For ages now, I’ve felt it best to avoid discussing, except with people with whom one is really really close, two subjects: politics and religion. At this moment, therefore, I’ll confine my comments to saying that I’m incredibly glad that the USA election process has finally come to an apparent end.
Oh, sure, there will no doubt be recounts and even some lawsuits to follow but, the latter being baseless so far as I’ve seen, I’m prepared to accept them as a form of entertainment rather than being annoyed by any intrusion into my alleged mind. Any recounts should go quickly because, with the time-consuming work of signature verification and postmark checking already done, the ballots will need only a trip through a high-speed scanning/sorting machine. What’s most upset me has been the endless yammering of media types, the odd preemption of favorite TV programs, often conflicting and largely incorrect poll results, etc., etc.. In particular, I swear that the CNN people must be paid by the word. I got to the point of almost not caring who would win the Presidential election, just so long as there was no more talking about it.
Let quiet reign, that I may finally sleep soundly. At least until the riots start. Yes, that’s right, the authorities expect that “civil unrest” may break out in Seattle, Portland and a number of other cities. Why all those people want to go out and cause trouble is beyond me, but then that’s a subject for another posting.
14 thoughts on “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over”
Like you, Cog, I’m glad it’s more or less all over. But I’m sorry the USA has lumbered itself with an ageing president who may turn out to be as much of an embarrassment as his predecessor and leave his country a laughing stock on the world stage. Already he is attempting to poke his nose into the UK’s affairs as regards Brexit and Ireland, claiming that he does not want to see the Good Friday agreement damaged by the UK’s actions over Brexit. Has the elderly leprechaun not noticed that the agreement has already been damaged by IRA thugs and their violence? The reports that Biden intends to appoint Obama as ambassador to the UK defy belief, though we’re quite used to having assorted presidential cronies dumped on us. As for Harris’s dislike of our immigration policies, all I can say is “Tough, lady! That’s our business.” What else? Oh yes. God bless America.
I, too, am pleased that it’s nearly over. I’ve never understood why the Australian Media has wall-to-wall coverage of every U.S. election. At least this election had to share the headlines with Covid-19.
I’m still bemused that a country with over 300 million people would choose two septuagenarians of questionable mental faculties to lead them. But, just as it’s not Biden’s or Harris’s place to poke their noses into other country’s internal affairs, it’s not really mine to ask that question!
Enjoy the peace and quiet while you may Cog! I fear that the precedent for noisy and violent disagreements with the outcome of elections has become a tradition in far too many democracies.
I wish I still had some confidence. In a country as large as the USA, in a country where power is dispersed as widely as the USA, that things will go wrong in various municipalities is an inevitability. Corruption is a fact of life in the USA. Machine politics has been a fact of life for a very long time in the USA. The Americans didn’t invent corruption or machine politics, but they certainly became masters. I remember the 2018 elections. In Orange County, Republicans were winning in four congressional district. As if magic, enough late votes came in to flip all four. In 2006, Norm Coleman won very, very narrowly — until enough ballots were magically found in Hennepin County to give Al Franken the lead. Clark County, Nevada, Milwaukee and Dane Counties, Wisconsin, Wayne County, Michigan, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, Minnesota, Cook County, Illinois, King County, Washington and New York City are infamously corrupt. San Francisco, Chicago, Las Vegas, Detroit, New York City, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, etc. all have famed political machines. There are simply too many things that went wrong for this election to be snow-white. There were too many people in Arizona, in Georgia, in Wisconsin, in Pennsylvania complaining that something fishy was happening to be ignored. If there’s smoke, there’s fire and I find it interesting that the same people who complained about Russia for four years without a shred of evidence suddenly want this done and dusted. Naturally, some of the complaints will be flimsy — but too much of a pattern has emerged. I have an uncle who is a highly successful businessman, my grandfather was a CHP officer for many years. One of my uni mates has been a political operative in the Upper Midwest for decades. I have over a decade experience in working for a government entity. The USA is corrupt to the core. I know how the country functions. There is a lot of corruption at the local level, especially when political machines take over. I’ve seen this personally. So no, I don’t believe that this election was entirely clean. No elections ever are, but some are worse than others. For example, in 2008 there was no need for anyone to tamper with the election because the outcome was too obvious. Likewise, 2012, 2014 and 2016 were fairly clean elections. But 2018 had a funny whiff about it, especially in California. This year? Foul and rotten to the core. It’s like the Gilded Age again.
Prasutagus: Thanks for that cartoon. Brilliant!
Sheona: Is there supposed to be something wrong with Biden’s age? Has he shown himself to be not up to the mark in any significant way? I’ll be turning 78 myself this coming January and don’t find myself to be feeble-minded (yet). I also find it a bit strange that none has shown such ageism in the case of Trump, who is, after all, not far behind at 74.
If any has made the USA a “laughing stock on the world stage,” it is Biden’s immediate predecessor. At least Biden comports himself as a gentleman, avoiding childish actions and rude name-calling.
I’m afraid I haven’t been following news of our new administration’s international political intents as closely as I might have done, hence have no knowledge of what Kamala Harris may or may not have said regarding the UK’s immigration policies. I’m no better informed on the subject of Barack Obama’s possible appointment to be our ambassador to the UK and, thinking back to his rude behavior toward Britain when he first took office, would find it difficult to believe. On the other side of things, goodness knows the British media haven’t been stingy with their opinions. I’ll know more when the new administration has done more.
For now, yes, God Bless America. We’ll need it!
Boadicea: Mostly ditto the above.
I’m happy, though, to report that there have so far been no more than a few minor and generally peaceful demonstrations. I might allow myself to suspect that the Radical Right types were scared off by the huge volume of Left-leaners who came out of hiding to show their support for Biden and Harris. There was some good TV news footage of a large rally in Washington, DC, which occasioned no violence and in which, so far as I could see, everyone was wearing a mask. They did have some clever signs with them, among them one reading, “Bye, Don” and another, my personal favorite, being one using Trump’s #1 line from his
TV show (The Apprentice): “You’re Fired!”
Good Crieff, it sounds like you’ve swallowed a magic wall, Christopher. Me, I have trouble finding Cumbernauld on a map.
Got to say though that thanks to John King et al I now know there are numerous cricket teams in the States.
Christopher: I don’t know about the U.S. system as, perhaps, I should. When I read about the efforts of local areas to refuse to register potential voters – I do wonder. I have read several articles about the resurgence of that practice. Thank you for your comment.
Cog: We are very much the same age – my birthday is the 8th of the same month – and, like you, apart from the loss of a few words (which has been a long-long-standing problem!) – I’m also convinced I’m not feeble minded. But, I do know that I would not have the necessary energy to run a State, or a country the size of Australia – let alone the size and complexity of the U.S.A. And quite a few significant ‘lapses’ by Biden have been reported here.
Trump might well be a loud-mouthed bully but he has made some significant changes to world politics. Biden might well be a gentleman – but present world politics need a strong figurehead – and Biden isn’t it.
For me, the fact that he (after goodness knows how many generations) is prepared to identify himself as Irish and condemn Britain’s democratic vote to leave the EU says it all. As President of the U.S. he needs to leave personal prejudices behind.
Personally, I doubt that Obama will hive off to the U.K. I see him as the ‘Would-be Power behind the Throne’ and Britain is too far away from the centre of power. I could, of course, be wrong, and I’d be more than happy to be proved wrong.
I’ve read many comments from the U.S. who predict that Biden wont’ last long – and that Harris will take over. I’m not sure whether to be pleased or dismayed.
Boadicea: There have been a few shocking things that have happened. For example, military votes being found in ditches and bushes in Pennsylvania. They were overwhelmingly for Trump. In Arizona, thousands of people have signed affidavits stating that they were misled by poll workers. Instead of casting their ballots, they instead “corrected” them meaning that the ballot was discarded. There were also numerous cases of poll workers demanding that people complete their ballots using sharpies knowing full well that those ballots would be invalid, to the point of ripping pens out of people’s hands. There have been thousands of cases of people voting in Nevada who do not actually live in Nevada. Or, for that matter, do not live at all. In some cases, ballots for people who had moved to other states were delivered or discarded in an unsafe manner. In other cases, there were people who owned a tax haven in Nevada choosing to register to vote in that state. This is especially common amongst affluent Californians. They might own a holiday flat or might co-own a flat/house in Nevada for tax purposes. Nevada has no state income tax, California’s is one of the highest in the USA. Especially when an election will be close — they often are in Nevada — they simply register to vote there knowing that California is about as safe a state for the Democrats as can be and most congressional districts are just as safe, if not safer, than the state at large. One reason why so many Democratic congressional leaders have such atrocious attitudes is that their positions are absolutely safe. Even if they faced a 20% swing to the opposition or to another Democrat (as is often the case in California, the top two primary finishers, whatever the party, advance to the general election) For others, especially moderate Democrats, their antics are a threat because what Pelosi, Schiff, Ocasio-Cortez, Waters, Hoyer, Sanders, Warren and Schumer can get away with will sink someone like Sinema, Lamb, Peterson and Heitkamp. Pelosi said this, not me. I once had a teacher who told us how we can swing close local, district and state elections by simply mass-registering at a relative’s, friend’s or political ally’s residence. She admitted to have done it herself in order to advance a sister’s political career.
There was much about Trump that was undesirable. Mostly, it was in terms of his style. Much of the time he acted more like a pissy high school bully than a statesman. When he chose to, he could be statesmanlike. He could rise to the occasion. His State of the Union was acerbic, but witty and mature. His Mount Rushmore Speech was one of the best political speeches in decades. He was able to bypass the Palestinians and get the Emiratis, Bahrainis and Sudanese to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. He fundamentally transformed the US economy. It was an underperforming dullard under Obama, it was the best in generations under Trump. He also put much-needed diplomatic and economic pressure on China, decades overdue. His was one of the most successful presidencies in living memory in terms of substance. That he had all the right enemies — CNN, the New York Times, the BBC, ABC (both Australian and American), ZDF, ARD, Guardian, Indy, etc. was a good sign. Dementia Joe’s presidency will be a damp squib. He’ll accomplish nothing. The Senate is almost certain to remain in Republican hands, the Democrats lost ground in the House. The amount of sleaze surrounding this election and the narrow margin, whoever ends up winning, will leave him powerless. If Newsom, Ige, Cuomo and Whitmer made Trump’s life difficult, Ducey, Abbott, Little, Kemp and De Santis will make Biden’s life hell. After four years of being called racists, bigots, after four years of being treated as subhuman almost, Republicans aren’t suddenly going to fall in line and play nice because Democrats and their supporters are suddenly saying “we’re all on the same team”. It is very likely that Biden will be under constant investigation in the Senate, the McConnell will simply shelve any signature policy that Dementia Joe wants and that every major policy decision whether it be related to immigration, energy or legal policy will be challenged in Court. If, as is highly likely, the Republicans retake the House in 2022 they might well reciprocate the impeachment farce and stick it to the Democrats. Dementia Joe and Harris certainly have enough skeletons to hide.
It would also have been good for the Democrats to rebuild, to regroup and to reform. They’re deeply dysfunctional. Trump sucked the air out of the room and made everything about himself. That kept him in the public eye, but it also distracted from the growing divisions in the Democratic Party. They have the old establishment moderates, the suburban and professional Democrats who are a bit more left-wing on social policy and more sympathetic to the welfare state than Republicans, but would be considered conservative in Canada, Australia, the UK and New Zealand. Then there are the radicals who are growing in size and influence, even if their support base outside the party is very limited.
Of course I don’t know how Biden acquired the nickname of Sleepy Joe nor why his wife had to remind him who his opponent was, let alone members of his family, but I know that at my age, two years younger than Biden, I could not cope with the duties of POTUS. Why can’t the USA find decent, younger candidates for the presidency?
Boadicea, I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. And thank you, Christopher, for your informative comments.
Sheona: That is one reason why I really hoped that Trump would win. There are some intelligent, articulate and bright younger Democrats like Tulsi Gabbard, Kyrstin Sinema, Laura Kelly and Pete Buttigieg who, in time, have the potential of being serious national leaders. A Trump win would have forced them to purge their party leadership and seek reformists sooner rather than later. As it stands, the average age of Democratic leadership is antechamber of the funeral home and they are all the same dead-weight that have dragged the party and country down for decades. The Republicans experienced a painful purge between 2006-2012. They made some errors and choses some Wallies, but the general direction of the party has been, on balance, positive. So long as the Democratic Party’s dinosaurs cling onto power, the harder their eventual collapse will be. Trump did poorly in some traditionally Republican states like Arizona, Georgia and Texas. He has also been electoral poison in still more conservative parts of southern California and North Carolina. He’ll be gone, but he has enough clout to continue to exert a lot of influence. Whoever succeeds him — whether it’s Ron De Santis, Greg Abbott or Doug Ducey will be far more dangerous for the Democrats as he won’t carry the same baggage as Trump.
You can reduce the whole wretched election to a single quote.
“The lesser of two weevils!”
Any fool could see that Dump was a foul piece of lying shit. The only president in eons not to own a dog in the White House. Doesn’t like dogs!! Nuf said!
But what if he liked cats, Christina? I would find that very acceptable.
Boadicea: You do realize, I trust, that, having the top job, it isn’t really necessary to do everything oneself. Ronald Reagan became known as “The Great Delegator” and made fun of his own rest habits, saying that he’d instructed everyone to wake him up in the event of an emergency, even if it was in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.
The secret, if there is one, to bringing that sort of thing off successfully lies in surrounding oneself with GOOD people, competent individuals who can do the necessary on their own, and not with stooges whose main function is massaging their boss’s ego. The name Louis DeJoy comes to mind, he presumably having been appointed Postmaster General and given marching orders to cripple the postal service in order to delay mail-in ballots – which, as we should know by now, are all surely fraudulent. Having carefully selected people with minds of their own who don’t feel compelled to echo their boss’s sentiments of the moment, there will be no need for the sort of “revolving door” employment we’ve seen over the past four years. I see we now have a new Secretary of Defense but I’ve no idea which number he holds; frankly, I gave up counting long ago.
From what I’ve seen – and, frankly, I’m not prepared to explore this in much greater depth – Biden has not publicly identified himself as Irish. It’s been his purported relatives in Ireland who’ve done that for him, no doubt seeking some small share of fame.
Christopher: If I seem to have been ignoring your comments, please don’t take it personally. It’s just that I’d much prefer to stick to my preference of avoiding political discussion.
All: I cannot stress too strongly the importance of checking facts carefully for oneself. “Don’t believe everything you hear, and only half of what you see.”
Cog! Of course I know that it isn’t necessary to do everything oneself! As I understand it one of Theresa May’s biggest problems was that she wanted to oversee everything. It just isn’t possible. Anyone in any top position has to delegate and, as you so rightly say, must appoint competent, capable and intelligent individuals who are not ‘yes-men’.
(Just as a side issue, having read the new definition of ‘woman’ in the Oxford Dictionary , am I still allowed to use the word ‘men’?)
As I’ve said to the many Americans I’ve met in my overseas travels who have apologised to me for ‘their’ President, I don’t know all the nitty, gritty details of Trump’s Presidency. But, as an outsider looking in I thought Trump should be a clarion wake-up call to the ‘Royal Families’ of the U.S. who seem (again to an outsider) to believe they have the right to rule whilst calling all those who don’t agree with them ‘deplorables’.
I know it will never happen, but I think I would really enjoy discussing politics and even religion over a bottle of wine (or possibly two!) with you and Christina.