Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Post-Election Ramblings

Gore Vidal famously said that there's one political party in the US and it's called the Property Owning Party. The Democrats represent the right wing of the party, and the Republicans represent the reactionary wing. Gore continues to be accurate in his analysis. Here are some other random thoughts on what went down last night:

Let the Racist Backlash Commence

TV talking heads on all the networks couldn't stop talking about the Latino vote and the GOP's inability to capture it. Watch for the more rabid, bug-eyed Republicans to start screeching about American politics being hijacked by Hispanics and blacks, who, you know, aren't really Americans.

The Republicans Score a False Positive

Rightist commentators will probably try and take comfort in the fact that the popular vote was almost a draw. That's a false positive. Obama won despite the Republicans having an unofficial propaganda wing consisting of FOX News and almost all of talk radio. Those media outlets have been flaying Obama and the Democrats for four years. There is no countervailing liberal media to negate this advantage for the GOP. If the GOP's private sector propaganda apparatus didn't exist it's likely Obama would have enjoyed a wider margin of victory.

Don't Talk About War

The taboo subject for all concerned in this election was military spending. Both candidates, not surprisingly, voiced support for "our brave men and women in the armed forces", and Romney of course wants to make the military even stronger. Nobody wanted to talk about the fact that the trillions spent on the military is the dirty secret behind America's fiscal defecit; that, and certain people hiding their money in the Cayman Islands.

Watch the Republicans Split In Two

The Tea Party section of the GOP is likely to get even more bitter and angry and eliminationist. They might feel so alienated from more moderate Republicans that they'll form a breakaway party. In same the way that the Green Party under Ralph Nader became a home (temporarily) for Democrats who felt their party was drifting right, the Tea Party people might strike out on their own. It's not hard to imagine a narcissistic publicity hound like Sarah Palin happily heading such a party.

No More Birthers!

This issue is now officially dead. If Donald Trump brings it up again he should be hauled in front of a state psychiatric board and declared incompetent.

Any Other Democracy is Better Than American Democracy

For those observing this election from next door, it once again offered proof that the American electoral process is part museum piece, part corporate exercise. Electoral College? A low population state like Maine gets the same number of senators as California? $6bn in campaign costs? Corporations can run ads against candidates?  This isn't a democracy, it's democracy-lite.

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