The Null Device

Hurrah for the lesser evil!

America's progressives are celebrating, and the rest of the world breathing a collective sigh of relief, as Barack Obama retains the presidency. Obama beat off a challenge from a radicalised Republican Party, so drunk on rage, xenophobia and the heady vapours of Fox News' propaganda that at one point they made whether one is for or against rape into a political litmus test issue. The Republicans, taken over largely by angry old white men fearful of their country being taken over by people unlike them, fielded an entire circus of freakishly hardline candidates (whom they referred to, in what could only be euphemism, as “conservatives”) before settling on Mitt Romney, a billionaire corporate raider of exceptional moral flexibility, whose talents enabled him to repudiate his formerly moderate views and set his guns on Obama's health care law, despite having created the state law which inspired it. In the end, Romney failed to inspire, and so the lesser evil won. To be fair, Obama the lesser evil by a sizeable margin, though in a two-party state as big as the US, there is no way he could be anything but the lesser evil by definition.

And a few more interesting odds and ends about the election and its aftermath:

Of course, winning the election is one thing: the Republicans still control the House of Representatives, and will do so until 2014. If they remain as intransigent as they were after 2010, Obama may have trouble actually governing at all, and the fallout of their dispute could threaten the global economy. Though given that they are next to face the unsympathetic eyes of a disenchanted electorate, who rejected the hard line of the Tea Party, perhaps there'll be more of an incentive not to foul things up too badly.

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