Friday, 7 November 2014

Yankee doodley cuckoo: what’s wrong with Americans?

After the US midterm elections on Tuesday, a 'renowned' UK paper informed us that Barack Obama is to change his name to Saddam Hussein Obamacare and spend the remainder of his presidency in his birthplace (Kenya, obviously) to do-do the voodoo Marxist rituals he do-do so well.

The Republican party rode a tide which not only increased its majority in the House but also won it the majority in the Senate – as well as prevailing in several gubernatorial races. Thus, as we enter the final two years of Obama’s presidency, the Grand Old Party (GOP) is on top of Capitol Hill, just like in the final years of Bill Clinton’s tenure as president.

According to the pundits, a key reason for the GOP’s success is Obama himself and his plummeting approval ratings (although Gary Younge makes an interesting distinction between the person and the presidency).

Whether it’s Ebola, ISIS, immigrants or the weather, everything can now somehow be placed on the White House lawn (where Obama probably just wants to erect a refugee big government welfare camp anyway, for Ebola-infested Islamic Communist terrorists from Latin America).

The good news were, if any, that for the first time a Southern state voted in a black senator – Republican, obviously – and that the GOP also got its first black female Congress representative. Good news, although it's quite sad that we’re well into the 21st century and said victories are marked as ‘firsts’. This is, I guess, one of the few redeeming aspects of the Tea Party movement. Like neo-liberalism in principle, the Tea Party does not brook traditional racism well. And if it to any extent does, race is nonetheless severely subordinate to far more central elements in the party’s project. Thus, rather a tax- and welfare bashing ultra-conservative black pizza magnate than a social liberal white intellectual. 

One additional silver-lining for the Democrats is the inherent dysfunctionality which torments the GOP – courtesy of the Tea Party, not least – which makes it a much weaker party than its comfortable Congress majority deceptively suggests.

Following the elections from my European left leaning side-line, it is of course bewildering. Just like after listening to Wagner one can get a sudden urge to invade Poland, after having seen the Clinton and now Obama midterms one can feel the need to ask: What is wrong with Americans?

I just don’t get them. They treat Obama like they treated Bill Clinton in his final years. Just as then, they have a highly intelligent president, charismatic, with a thoughtful approach, a compromise seeker who has steered the US economy back on track (unemployment below 6%, latest growth figures +3.5%); a president who has taken at least some responsibility on the environment, expanded health care significantly, been careful in deploying military power, made the US generally more palatable around the world.

And how do they treat him? Like a Gallic Benedict Arnold! Mon Dieu, what a lugubrious state of affairs.

Still, trust the Americans to vote in some unhinged Republican President in 2016. And just like they (and the world in general) sorely missed Clinton after a couple of disastrous Bush Jr years, Obama will sooner rather than later get his rightful appreciation and rehabilitation. Just like Clinton eventually did.
  
As Winston Churchill aptly put it: 
"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else."