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Media Bites: Why Obama's Win Was Downright Canadian

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Well, the race is won, the Donald has ventured back under his bridge, and the President's first second-term job-creation initiative -- cleaning up all the ticker-tape he dumped on Chicago Tuesday night -- is well underway. Not much left to do but wrap up that final electoral loose end and see what the Canadians have to say.

Frankly, they're pleased.

"Obama appealed to America's better angels in Campaign 2012, and the voters rewarded him for it" glows the Toronto Star. For once, those damn Yankees made "the prudent choice."

Obama FTW! agrees Andrew Cohen in the Ottawa Citizen."However narrow his victory, let us not underestimate the magnitude of this achievement" -- November 6 was a battle for the very ideological soul of America "and the progressives won."

In fact, adds syndicated superstar Micheal Den Tandt, offering the kindest praise of all, you could even say the 2012 race was, "well, Canadian."

Consider the evidence: the Obama-Romney battle was notable for its "courtesy " and "common-sense," and God knows those are terms we all associate with the Canadian political process. Plus, a bunch of voters approved referendums to endorse gay marriage and legalize pot, and I bet those are things Canadians might do too if anyone ever asked! In any case, I'll just note for our American friends that when a guy like Mike giddily claims that "Canadian-ness is spreading like a bad rash," across your country, it's supposed to be a compliment.

Which is not say our press' gentile Canadianness has generated nothing but good wishes for our southern pals! Pleased or not, few pundits could seem to avoid taking potshots at the sheer magnitude of the fiscal mess awaiting everyone's favorite Democrat, and the "long, hard slog" -- in the words of no one's favourite anything Margaret Wente -- that will dominate his second term.

Obama's great and all, but let's not forget that the U.S. is still "indebted up to its eyeballs," nags the editorial board of the Montreal Gazette like the ornery buzzkills they are. America "lives to a great extent on credit," they remind, "borrowing a quarter of what it spends, and its social-security system is drastically underfunded." So Obama needs to get cracking and quick -- cause trust me, when you're being lectured on unsustainable debt from Quebeckers, things are bad.

Yeah, awesome though he undoubtably is, warns the Ottawa Citizen, Obama ain't magical and America is still a mess. So everyone just remember that the President "can't, by himself, solve its serious fiscal problems" -- let alone create a glorious Canuckistan utopia.

He can easily do the exact opposite, however, snarks Lorne Gunter at the Sun. Just follow the logical progression: Obama is a lefty, lefties are motivated by envy, and "the envy of Democratic voters, if carried through into national policy, could easily raise taxes but end up putting the U.S. even further into debt by slowing their sluggish economy still further."

In fact, when it comes imposing fiscal discipline on a nation on the "verge of bankruptcy," Obama's so miscast for the task that "divine intervention will be needed," concurs the Sun TV editorial team.

So basically Canadians got everything they wanted Tuesday night: a president they love governing an America they don't envy.

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Now my memory's a little hazy, but I seem to recall the U.S. also had another political party at one time. The elephant one. Republi-somethings. I think they may have even elected a president or two. Whatever happened to them?

They're called Republicans and frankly they're on their way out, says Matt Gurney in the Post. I mean, a party of elderly white men who value "'traditional values' over and above fiscal responsibility"? America's "demographics are not on their side," to put it mildly.

Rather than nominate yet another Tea Party plaything to go down in flames, Matt thinks its time for the GOPers to embrace a new sort of candidate, someone gentle and moderate who ditches all the religio-values stuff, and just doubles down on pragmatic fiscal conservativism.

Basically a candidate like... Mitt Romney, "but Romney as he existed 10 years ago. Not Romney as he became to keep his party happy."

Yeah, agrees Kelly McParland one column over (National Post writers seem very interested in the future of Republicanism -- go figure) the GOP can either "trundle along as The Party of No, refusing to accept the country's changing views on immigration, sexual preferences and the inviolability of ever-lower taxes" or they can be... the Democrats, I guess. But hey, Democrat-being seems like a pretty viable electoral strategy at the moment.

Either way, says Post boss Jon Kay, I reckon the re-election of Barry "will come to be seen more as a defeat for conservatism than a second triumph for Obama liberalism." No one voted for a binders-full-of-women Facebook meme, after all.

So clearly the conservative Canadian commentariat consensus is cool with cautious centrist compromise. Worked for Stephen Harper, after all, notes Barbara Yaffe at the Vancouver Sun.

Oh sure, Uncle Ezra might take any talk of watering-down the Republican brand as a sell-out of everything that made America so exceptional in the first place -- the rugged government-hate of "fiercely independent men and women" and so forth -- but that's only because he hasn't been reading enough Michael Den Tandt columns.

America has the Canadian disease now, remember?

And they've got a big Obama-shaped rash to prove it.

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