October 22, 2008 | Ronda Jambe

Why Colin and I will be voting for Obama

Now that Colin Powell has shown his hand in the US elections, it is time for me to return to my country of origin to exert my somewhat more modest influence. With my morale much boosted by the news that in the ACT the Greens now hold the balance of power (whoo- hoo!), Í look forward to watching the election unroll from an armchair in the usually Democratic state of New Jersey (that many Italian gangsters can´t be wrong).
In the inevitable trend towards obfuscation that seems to characterise US society, they are already talking about the polls and people casting their vote. Indeed, I have already cast mine via post from Costa Rica, and am somewhat miffed that despite long conversations and documents filled out before I left, they did not send me the papers necessary to aid the Greens in the ACT election. Luckily they didn´t need my help.
Yes, the Americans are already voting, and every day the reports about voter registration fraud, problems with the counting, etc, increase. There is a business opportunity in both manipulating the voters to declare themselves Republicans or Democrats, and carpetbaggers of all persuasions are hard at it.
An equal army of thieves is busy persuading people that they can become debt-free, for a price, of course. Anyone stupid enough to think they can buy their way out of serious debt is, well, probably stupid enough to swallow the McCain rhetoric (more accurately, propaganda) that the US can extricate itself from its much larger financial mess while lowering taxes. Wow, just watch, as the deficit and overseas borrowings grow, but the fed props up the value of your house for the very short term.
Colin Powell gave intelligent, well thought through reasons for finally switching teams. He has long been one of the most respected Republicans in the front line of Washington life, and probably one of the few four star generals who is black (well, more beige, like Obama). He said he watched both candidates respond to the financial crisis, and that Obama seemed to have the most intelligent, calm approach. Powell also thinks Sarah Palin is not ready to be the president, and let´s face it, McCain is old and has had melanoma 3 times. The chances of her popping up as President, should McCain get elected, are somewhat greater than Joe Biden taking over.
Powell also called for generational change, rather than more of the same Bush policies. And Powell is a reasonable man. What does not sound reasonable to my ears is the shallow ranting of the McCain troup, including Palin, who just repeat the mantra of lower taxes, without once drawing breath to consider just how the government will continue at a time of war and great challenge, without getting the money from somewhere.
At least Obama hints that gee, the war is kinda pricey and that the corporations have been paying rather less than previously. Both candidates emphasise the middle class, but in reality urbanites are the bigger chunk of undeclared voters.
McCain´s pandering to the less enlightened in society (who really gives a damm if gay couples want to get married? Not me) might also backfire, as a number of initiatives in various states are bearing the cruel teeth of the ultra conservatives. Ellen Degeneres has come out fighting a California initiative to make existing gay marriages illegal, and there are other attempts afoot to limit abortions more drastically.
Moral posturing is one of the more prominent characteristics of the Republican right, along with their profound hatred of action for the general well being of the population. They don´t admit that they really love regulation, but only if it helps to concentrate power and redistribute wealth to their mates. Anything that smacks of democratic oversight, however, is quickly branded ´socialist´. The facts of a hearty situation in European countries, with adequate health and education, are never allowed to enter the discussion. Let´s not be eggheads here, let´s just all pretend that Joe the Plumber is the role model for everyone.
When McCain carps on Obama´s consideration of wealth redistribution, he doesn´t mention that the Republicans have in fact been serious redistributors of wealth – to the wealthy. But these issues are only hinted at in the mainstream news coverage. A typical ánalysis´is just two speakers who immediately reveal which side of the fence they sit on. One longs for a few facts or a coherent exposition, but it never comes.
After weeks of watching cable news I´ve also worked out why the US coverage is always so polarised – they don´t do investigative journalism. They just do sides, and therefore further polarise the discussion. They don´t have a Four Corners or a Background Briefing, just slang matches, sometimes tempered by a bit of wit, but don´t count on it.
Thus have I changed my view from being very sceptical of Obama to being hopeful for his chances, and much more aware that there are serious differences between them. Obama is, like Powell, a modest reformer. Radical black men just don´t get that far in the US. He is, however, much more intelligent than McCain, more sophisticated in his understanding of what is possible and necessary. We shall see if that huge ship of state can possibly change direction, and here´s hoping for all our sakes, that it can. Meanwhile, I am quietly gloating and glowing over the victory of the the ACT greens, with 3 members now balanced against 7 Labor and 7 Libs. That little ship can certainly shift a bit.

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 6:37 am | Comments (13) |
Filed under: US Politics


  1. Voting for Obama might just be a case of voting against the alternative!

    Comment by Suzan — October 22, 2008 @ 8:02 am

  2. Why vote? All the media outlets here in good old Aus have already appointed Obama Pres already.

    Comment by Keith Kennelly — October 22, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  3. Why vote? All the media outlets here in good old Aus have already appointed Obama Pres already.

    Comment by Keith Kennelly — October 22, 2008 @ 9:24 am

  4. the outcome of the USA presidential elections will have an impact not just on Americans but people globally. The decisions that Bush made to fully embrace the neo-con version of economics have led to global bank bailouts. As an Australian tax payer my taxes have been ear marked to protect our financial system all because Jeb Bush decided to ensure his brother got elected.
    The Americans fought their war of independence under the slogan No Taxation Without Representation. Perhaps it is high time that we reminded them of that fact and insisted that every citizen world wide should be entitrled to vote in the US presidential elections.

    Comment by John Tons — October 22, 2008 @ 9:54 am

  5. Indulging is a number of discussion sites in the US as I do, one could get an impression that the US is far more politically polarized than Aus. Especially when it considers the perceived amount and depth of vitriol exchanged.
    One site still refers to Rupert Murdock as a foreign citizen and has therefore no right to express “clearly Un-American views pandering to foreign interests”. His crime was to air Palin’s mumble stumbles on Fox. (I’ll resist the urge to state the obvious.) That was gem on a ‘liberal’ site! Its OK Rhonda idiocy knows no national boundaries.
    What does appear is a sense of national desperation and unravelling of US euphoric pride in the face a seemingly endless parade of national ‘embarrassments’.
    It seems to me that there is a number of ‘interesting’ factors at play in this election namely:
    • The choice this time is not so clear cut. Almost everyone in the US is feeling the negative influences of the consequences of recent years.
    • Consequently to many grass root Republicans’ decision isn’t so clear in this election. ‘Conservative’ is good but…they’re suffering, something has gone wrong with the ‘Conservative dream’.
    • The question they seem to be facing is that the ‘personnel weren’t up to the task favouring their buddies too much’ (hence GWB’s relatively subterranean approval figures even among Republican voters.) so HOW FAR do they go in implementing a change? Democrat Power?!
    It seems that McCain isn’t enough of a “Republican” Change to overwhelm their fears . For a short time Palin seemed to add that stark “Republican” stamp to the Presidency.
    What I wonder is will this be a true contest (as much that a Federal US election can be given their plethora of institutionalized perverting inconsistencies) or merely a case of if sufficient demoralized Republicans will stay home allowing the swingers to influence the outcome.
    The Chinese curse(‘May you live in interesting times’)is decidedly to the fore.

    Comment by examinator ant — October 22, 2008 @ 11:02 am

  6. Ronda Jambe:
    I burst out laughing and cheering when I heard the news about Colin Powell’s support for Barack Obama.
    POWELL’S REVENGE …. and good luck to him too.
    He was treated shamefully by that gangplank-dodging Failed King of What’s Left of America and his henchmen.
    The scumbags who betrayed him probably thought he was crushed, broken, impotent, forgotten and of no account whatsoever; a has-been who never was and so could be safely ignored. He might have been knocked down but he wasn’t out. He has bounced back. It just goes to show: you can’t keep a good man down. He has made a monkey out of Bush’s “surrender monkeys”.
    I don’t doubt that Colin Powell does have a lot of respect for that genuine war hero, John McCain, and, in other circumstances, might well have supported McCain who is such a fine candidate for President. He probably had to do a lot of real soul-searching before he decided to go public with his preference for Obama.
    If the Democrats do win, I hope they can use the manifest talents of those who have shown themselves to be true American patriots: John McCain, Colin Powell, Condaleeza Rice, Hilary R. Clinton, John Edwards and their like.
    by the way, I’m still puzzled by the classing of both Obama and Powell as “Black” when they both clearly have immigrant backgrounds: Obama’s father a Kenyan; Powell’s parents Jamaican.
    As for vote-rigging: the hanging chads of Florida, the deregistration of thousands of lawfully registered voters and all the other electoral tomfoolery should have been enough to get United Nations observers involved in all future U.S. elections; wonder why they are not supervising this election?

    Comment by Graham Bell — October 22, 2008 @ 9:25 pm

  7. Gee, I wouldn´t have said McCain would be a fine President, as he has consistently supported Bush.
    Don´t forget, the moderates in the US are far to the right of anything we know in Australia.
    The interest shown internationally in this election really shows how entwined we all are, and yes, some represntation in this matter of global importance would be desirable. I think it´s called ´global governance´and is the only way forward. Maybe, as a start, Obama would support the UN and move away from the militaristic unilateralism that the nutters in the US lable as ÚS Exceptionalism´.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — October 23, 2008 @ 4:28 am

  8. The problems in America (and the rest of the world) are a result of the CRA.
    Isn’t it funny that Democrat Jimmy Carter initiated the Community ReInvestment Act and then Hill Billy Clinton lowered the bar to give more mortgages to Hispanics and Blacks. In Bush Junior’s first term McCain tried to raise the bar. Obama did not support this.
    Now everyone is punishing the Republicans for stupid Democrat Ideas.
    In a similar way, on last Sunday’s ABC Insiders programme on the “Your Shout” Segment – one of the Wallies said – re KRudd handing out his “Pennies from Kevin”
    They’ve budgeted so well that they have an excess, so it’s good that they will give it back.
    They give that person a vote!!

    Comment by Geoff Brown — October 24, 2008 @ 7:39 pm

  9. Yes, there is no hiding the fact that the Democrats have had a big hand in the mess with the economy, both mortgages and lack of prudential oversight and regulation and enforcement.
    Good government is expensive, bad government is unaffordable.

    Comment by ronda jambe — October 24, 2008 @ 11:49 pm

  10. When Obarma has the courage to take on the US Federal Reserve,a privately owned banking cartell that generates paper money and pays no tax,then I will believe in his good intentions.
    You see the US Govt must borrow all it’s funding needs from the Federal Reserve,they are now in $9 trillion debt which the tax payer repays to the Federal Reserve with interest.This agreement was signed in 1913 by Woodro Wilson in return for funding for his presendency.He later lamented that he had sold out his country.Never truer words were spoken.
    The last man to challenge this cartell was John K Kennedy.He had plans for the US Govt to issue it’s own green backs,but alas was assassinated.
    Our Reserve Bank is owned by our Govt and the profits go back to the people.

    Comment by Arjay — October 25, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  11. Ronda Jambe. you said ….

    “Gee, I wouldn´t have said McCain would be a fine President, as he has consistently supported Bush”.

    True enough …. as an aspirant for the Presidency, that was a pragmatic course to take …. and, worse yet, he has been kissing-and-cuddling one of the most malevolent forces in the world right now: the followers of the AntiChrist disguised as fanatical so-called “evangelical christians” …. but John McCain is being nice to this evil because he is still only an aspirant to the Presidency – he is not yet President.
    He is a strategist. Once in office and no longer dependant on the votes of the fake christians, he would turn on them in a flash …. and they would get their just deserts – and a lot earlier than Judgement Day too – to the resounding cheers of the rest of the American people.
    Richard Nixon may have been a crook and an unlovely person but he was the last ever Republican who even looked like being a REAL President before John McCain became a candidate for that office. Both Nixon and McCain stand head-and-shoulders above anything the the failed Bush quasi-monarchy has or could produce.
    Maybe John McCain will be the one to end the Federal Reserve house-of-cards? If he did, that would make him one of the greatest leaders of the 21st Century.

    Comment by Graham Bell — October 26, 2008 @ 12:55 pm

  12. Your description of a hearty situation in Europe was not including the UK was it.The country is bancrupt and in the process of introducing Shariah Law for the ever growing population of Islamics. Gordon Brown is a Scot who has rendered the nation helpless to the influx of ne’er do wells from all corners of Europe.
    There will only be one plus for an Obama victory and that will be the lack of an ugly black uprising. The minuses will be catastrophic for all concerned.

    Comment by alf welch — October 27, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  13. Alf, I agree that England is in a bad spot. Overall I only was referring to the possibility of providing universal social services.
    But even that seems to be crumbling a bit in Europe, the advance warning of massive unsustainability.
    What is missing, alas, is any concept of hemming in population growth and flows. Countries that still have fairly homogenous ethnicity, such as Costa Rica and Romania, which I visited last year, are living in a sweet cocoon, for the time being. Free trade agreements and membership in the EU will tear that gentle illusion of stability apart in the next few years.

    Comment by Ronda — October 27, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

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