Letter from America

American politics have always interested me and I even studied them – Electoral College, separation of powers and so on – but not being American and being this side of the pond, I miss a lot of the nuances.   So when James Wilson wrote here on the election, it put some misconceptions straight.

This is in the same vein:


Just an update on the election and our general condition, James.



Republicans need margins of over 2% in competitive states to overcome fraud, which Romney generally didn’t have. In competitive districts, the margin is greater.

From Daniel Greenfield at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2012/11/friday-afternoon-roundup-what-went-wrong.html :


Go back to 18th Century Rhode Island and the Country Party which in a time of economic crisis ran on a platform of debt relief by printing money. Their slogan was “To Relieve the Distressed”. And they won big.

Here is how the actions of the ruling Country Party in paying off debt with worthless paper money was described. “the most extraordinary that ever disgraced the annals of democratical tyranny… the depravity of human nature” that could “sanctify such palpable fraud and dishonesty, by a solemn act of legislation.”

Sound familiar? Let’s get even creepier.

At its June 1786 session, the legislature passed a penalty act. Anyone refusing to accept the currency at face value was subject to a £100 fine for the first offense, half going to the state and half to “the Person who shall inform.” Conviction of a second offense carried the same fine and disenfranchisement.

The act provided that all paper-money cases were to be tried in special courts without juries and without the right to appeal.

On 13 September 1786, delegates from Providence County towns met in convention at Smithfield to consider the merchants’ continued opposition. The delegates attacked the subversive tendencies “of the mercantile Interest” and proposed that the legislature consider several plans, one of which called for a state-trade system that would have effectively eliminated the merchant class.

As envisioned by a writer in the Providence Gazette,the state would own all stores, ships, wharves, shipyards, and the like. A state commission would send ships on fishing and mercantile ventures while severely limiting the importation of luxuries.

The legislature would “take the lead in this business, and will border it carried on in such manner, and under such regulations, as they in their wisdom shall think most convenient for the welfare, advantage, and well-being of the State.”

Country party leaders introduced a bill that would require everyone in Rhode Island to take an oath supporting paper money.

The Providence Gazette of 6 January 1787 reported that a bill introduced in the December session would abolish all debts and distribute all property equally among heads of families and repeat the process every thirteen years.

And after all this… the Country Party won in a landslide. There’s your totalitarian Socialism in America… in 1786.

We were not once upon a time an absolutely moral country where people always worked hard and did not just vote themselves free stuff and elect a bunch of Socialist charlatans mad with power to do it for them.

We did it in 1786. We did it in 2012.

America has bad and good ‘mood’ swings. We do not always answer to our better angels. And there is no reason to start giving up and abandoning ship because the country will now be forever in the grip of a mythical 47 percent of looters.

This is not new. It’s not the end. We have been here before. We are not doomed and giving up on the rest of the country is premature and defeatist.

The Majority of the administration is composed of a licentious number of men, destitute of education, and many of them, void of principle.

From anarchy and confusion they derive their temporary consequence, and this they endeavour to prolong by debauching the minds of the common people

Again, sound familiar? We’ve been here before. And we got through it….but just one more item from Rhode Island’s radical history.

By paying the public debt in depreciated currency, the Country party had redistributed the state’s wealth.

During its first session in October, the legislature admitted that paper money had depreciated “from various and unforeseen Causes” and that continuing paper money as “a Tender will be productive of the highest Injustice.”

Now try doing that to China.


Greenfield is more hopeful than many of us, but it’s a good thought for the day. And, it is also a good sign that every right wing soul I have sent it to is encouraged rather than discouraged to see how pathetic we always were. One of your 20th century sages said nothing is lost because nothing is ever won. Now I get it.


More on the voter fraud







More on the election:

Strange stuff in Philly

GOP inspectors reportedly kicked out of multiple Philadelphia polling places Can’t hide the tricks anymore, Dems.

Update: Judge orders GOP inspectors back in.

– In Detroit, violence in the poll.

N.C. man busted for voting twice. Registered D.

– Lots of reports of the machines failing, surprising absolutely no one.

– Lots of reports of people being told they already voted.

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4 comments for “Letter from America

  1. james wilson
    November 13, 2012 at 17:28

    It should be said that, all fraud aside, this was bound to happen under universal suffrage. It is only surprising that it took this long. Conservatives, whoever they are, are in mourning. Right wingers are more likely to feel relief; there is no more suspense because there is no more doubt. Universal suffrage is a roach motel, easy to enter and impossible to exit.

  2. dearieme
    November 13, 2012 at 18:06

    “By paying the public debt in depreciated currency, the Country party had redistributed the state’s wealth.” No, no, no.

    By paying the public debt in depreciated currency, the Country party had stolen someone’s money and given it to someone else.

  3. November 13, 2012 at 18:29

    # redistributed the state’s wealth

    # stolen someone’s money and given it to someone else

    Pardon me but these look identical.

  4. November 14, 2012 at 16:50

    I agree with James, they look identical to me.

    Remember that all taxes are taken with the backing of the threat of force by the government; if you don’t pay, men with guns come to haul you away. And so when they give the money away that has been taken by the government, at gunpoint, in order to “redistribute” it, I call that theft.

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