Back In The Saddle: Restarting The Conversation At The Red And The Blue

AFTER A MONTH which has topped off the bulk of a year in which imposts on my time have prevented me from commenting as often as I would like on Australian and international politics — or at all, for most of the past four weeks — those pressures have finally eased, meaning that over the next few months, the conversation we have maintained for many years in this column will resume. I ask all readers, lapsed and continuing, to rejoin us.

I must assure readers that I am perfectly all right and, contrary to some queries I’ve fielded directly, have not pulled the pin on this column; on the contrary, the pressures of time (to which I have alluded, sporadically, over the past 18 months) reached something of a peak last month, and the result of that was to stop — temporarily — my ability to spend the time on political comment that I would have preferred to make.

As I have always been clear about, those obligations related to earning a living (I do have to eat, after all) and otherwise advancing my lot must come first: and this has meant that The Red And The Blue, along with a separate lifestyle-based column I attempted to launch (and which fell victim to the same time constraints), and other personal pursuits have all been pushed down the priority list.

However, having cleared a small set of milestone obligations in another place this week, the notion of “free” time will actually now become truly free once more; and whilst I still have a couple of things that must be cleared on other fronts, it means that I will be able to resume comment on the matters going on around us in the political world at present.

There is, to be sure, an awful lot going on, and whilst we have missed it here, I have certainly been keeping an eye on things as they happen.

Does it come as any great surprise that having lost a referendum vote, the “Remainers” in the UK are now hellbent on preventing Britain’s departure from the European Union from ever taking place? No, no, no. And it should surprise no-one that the unelected EU chief bureaucrat Jean-Claude Juncker is now proclaiming that Britain will “never be allowed” to leave the EU: a disgraceful position that, if anything, merely underlines the importance of the UK getting out and reclaiming control of its own destiny.

The US presidential election is now only a couple of weeks away and, disturbingly, appears set to see Hillary Clinton handed the keys to the White House. Troglodyte socialists, finger-shaking “SJWs” and other contemptible specimens are pointing to some admittedly filthy banter Donald Trump has been found out for engaging in about women, and decrying him as unfit for presidential office as a consequence.

Yet Clinton — variously a corrupt alleged violator of national security, a nuclear war threat for her pronouncements and past dealings with Russia, a Washington “insider” of the worst kind, and a member of this insidious cabal concerned only with its own continuity to the exclusion of the national or international good, and apparently a seriously ill woman — is hailed by these people, lauded even, and her pending arrival in the presidency held up as evidence of some ground-breaking triumph of democracy. It isn’t, and it won’t be, and the United States and the rest of the world will soon enough rue the day she was charged with the most important elected post on Earth.

Closer to home, Human Rights commissioner Gillian Triggs must surely, finally, have her papers stamped; the revelation that she not only misled Parliament, but accused journalists of fabricating reports of her that were proven false by a taped recording of her own voice, provides the pretext for the Turnbull government to get rid of this insidiously biased socialist from the public payroll once and for all. Light will be thrown on the efficacy of Malcolm Turnbull’s government — and the ability of Turnbull to preside over a government at all — by the manner in which it responds to this latest outrage from a Gillard-era relic who has no business purporting to impartiality at all, let alone serving as a public official in the first place.

And speaking of Turnbull, there are signs — as long forecast, and as I have feared — that he simply isn’t up to the job. More of the so-called moderates loyal to Turnbull and charged with the execution of government business have shown themselves to simply not be up to the task (Kelly O’Dwyer, I’m looking at you) and the government itself is showing signs it has learned nothing from its misadventures since coming to office in 2013, and certainly since Turnbull’s leadership treachery two years ago.

Clearly, we have much to discuss, and from this weekend onwards — perhaps a little slowly to begin with, and then resuming some semblance of our usual historical frequency — we’ll start to look at some of these issues in greater detail.

In the meantime, I remain active on Twitter, and you can follow me @theredandblue: it is one of those ironies that just as I have had little time for writing comment pieces in this column, the relative brevity and simplicity of Twitter has meant I can still make some comment as things happen, even if it is limited to 140 characters at a time.

And as ever, the ABC’s loathsome #QandA programme has continued to come in for a melloring on that front, even if I’ve missed the odd episode: even if it’s complete rubbish — and it usually is — it is nevertheless important to remember that if we are to take on the insidious socialism that is slithering almost unchallenged through our national polity, it is also necessary to know what the socialists are talking about, and that particular abuse of the national broadcaster for a one-hour propaganda session every week is an excellent place to start insofar as keeping track of the Left’s agenda is concerned.

I’ll be back, with something issues-based, within the next day or so.

US Election: Mitt Romney For President Of The United States

Counting will shortly commence in the United States to determine whether Barack Obama will be re-elected, or whether Mitt Romney will become the 45th President of the United States. And whilst The Red And The Blue endorses the Republican Romney, we also believe he is likely to be elected.

Had Hillary Clinton edged out Barack Obama in the knife-edged contest for the Democratic nomination to contest the presidency in 2008 — and gone on to preside over the same administration Obama has — this column believes that Clinton would, today, be staring down the barrel of a 50-state landslide defeat at the hands of Romney.

The fact today’s election is competitive at all has everything to do with the “star quality,” or the “magic,” of Barack Obama, and little to do with the record of his administration.

Obama — elected four years ago, in the depths of the worst recession to hit the US since the 1930s — has been a serial underperformer, and a disappointment; overall unemployment figures in the US are only fractionally lower than they were in 2008, and only then because millions of Americans have given up looking for work.

The once-mighty American economy is growing at a snail’s pace; and US prestige abroad, on Obama’s watch, is undergoing its most serious decline since that country’s humiliation in the fiasco of its Vietnam war effort.

US debt has increased by 60% in four years, to US$16 trillion, at the same time as Obama has been preoccupied with “Obamacare” and other grand gestures of the socialist Left, whose bona fides as ideals are beyond reproach, but which lack utterly any meaningful or practical import when implemented as actual measures.

And Obama has been a risk to international relations and to world stability; his persistent snub to Israel — whilst courting the fundamentalist regimes in its backyard — are a good example. His apparent determination to resume the policy of “splendid isolation” practised by the USA prior to the second world war is another.

There is also ample evidence that Obama has refused — or is simply unable — to work with a hostile Congress to achieve meaningful legislative outcomes, or at least since his Democratic Party lost control of the House of Representatives two years ago.

Yet there is little — if any — evidence that Clinton would have done any better; indeed, with what Obama lacks in terms of a slate of real achievement to point to, he at least resonates on a personal level with ordinary Americans.

The abrasive Clinton — whilst highly respected for her abilities, and rightly so — can’t even claim that, and as a standard-bearer the same left-wing agenda as Obama, it is fair to say that a Clinton presidency over the past four years would have been an unmitigated disaster.

That said, Republican challenger Mitt Romney arrives at today’s moment of reckoning as something of an enigma in spite of the campaign, and as something of an unknown despite his record as a former Governor of Massachusetts.

On one level, Romney (or any other Republican challenger) should, by rights, arrive at the 2012 election with little if any entitlement to expect to win, given the mess the USA was in at the conclusion of the Presidency of George W. Bush four years ago.

Then again, the Republican message that the four years Obama has had is long enough to expect to see results is actually absolutely correct.

As I said at the outset, the fact today’s election is competitive at all has everything to do with Barack Obama personally, and were it a simple referendum on the results or otherwise of his administration, the Republicans would be in line to romp home.

Simply stated, the election is more about the two candidates; even many on the Left — in the US, here in Australia and elsewhere in the world — concede, to varying degrees, that Obama’s administration has underperformed.

Readers will know that this column originally backed former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich to contest this election against Obama, and whilst we believe Mitt Romney has fought the best campaign possible by a Republican candidate, his candidacy will be one of many subjects covered in a post-mortem review should Obama be re-elected today, especially if by a narrow margin.

Yet in endorsing Romney in a straight contest with Obama, it is his policy focuses on families, business and reordering US military priorities, backed by his expertise in business and his success as a Republican governor in Democratic-controlled Massachusetts, that we believe deserving of support from the US public.

And in regard to Barack Obama, we would make the simple observation that “social agendas” are well and good, but with the country teetering on the brink of bankruptcy — with government debt running at 107% of GDP, in large part the result of his own Presidency — “social agendas” are simply not the priority the Left, the world over, present them to be.

Little has been made during this campaign of Romney’s religious status as the first Mormon to contest the US presidency, and rightly so; we believe this to be irrelevant.

Similarly, and in spite of the best efforts of the likes of businessman Donald Trump, the so-called birther conspiracy surrounding Barack Obama has been the non-event it should be.

We endorse Mitt Romney to be elected today as the 45th President of the United States, and expect that he will be, although we agree with the conventional wisdom that the contest, as it plays out with actual votes rather than opinion poll results and whichever way resolved, will be exceedingly close.

Polls close progressively during the day, commencing on the east coast and including states such as New York at 7pm ET (10am AEDT), with results coming through over the ensuing hours.

We look forward to following the count as the day unfolds, and will comment again once the overall results become known and the outcome of the contest becomes clear.