05 November 2008

Good Morning America!

I'm just up and making myself a cup of "Good Morning America" - y'all want some?

Thank f*** America did the right thing. A popular vote margin of about 5% - well within the margin of error of the projections from recent opinion polls. Maybe people will believe the polls a bit more next time. What an amazing contrast with Bush's election in 2000 - whilst there will no doubt be some accusations of theft going around, those making the accusations will look pretty laughable.

Some quick thoughts on where the US goes from here:

McCain's concession speech sounds like the "nasty button" has been switched off - I guess he realised there was no point wallowing in vitriol at this point. "The failure is mine", he says - yes, but not for the reasons he thinks. He ran a hard-right campaign to appeal to a Republican base which certainly came out to vote, but he couldn't capture enough swing voters to come anywhere near Obama in terms of vote share - especially not with Sarah Palin on the ticket.

The Senate results look like there are going to be 41 Republicans - theoretically enough to block legislation by 'filibuster'. However, if a legislative programme with popular support (e.g. health care reform) is blocked by those Senate Republicans despite being passed in other branches of govt, there is a high probability that the Republicans will get their asses kicked in the 2010 midterm elections - with several more Senate seats last contested in 2004 up for grabs, a further shift to the Democrats looks likely. The House of Representatives is wildly Democratic.

Just heard on the news that McCain described Sarah Palin as one of the "best campaigners he's ever seen"(?!) - maybe he's been working for the Democrats all along.

Will be very interesting to see whether the Republicans do a "post-1997 Tories" and degenerate into an extremist rump party. I certainly hope so, although they may have a bit more sense. If you meet a Republican, push "Palin for 2012" as hard as you can at every opportunity.

Election turnout 64% - the highest since 1964 in the US, but still seems low compared with many countries. I wonder if the denominator includes adults who can't vote: prisoners and felons for example (of which there are a huge number)?

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