Watching the U.S. from Down Under

A desire for a new attitude by the U.S. to international relations is a subtext in many recent blog posts in Australia. The concern that John McCain will be more of the same is never far from the surface.

The Road to Surfdom, no admirer of George W. Bush, was concerned about hypocrisy by the nuclear club, the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, over nuclear proliferation. The usual suspects of course, Iran, North Korea and Syria:

I guess it’s understandable that these guys should have meetings and fulminate about nuclear proliferation but in all honesty, the yanks and the French and probably the Brits should have thought about all this back in the 1960s or whenever it was they helped Israel get The Bomb. And doing nothing more than making a few unhappy noises when India and Pakistan started testing their little toys wasn’t really a credibility-enhancing move either, for any country that wants to tut tut now about the evil Persians.
The nuclear elephant in the room (10 May 2008)

In his analysis of the primary race, Gary Sauer Thompson took a global economic perspective:

Clinton is engaging in China bashing- blaming China for the loss of manufacturing and blue collar industry jobs— to shore up her conservative white working class (Reagan Democrats?) support in North Carolina and Indiana. The economic context in America is the recessed economy with the consumer overstretched by falling real wages, job losses and plunging house prices.Clinton stands for protecting working class jobs in dying industries in a globalised world, even though the Clinton administration passed NAFTA, accelerated trade with China and India, focused on knocking down various protectionist barriers, etc. It is the fear card being played, as Clinton blames China for taking away manufacturing jobs from the American workers and manipulating the US currency. America needs to get tough on China etc etc.
Public Opinion (5 May 2008)

Terry Flew had a similar take on the politics of the U.S. economy:

Aside from the Democrat primaries, the major talking point in the U.S. this week is whether the United States is losing ground in the global economy. This is different to the question of whether or not the U.S. economy is in recession (or ‘slowdown’ as GWB prefers to put it), but is rather about whether the U.S. is losing the competitive race against the emergent economies of East Asia and the Middle East, and indeed to Europe.
Is America going backwards economically? (8 May 2008)

An Onymous Lefty’s Jeremy Sear applied his characteristic humour and sarcasm to Hillary Clinton in this message to Democrat voters:

I expect a Republican like McCain to push any kind of tax cut, no matter how stupid and counter-productive, but a Democrat? Apparently Hillary will shamelessly try anything. If you can convince some dribbling idiot from Pennsylvania that cutting petrol tax will actually result in a real saving to him, and not just a massive publicly-funded windfall for the petrol companies as they raise their prices and absorb the cut, whilst other taxes rise or public services are cut to cover the shortfall… well, maybe you might be able to win an election!
Hillary as shameless as Steve (5 May 2008)

His advice to Hillary was even more pointed after the North Carolina and Indiana primaries:

Dear Hillary.

If you keep going and cause Obama to lose to McCain in November, you are going to be the most hated person alive. Even though the reason the world will hate you is that you gave the presidency to McCain, you will (admittedly quite illogically) be even more hated than he will be, and probably just as hated as the appalling President you wanted to replace. I know that's not fair, but fresh anger trumps well-worn contempt. You're already reviled by the righties – very soon you'll be reviled by everyone. Offer to be Obama's Vice President. Do it now.


Irrelevant Australian Person.
You haven't asked me, but… (10 May 2008)

In ‘closing rounds’ (10 May 2008), Gus Leonisky, the resident cartoonist at Your Democracy, had Hillary on the ropes or was it down for the count:

Closing rounds

Most progressive bloggers are still hoping for a knockout blow so that the real contest can begin. Many would be happy to see an Obama-Clinton ticket.

Tim Dunlop at Blogocracy seemed to be hoping in vain:

On the surface, after the vitriol and attacks of the primary season, a joint ticket seems almost an impossibility. Almost…
Bye, bye Hillary? Hello Obama-Hillary? (9 May 2008)

We are all looking forward to the main event!

1 comment

  • Americans love the people of “Down-Under” and are reminded of their friendly Canadians to the north and even their imagined history of the “Good Old West” and its good cowboys like the Lone Ranger, etc.

    How shocking then to hear such electioneered vitriol about Clinton and McCain. Do you realize that the American journalists have completely brainwashed your thinking? The news you get is no longer just reporting – no, these so-called “reporters” are people seeking fame, people who want to create political results, not just report them.

    McCain is about the best Republican the world could hope to get. Obama is a wonderful leader and will hopefully make a wonderful President. However, Hillary Clinton has 20 years more experience as the partner of Bill Clinton, the best American President since FDR. They have won many victories, which requires tactics that are used by the opponents. What good have the nice guys done for the Democrats or the country or the world? Let me see, Dukakis, a “great guy”, was blown to shreds by Bush senior’s Willie Horton ad. Oh, and President Carter is a wonderful man, but he allowed Iran to hold America hostage endlessly, while interest rates hit double digits. How did Vice-President Gore possibly lose to Bush junior – how could anyone lose to such an idiot? Again, I ask how could Kerry lose to little Bush, who is destroying our economy, our basic human rights and those of the world?

    I hear so much hogwash about Clinton or Obama – like her vote FOR the war in Iraq and his vote AGAINST it. First, Obama was not a US Senator when he voted. More importantly, Hillary was from New York and, a year after 9/11/01, when NYC was still inhaling the tons of asbestos and other deadly chemicals from the square mile of destruction in the center of its financial district, so if Hillary Clinton voted against the war in Oct., 2002, it would have been political suicide! If Obama were in the same place at the same time, he would have done no differently – because he would never end his political career.

    Nafta was a mistake for Americans – not because it was FAIR for everyone else – but because the workers from other countries are not protected by unions, health regulations, laws against child labor, workplace safety, etc. – so of course, that sort of labor is half-price – or ONE-TENTH the wage even. Do you think any President will allow this to continue – as American wealth, property, and its very security is given away? Not a chance. Bill Clinton realized his mistake, but too late – and his Presidency was destroyed by the hate stirred up by Republicans. Why? Simple! Because there was no way the Republicans could win against someone so successful by any other methods!

    Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency against McCain handily. She has the experience required to pass universal health care, put this economy back on track, and withdraw from Iraq without disastrous consequences.

    By the way, it is clearly unfair that Syria, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and the PLO are not allowed into the “Nuclear Club”. Fuck unfair! Do you expect America to enable these countries to blow up all of New York City next time? Do you think that Australia would be left alone once such power were in the hands of madmen? The Global Warming problem would look like a sneeze by comparison.

    There are good reasons that Americans elect their own leaders – not just self interest, but the complete distortion of information by those who serve special interests. Being pro-Clinton does not mean being pro-war, anti-Australian, against fair trade, or prejudiced. In fact, when 95% of blacks vote for Obama, is that not prejudiced? Don’t be surprised if it backfired in November.

    The pro-Obama forces have been assassinating the character of Hillary Clinton from the beginning. Likening Bill Clinton to Joe McCarthy (by a top Obama campaign leader) is extremist. Calling him a racist flies in the face of his record and the broad support the black community always gave him. The problem with this is not the insult done to Hillary, it’s the insult done to the majority of Democrats that support Hillary. Do you really think we will vote for Obama? If we don’t, he doesn’t have a chance of winning.


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