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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.

Date: 2012-01-05 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katernater.livejournal.com
Very interesting to hear comments like these from someone with an outside perspective. As Americans, we're being inundated with campaign palaver and it's often very difficult to see the forest for the trees. The whole line-up of Republican candidates is something of a joke around here, with late night talk show hosts lampooning the gaffes -- both legitimate and contrived -- of each.

I agree with you that the Republican agenda (whatever that word has come to mean in politics) was the dominant, driving force of the Bush administration. John Dean said something like, "the Republicans are good at playing an offensive game. They are masters at pushing policy through the political clockwork. The Democrats do not have that ability. They are playing a defensive game, period." I think that's true. I think the Republicans have a better grasp of how to be pro-active, while the Democrat standpoint is more of a reactionary one.

Date: 2012-01-05 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] msconduct.livejournal.com
I think the Republicans have a better grasp of how to be pro-active, while the Democrat standpoint is more of a reactionary one.

Yes, that's absolutely right. And frustrating.

Date: 2012-01-09 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isaacfreeman.livejournal.com
The Republicans have a long tradition of nominating the next candidate on the list. George HW Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain and now Mitt Romney. George W Bush was an exception, but for the most part it's whoever came second for the nomination last time.

As for Iowa, it mainly served to indicate how strongly Romney has the nomination locked up. He hardly campaigned in Iowa, and it's caucus system tends to give more support to outsider candidates. Even the $10,000 bet failed to diminish him. But he still won (or came a close second, depending on how you count the votes). He's enormous amounts of money to spend in other states, and he'll easily take the nomination. Most fundamentally, he's the only candidate they have whose poll results against Obama aren't a complete embarrassment. He'll still lose, it just won't be a complete rout.

One thing Obama and his team have been consistently good at is timing. He needs to look strong in October and November, but right now it's to his advantage to let the Republicans hog the limelight, because it's only going to make him look good in comparison.

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