Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guardian Writers For McCain

Author's Note: The author of this post is not The Devil's Kitchen

It sounds unlikely, but it is the only logical explanation for the actions of the Guardian and its columnist Jonathan Freedland. A hectoring and pompous piece of writing, headed 'The world's verdict will be harsh if the US rejects the man it yearns for' seems almost calculated to anger American readers, leading them to believe that this is the type of attitude that lies behind the Obama campaign.
If Americans choose McCain, they will be turning their back on the rest of the world, choosing to show us four more years of the Bush-Cheney finger. And I predict a deeply unpleasant shift.

The approach that can be paraphrased as 'we are right and you are stupid', that has become par for the course in British political discourse is like waving a red flag in the face of an American bull, as a swift browse of the 770 mostly critical comments will demonstrate. The Freedland article was predictably picked up by US bloggers (e.g. this RedState diarist). The tone of the response could surely have been guessed at by anyone aware of how well this went down when the Guardian tried it just four years ago. That is, like a lead balloon. 'Operation Clark County', the Guardian's letter-writing campaign aimed at Ohio voters, backfired spectacularly - leading to Clark County becoming the only Democrat-held county to go Bush in 2004.

There's a saying that comes to mind: "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Well, by this showing, the Guardian hasn't learned a damn thing from 2004. If Freedland and co think that lecturing Americans from across the Atlantic on the merits of Barack Obama and the evils of voting Republican is going to do their preferred candidate any favours whatsoever then, to put it mildly, they need to go see a shrink!
If November 4 were a global ballot, Obama would win it handsomely. If the free world could choose its leader, it would be Barack Obama.

So the surveys say. However, like it or not, Freedland, the people of London, Ljubljana and Luanda do not get a say in the Presidential race - it's the same old swing staters, soccer moms and slackers as last time around. In the intervening 4 years, it seems you and your colleagues have learnt precisely nothing from the Clark County fuckup. That is, sometimes it's best to "butt out"!

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

By way of retort, do you really believe that the American electorate will say "An English liberal likes Obama... I'll teach that Limey fuck a lesson by voting for McCain! A handsome idea!"?

If you really believe that spiting the Brits (or the Kenyans or Poles or Burkina-Fasoans, for that matter) is a reason behind any vote cast in November, you have a massively inflated sense of your own importance and a very, very poor opinion of the average American voter.

To say they'll vote a certain way simply to spite the rest of the world is every bit as patronising as saying that they should vote for Obama because Guardian readers like him.

Ian_QT said...

@anonymous: The outcome of the Clark County 'experiment' (follow the "backfired spectacularly" link) does suggest that there is some truth to this line of thought, as do many of the comments below the Freedland article (if their authors genuinely are pissed-off Americans).

eu007 said...

@ Anonymous. In short, yes. Absolutely. If I was wavering between the two and some jumped up little shit from Londonistan insulted my country and my intelligence and implied that I and and my countrymen were stupid for voting for Bush last time - which a majority of Americans did, as the Dimocrats seem to have forgotten, it would be enough for me to vote for McCain.

Perhaps you haven't noticed how Obama has made a point of sucking up to the Europeans. Do you think those Europeans who would vote for Obama share Freedland's views? I do. If so, why is Obama keen to get their support?

Incidentally, do you want your next government to be popular in Germany? Would you be impressed if Cameron was popular in Berlin? Are you desperate to know when you'll have a government that's popular in France? Exactly.

To be honest, I think the left are in full-on lemming mode. They know the world has got scary again and they haven't got a fucking clue what to do about it, either economically or militarily. They're desperate to lose so they can go back to waiting for the rich and peaceful times when they can start complaining about how unfair peace and wealth is again.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Peregrine Worsthorne seems to think that McCain should have asked American allies about his choice for VP. The arrogance is breathtaking and pathetic.

windy blow said...

Hard though it is for democracy-loving lefties across the world to accept, I expect the people of the USA will cast their votes in November for the candidate they think best suited for the job as their president.

BenSix said...

"Hard though it is for democracy-loving lefties across the world to accept, I expect the people of the USA will cast their votes in November for the candidate they think best suited for the job as their president."

You were just as understanding when Labour were reelected, I imagine?

Anonymous said...

@eu2007 If you base your votes on whether or not Johnny Foreigner likes a candidate, you're a fucking cretin.

Personally, I don't give a flying fuck whether the French, Germans, Americans or Outer Mongolians like a candidate. I'll vote for the policies and I'll vote for the man (or, as the case may be, the woman) and I'll even vote for the party.

Being as I'm not insecure and I don't base my life around a chronic fear and hatred of anyone whose passport is different from mine, I don't actually base my politics around spiting the darkies.

Budgie said...

Obama appears to be just loose change.

Budgie said...

Anonymous 11:19:00 PM said:
"Being as I'm not insecure and I don't base my life around a chronic fear and hatred of anyone whose passport is different from mine, I don't actually base my politics around spiting the darkies."

Well, bully for you. What a wonderful character you have - according to you. However you miss the point that the post was a humourous dig at pompous and arrogant British lefties who themselves think they can influence the American election.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if the post was a dig at the British lefties. That is not clear.

But I would say that if the rest of the world thinks we are so bad then they should destroy us.

Destroying the source of world misery would be good. I am for good and against er.. the other stuff.

OTOH if US voters think the rest of the world is mistaken then why should we submit to their will?

Of course that is simplistic because electing Obama is not necessarily a submission to world opinion. It would just coincide with world opinion.

Mostly the US voters should disregard world views and inspect the candidates and issues for themselves.

I heartily agree with showing the finger to those who insist they possess greater truths and reside elsewhere on some higher moral ground.

Footnote: The US has interfered with many foreign elections. Such behavior is disgusting and is always poor policy. We should not be surprised when others play the same game.

zL1n0x said...

Dear America,

We here at the Guardian think you are a bunch of fat, gun toting, pro wrestling, monster truck watching, Christian fundamentalist retards. We detest you. We would spit on you if we could.

Please vote for Barack Obama in your elections.

Yours kindly,

Your socialist moral and intellectual superiors,
The Guardian
London

Longrider said...

I'm not sure if the post was a dig at the British lefties. That is not clear.

It was blindingly obvious. Shame you missed it.

Ian_QT said...

@longrider is correct.

FlipC said...

Nah you don't get it. The Guardian backs Obama by saying that anyone who doesn't vote for him is a racist hick with the brains and common sense of a teabag then giggles loudly as McCain romps home to victory and gives them 4 more years of writing about how everything in American society is wrong due to the Republican government.

John B said...

I like FlipC's theory.

The Freedland piece is patronising, counterproductive crap - but the linked RedState piece is the kind of wanky self-aggrandising "we saved your arses from speaking German" (err, no, the Russians did) and bailed you out from Islamofascist nutjobs (err, no, if we weren't backing you up in a stupid war they wouldn't be trying to kill us in the first place, and if you hadn't given them billions of dollars to fight the Russians then they wouldn't be able to anyway) bollocks that makes it entirely unsurprising so many non-Yanks hate America in the first place...

Anonymous said...

But of course they did save us from speaking Russian and a rather large part of Europe to boot.

The notion that islamofascist nutjobs are acting because of the war is frankly ridiculous. Such people were attacking the west years before the Iraq war, or have you forgotten the massacre at Luxor?

God I'm so ashamed of the idiot cretins Europe produces!

Larry Teabag said...

By this logic, I reckon Devil's Kitchen contibuters are "Libertarians For Leftist Statism" - as if 'we are right and you are fucking, fucking stupid' couldn't easily be the tag-line to this blog...

John B said...

"But of course they did save us from speaking Russian and a rather large part of Europe to boot."

They saved half of Germany from speaking Russian, true. If you seriously entertain the concept of a Russian invasion of the UK in 1945-46, then you are gibberingly barking mad.

"The notion that islamofascist nutjobs are acting because of the war is frankly ridiculous."

AQ's goal is to bring back the Caliphate and destroy non-fundamentalist regimes in Muslim countries. They're only interested in non-Muslim countries to the extent that those countries interfere (for good or bad) with politics elsewhere. Note that until the UK became directly involved in war in the Middle East, we were not targeted at all. The Yanks were, but that's because they kept interfering anyway...

JuliaM said...

"AQ's goal is to bring back the Caliphate and destroy non-fundamentalist regimes in Muslim countries."

Yup, they'll be quite satisfied with that.

What's that old saying about crocodiles and their feeding roster...?

windy blow said...

Bensix: I was talking about America. What has this got to do with the UK's choice of government? Or anyone else's?

Please explain your thinking.

Budgie said...

John b said: it is "entirely unsurprising so many non-Yanks hate America in the first place..."

What is "entirely unsurprising" is that those few who "hate America" support Obama. With friends like these ...

Anonymous said...

"Russian invasion of the UK in 1945-46, then you are gibberingly barking mad."

I'm sure there was something about a cold war, arms race and international socialist revolution.....I'm sure there was....come on help me now...can anyone remind me of it?

You are merely ignorant about the causes of Islamio-fascism, western countries have been targeted, western people have been targeted and how one can have a world-wide Islamic Caphilate and not destroy the west is rather difficult to understand.

Indeed Mr. Bin Laden himself has declared the whole world will become an Islamic state, but let’s not listen to him when we can be patsy half wit Guardian reading idiots.......and then expect America to save us!

Anonymous said...

As a second thought of course whilst hating the US we can also ignore the poor sods who are going to live in this AL quaida inspired none interventionist with the west Caphilate.......oh theres morality for you!

Anonymous said...

I wrote: "I'm not sure if the post was a dig at the British lefties. That is not clear."

Longrider said it was obviously a dig. Ian_QT promptly agreed.

I would appreciate a clarification. Does the word "post" refer to what Freedland wrote or what Ian_Qt added? I meant to refer to Freedland.

Certainly Ian_QT clearly expressed his opinion of the Freedland piece. But after reading Freedland again I still don't see his words as a message to British lefties.

He simply sounded like a person who worries too much. The stress must be horrible.

Maybe my Guardian Subtlety Detection needs adjustment. It never was very reliable. Certainly Freedland evaded it.

JuliaM said...

"I would appreciate a clarification. Does the word "post" refer to what Freedland wrote or what Ian_Qt added? I meant to refer to Freedland."

Well, some people do use the terms interchangeably (because you 'post' comments..!), but most people understand the 'post' to be the entry on this blog, and the 'comments' to be what these here are. The 'article' would be the Freedland piece linked to in the post.

Bumps Stump said...

Most Americans see partisan candidates lie and stretch the truth - so they vote for the opposite of the worst. Extremes on both sides are carved up and thrown out. The good side is that whoever wins will try to pull the right strings while in office. This tends to keep the functions of America's wasteful government chugging in the right direction. Perfect? No. What government is better? None. Case closed.

BenM said...

Hmm. Just read the piece, and DK's summary is a rightwing exaggeration. If the reactions of some American blogs and comments above are typical then yet again Rightwingers are hysterically stomping their feet about a perceived slight, way out of proportion to the alleged crime (pigs and lipstick come to mind).

Besides, despite DK's triumphalist finger pointing at the scale of negative reaction to the piece, I note a lot of the comments have been removed. Again, this is evidence of the massive overreaction of rightwing commenters, which justifies a lot of what Mr Freedland was on about.

There is little doubt that the Republicans are detaching their country from the rest of the world and reality itself. I happen to think that come November 5, Mr McCain will have been elected. But this will be a grave error for a great country. Mr Freedland is quite within his rights to say that - because it is the truth - and because this is a free country, no matter how much rightwingers want to control the agenda unchallenged.

Also note that Mr Freedland is a paid columnist for the Guardian and that his articles represent his take on things, not the newspaper's. This ridiculous rightwing knee-jerk conflation of individual articles with a newspaper's stand on issues is characteristic. Get over it.

Budgie said...

benm said: "There is little doubt that the Republicans are detaching their country from the rest of the world and reality itself."

You mean, I suppose, that "there is little doubt" amongst the chatterati in Hampstead?

Actually, it is socialists who detach themselves "from the rest of the world and reality itself" - as evidenced by the dire state of every socialist regime ever.

Bishop Brennan said...

As seemingly the only European that wants a McCain presidency, I wholeheartedly approve of the Grauniad's appoach. I hope that they launch a Clarke County campaign US-wide his year :)

Bumps Stump said...

Hey Bishop. You're on the right track. The other choice would scurry toward disaster. Dixon