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US politics grinds to a halt- oh joy 20/01/2010

Posted by chrisdshaw in Politics, United States.

It has been difficult to concentrate today as the sense of impending doom I thought I had left behind in November 2008 has returned. I was awoken by the 7am Radio 4 news bulletin announcing that Republican candidate, and former Penthouse centerfold, Scott Brown had won race for Senator in the Massachusetts Special Election, following Ted Kennedy’s death last year. The seat was considered to be a rock solid Democratic seat and has started a huge political earthquake in Washington D.C. If translated to a general election the Democrats would be virtually wiped out. Fortunately we have to wait until November this year before something like that has a chance of happening.

What makes this election victory by the GOP even more significant is that it is almost certain to derail healthcare reform, an issue very close to the former senator’s heart. On top of this, any chance of meaningful climate change legislation is off the cards, as is pretty much anything else the Obama administration advocates. The GOP have managed to sabotage anything the administration proposes, such is its singlemindedness in destroying a presidency that voted in on a promise of change. The US faces a serious political crisis, entirely the fault of a lunatic right-wing GOP- one that would make Reagan turn in his grave- and a Democratic party that never ceases to amaze by its ineptitude. At possibly one of the most critical periods in American history the country is being plunged into  yet another stretch of political paralysis, with no serious attempt is made to address its deep structural problems in the US economy and society and a fasting US leadership in the world at precisely the time that America needs to safeguard its influence with the rise of China and other emerging regional superpowers. And perhaps the most worrying thing of all, virtually no chance of any climate change leadership in a decade which most scientific opinion is convinced is crucial for the future of the planet.

This is a deeply depressing time. It is not yet 9 years since September 11th. How America can have lost its way so quickly is simply staggering.


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