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The Forum > Article Comments > Rainbow revolution: why Mitt Romney's defeat is bad news for Tony Abbott > Comments

Rainbow revolution: why Mitt Romney's defeat is bad news for Tony Abbott : Comments

By Robert Simms, published 13/11/2012

While predicted by most pollsters, the defeat of Republican Mitt Romney in last week's presidential election confounded some of the orthodoxies of modern politics.

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Robert Simms wrote: "Obama has become the first President since Roosevelt to win re-election with such a high unemployment rate and only the second Democrat since World War II to win a second term."

The above is not true. Since World War II both Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson were Democrats who won a second term.They both came to the presidency due to the death of the president so did not serve a full first term.

The demographics in Australia and the United States are very different. The Republican Party has a large base of fundamentalist Christians who would tear down the separation of religion and state that exists in the US. I feel many who voted Democratic were turned off by the radical religious right in the US. Australia has neither the degree of separation of church and state nor the large base of fundamentalist Christians that exist in the US. A large percentage of the US support for Obama came from blacks, Hispanics and Jews. Australia has neither a large population of those minorities nor has the Coalition been against such minorities to the extent the US Republican Party has. The Southern Strategy of Nixon appealed to the southern whites who were to a large extent racist. The current Republican Party has that heritage. I don't think the Coalition is more racist than the Labor Party.

Although the Coalition like the Republican Party is more the party of business than its opposition the different demographics of the two countries makes the comparison flawed.
Posted by david f, Tuesday, 13 November 2012 10:59:48 AM
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Voting patterns tend to be relatively simple in the long run: those who are short of assets and want some of other people's will vote for left-wing parties, while those who have assets and want to hang on to them will vote right-wing. As long as governments do their job and contribute to national wealth, there will be a slow but steady movement of people into the 'haves' category and subsequently a slow but steady movement to the right. Actual and threatened economic setbacks and disasters will reduce the number of 'haves' and benefit the left-wing parties.

The only real danger is that an unscrupulous left-wing government could deliberately fabricate imaginary disasters and sabotage the process of wealth creation in order to keep hold of power for as long as possible ... but that could never happen here, could it?
Posted by Jon J, Tuesday, 13 November 2012 3:29:58 PM
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The article is spot on about the effects of pandering to the religious right and the portrayal of Romney as a vulture capitalist, but the "rainbow coalition" is only as big as it is because of decades of bipartisan support for very high immigration. The Democrats wanted to garner votes from the migrants, who have shown themselves to be more likely to vote Left, and the big donors to both parties wanted cheap labour and bigger markets. Now the Republicans' policy of importing voters who are likely to be hostile to them has backfired on them. In some states, two out of three white men voted for Romney, and it still wasn't enough.

I am reminded of a story I was told as a child about how Africans catch monkeys, You take a gourd and fill it with seeds as bait, leaving only a hole that is small enough for the monkey to get its paw in or out if it is empty, but not if it is filled with seeds. The idea is that the monkey is so greedy that it would rather be captured than let go of the seeds. In real life, of course, the monkey would let go of the seeds and run for its life. That is the chief difference between a monkey and a Republican.
Posted by Divergence, Tuesday, 13 November 2012 6:55:37 PM
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Interesting piece. But it's a bit puzzling there is no mention of the problems the Republicans brought upon themselves with blatant lies throughout the campaign.

It's not like it was incidental behaviour.

Rachel Maddow highlighted the pure fabrications back in March, here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-yfeEREcmU

Then in July, here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jqZ3C9I7To

Again in September:
http://www.towleroad.com/2012/09/maddowromneylies.html

And in October:
http://www.politicususa.com/rachel-maddow-slams-romney-lying-jeep-moving-production-china.html

Even Fox News called Romney out on his multiple fabrications. (Google Fox News Romney lies.)

If American citizens donít believe a word Romney says, what chance is there foreign trading partners, military allies or enemies seeking contracts/alliances/accords/treaties would ever believe anything he says?

Could this be the primary reason Romney lost an unlosable election - after spending so many millions?

This would seem to have direct relevance for Mr Abbott who is also renowned for his difficulties handling the truth. (Google Tony Abbott lies.)
Posted by Alan Austin, Tuesday, 13 November 2012 7:01:35 PM
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Alan please.

That is by far the greatest pot kettle shad of black statement I've ever heard.
Posted by Hasbeen, Tuesday, 13 November 2012 11:49:38 PM
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"The President was steadfast in his defence of women's reproductive rights"

The writer is being disingenuous in using the term "reproductive rights". Why does he not be specific and say that the President defends the evil practice of allowing women to kill their unborn babies, such abhorrent killing amounting to around 1.5 million per annum in the US?

"he abolished 'don't ask, don't tell' in the military"

There is no evidence that this has improved morale in the military.

" the first President to support gay marriage"

This is nothing to be proud of, as it promotes dysfunctional 'families'.
Posted by Raycom, Wednesday, 14 November 2012 12:04:18 AM
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