Bob the Builder trounces Joe the Plumber

My crush on Obama dissipated the moment the election was declared.  This morning I woke up with a crush on the whole of America instead.  I want to drive from Montreal to New Orleans now, and back up the West Coast to grandma’s house, kissing you all on the lips.  (I might steer clear of Texas though).

Yes, you are!

In other news, my man points out that while McCain was pimping Joe the Plumber, Obama was borrowing some of his own inspirational rhetoric from another popular “name plus occupation” character.


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6 Responses to “Bob the Builder trounces Joe the Plumber”

  1. Dad Says:

    I’m glad you’ve discoverd the other half of America. A lot of people forget that the best-known critics of the American right are themselves American.

    As a nation, they still have a long way to go. For example, just about everyone seems to agree that Obama is ‘black’ and it’s a big deal that a ‘black’ man has been elected president. This is about his complexion. When it comes to heritage, he’s no more black than I am. Americans need to see past skin color.

    The other scary thing about America is patriotism as a religion. It makes them dangerous.

  2. Alceste Says:

    I knew about the other half of America already but I felt like they were isolated pockets of extraordinary brilliance in a boiling sea of general ignorance. The skin colour issue is not particularly relevant in my view – I like Obama because he seems competent and reasonable. But I do think it is symbollically significant, considering America’s history. Sure he’s as “white” as he is “black”, but “just one drop” of african blood used to be enough to relegate a person to the back of the bus in America. Also, I can’t think of any other country established by English colonialists (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, even Britain itself) that has done such a thing. Doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, just that I can’t think of any. It’s on my list of things to look up to see how significant a “first” this is. Although that’s just pure curiosity.

    I agree about the creepy-scary relationship between religion, politics, policy and patriotism in America. It is dangerous and volatile. That’s the main reason I’m so relieved McCain the Hothead and Palin the Airhead didn’t end up with their fingers on the button. I’m downright euphoric, actually. War with Iran (and the global bloodbath this would have set into motion) seemed inevitable under another Republican administration, so I’m grateful to Americans for averting this horrific prospect on behalf of the rest of us who sometimes have to fight in their wars.

    I don’t think Obama has much interest in the New American Century built on American exceptionalism and the unrestrained use of force. I did hear him drop the phrase into a speech, but he seemed to have co-opted it for the example his domestic policy platform is supposed to set for the rest of us. Which is still pretty annoying, mind you, considering how far behind the rest of the developed world the US is after 8 years of bush, but it’s much less bloody than the neo-con version.

  3. Richard Says:

    Mark Steel wrote the other day that even if Obama doesn’t live up to what we hope of him, what we know for sure is that the politics of fear and force has been rejected by the majority of American voters, which is enough to rejoice in even if we are later disappointed. Fingers crossed we won’t be, though. I just don’t know. Don’t forget, Tony Blair was once a young, good looking (for a prime minister), dynamic politician in whom we all really, really believed. Satirists have said themselves they were put out of work so perfect was he in his early days. Now look at him . . .

  4. apophaticattic Says:

    Bleck. Blair doesn’t have a patch on Wedgie Benn – or even Gorgeous George in my view. “New Labour” is a travesty – all spin, no substance. Of course I don’t know if I would have caught that during his campaign – I wasn’t paying attention to it. Perhaps, though, there was an element of popular loathing for Thatcher and Major that made Blair look more appealing than he otherwise would have. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar thing is happening here.

    I don’t expect miracles. Obama’s a pretty staunch centrist so it’s unlikely he’ll do anything brilliant from my radical / anarchist / progressive / socialist perspective. I’ll be more than satisfied with general competence and a bit more international diplomacy. I’ve been under constant, low-level psychological strain for the past 10 years – ever since the Bush-Rove-Cheney three headed monster made its first appearance in the most dangerous country in the world. Now I’m just feeling relief!

  5. Richard Says:

    I am not going to be a downer. I am very hopeful too. Not to mention relieved.

  6. Paul Says:

    First, thank you so much for sitting up with us last night to watch the election returns, Alceste! That meant a lot to me. I hope you somehow survive the loss of sleep!

    Second, I agree with you the US is “the earth’s most dangerous nation.” To me, that goes with the territory of being the earth’s most powerful nation. So, I am very hopeful President-elect Obama will take a multi-lateral approach to problems and initiatives. I think he’s indicated he will. Which pleases me because I believe the advice, support, and criticism of our allies are among our best reality checks when it comes to formulating and implementing policies.

    Next, I appreciate the support you and many, many other people lend to those of us in America who oppose the Authoritarian Right in our country. The comments and insights of nonAmericans have been invaluable to me in understanding that faction, and what it might portend for America and the world. When your own media is propagandizing you right and left, the importance of outside views cannot be overvalued.

    I think Obama won in most part because he provided a voice and leadership for the majority of Americans who for so many reasons have been appalled by the mismanagement of their country, and the lack of government support for even the most reasonable policies. In a sense, he’s done what JFK recommended would-be leaders do: Figure out where people are going, take a short-cut, and come out ahead of the crowd. He’s done that, rather than impose his own direction on the crowd.

    Since he’s a centrist, Obama is sometimes to the right of my heart, but I can live with that. I think, despite some differences, he and I share many values and ideals. Enough that I’m almost as optimistic now that he’s won as I am relieved he won. I think Obama has a shot at becoming one of America’s great presidents. Not because his policies are likely to be progressive enough for me, but because I strongly suspect he will do most of what can realistically be done in the American political environment to move the nation forward.

    Again, I want to thank you for all the insights and ideas you’ve shared on American politics which have been so helpful to me — to say nothing of their being refreshing and often inspiring.

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