Friday, November 09, 2012

"America Has Reaffirmed Its Faith In Barack Obama"

Thus the Radio Four news headline at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. I don't remember that quite being the headline in November 2004, but maybe memory fails me.

I've got to the stage where, as in the UK, I don't honestly think who wins makes a vast amount of difference. Obama's foreign policy has out-Bushed Bush, with drones clocking up a body-count several times higher than the Texan cowboy's, plenty of civilian "collateral damage", and an innnovation that would have sent the media apoplectic if a Republican was the incumbent - the assassination of US citizens.

On the other hand, Romney seemed gung-ho for an immediate attack on Iran. Long time readers may note my distinct lack of enthusiasm for yet another Middle East "adventure". Iraq was a reasonable concept with appalling execution, Aghanistan has morphed somehow from "butcher and bolt" to liberal nation-building, Libya has no redeeming features whatsoever. As Mr Keynes put it, "when the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do?".

On the domestic front, Obama will want to let millions more Mexicans into the US, which will mainly impact on the employment prospects of blacks (who voted around 95% Obama - no good deed goes unpunished) and poor whites (as well as bankrupting California, but that's by the by). Romney wanted to give a green card to anyone in the world with a science degree, which would mainly impact the incomes and employment prospects of educated whites.

There's a silver lining for the winner, in the unlikely shape of shale gas. Just look at these price differentials. Some predict a US manufacturing renaissance driven by cheap energy. Japan, who are closing their nukes, are dependent on imported LNG and oil, Germany, doing the same, are dependent on Vladimir Putin's goodwill, as he controls the gas supply. This could be a golden opportunity for the US to rebuild lost manufacturing capacity.

One other silver lining, albeit tarnished. Had Obama lost, there'd have been riots and deaths in all the old familiar places. America's been spared that.


Martin said...

Good to see you back, Laban.

Ross said...

I remember back in 2008 the BBC described Boris Johnson's 53% to 47% win over Ken Livingstone as being a narrow win, while Barack Obama's 53% to 46% win over John McCain was a landslide.

JuliaM said...

wscradew"...Aghanistan has morphed somehow from "butcher and bolt" to liberal nation-building..."

Has it really 'morphed'? Or was it the plan all along?

Laban said...

Thanks Martin - a combination of work and a Kobo - repairing the gaps in my reading - done all of Jane Austen and now onto the Russian classics.

Laban said...

Julia - as I've said before, if they want Afghanistan to be more like the UK, why not wait a few years for the UK to become more like Afghanistan?

AgainsTTheWall said...

"which would mainly impact the incomes and employment prospects of educated whites."

A stirring of racial solidarity? Where could this lead?

Anonymous said...

"which will mainly impact on the employment prospects of blacks and poor whites"

I thought I'd made plain that they're one as bad as the other - and interestingly, both sets of voters are voting against their self-interest.