Thus Spake Mungo: Planet America

So Planet America has returned to the known universe – well, up to a point.

Many more Americans voted against Donald Trump than voted for him – millions more. But nearly as many did not vote at all. And the explanation of why they failed to do so is bad news for what is left of democracy.

Some had an ideological objection to being taken to the ballot boxes. Some just couldn’t be bothered. And quite a few would have been convinced by the polls that it was all a forgone conclusion, so they might as well play golf instead. Such are the perils of voluntary voting.

But there were those who had been deliberately disenfranchised – prevented from exercising their rights by a system manipulated by conservative power brokers who were able to exploit loopholes to make it difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate a way through the maze of restrictions. 

The vast majority of those whose policies they saw as dangerously progressive would almost certainly have endorsed Joe Biden.

They were the forgotten people – the subversive underclass regarded as unworthy to participate in the American dream.

Those who fought their way into the lines at the polling booths are now facing the threat of having their votes shredded by the Trumpists

And even those who fought their way into the lines at the polling booths are now facing the threat of having their votes shredded by the Trumpists, who are opening their war chests to fund challenges all the way to the Supreme Court, which they have shamelessly stacked with their allies.

So even when every vote has been cast and counted, when the results in every state have been tallied and confirmed, when the numbers have been declared within the tortuous electoral college, there may still be a lot of litigation to enrich the lawyers before we can confidently say it’s over.

If, in fact, it ever will be. The most berserk of the reactionaries, led by Trump’s spoiled brat sons Eric and Donald junior, and his obsessive legal adviser Rudy Giuliani, have vowed never to surrender – to fight on until they have avenged their loss, and maybe a bit longer just for the fun of it.

There was relief mixed with some surprise when Election Day itself went off without serious disruption

This is not only deranged but also dangerous. There was relief mixed with some surprise when Election Day itself went off without serious disruption. But now the right wing belligerents are deliberately raising the stakes to the point of inciting violence. And within a heavily armed populace with more than a few vigilante gangs waiting for a signal to strike, they cannot be ignored.

And even inside the Capitol building itself, there are still many conflicts to be played out. The Republican majority in the senate may be a small one, but there are no signs that it will not remain solidly against Biden and his program, however mild that may turn out to be. There is an element of payback in this; the Democrats had the gall to drag their man in to face a charge of impeachment. The least they can do in return is to make their lives as difficult as possible.

So the next four years are far from done and dusted, or an opportunity for healing and moving on. They look more like another act of the melodrama, the Grand Guignol of conflict, rancour and revenge that beset American politics in the last term and looks to persist until Trump admits defeat and fades away – which he won’t.

This was the election Scott Morrison lauds as a triumphant vindication of American democracy in action

This was the election Scott Morrison lauds as a triumphant vindication of American democracy in action. Well, as democracies go, it’s better than some. But at its best – at its record turnout – it could only deliver 67 per cent of those thought to be eligible. For one reason or another, a third of the population did not take part in what was supposed to be the most important decision they would ever make.

If Morrison is looking for a model of a democratic system, he can find a far more complete one at home, with compulsory voting, a robust and impartial electoral commission and a genuinely independent judiciary underpinning the fragile structure.

But perhaps he doesn’t. He has been temperate to the point of timidity at the outrageous comments of his coalition colleagues, past and present – Joe Hockey, Matt Canavan and George Christensen in the lead – who’ve applauded Trump’s ridiculous lies about stolen votes and fraudulent counting, claims dismissed as paranoid dementia by even the most conservative commentators.

ScoMo’s supporters explain away such caution as justified insurance – there was still just a chance Trump could end up winning, if not through the ballot, then through his tame courts. And if that dire moment came to pass, our prime minister would have to deal with a doubly deranged great and powerful friend.

More troubling is the possibility that Morrison sees Trump’s assault leading to division and anarchy as just part of the cut and thrust of political discourse in the 21st century

But more troubling is the possibility that Morrison sees Trump’s assault leading to division and anarchy as just part of the cut and thrust of political discourse in the 21st century. So he lies, cheats, trashes every rule and convention, is prepared to make his country ungovernable, all to avoid defeat – isn’t that how a leader is supposed to behave? Oh, for the advantages of an all but impregnable executive, with party, parliament and the separation of powers no more than petty obstacles to untrammeled megalomania!

Actually Morrison seldom, if ever, entertains such fantasies – too ambitious altogether. But there are times when he will stick his toe in the water just to see how much he can get away with. 

The sneaky announcement of his Integrity Commission, the watchdog without teeth or even a decent bark, is a sign that he is happy to dispense with rationality or credibility if it can get him out of political strife. He would, of course, have preferred to ignore it entirely, but the pesky Westminster system made that impossible – too many skeletons uncovered for the bloody media and their cross bench hangers-on to be silenced.

But if a token must be offered, he can at least ensure that democratic accountability can be made powerless. So even as Planet America sidles back from outer space, the rocky satellite of Australia is nudged further towards the fringe of the home galaxy. Cosmic entropy is maintained…

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35 responses to “Thus Spake Mungo: Planet America”

  1. Peter Graham says:

    A Covid Vaccine in America to get proper “community immunity”..would need to be over 60% of the population….looking at the amount of US citizens who voted..70 million out of a population of 300 million could be bothered…then America will still be a Covid “basket case”..for a very very long time.
    What really surprises me is that more American citizens have died on their home soil from this pandemic than the Japanese who died on the first day when America dropped those 2 nuclear bombs.
    Still, they don’t get it !!!

  2. Lavender says:

    In the dark days of Bjelke Pietersen in Qld thinking people realised that the system & culture were more responsible for the excesses of power than merely the dysfunctional leader. Today it’s clear that in USA the outmoded & far from fair electoral system, the culture of individualism & celebrities, and the shallow grasp of the masses of people who fall to crass populism create the mess we see today. Vive the Westminster System!

  3. Joachim Staats says:

    tRump’s sons, the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. The Rudey Giuly should stick with his new career in movies – a stunning ‘debut performance’ in the new Borat film. The U.S of the A have had their flirtation with tRump and said Nay. The tRump nightmare gives way to brighter days and listening to the victory speeches from the Kamala and the Joe, the next 4 years in The U.S of the A will be the exact opposite of the last 4 years – welcome back decency, respect and truth.

    • Barrow says:

      Decency, respect and truth Joachim ?
      Well of course !! It matters little what’s
      Said or done regarding the Democrats
      Nothing to see here !! Double standard’s?
      Fact for you QC Joachim !! Ms Harris to biden
      During a debate you are a” Racist ” why would she
      Say that Joachim ? Uh she was only joking was she not Joachim ? Oh this coming from the to be soon
      President incidentally with a approval ratings of just 3% .. such a popular candidate Joachim?
      Biden interviewed few months back
      “If you don’t vote Democrats you ain’t Black ”
      That’s just one of his Racist comments that
      Harris was alluding to !!! Covered or scrutinized
      Fact checked by the ABC ? No chance ..
      We are the Progressives anything gos .
      Now the Democrats have thrown a tantrum
      For the past 4 years , impeachment, sexual harassment, tax dodging, you name it against
      Trump ..and of course Russian Collusion
      Which our trusted ABC ran with wasted
      Millions to bring down our trusted ally .
      NOT one piece of evidence to implicate that Trump was involved.. and now the Democrats
      After all they have thrown at trump, saying accept
      The decision !! Really hypocrites ? What gos around
      Comes around ! Let the show begin …

      • Joachim Staats says:

        Yo Barrow my man, you finished crying yet? Need a fresh box of tissues? I know, it hard for you, batting at 0 -6 ( Eden-Monaro, ACT, NT, NZ, QLD, USA ) you just like your Mentor-in-Chief, can’t handle the truth or defeat.

  4. Ill fares the land says:

    My view, for a while, is that Trump had become and still is, the “spiritual leader” of power-crazed despots around the globe. I include President Morrison in that list. You can argue the need to streamline the business of government was a necessary step as part of dealing with Covid-19, but to my mind, President Morrison was a bit too willing to draw unto himself as much executive power as he could. Like Trump, he rejects the suggestion that he might be accountable to anyone. For Trump and Morrison, their respective neurotic psyches simply can’t process the idea that power doesn’t vest exclusively in them. You can see this daily in Trump’s pompous and boorish actions. For Morrison, it is perhaps more subtle, but if you know his history in the Tourism departments in Australia and New Zealand, it is blindingly obvious. Trump might be gone, but the tragedy that is Trumpism will live on and, like despots around the globe, Morrison will remain one of Trumpism’s disciples. Morrison isn’t thought of as a despot, but his actions are, whilst often more subtle, are nonetheless utterly consistent with those of the Trumps, Erdogan’s, Orban’s and Bolsinaro’s.

    • Ken says:

      Interesting Ill,
      I agree to great extent; however I think the political process could be to blame. What ever happened to the idea of democracy ? You know what I mean, one equal vote each and no major decisions until a majority agree.
      When did it deteriorate into a ‘tweedle dee’ election and then open slather with no accountability for fraud, corruption or just plain incompetence ? You don’t need a dictator when nobody is ever held responsible.
      Cheers, G”)

  5. Joachim Staats says:

    III, you forgot to mention Lukashenko and Putin.

  6. Yes – Trump has an Aussie shadow & it sort of makes me see red! Hillary
    Clinton [The Benghazi (Libya) Attacks / win at any cost / private email server /
    refusal to release transcripts ie; Wall Street Speeches / dark money / misogyny /
    media control & so on allowed a ‘winning’ Trump. Now we have a ScoMo who
    is part Trump & part Clinton. Pity Australia doesn’t have A Joe & Kamala… but
    them’s the brakes. At least the U.S. is waking up. Let’s try & copy their lead-in.

  7. Ray Armstrong says:

    Trump will leave plenty of minefields before he gets dragged out of the W.House kicking and screaming making Biden’s gig a difficult one. Then there is the Senate which will do an Abbott and block everything. George Bush and a conga line of other Republicans have advised the Trumper to go with dignity and not degrade the office of the presidency any further. His real aim though is to go down and take America with him.
    The Trumper will be around for a looooooong while. The Pubs will have to reform. They have become the hardest of the hard mad rabid right. The Looters here in Oz are aiming somewhat in the same direction. Trumpism is not middle America. Each election the Pubs lose the popular vote by more millions each time. Then of course there is the electoral gerrymander which is a curse on democracy and the only thing that keeps the Pubs in the race. We have one Electoral Commission here. The Yanks have 50 states all with their own voting rules including when they can stop counting votes. In other words-50 Electoral Commissions! Its madness on steroids and so open to manipulation when added to the Republican’s voter repression antics against the poor and coloured. I see Trump is calling “stop the count”-still! He did the same in 2016. How can he do this when the votes are not all in? How can he call a win for himself when the count is still on? The courts will not have a bar of this. Even his appointed stooges. Biden’s win is big enough to ensure they at least look independent. Trump is also shaming his base-the military vote does not often get in until 20 days after the election! I am amazed that he gets away with it but I know how. A poll of over 100,000 found that 70% of ‘educated’ people (High School grads, Uni grads) vote democrats. The rest vote Pub. The message is simple-the unread are easily manipulated and believe the Trumper lies. They haven’t the brains to see through it all. Something like Pauline Hanson’s tribe.

  8. citizen says:

    I hope that the bad sport reactions of the young Trump wannabees, mate Rudy and Corey “Luney'” etc compared with those of sane Republicans like Romney and Lisa from Alaska, causes Georgians to feel GOP is in such turmoil that they vote Democrat in the Senate run off elections.

    IMHO Trump is not just upset and angry, but is physically ill. Not surprised he has made few appearances, as since his rabid rush of rallies b4 election day he has entered rooms holding onto something at the threshold. He can barely read from prepared notes. Maybe he is succumbing to COVID sequelae, steroid problems, and possibly things he took to keep going at the end.

    I won’t be surprised if Pence takes over until January. That might give Pence a profile for 2024.

  9. citizen says:

    Maybe Hockey is sucking up to ScoMo. Maybe hoping to blast into Fed politics again.

    Joe looks after Joe. At College Of Law he (and a few others more entitled than the rest) left before the decreed date so they could go work in Hong Kong earning big bucks n paying little tax.

    Also in the moots there where students had alternating roles as witnesses and lawyers in order to practice their advocacy, Joe was often on his mobile in the corridors and too busy to make up the mock courtroom. He was after all President of Young Liberals. Joe was too important to obey the rules meant for ordinary mortals. A chip off the old Trump.

  10. J S says:

    So sleepy Joe who didn’t leave the basement won more votes than even Obama did! Cmon man even I can see some some dodgy electoral stuff and since when did the media call who wins, yeah they don’t, but you would think they do because they say they do.
    I have a feeling Trumps going to have the last laugh, he is going to take the gloves off, he has nothing to lose. Whatever one thinks of his personality, one things clear, he said he would drain the the swamp and I suspect one way or the other he will. At the very least no new wars were created, N Korea didn’t go point it’s rockets, the Middle East is making peace, and China has been warned. I think the show is only starting and I will grab some popcorn sit back and enjoy

  11. Biden won, JS [now who would that stand for in a basement?] And Barrow,
    old dear, Trump’s got your ear. The ‘race’ bit… it was Trump’s saying that
    Harris (long time friend of Biden’s son who died) that Harris called Biden
    ‘a racist & a rapist’ – STOP & think. You’ve been Trumped again. Cards
    sent to voters all over the country from Trump’s support team read the
    same rotten message. Mess around quoting the man with a troubled mind
    is stupid stuff so check your facts. Harris is one giant of a woman of means,
    educated, & a legal-Eagle. Back to Jesus no 2 – China warned & the rest is
    interesting stuff still the only pity is Morrison & Co ain’t up to running this

  12. Barrow says:

    Stefanie ” love truth but pardon error ”
    Harris with my own two eyes and ears
    Call Biden a RACIST on the stage during
    The early part of the Presidential election..
    Thats a Fact …from Ms 3 %
    Lets see how your Democrats preform Stefanie
    And i will watch and scrutinize with interest..
    And for the record do i like Trump . NO
    just love reacting to all that hate Trump
    Like you the Echo . THE ABC .. laughable really ..

    • Joachim Staats says:

      The Echo, ABC provide the sensible and the logic to combat the crap from your Rupert with his Liberal Party Newsletters, that pretend to be newspapers, and Rupert’s Aussie Fox News aka Sky News Australia.

  13. You didn’t hear it with your ‘own ears’ Barrow. You heard what
    I did on Fox… Harris’s opening line – June 2019 to Biden on
    ‘race relations in the USA’ Kamala said, “I do not believe you are
    a racist.” That is what was said & it’s on the record. Strong
    women are needed I believe. Do you have a problem with strong
    women of colour? Surely not. Still, if you do that means I’m
    included as well.

  14. Add on. Despise is the word for Trump. Hate – no. That’s mob rule with
    intent to harm. Not my scene or belief. Hitler-ish.

  15. Barrow says:

    Joachim its only crap in your world !
    What do you truly believe that the ABC
    Are impartial ?? The Echo’s contribution
    To News the world over and local is
    Wonderful !! However that’s not to say
    They are not the News for the Progressives!
    Echo would be more than happy to admit this .
    Yes Sky are a propaganda machine but do call out
    Political correctness and the Absolute crap
    The ABC come up with at the Taxpayer’s expense
    Including Q&A . and the 4 corners story on Monday
    Is not Bias ? Legal action will follow ..and again at the Taxpayer’s expense..

    • Joachim says:

      Barrow my man, the 4 Corners Monday about your Liberals bad boy behaviour. You need to catchup old son. Louise Milligan, ABC Reporter of the story, has spoken quite extensively post the story airing. Your rumpy pumpy Liberal boys were given a number of opportunities over a number of weeks to make their own contribution to the story before the story was finally presented. But your Liberal bad boys hid away in shame hoping that the story would just disappear. So Barrow old son, no bias at all, just a reporting of the facts. Newsflash Barrow, women are no longer staying quiet about bad boy behaviour , the story isn’t disappearing no matter how much Christian Porter now moans and whines. Legal action you say, good luck with that. It a bit like your Golfer-in-Chief mate in the U.S of the A. flaying around in desperation with threats of legal this and legal that. The Legal Action you need to pay close attention to is your ScamMOfromMarketings RoboRobberyDebt scandal, it a Class Action and hitting the courts next week. $millions potential damages on top of the $720millions being repaid in ‘illegally made up debts’. Barrow my man, defend that.

    • Joachim says:

      Barrow my man , an add on about an update to your Christian Porter and his threat of legal action against the 4 Corners story. Your Christian Porter has run away again, he not launching any legal action, some weasel words about ‘an unnecessary distraction’ – . Ha, Ha ,Ha!

  16. As Albo has said – sky news in the morning is rational & so are reports.
    The ‘night’ not so. PM ‘reporters’ on sky look more like a groupie-lot
    coming in for a kill. Dullards may fall for it.

    • Joachim says:

      The Australian Fox News ( I can’t called them Sky News, that insults the sky above us all ) PM crew should all join Jonesy and jump into Jonesy’s chaff bag, so we can dump the lot of them out to sea.

  17. Joachim, they’re ‘floaters’ – they will float where the big bucks are. I call ’em
    sky… the-eye-in-the-sky that Whitlam did not want – Pine Gap.

  18. Stefanie says:

    Long live [what a fake] TRUMP GETS AN AUSSIE ANTHEM. Now that says it all.

  19. Barrow says:

    Joachim, Stefanie.
    Will ask you both one question
    In layman’s terms no sidestepping
    And this really will explain if your
    Political persuasion overrides
    Your Compassion and or empathy !!
    Considering Victorian’s lost 819
    Loved ones . Should Dan Andrews
    Be sacked ? Criminal justice charges ?
    No Defection !!

    • Joachim says:

      Yo Barrow old son, Stefanie has called it pretty much as I see it. The Victoria Covid Enquiry is still ongoing so your Chairman Dan might still have some music to face. But here’s the thing, Quarantine is a Federal Government responsibility under both The Quarantine Act and The Bio Security Act. Why and how the hell ScoNO threw his quarantine responsibility over to the states is in mind a huge Fail. The fact that we had the benefit of seeing Covid first unfold across Italy, France and Spain meant that we were in a great position to get prepped up for Covid especially in Aged Care settings but that was another colossal Fail. If Chairman Dan is pushed to the exit over Covid in Vic, then he should be joined by ScoNO over the Feds Failures and of course ‘Honest Gladys’ with the her Ruby Princess., another colossal Fail.

  20. I don’t believe he should be sacked because the times were terrible
    & those in charge did swell up & that includes the Federal Gov itself.
    ScoMo really didn’t know which way to jump nor did the opposition.
    What sailed in on the waters only brought the pandemic to a point of
    panic & mistakes out of the ordinary, were made by states ruling
    themselves & the laws protecting the OZ population seemed to change
    every hour or so. The medical profession were confused along with
    Fed & State government. Hospitals were out of whack. The country was
    like a war-zone; people lost the plot. Face mask or not? Food? Toilet
    paper. Local Medical doctors locked up shop mostly & directed the ill
    by phone. Aged care met hysteria. Look to the ‘Lock Ups’ around the
    world… a sorry sight. Our pollies didn’t even sit to direct the country.
    I believe we did as we had to do even if we didn’t fully agree with it.
    I would not like to be in the position of any Premier but I’ll say thank
    God for them because they were mostly left to deal with all the tough
    decisions. I’m not blaming Glad for NSW any more than I’ll blame
    VIC. The Feds were happy to leave the tough stuff to the states. That,
    to me was a coward’s way out by our government.

  21. Add on, Barrow. What’s your answer to China?

  22. Barrow says:

    Fair response Stefanie!!
    However Andrews not taking up the Defense forces for security was a Major mistake..
    China appalling really what they hid from the
    World.. and the WHO .. disgraceful.
    Did not to want to offend the Chinese
    As they are in there pockets .. the Person at the helm is a known Socialist..

  23. Joachim says:

    Barrow, the WHO is a voluntary membership organisation – you will recall that your man tRump pulled USA out of the WHO. The WHO is only as good as its affiliated member states.

  24. Well, we read that Police Minister Neville had private discussions with police
    over who would do what. Then we’re told there’s a ‘turf war’ between Police
    Minister & Health Minister. A police spokesman says “The deployment of the
    ADF is not a matter or decision for the Victorian police.” While everything is
    up in arms & people need to be isolated – what can be done. Who would
    want to be put in that position; not me. Seems to me that neither one could
    work together. ADF not wanting to do ‘cop stuff’ while 200 medical & logestic
    personnel were needed on the streets for testing. If there’s ‘faults’ who or
    what is responsible.

    • Joachim says:

      Hi Stefanie, your last sentence points to the fact, despite ScoNO in his presser back in February waving his Covid Emergency Response Plan high in the air, there was no comprehensive plan to deal with the Covid pandemic once it took hold in Australia. We at least had the benefit of seeing Covid in its early stages in Europe but we didn’t properly grasp the moment. The overall lack of preparedness was highlighted by scarcity of PPE, respirators, sanitiser and most importantly the inadequacy of the whole staffing issue in Aged Care sites and the wider concern of backup staff for potentially infected hospital and medical services staff. When you are not properly prepared there can only be one outcome, FAILURE. All that is left after the event is the degree of the FAILURE ( the impact on lives ), apportioning the responsibility for the FAILURE and most importantly learning the lesson of being PREPARED for the next pandemic when, not if, it arrives.

  25. Hi Joachim, I think we’ve answered Barrow. If Scomo can’t get it right the next
    time around we are all Monkeys’ Aunts & Uncles with juniors tossed in for the
    balance. I won’t go into the aged – that’s so bloody gross there are no words
    for an Aussie Concentration Camp for those who did not ever have to be lost.

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