Australia welcomes Obama, well most

A cross-post for Voices without Votes:

Australian bloggers found their voices after being glued to the media or live-blogging the election for most of Wednesday our time.

Man of Lettuce, Sydney taxi driver and author of Cablog, joined work and pleasure as usual on election night:

Last night the City was awash with the intoxicating ambience of Barack Obama’s victory. An earlier invitation to the Democrats Abroad celebration party on Oxford Street had alerted me to a premier content source…sheer exhilaration plus alcohol – perfect.

His account of an encounter in his cab with an African American couple should be read in full on his unique blog. He finishes on his own note of hope:

…Let’s pray he can fulfil this vision and unify all Americans, thereby becoming one of their great Presidents.

An Onymous Lefty, Jeremy, raised a sour note. Known for his sarcastic posts, he put that aside to express his disgust at the California vote against gay marriage in straightforward language:

…the fact that many of his voters (he won California, after all) turned out to take this basic civil right away from gay people seriously tarnishes his victory. It implies that had he been more principled, and really stood for civil rights – and asked his voters to genuinely consider why, at a moment of the triumph of African Americans as a previously-persecuted group, they would even consider turning that persecution on others – then the gay people of California would not have just lost theirs.

I stand by my earlier refusal to get too excited by the election result.
Obama refuses to stand up for civil rights; Californians lose theirs

Mark Bahnisch at Larvatus Prodeo looked at the impact of the web on the elections and possible future directions:

No doubt one of the big stories about the US election will be the influence of the blogosphere and the netroots. In many ways, the rise of the intertubes in politics was an unintended consequence of the Rove approach to politics…

All technology is shaped socially. Blogging, YouTube, and other social media have been enablers and not just causes of this invigoration of democracy. I’d like to see some research and analysis focused on the wellsprings of activism we’ve seen bubbling up. I think that would be, in many ways, a more productive frame through which to look at what’s interesting, distinctive and exciting about this campaign than yet another round of “journos v. bloggers” style articles.
US election: Yes we can!

Andrew Bolt has been posted on Voices without Votes before. He is a daily newspaper columnist with Melbourne’s Herald Sun and media spokesperson for the right wing in Australia. He is a climate change denier, a critic of anything progressive (the dreaded left-wing, latte and chardonnay drinking socialists) and has “issues” with race.

Just before conceding Obama’s win yesterday, his blog featured a video clip outside a polling booth with the following comments:

Should McCain win, against all predictions and the polls, there will be trouble:

Toledo police are gearing up for possible “civil unrest” during and after tomorrow’s elections.

Indeed, the menace outside one polling booth, patrolled by Black Panthers, is palpable
Obama or McCain. UPDATE: It’s Obama

The old politics of fear and prejudice still live with us. Judge for yourself.

Finally, Miriam Lyons, from the Centre for Policy Development, also shared her thoughts on the Obama presidency at Larvatus Prodeo:

Today’s election result heralds the rise of Green Keynesianism. The US economy is in the toilet and smart economists are advocating direct investment over a more consumer-based fiscal stimulus.

The Obama campaign’s target for emissions cuts was 80% by 2050 – a fair way ahead of Oz Labor’s as-yet-unaltered election promise of 60% by 2050. With the Arctic ice-sheet melting rapidly even an 80% target is too low for a developed country like the US, but it should certainly give Professor Ross Garnaut reason to revise his pessimism about the likely outcome of the Copenhagen round of climate negotiations. It’s worth noting that the Obama campaign’s climate and energy platform specifically called for 100% auctioning of permits.

This is serious stuff. Miriam also reflected on possible impacts on Australia by Obama’s approach to war, economics and international relations. As a think-tank person herself, it was no surprise that she concluded with their likely role in the Obama era:

Just as an aside, it will be interesting to follow the relationship between progressive think tanks & the new administration. Expect to see the traditional influx from conservative think tanks to Republican administrations mirrored on the Democrat side this time around.
Guest Post by Miriam Lyons: What does an Obama win mean for Australia?

If George W. Bush represents the Dark Ages in terms of intellectual progress and political awareness, Barack Obama seems squarely planted in the Enlightenment.

Kevin Rennie


48 Responses

  1. Kevin – great roundup.

    I noted yesterday about the right wingers using the “black panthers” defence for the win by Obama, as opposed to the truth – people want change.

    And on gay marriage, I think that most results of both the presidential election and the referendums were within 5% of the midway point (50%) and so it is only a small percentage of voters that supported Obama but rejected gay marriage. In the wash, I do not think that the loss of gay marriage is a big thing – just like a black president, or in the future a female president – gay marriage will come.

  2. And a double thank you Kevin. I do following your inputs on other blogs and know the substantial effort that you have been making for a very long time.

    Jodi..many people do not understand gay marriage and interpret this as undermining their own particular form of religion. I am thinking that by gay marriage it means the same form of recognition as a civil registration eg if my son [gets around to] marrying his sweetie who is a female in a civil ceremony and you marry your sweetie that these relationships (civil marriages) are the same under the law.

    Then your sweetie will be your next of kin if you marry him. It’s not very fair is it that currently this can’t happen.

  3. Sorry joni..dyslexic fingers. Apologies.

  4. Kevin, I must ask, what exactly do you mean when you say Bolt “has issues” with race? To me that appears to be a pretty thinly disguised accusation of racism, which would attract some pretty swift requests for withdrawal. My own positions on the subject are mostly, though not always, similar to Bolt’s and I can assure you that my positions stem from a wish to see right done by all. It’s a cheap method of denigrating opposing argument, and it’s offensive.

  5. Not as offensive as Bolt’s denigration of indigenous people in Australia or his innuendo about Obama’s African Amercian supporters in yesterday’s post. They are his issues not mine.

  6. I have never seen him denigrate Aboriginal people, if you could provide a link that would be nice. As to his comments yesterday about African American voters, I assume you are referring to the 90% bit, it was an illustration of the falsehood presented by the Sydney Morning Herald (I think) presenting white male voters as racist. And yes, Kevin, racism can work two ways. But he never said that, he just pointed out that if that is a criteria for racism, then the African Americans had had met it by a far larger margin.

  7. And Janet in flight for which Jack the Insider rightfully has a go at. It may not be racism as many think of racism but it is racist non-the-less. It was a similar form of the use of race for political gain practiced by the previous government.

  8. Bullsh!t, Adrian, it’s just an attempt by you, and Kevin, to demonise those who oppose your argument. I thought the following part by Bolt would be a better example.

    “Juan Williams chokes up on Fox News while describing the significance of a black man becoming president in a country which until relatively recently tried to deny (in some parts) a despised minority the vote:

    ‘This is America at its grandest.’


    I get really sh1tted off when I argue, for example, that in order for our immigration program to be successful, we need to help, encourage, and in the end, force a minimum level of assimilation by migrants and I get called racist. It’s not racism, I want immigration, more of it. It’s an ackowledgement of realities.

  9. What’s defined as a minimum level of assimilation?

    And when my mum and dad immigrated there was no minimum level of assimilation so by Bolt’s and also Howard’s thinking (and remember Howard was once anti-Asian immigration and wanted to stop the Vietnamese boat people settling here) I should be a non-English speaking, Australian hating citizen living in a foreign culture enclave surrounded by white Australian suburbia. Of course I’m fully integrated into the white Australian meme and at the times of their deaths my mum and dad were mostly immersed in it as well, with the occasional slips back to the old country.

    So are you saying that they should of had a “minimal level of assimilation”? And how come we have come right up to this point without any formal “minimal level of assimilation” but all of a sudden it is an absolute necessity or we’ll all be rooned?

  10. Adrian, firstly, we are talking about Bolt, not Howard, or Janet Albrechtsen, nor you. Secondly, the minimum level of assimilation was a reference to what I believe, not necessarily Bolt. The reason I believe it is that there is little point in accepting people into your nation then dumping them en masse into the grubbiest suburbs with bugger all support. Teaching in this country, at school and university level, is done in English. Business is conducted in English. I can go on forever, but do you get my point? And before you pigeon hole me into that argument, I am not simply talking about language, but a multitude of areas where support needs to be offered, and in the end, imposed.

  11. Oh, and I never expressed a concern that we’d all be victims of dire ruination.

  12. James

    I was referring to the section of the post relating to “menace” and black panthers. Of all the things happening in the election why did he choose this video and beat up potential “trouble” i.e. black violence?

  13. Mccain for 2016

  14. McCain for 2016

    He’ll be bloody dead! Walkin’ maybe, just, but dead…

  15. McCain 2016. Definitely dead or close to it.

    I welcome the change for the US population and also other countries. Unless Obama supports Iran and 3 seperate states for Iraq, that is.

    I have two Republican US cousins arriving on the 13th. Have to bite my tongue hard.

  16. Kevin, it’s hardly a beat up in a country like the US for a situation such as that to be highlighted. Threatening behaviour such as that at the electoral booth is very serious. Geez imagine if it had been the KKK? It’s not like a union ballot:) The behaviour of those men had the potential to undermine all the good that is represented by Obama’s election. Taking his whole post in context, it’s hardly racist to point that out. Got anything else?

  17. Thats my point 🙂

    Angel, hello nice to see that your here.

  18. I thought palin would be out of the news for a while, but there she was on TV again tonight. Saying how good Obama will be for the country and to all unite… but hide closed doors she polishes her gun hoping to see Obama on a hunting trip.

  19. Thanks Hexx. Nice to see you too. How’s the treasure hunting?

  20. Nice to see you here, Angel.

    Gee, all it takes for the rest is to google any one of you guys.

  21. Thanks, Scaper. You too.

  22. well i had an injury for a while(wife said ill look human again one day) and have only gone diving again in the last two months, so most of it is fear based training.
    The last money i though that i found turned out to be old army washers that you put in between the nut and bolt. Also there is a big used car market underwater, lots of people seem to forget where they parked there car underwater and just leave it there or they could be stolen.

  23. Fear based is hard, know what you mean, though not in relation to diving. Glad you’re OK.

  24. “…but hide closed doors she polishes her gun hoping to see Obama on a hunting trip”
    18. Hexx of Caboolture | November 6, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Typical leftwing comment. Just an unsubstantiated allegation or perhaps wishful thinking. Just like AWB, Haneef, Workchoices etc, etc, etc with no evidence to back up you perverted beliefs.

    By the way, the other day to said that you did not like me- never have. Thats fine but…

    Never have??????

    Never have seems to imply you have read my comments over a reasonable period of time. This is a new blog. I therefore assume you are someone from Dunlops blog. However I don’t remember any Hexx from Cabooluture.

    Is it possible you could be ABBA.

    Just asking.

  25. He is Hexx, I will vouch for that!

  26. You mean you been thinking about this from days ago. Wow.
    James i feel bad knowing i cut youup from days ago, can i get you a job or somthing to make up for it.

    Me ABBA? what a compliment.

    James can we expect you to drop in every few days as to keep us all on track with what is acceptable to chat about while your gone.

  27. Hexx, it’s nothing to do with me. No-one has cut me up, I don’t need a job thanks. You may have meant Neil?

  28. yeah i did james, sorry about that.

  29. James can we expect you to drop in every few days as to keep us all on track with what is acceptable to chat about while your gone.
    26. Hexx of Caboolture | November 7, 2008 at 7:13 am

    I guess you were talking about me. i get sick and tired of dishonest and corrupt lefties (is there any other type) making unfounded comments with no evidence eg Haneef, AWB , Workchoices etc, etc). You said this

    “but hide closed doors she polishes her gun hoping to see Obama on a hunting trip.”

    Any evidence for this comment??

    If not please post an apology.

  30. “but hide closed doors she polishes her gun hoping to see Obama on a hunting trip.”
    Any evidence for this comment??
    If not please post an apology.

    Lighten up Neil. Can’t you see Hex was just having a bit of fun?

  31. Lighten up Neil. Can’t you see Hex was just having a bit of fun?
    30. Miglo | November 7, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    You cannot be serious!!!. This is a normal comment on a left wing blog.

    Unfounded allegations,slander, lies. When i first landed on Tim Dunlops blog all I saw was the same 5 or 6 things over and over and over and over and over and over again.

    AWB, IRAQ, Haneef, Workchoices, Cornelia Rau etc, etc

    My first instinct was that these people (ie lefties) do not care about the truth but only care about making political points about John Howard. I remember thinking, what these perverts will condemn in Howard they will forgive with Labor.

    Lighten up??? A bit of fun???

    Bearing false witness against another human being is a leftoid speciality.

  32. Neil of Sydney:

    “Bearing false witness against another human being…”

    f**k me! For a minute there I thought you were Tony Abbott..!!!


  33. Neil. Sadly ‘AWB, IRAQ, Haneef, Workchoices, Cornelia Rau etc, etc’ were not lies. No one was nor is bearing false witness. Was Our Lord bearing false witness when he opposed the Pharisees and when He overturned the tables in the temple?

  34. Neil. Sadly ‘AWB, IRAQ, Haneef, Workchoices, Cornelia Rau etc, etc’ were not lies.
    33. Min | November 8, 2008 at 10:56 am

    Well I hope you are right. My first instinct when i read the abuse about the Howard govt on Dunlops blog was that these people (ie. you lot) were just playing politics. You didn’t care about the truth, you only hoped that some mud would stick against John Howard.

    I still believe this, perhaps even more so.

    Take Haneef- you people were positive that Howard intervened to gain some political advantage. That is, he was using Haneef to win an election. The guy was PM of Australia. It was his job to be kept informed about what is going on.

    But no, you people said that he was intervening in the case for his own benefit. Where is the evidence for this??? If this was true Labor would have spilled the beans by now.

    I have seen no evidence in the 12 months since labor was elected that what you say was true.

    I think it is you people playing politics not Howard. Howard was doing his job. If some terrorist entered Australia and set off a bomb killing people you would have been the first to blame Howard for not protecting Australian citizens.

  35. The rodent has been caught out on AWB with memory loss , Iraq is one of the biggest frauds in history. Haneef, well what a set up that was. It will all come out in time and then Neil you can catch up to the people who were not fooled.

    *If not please post an apology,
    At least you ended your comment with a joke and it was funny too.

    Your upset still about an Obama win, Sh%t that stands out. Thought you could hide your anger better then that.

  36. 34. Neil of Sydney | November 8, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    The guy was PM of Australia. It was his job to be kept informed about what is going on.

    Well then he was a total failure in that, for he was the least informed PM in our history, especially on matters of national importance.

    From Iraq, Children Overboard, AWB, Haneef and many other incidents Howard’s main excuse was always he didn’t know and wasn’t informed by his staff (the Sergeant Schultz defence, and remember the newspaper articles joking about this). As was rightly pointed out on most of these lapses by Howard it was either him lying or if he were to be taken at his word then he was one of the worst PMs we’ve had purely for not being kept informed on matters of national importance.

    Strangely though for all the times he said he wasn’t informed by his staff, not a single one was ever sacked or remonstrated for failing Howard, and some were promoted for their failure.

  37. It will all come out in time and then Neil you can catch up to the people who were not fooled.
    35. Hexx of Caboolture | November 8, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Well you have just admitted that what I said was correct.

    “It will all come out in time”

    You have just stated that there is no proof or evidence, just wishful leftoid dingbat thinking.

    Like I said i hope you people are correct by my instinct says you are just playing politics.

    Where is the proof??? Perhaps Dudd lost it when he went to Scores.

    “Your upset still about an Obama win, Sh%t that stands out.”

    I actually don’t recall mentioning Obama. Please point out to me when I said i was upset at an Obama victory. I actually know very little about American politics.

  38. PM denies claims Govt knew about AWB kickbacks
    JOHN HOWARD: Well it’s not a Sergeant Schultz situation.
    KEVIN RUDD: It’s Sergeant Schultz, Colonel Clink and the whole gang saying that after 16 warnings they see nothing and they know nothing.

    Day by day, the Cole inquiry is uncovering a litany of deceit and convenient memory lapses. The actions of AWB board members and executives have brought shame upon Australia. Just as disturbing is the Sergeant Schultz defence adopted by the Howard Government_once again they “know nothing”.

    They sank the boat, Howard says

    He can recall none of the extensive cable traffic back in 2000 when the Canadians were hot on the heels of AWB’s corrupt payments.

    And when cables and documents began pouring out of Baghdad after the invasion, his dimissed them as too “preliminary” to worry him too much.

    With an air of disdain, Mr Downer remarked that information branding all traders with Saddam Hussein’s regime as corrupt came from an American officer of far too low a rank to take seriously.

    You could fill this topic with Howard government Sgt Schultz moments.

  39. KEVIN RUDD: It’s Sergeant Schultz, Colonel Clink and the whole gang saying that after 16 warnings they see nothing and they know nothing.
    38. adrianofnowra | November 8, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    O.K. Adrian. You leftoids are up on all the issues. I am giving the defense that I am not- and I realise what you will say. I don’t have time to spend hours and hours finding out whether what you say is true or not and that is the truth.

    So i have to go on motive. And on this i have never changed. You do not care about AWB and kickbacks. All you care about is throwing some mud and hopefully some will stick on Howard.

    If what your lord and master, Prime Minister Showpony says is correct why doesn’t he release the information. He has been in power for 12 months and has access to all the documents. We now longer have to wonder. The most wonderful and ethical ALP is now in power and has access to the documents.

    If AWB was such as scandel why doesn’t the ALP conduct a Royal Commission, publish the documents, realise the data, show the information, publish the facts etc, etc ,etc.

    Perhaps there is nothing to talk about. Perhaps Howard was telling the truth. Perhaps it was Dudd telling the lies and he doesn’t want to look stupid.

    ALP please publish the information since you are now in power.

  40. *I actually know very little about American politics.
    people were right to call you a troll.
    (BS your way out of that one)I’m sure you can.
    Can i add you know little about Australian politics, that stands out too. Stick to what you know best Neil, wiggles songs.

    I consider myself the dumbest person on this blog, damn you Neil for the competition for that spot. But i know when i’ve been beaten.

  41. people were right to call you a troll.
    40. Hexx of Caboolture | November 8, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Why am i a troll because i say i know very little about American politics???

    Perhaps I am telling the truth. Is that a problem???

  42. I dont mind explaining it to you Neil.
    You came into the room asking what Obama stands for in the leftiest/leftoids room so you could argue back about the subject you knew little about.( or you could visit Obamas website).

    Am i wrong?

    If so then why ask a Question followed by an insult if all you wanted was to talk?( i bet all you read is blah blah blah)

    By admitting you knew little and not looking up facts from a lack of time. The only thing you have is motive, lol do i have to go on Neil. By admitting you know sh8t all your insults must stem from anger.
    Call me Dr Hexx from now on please Neil and bring your money.

  43. I dont mind explaining it to you Neil.
    42. Hexx of Caboolture | November 8, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Well i hope you get some sexual thrills out of this!!!!

    “Call me Dr Hexx from now on please Neil and bring your money.”

    How do I send money on this blog??? Do i have to pay money to post here???

    “It will all come out in time and then Neil you can catch up to the people who were not fooled.
    35. Hexx of Caboolture | November 8, 2008 at 8:39 pm”

    And lets get back to your original perverted comment. We were all fooled, except you and all the perverted leftoids who just knew Howard was up to something.

    Well the ALP has been in power for 12 months. Where is the evidence??

  44. No way Neil, Look I did say i didnt like you but it dont mean your on my mind and i want to hurt you in any way.I’m playing with you like little girls play barbie..ok.
    You can not be this numb in the head for real and im starting to feel low and cruel for how bad your getting b8tch slapped around the room.
    This is not how i want to feel so please go on about me so you can get a little even i want you to. Dr Hexx wants to know what you are wearing, right now?( hubba hubba)

  45. 44. Hexx of Caboolture | November 9, 2008 at 12:17 am

    You have just published the most perverted, useless, rubbish comment ever to be published on a blog.

    You are in need of some medical help. You even want people to call you Doctor and to send you money.

    You even want me to tell you what i am wearing.

    Are you a pervert?????

  46. As Tim Dunlop used to say, let’s get back to the topic.

  47. Kevin @46

    Hear hear!!

  48. sorry Kevin, Reb, everyone.

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