become the president the US needs.

Which isn't to say I expect a sudden end to American imperialism, but I can at least hope he will lead an administration that will support the expansion of international law rather than its destruction; that he will take climate change seriously; that — just maybe — he will even begin to see the wisdom in turning off the taps that have for so long helped keep in power such paragons of liberal democracy as the House of Saud and whichever general pulls of Pakistan's next coup.

The neo-con true believers have left one hell of a mess to clean up; let's hope he's up to the task.

Post-script #1: McCain's concession speech was a good and a gracious one. In the moment, I was moved by it. But it didn't take me long to reject the implicit apology as far too little, too late. It was like a bully suddenly saying "I'm sorry", when only moments before he had been urging his lackeys to do their worst against what he had thought was a 98 pound weakling.

Post-script #2: To the revolutionaries among my (not entirely) Gentle Readers, much as I'd like to see a workers' paradise emerge on our sweet globe, I'd prefer it happen gradually and with as little violence as possible. Gradualism may not be exciting or sexy, but it's made for a pretty decent place to live here in Canada (all things considered and taking the long view) I'd just as soon we get there by baby-steps rather than through Mighty Strikes that count individual lives as nothing but numbers and class abstractions.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: xsweet16x
2008-11-12 12:17 pm (UTC)

My first thought when Obama won...

...was something along the lines of, "OMG YAY ED REX WAS WRONG." Which quickly disintegrated into ALDJSFLSDKJFASDLK OBAMA!, but it was an odd moment.

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-11-12 12:32 pm (UTC)

Re: My first thought when Obama won...

A very odd moment; and yet another reminder to forever lay aside my prognosticator's hat.

But why is my Sarcasm Sense(TM) tingling?
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2008-11-12 04:35 pm (UTC)

Sarah Palin as president

"Alaskan governor will consider presidential bid if God wills."

I don't know, this could be kinda fun. What if we rigged up her house with some "voice of God" speakers? I have a few suggestions for her.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-11-13 12:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Sarah Palin as president

Who needs speakers? I've always wanted to visit the far north. I figure I'll just glue on a big white beard and knock on her door, tell her, "You run, girl, with My blessings."
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From: placenta
2008-11-13 12:25 am (UTC)

i don't know. . .

i didn't think it was impossible. not for one second; i don't think it would've been impossible even if hilary had made the nomination. the u.s. is pretty damn fed up with republicans at the moment (and i think that shows even more with the numbers of democrats that are in the senate and house). i don't think it would've been as much of a landslide, though, if it were hilary. she's a very strong, independent woman and that scares the american public at large.
as for your thoughts on the concession speech, i agree. when i heard him, i thought, "well, that's pretty noble and humble of him", but then i remembered that if he had come out and had been spewing the same crap that he did on the campaign trail, he would've lost even more followers. it's all an act (isn't that what politics are, anyway?). he was on jay leno last night, too. i watched that; jay had asked some questions about where he went wrong and if he thought palin was a reason why he'd lost so many voters. of course, he said no and that she was "wonderful" and then proceeded to kiss her and her husband's asses. i think, though, he knew that his biggest downfall was choosing sarah palin. but, of course, he has to keep that "i'm a gentleman" image that he likes to portray.
as much as people like to make obama out to be a total n00b, i think it's younger, newer politicians that we need in the u.s. government. i think he will get things done, but i'm really worried that the american people will grow to dislike him because we're a very impatient people. i just wish more people knew that the types of things he needs to accomplish to fix our economy/environment/image is going to take time. i'm also very worried for his safety, as much as i hate to say it.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-11-13 12:30 pm (UTC)

Re: i don't know. . .

i didn't think it was impossible. not for one second...

I'll pick a nit by noting I said, "outlandish", not "impossible". That said, I had thought that the US was more likely to go for a white woman than for a (half) black man as president.

...i don't think it would've been impossible even if hilary had made the nomination.

From my personal viewpoint, I didn't much like, nor trust, Clinton. She took the cowards' position on Iraq and, more generally, strikes me as one of those politicians who wants to be president just because, well, she wants to be president, not because there was anything in particular that she wanted to do with the job.

the u.s. is pretty damn fed up with republicans at the moment...i don't think it would've been as much of a landslide...

"Landslide"? At 52.6% to 46.1%, I hardly see the result as the sea change that you (and just about every commentator our there) seems to see it as. 46.1% of the voting population is far too close to half for my liking. (But it's a nice start.)
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From: placenta
2008-11-17 04:51 am (UTC)

Re: i don't know. . .

when i say "landslide", i refer to the electoral votes (the only votes that really count in a presidential election in the u.s.); obama had more than half the electoral votes that mccain did. i would say that's quite the landslide victory.
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From: placenta
2008-11-17 04:53 am (UTC)

correction

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<smallsorry,>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<smallsorry, i meant that obama had <i>more than twice</i> the electoral votes that mccain did. </small>
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[User Picture]From: sck5000
2008-11-13 05:22 am (UTC)
I don't know how anyone could have failed to predict the outcome of the U.S. election. It may as well have been writ large right across the firmament three months ago.

One of the things you and your many woefully populist fan-readers may want to muse on someday is the irony that you like Barack Obama and hate Stephen Harper, yet the conservative party of Canada is actually more left-wing than the U.S. democratic party. It begs the question, if Barack Obama ran his own party on his own platform here in Canada -- a less than 100% health care coverage for example, increased off-shore drilling, protectionist trade policy, unwilling to rule out military action on Iran -- as left-wingers, would you be obligated to vote for Stephen Harper instead?

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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-11-13 12:51 pm (UTC)

Obama: He Hasn't Just Read a Book, He's Written One!

I don't know how anyone could have failed to predict the outcome of the U.S. election.

In my case, I simply over-estimated the number of Americans who would not, in the privacy of the voting booth, be able to bring themselves to vote for a black man; and underestimated the number of first-time voters Obama would be able to convince to actually get out to the polls and vote.

As for my own enthusiasm for Obama, you ask a good question.

I like Obama because (I think) he believes in the rule of law, including international law; because (I think) he is an intelligent and imaginative pragmatist and not a rigid and (unintelligent) ideologue; because, in the context of American political culture he seems to be a progressive; and because I think the mere fact of his blackness will have significant long-term positive social repercussions vis-a-vis the race-problem south of the border.

Why do I "hate" Harper? Because I believe he would like to govern far to the right of what political reality allows him to. I don't think he's a "social conservative", but I do think he's a true-believing neo-con (or was, until the past few weeks; if even Alan Greenspan is having second thoughts, maybe Harper is as well) and would govern that way if he had a majority government.

I lived through the Harris years and still see the effects of that regime through the broken streets over which I cycle everday day and in the decaying social fabric that has made gun-play an almost every day occurrence in this city.

I believe that Harper, if he could, would dismantle medicare and other public services, reducing government to running the army, the police and the prisons — this is why neo-con governments consistently run huge deficits: so that they can claim "there's no money" for the social programs that most people actually want.

...as left-wingers, would you be obligated to vote for Stephen Harper instead?

In that hypothetical situation, I think Harper would show his true colours and be campaigning to the right of Obama — so I'd shrug my shoulders and vote for Ralph Nader.
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2008-11-13 01:20 pm (UTC)
The outcome wasn't predictable until the markets crashed. Before that time a win by McCain was quite conceivable as poll numbers indicated.

And this woeful populist fan-reader will defend himself from charges of fawning too much over Obama. See, for example, http://mijopo.livejournal.com/210451.html?thread=259347#t259347

But in support of those who cheered on Obama, he does represent a huge improvement over the present administration. Hoping that Obama wins in the given context is not the same as endorsing all his views.

Finally, it doesn't beg the question, it raises the question: http://begthequestion.info/
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-11-14 01:33 am (UTC)

Addendum

As mijopo pointed out (and as I implied, intending to make explicit, but time was a-runnin' out this morning and I quite simply forgot to make the point), a lot of the enthusiasm derives simply from the fact that he isn't George W. Bush, a president I don't think it in the least an exageration to describe as both a war criminal under international law (disregarding the fact the US holds a Security Council veto) and a traitor to his own country, having run roughshod over its Constitution and having started a war under entirely false pretenses. And that's just for starters.

Couple that with the fact that McCain's campaign was cynical, divisive and quite literally hate-mongering, and how can one not be enthused?
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[User Picture]From: astronauta
2008-11-13 11:37 am (UTC)
As weird and stalk-ative as this sounds, I've been really looking forward to your thoughts on this election since your prediction. One of my first thoughts - after screaming and hugging and toasting - were something like "... I wonder what Ed Rex is going to say about this" xD

I always knew he was going to win, but it could also be attributed to the fact that I'm from Chicago and it would've been a sin to doubt my city's favorite son.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-11-13 12:53 pm (UTC)

Feel Free to Stalk!

Since you live so far away, I'll happily take your interest as flattery and not something to fear. Besides, my ego enjoys the weird thought that people I've never met are wondering what I have to say about anything at all.
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