It looks as though the pre-emptive gnashing, triggered by the latest polls, is with us already. Jonathan Freedland in an idiotic Guardian article. Idiotic, but in one sense deadly serious. Key theme is that the world already hates Bush. If they don't vote for the right candidate, the world will hate America.
When Bush won in 2004 there was an explosion of 'how could they be so stupid' stories in the liberal media on both sides of the Atlantic, but at least they could blame Osama bin Laden for playing General Galtieri to Bush's Thatcher. If McCain wins expect the gnashing of teeth to be heard around the globe.
"If it is deemed to have been about race - that Obama was rejected because of his colour - the world's verdict will be harsh."
What do you mean, 'if' ? I have no doubt at all that if this son of a black (absent) father and white mother loses, the world-wide Guardianista community will look no further than racism for the cause of his defeat (and I'll say that he should have made Hillary VP - he'd have walked it. Like many conservatives, I think she'd make a better president than McCain). Why should they look any further ? What's in it for them ? Nowt.
But what about the inverse racism of the Guardianista ? Mr Freedland, sir, I don't see Obama's "conspicuous gifts". I see a nice-looking chap, good talker, comes over well in the Blair/Cameron style. I don't see much, if anything, in the way of policy. He was against the Iraq war, but that's the past. He accepts that the surge has been a success. I don't think it'll be a disaster for America if he wins, although I'm prepared to be proved wrong. I'm somewhat uneasy that he seems to have a hung out a good deal with people who hate their country - in fact is married to one. But the responsibilities of office have a way of concentrating the mind. With John McCain, you know what you'll get - strong policy abroad coupled with mass immigration at home. Obama's more of a cypher.
The thing is, Freedland et al aren't focused on the policies either. Obama's colour (beige) is his USP for the Guardianista, as it was for those 200,000 young Berliners. Hey, isn't it cool that a black dude is standing ? His skin colour provides something vital (alas) in today's politics - making his supporters feel good about themselves. In my leftie days I remember going to Seattle and being impressed that a white town had a black mayor - had no idea if his policies were any good or not (a black town with a white mayor would of course have been proof that 150 years after slavery, the old power structures were still entrenched etc).
"For America to make a decision as grave as this one - while the planet boils and with the US fighting two wars - on the trivial basis that a hockey mom is likable and seems down to earth, would be to convey a lack of seriousness, a fleeing from reality ..."
But you're making your decisions on the basis of skin colour ! Your likeable black dude is being matched with a likeable (? you wouldn't guess from the comments or the Steve Bell cartoon) hockey mom !
You're damn right about the lack of seriousness and fleeing from reality. But that's been a characteristic of Western democracy for the last 40 years, and it's got a lot worse recently in the UK - since 1997, as a matter of fact.
The comments provide some light relief in among the tsunami of 'hicks' , 'inbreds', 'rednecks' and 'fascists' - the Guardianista's sophisticated critique of American society :
"What are you going to do Jonathan? Cut off our brie?"
(Ross suggests Operation Clark County II may be in prospect)