Friday, 7 November 2008

Post#96 Hire a Hall / Everything (A rack o' bamab? Rack off Obama!!)

(Not that I've got anything in particular against him, but I can't turn on a radio or television or read a newspaper or a blog without having him for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The trend in Australia is to pronounce all the a's in his name to rhyme as "ah" and run it together, thus: "Bahrahkohbahmah". The commentators are busting a gut trying to fit it in as many times as possible in any utterance. Perhaps it's easier to say if it rhymes. I swore a blood oath on the altar of Mars that I wouldn't blog about him yesterday and I managed to refrain from joining the stampede. Sufficient unto the day was the blogging thereof...but today's another day. I think I've found an angle on this that's actually new, so here goes.)

I proved again that I won't be joining the ranks of "earning" psychics by expressing preference for a McCain victory in my Post#2, whereat I wrote:

"The US presidential election? I don't make any pretence about it; I'm well to the left of the Australian Labor Party these days. So, if I was a US citizen, who would I vote for? Clinton or Obama? John McCain. Yes, that's strange on the face of it, but true. The history books may well show the old white guy defeating the first plausible female candidate or the first black guy with a real chance. No doubt the future will judge it to be a reversion to type. Perhaps the last gasp of the old right guard. They'll be wrong. It'll be a victory for common sense. The only "qualification" the other two have is a desperate thirst to get their hands on the controls at any price. I hope not."

I wouldn't change a word of that. The intensity of preoccupation with Obama's ethnicity is the most prominent fact of this episode in history and it prompts me to propose that an interesting inversion has occurred. If I'd thought of it I'd have asked the question, "Would you vote for Obama if he was white?" A quick look in the Googlebox shows that some people did. But not very many. Now that the American electors have got it out of their systems and elected a "black" President, what does the cold light of the next morning reveal? An unknown quantity. I'm sure he's not a cryptoMuslim, soft on terrorism or a secret hater of America. But those weren't very plausible accusations, so refuting them doesn't really win many points. More dangerous and plausible is the possibility that he's overambitious and out of his depth.

On the SBS Dateline programme broadcast on the day of the election I saw George Negus ask an American commentator, "What will his first mistake be?" George didn't get an answer to that. But it's coming, nonetheless.

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