Obama: Fortune tellers – past and present

Foretelling political fortunes is risky at the best of times – almost as hard as economic predictions. Remember the warnings of oil at $200 a barrel before the end of the year?

GrodsCorp do not tolerate fools gladly, especially conservative ones. You could even say they’re unforgiving. They certainly don't forget. They’ve put together a collection of bloggers who called it for McCain, with their way-out predictions laid bare:

The US election came and went, and now it’s time to laugh ourselves stupid at those who predicted an overwhelming win for McCain.
Owned. Every last one.
Goodness! There’s skullduggery afoot!

These dismal failures haven’t stopped the political soothsayers who fancy themselves as futurologists. John Passant of En Passant is a self-styled socialist who is “a liberationist – I believe in Marx’s idea of the self-emancipation of the working class.” His take on the election is couched in terms of old-fashioned class warfare:

I put Barack Obama’s victory down to one thing – class. Working people are scared. Scared for their jobs. Scared for their families. Scared for the future.

US workers have had 16 years of rule for the rich from Clinton and Bush. They’ve had eight years of foreign adventures which are or will be defeats.

The wages of low and middle income earners have not increased in real terms over the past 8 years. The minimum wage has fallen. The reward for all this sacrifice – bailouts for the fat cats on Wall Street and more sacrifices for workers on Main Street.

…Obama will not be able to deliver substantive change because to do so would require a challenge to the very structures of US capitalism.
All change at Obama station?

Homepage Daily brings us a video of a panel discussion – Obama: What Can We Expect?

Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Leigh Sales recently chaired a panel at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre: David Brady (Stanford University), Michael Parks (former editor of the Los Angeles Times) and Geoffrey Garrett (US Studies Centre).

From Michael Parks:

Nothing is going to happen in international relations and foreign policy, nothing is going to happen well, without getting the economy right.

From David Bradbury:

Of course he’s going to fail on foreign policy… European and Australian expectations are way too high.

From Geoffrey Garrett:

There is something to be said for the amount of political capital that Obama comes in with… Extraordinary times sometimes generate extraordinary leadership… I wouldn’t rule success out but it would be naïve to underestimate the magnitude of the challenges he is going to inherit.

Parts 1 and 2 of this program are available through Slow TV on The Online Monthly

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