Well, by jove, they`ve done it! After 8 years of the Bush (p)Residency, America has stirred itself and elected an African-American Democrat as the 44th president of those united states. Yep, that was the air of history we were breathing last night, folks, heady stuff: shame you couldn’t bottle it and put it on ebay!
Interesting factoids arising in the aftermath. The turnout was the largest since 1968, and Obama is the 1st Democrat since ’68 to gain over 50% of the vote. And yet…McCain/Palin still got over 46% of the vote, despite Bush’s record, despite the in-your-face vacuity of Sarah Palin, despite the nastiness of their ads and rallies and smears. Kinda worries me. The Nazis and the Bolsheviks seized power on a smaller base than that.
So now the age of Obama is dawning, while a mountain of crises looms over all. Surely the 1st order of business is to close Guantanamo, shut down the Gitmo dungeon and reaffirm America’s determination to abide by international law and the Geneva conventions. Then set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, and convene a regional summit on Afghanistan, and another on the Middle East. So much to do, and so many corporate scumbags to fend off!
Well, today is the day that we get to find out several things. Will clandestine racism, ie the Bradley Effect, sap Obama’s support? Will the multifarious voter suppression ploys likewise nullify Democrat votes? Will Americas voting machines (nearly all made by companies with Republican sympathies) and/or local election officials (formerly local bipartisan election committees but now secretaries of state) finagle vote counts with strange, inexplicable, Houdini-like data/ballot disappearances?
Will McCain somehow come out with the 51.4% mentioned on various paranoid blogs (and don`t forget, you`re only paranoid if they`re NOT out to get you), in defiance of the national and exit polls? I think it’s a near certainty that there will be demonstrations and a lot of anger if that happens. And if Obama wins? What can we expect from the febrile, fundamentalist Right who have had their fevered egos stroked by the Bush administration for 8 years? Will they meekly accept an Obama presidency, these all-or-nothing, Dominionist, creationist, prolife authoritarians? America is a nation riven by division, fractured along culture contrasts that are as stark as anything out of medieval Europe.
It’s clear that the election of a new president is only a first step, whoever it turns out to be.
Man, this whole Sarah Palin thing is getting funkily weird. Like when at the start of the debate she asked Joe Biden if she could call him Joe, and for one transcendent, mind-expanding moment I fantasised that Joe would come straight back with ‘Why sure, so long as I can call you Moose Woman of the Frozen North’! Sadly, this glittering rebuff took place only in my head.
And now there’s this regurgitated, reheated guff about Obama’s vestigial connections with Bill Ayers, a former member of the Weathermen, an American homebrew terrorist group from the 60s/early 70s. While Ayers was infrequently associated with Obama in his early Chicago days, it should be noted that during the years of peak Weathermen activity Obama was the ripe old age of 9 (while Sarah was about 5). So what are we to make of this? That Obama was somehow osmotically or otherwise influenced by Weatherman activities before he hit his teens? If that’s possible, then why isn’t Sureshot Sarah also under the influence of gun-toting crazies? (heh heh….)
But this is dumb, box-of-rocks-wise. And hypocritical, since most folks know that John McCain’s Vietnam activities involved (cough) bombing of residential areas in Hanoi and elsewhere. Oh yeah! So Obama is tarred by association with someone never convicted of killing anyone, yet McCain, civilian-bomber-extraordinaire, is a war hero. You betcha.
Where could this approach take us, eh? How about…
Shock Election News: Expert air analysts in the McCain camp confirm that Senator Obama has deliberately breathed air molecules once by inhaled by Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan, and Saddam! Next up – water molecule analysis shows connections to Emperor Caligula, Pol Pot, and Noam Chomsky!!
Y`know, if all this were happening in a world without the internet, I think I’d probably go completely nuts, insane, bugf*ck as hell and getting in line for the rubber room. But knowing that this BIG DAMN noticeboard has little corners devoted to such wonders of focussed rage as Get Your War On, or the Daily Mash, is essential to resisting the isolation inherent in the international commodity carnival we have to confront day in day out. For enlightenment-through-anger see the following:
Wow, just when it seems that things are too depressing for words (or screams for that matter), along comes something that really perks you up. It seems that Sarah Palin headed back to Alaska, to Anchorage today and was greeted by a 1000-or-so of her pod-people supporters. Later on, there was an ‘Alaska Women Reject Palin’ rally at the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. This story was related on a WordPress blog, no less, by a female Anchorage resident, and you can read the rest here -
This rally outweighed the pro-Palins by 1400+ to their 1000 – way to go. And the thought that hit me straight away was – ‘Obama has got to go to Anchorage, and beard the lioness in her den’. That’s the way to face down the Far Right, right on her territory.