Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nick endorses Obama

Ok, so I know he's officially indecent and right-wing these days, but I think Nick's endorsement of Obama means that there's almost a clean sweep of Eustonites (is the proprietor of Greater Surbiton the only holdout?).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Around the world, liberal opinion has desecended [sic] into anti-Americanism and fellow-travelling with totalitarianism. Liberals will find it harder to carry on with their old debased ways if Obama takes charge. Many will, of course, but some will recover their wits and return to honourable politics.

Why should this be true? He really doesn't get that it's about policies, does he.

10/29/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come now, NC hasn't (yet) lost the plot so completely that he'd endorse McCain under current circumstances - he's got four years to wait before (I suspect) he can endorse a Republican (btw, What's the US equivalent of 'Seals of Dacre'?)


10/29/2008 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick would have endorsed Mccain if 1) he hadn't picked Sarah Palin (someone Nick has previously defended, but still, anathema to all 'liberals' in both the US and the UK); and more importantly 2) if it looked like McCain had a chance of winning - Nick was spinning for him consistently in the early part of this year.

a black president is still one hell of a milestone to put behind you

hmm, remember this this Nick?

Including the following:

Instead of hard thought about the future, there’s a tingling glowing feeling that under the leadership of a black politician — and isn’t it wonderful he’s black? — everything beastly about Bush’s America will go, and the United States will turn into an eco-friendly, peace-loving nation, respectful of the views of foreign countries which won’t risk their troops in the war against the Taliban or say a harsh word about Vladimir Putin.

Although the reason in the more recent article for Obama's race being important is because it might, um, end affirmative action, which is apparently a great blight on British life, or something (funny how Nick has adopted this as a pet issue at the same time as getting a lot more gigs in the US media). and hilariously he follows up with:

I reserve the right to denounce Obama as a scoundrel from the moment he takes office.

Didn't Aaro claim that this makes anyone who claims to like obama a hyporite, in a piece remarkably similar to Nick's one about how people who think Obama is good now might not like him in the future?

oh and:

Around the world, liberal opinion has desecended into anti-Americanism

there's really no point linking again to that NS article is there? and why should the Obama presidency make any difference to the 'liberal fellow-travelling' etc? Unless, despite what Nick has claimed elsewhere, Obama does actually change US foreign policy...

10/29/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Nick's "Wouldn't it be good if our children didn't have to go through all the speech codes, colour quotas and politics
of competitive grievance which have so numbed the minds and twisted the tongues of our generation? " was particularly vile - as if the worst thing about racial politics in America was that white people had to use "speech codes" and there was any hit of positive discrimination, and black people moaned too much: Nasty Nick doesn't seem to think there is such a thing as racial discrimination in the US, only moaning and demands by people of color.

10/29/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's even weirder is the use of 'our' - implying that the situation is the same in both the UK and the US, when it manifestly is not.

Although I do think that Obama being president will be a good thing for the UK black community as well.

10/29/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What anonymous said. The best interpretation that can be put on Nick's words is that he totally fails to understand the historical background, the real and deep prejudice and injustices which racial minorities in the US suffered in the past, which are the reason for the kind of codes of behaviour he seems to object to.

The worst is...well, what do people usually mean when they complain about white people having to use "speech codes"? I don't think Nick is in that category but he really should be more careful with his words.

10/29/2008 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being charitable, I think he means 'political correctness'. Nick was recently speaking at Cheltenham:

Guest Director Kate Adie joins journalist and political commentator Nick Cohen, author of the acclaimed What’s Left?. They discuss the controversial history of political correctness, ask whether it’s actually any use as a weapon against discrimination and look towards the future.

I'm sceptical of anyone who claims to oppose political correctness. it seems to change meaning depending on the person who uses it, and Nick hinself seems to oscillate between disapproving of the term and then claiming to oppose it. for him it seems to mean 'pigeonholing people by their race', but i'm not sure that's really it, at all.

Again, this whole Obama piece is rather difficult to work out - by 'our', is he speaking for the world, America, or Britain? One of the clearest things that the Obama candidacy has shown is that it is the generation after that of Nick which is embracing a black candidate on his own merits, as opposed to Nick who seems to think that in fact it's as much a protest vote against 'PC' as anything else - hence 'isn't it wonderful he's black'.

10/29/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

completely off the subject, but
opens with the sentence "The Green Party is having to face up to the fact that it attracts lunatics"

10/29/2008 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...


10/29/2008 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i assumed this sudden volta face in downticket decency was signalled by christopher "sir shortly-floorcross" hitchens's allegiance-switch a week or so back (which was awesome rigorous in its palin* putdown, but all kinds of opportunistic in every other regard): they often seem to a like a pack of minor bullies waiting for d00d the alpha bully to make his position known

*she has been the handiest possible excuse for people to step away and pretend they were "never near the place"

10/29/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'she has been the handiest possible excuse for people to step away and pretend they were "never near the place'

not so handy for professional Hitchogram NC, of course, who treated the world to his thoughts on how the left was being so beastly to poor Sarah, just at the exact time the McCain campaign turned hyper-screechy and Palin was exposed as a complete fruit loop.

10/29/2008 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I thought I'd left a comment about this, but clearly not. That whole 'you mustn't underestimate Palian', 'aren't the left beastly' and 'now McCain's won and it's the lefts fault' period, which lasted about a week, was very strange, wasn't it? It was great Decent Left territory - a chance to pose as supporting the working-class whilst having a go at liberals, but it fell apart from the word go, and is now being airbrushed out of history. I think at least Hitchens referred back to it with embarrassment.

10/29/2008 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for me that brief priod when Nick and Hitchens appeared to back Palin and McCain can be traced directly to the opinion polls which at the time saw the pro-Iraq war candidate just about ahead (uniting two things the decents love, winning and the Iraq war). Once it became clear that McCain would lose, and in all probability heavily, the Decents united behind the evntual winner and the message changed to 'you lefties won't like everything he does, therefore we are the genuine supporters'.

By the way, has anyone noticed that in the last two elections Nick has shown an interest in, he's thrown his weight behind a candidate who opposed the Iraq war (ie Obama and Paddick)? is TGISOOT over?

10/29/2008 05:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once it became clear that McCain would lose, and in all probability heavily

I, for one, aren't counting my chickens yet. Given poll booth racism and voter lockout, Obama needs a 10 point lead to be guaranteed of victory, so he's not there yet.

It might be funny if the Decents all came out for Obama, and then he lost. But then it might not ...

10/29/2008 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Despite being clearly bonkers, the first commenter on Nick's post gets to all the things wrong with his 'reasons'. Shorter Nick: I'm backing Obama because I read Harry's Place. That's it, isn't it? If he was following Hitchens, he'd have said something about Palin. (Has Hitchens criticised the McCain campaign apart from the Palin pick? If so, I've missed it.)

10/29/2008 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think McCain was the natural Decent pick: not a religious nut or in US terms a far rightist, but incredibly butch. There's the League of Democracies thing as well, which emerged as a minor talking point for about a week a month or two back.

I think Belle's point about Hitchens is true. You could sense a bit of hesitation when McCain supporters really started making with the crazy stuff: the death liosts, Obama as antichrist etc. That was fine in 2004 when the atmospherics were different and everybody knew that the good news from Iraq was being concealed by the libruil media, but it obviously doesn't work now. Still, the herd of indeopendent minds needed a definitive steer, and Hitchens gave them one.

rioja kid

10/29/2008 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

If anyone's a) in London b) has 35 quid they don't want to spend on better things and c) are feeling particularly misanthropic next Tuesday, you can go the Standpoint election night party. "Multi-screen coverage from CNN and FOX beamed in from across the Atlantic." I think the Fox reaction alone will clog YouTube for days afterwards.

10/29/2008 05:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Given poll booth racism and voter lockout, Obama needs a 10 point lead to be guaranteed of victory"
The "Bradley effect" (or sometimes "the notorious Bradley effect") beloved of British journalists is not taken seriously either by pollsters or by political scientists. In fact not only is there no generalisable Bradley effect, there wasn't even an initial Bradley effect: Peter Kellner wrote an article somewhere just last week showing how one pollster alone had boosted Bradley's figures by not taking into account postal votes. Rather than admitting he had goofed up, the pollster blamed secret racist voters and the Bradley effect was born. In fact, with the single exception of New Hampshire, Obama's share of the vote was underestimated by the polls during the primaries.

10/29/2008 05:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also off topic - Increasingly tetchy decent David T took to berating the Liberals at LibDem Voice with his endless hectoring comments. Poor David is upset at the great victory for Islamo-nazism that was the "Global Peace & Unity Event", and was moaning at the LibDems for backing it. His many comments included the fantastically McCarthyite

"WHO put Nick Clegg up to this?...I would seriously consider whether you’ve got any Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood supporters working in LibDem HQ."

and the un-self knowing complaint
"The other thing about conspiracy theorists is that they tend to be monomaniacal, and regard the peddlers of other conspiracy theories as their greatest enemies"

10/29/2008 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

If you look at a chart, you'll see that literally all that happened was that the Republican convention was a week after the Democratic one. Obama's conference bounce reverted to the mean, then McCain had his. The Decents reliably went ape. Then the McBounce regressed to the trend line and the rest we know.

10/29/2008 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Around the world, liberal opinion has desecended into anti-Americanism and fellow-travelling with totalitarianism."

Staggering that anyone could believe this.

10/29/2008 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

(Has Hitchens criticised the McCain campaign apart from the Palin pick? If so, I've missed it.)"

Oliver Kamm summarised a Hitchens Fox News interview as saying:

(c) McCain "has been erratic and untrustworthy on the question of Afghanistan and Pakistan",

(d) Christopher is "not very impressed by people who yell 'traitor' and 'communist' and other less printable things" at Republican rallies

(e) "it's extraordinarily irresponsible for [McCain] to appoint someone who isn't even curious about foreign affairs".

10/29/2008 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Thanks Matthew: I'll take c) of those as the only credible criticism of McCain. Clearly any candidate is not responsible for what their "supporters" choose to yell at their rallies. - How they deal with those "supporters" is different. McCain did correct a woman's assertion that Obama was a 'Muslim' with "He's a family man" (from memory, but these are not mutually exclusive).

I did specify the "Palin pick" and that was clear - from the Sunday NYT magazine article - to be pretty much a stitch up from the campaign staff. McCain approved Palin, but he wasn't given a shortlist: and to be blunt he's an old guy and she's a bit of a babe. Hold on, that argument isn't helping McCain. He's appointed guys who have made really poor decisions and have steered him the wrong way.

Hitchens and Cohen miss the important point: McCain was bombing Hanoi when he was shot down. Hanoi was and is a city. His targets were civilians. If that's heroism to you, may your god be merciful.

I was in a chatroom a couple of months ago and I raised Obama thinking I was talking to a sympathiser - a clearly intelligent American journalist. She wasn't, and she raised the Pakistan thing, which I hadn't a clue about, but she said that Obama would invade. And I, though pretty much pacifist, said I'd support him: the bad guys (al Qaeda/Taliban) are shooting at Americans and then running over the border. What choice does the US have? Either retreat or pursue. Pursuit is the right choice here.

Of course the US has to talk as well. But here's the precedent: Obama is the first to negotiate with a nuclear state - possibly since Nixon.

10/29/2008 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Either retreat or pursue. Pursuit is the right choice here.

And where do you propose they stop?

One advantage of stopping at borders is that it obviates the necessaity to find the impossible answer to that question.

While on the subject, I'd propose as a thesis (specific to this situation, but perhaps more widely applicable) that if the US is having to pursue these people over the border, it's a sign that they've already lost. Which is another reason to stop doing it.

10/30/2008 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And where do you propose they stop?

Quite. It conjures up images of Americans kidnapping suspects in foreign countries and carting them away for interrogation.

Oh, wait, they do that already ...

10/30/2008 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nuclear state? um, Rekjavik?

Chris Williams

10/30/2008 02:13:00 PM  

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