Jan. 5th, 2012

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I wasn't as ecstatic as some people about Obama's election, not because I wasn't thrilled that the US could actually elect an African-American president, but because I thought no one human being could possibly live up to the amount of adulation that was being shovelled onto him. And so it proved, alas. But dear God, Obama's shortcomings pale into the tiniest of insignificance compared to the Republican candidates.

It seemed to me, as a non-American, that the Bush years were all about the Republicans - what they wanted, what they were trying to accomplish, what legislation they were pushing through. Fast forward to the Obama administration, and it's still all about the Republicans. I've heard a thousand time more during Obama's administration about the Right's outrage than I've ever heard about the Democrats. What does it take, in America, for the Left to get a turn?

Bush terrified me, but compared to most of the current Republican candidates he seems a model of restraint and sanity. And that's horrifying.

In New Zealand there's often a shortage of good IT people. At the government department my company contracts to, you hire the best qualified person for the job (who is usually not very qualified at all), then when they leave you hire the next best person you turned down the first time, then the next, then the next. There is nobody else. And that, it seems, it just what's happening in the Republican race. Mitt Romney slunk away, an ignominious failure, last time, beaten by McCain who himself was scarcely a noble figure. Now Romney's back again, and next best is now OK. In a country of three hundred million, this is the best the Right can do? I was grateful Romney didn't get the nod last time, and now I can't believe I'd rather he succeeded than some of the others. I hope to God the Iowa result was an anomaly, because if Santorum really is that popular, God help us all.

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