Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today's Election

Allow me to be the first to point out that even though we've been hearing it for the past two years--only now, with a new president-elect, can President Bush rightly be called a "lame duck" president.

I echo the words of Jonah Goldberg:

(D)uring the debate over the financial crisis, Obama said that a president should be able to do more than one thing at a time. Well, I think we members of the loyal opposition should be able to make distinctions simultaneously. It is a wonderful thing to have the first African-American president. It is a wonderful thing that in a country where feelings are so intense that power can be transferred so peacefully. Let us hope that the Obama his most dedicated — and most sensible! — fans see turns out to be the real Obama. Let us hope that Obama succeeds and becomes a great president, for all the right reasons.

We live in a great nation, as Jim Manzi points out:

Legal racial segregation was prevalent in America within living memory, yet we appear to have just elected a black man to the position of maximum honor, authority and influence in the country...There are about 1,460 days until the next Presidential election, and I assume that I will spend approximately the next 1,459 of them opposing Barack Obama. But I’m spending today proud abut what my country has overcome.

God Bless America.


Anonymous said...

The better man won. :)

mazenko said...

Well said.

Tomorrow we can disagree. Today, we should be proud. I am proud of this great nation of ours.

God Bless America.

Donalbain said...

My gran's gran could have known slaves.

My own parents would have grown up in a segregated America (if they were American).

As a country, you have an ENORMOUS amount to be proud of today, in that regard.

allen (in Michigan) said...

With all due respect to Mr. Goldberg and Manzi, I think this is a sad day in American history.

Is there much doubt that Obama was elected *because* of the color of his skin? Stripped of that the content of his character hardly makes him a worthy contender for the presidency being nothing more then a fairly artful, left-wing ideologue if his sparse pronouncements on matters of policy can be creditted.

My take is that identity politics, from which Senator Obama derived a significant portion of his support, is always venomous. Identity politics is always corrosive of a democracy since it undercuts the one assumption without which democracy is impossible "we hold these truths to be self-evident....".

So rather then being a historical occasion which marks the end of the oppression of Americans of a certain skin color it marks, I believe, the fact that identity politics is still with us and is a force to be reckoned with. The only question to be settled then is who does the oppressing and who's the oppressed?

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with allen from michigan's sentiments.

If we have truly moved past racial divide. . .why are we still talking about it?

I don't wonder if minorities want an equal playing field. I wonder if they want the upper hand.

MikeAT said...


God Bless America. We will need His help.

As I wake up to the new day with a touch of hangover, I fear for the future of this county. I got into a heated discussion with two officers (Obama supporters) at the station last night and one thing they couldn’t do is tell me what he stood for. One was very firm about “We’ve had white guys for over two hundred years and now we have one black man and you go nuts…” I gave examples of B Hussein Obama’s policy points (he likes high gas prices, he is really against coal (where we get half of our electricity), he will surrender in Iraq but wants to invade Pakistan, etc) but he didn’t want to listen or debate these facts. Is this is what we’ve gone down to?

Yes, this country will survive. But we can be so much more…and we will not when people who never had a real job are now running the Executive and Legislative branches.

As I said, long night and a touch of hangover…

Doug said...

The Chicago Machine is well versed in the mechanics of oppression.
BHO has played by those rules for over twenty years.

...and he will soon get to install a majority in the Supreme Court ready to take on that "fatally flawed" worn-out document, the Constitution of the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

Why only now can we begin to recognize how poor George Bush's performance was during his term(s) as president??

Cameron said...

Allen, you're horrendously ignorant if you think the only thing special about Obama is the color of his skin. He is looking for real change, change that's been needed the last 8 years, change that McCain is not interested in. I'm sure you've heard that already, though.

Anonymous said...

Identity politics? I'm sorry, but did you see the audience for McCain's concession speech? All white, all the time! And then did you see the audience for Obama's victory speech? True American polychromatic.

Whites oppressed blacks for a very, very long time in America. Let me know when you sense the clock starting on blacks oppressing whites.
a. It won't ever happen and
b. (Purely academic) Let's see if it runs 400 years so as to balance things out. Of course, a (above) obviates any need to worry about this.

I don't foresee shackles in any white people's future.

Aside, were we all listening to the different reactions when each candidate mentioned his opponent? Loud derision in Arizona; respectful applause in Illinois.

Ellen K said...

On our local Fox affiliate, the two chosen African American commentators reiterated constantly how a vote for McCain equals racism. So even though I research issues and chose not to support the candidate that mandates more corporate taxes (which will lead to business closures and unemployment), taking of 401K retirement accounts to fund government programs and partial birth abortion-those issues mean nothing because it's just about race. How long will Obama get a free pass? The media has yet to ask a tough question or to delve into his past. If Obama truly wants to unite us as he claims, then he will first have to silence those voices of Afro-centrism that predominate his coalition. If he doesn't make a move that way and soon, we may see the resentment of the lower and middle class whites erupt into worse bias than we have seen before. BTW-can someone PLEASE move John Wiley Price to another city? Or offer Bob Ray Sanders a job at a Washington News paper? They create more havoc and problems than they ever solve.

neko said...

- Loud derision in Arizona; respectful applause in Illinois.

It was only respectful because they won. It is easy to be gracious when your the winner. Had Obama lost, I guarantee there would have been far worse than "loud derision" from the Left.

Anonymous said...

You're kidding about the Supreme Court, right? There are currently four hard-right conservatives: Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts. Seven of the nine are Republican appointees.

The next two to go (Stevens and Ginsberg) are considered "liberal" (at least by the FoxNews crowd).

IF Obama has the guts to appoint a William Brennan-style liberal and perhaps Hillary Clinton, the liberals remain outnumbered 2 to 1 by the hard-right conservatives. Alito, Roberts, and Thomas are the youngest justices. Seriously, Doug; you've got little to worry about as far as the SCotUS is concerned.

Anonymous said...


Comeon' now, you can do better than that...

Ellen K said...

Clinton doesn't have the judicial experience nor does she have the history of entering judicial articles to the journals that matter. I predict that we could see some loyal members of the Ninth Circus elevated to the SCOTUS simply to appease San Francisco activists that won't be pleased at the moderate path President Obama may have to tread. *shudder*

allen (in Michigan) said...

So Cameron, if tomorrow I wake up filled with enthusiasm for these unnamed changes that Obama's *looking* for will I no longer be ignorant? Dang, and I thought becoming not-ignorant required tedious study and thought but all I've had to do all along is see the wonderfulness of Obama? Where do I sign up?

Ok, enough with the snark.

Enthusiasm for Obama doesn't signal being knowledgeable any more then being unimpressed with Obama is a sign of ignorance. The charge of ignorance is the sort of callow insult thrown around in high school to indicate social unacceptability and I'm not in high school.

Rather then wasting your time, and mine, ineffectually trying to flog me in the direction of what you perceive to be the popular, and thus unquestionable, viewpoint perhaps you could list some of Obama's accomplishments that leads you extend him credibility on his promises? In other words, what's the guy done to cause you to believe what he says he's going to do?

Here's what I see.

Obama's a freshman U.S. senator with no particular accomplishments to point to in his brief tenure in the U.S. Senate and a state senator with little to point to from his time in the Illinois senate. The results of his stint running the Annenberg Challenge is failure and his teaching career was notable for the lack of any scholarship that it produced.

As for the first of our anonymous commentators - and why the heck can't you adopt a handle? The vast, right-wing conspiracy of which I'm a part, already knows your name, address, preferences in Chinese food, hat size and has replaced your cat with a spy-droid - I don't think the complexion of the victory party participants tells us much about candidate intentions. I prefer what they've say and how they've voted if I'm trying to divine what they're likely to do.

Obama's been pretty unstinting in his devotion to racial set-asides and affirmative action. Of course, as a good progressive you've got your pro-affirmative action talking points memo filed properly but save yourself the effort of digging it out. Racial discrimination has no nuance to it as far as I'm concerned and all the justifications for affirmative action consist of obscuring what it really is which is racial discrimination. That means I'm not interested in hearing the justifications, again, since the act itself is unacceptable in a democracy. So enough of the right kind of racial discrimination isn't going to offset the history of the wrong kind of racial discrimination, it'll just perpetuate the practice.

Anonymous said...


Comeon' now, you can do better than that...

Pot, kettle, black baby. You may impute racial overtones if it suits you.

Cameron said...

Unnamed changes? What are you talking about? I voted for Obama because of all the change he's talked about. McCain is NOTHING new. What sort of change is Obama going to bring? How about making America care about science again? That ONE change is reason enough to vote for him, especially against McCain. The science program under Bush was so extremely embarrassing.

How about his tax plan? I think it's great, while McCain's is obviously ridiculous:

Those poor rich people need the hugest tax break, of course! They earned it!

And if you're just going to take all of this and say "He won't keep any of his promises," then I guess we'll just have to wait and see. My vote for Obama was also a vote against McCain, and I'm 100% confident he'll make the next four years a lot more bearable. You can spend the next four complaining about being taxed, having a black socialist president, etc.

allen (in Michigan) said...

> I voted for Obama because of all the change he's talked about

That'd be about the only reason to have voted for him since he certainly hasn't demonstrated much ability to get anything done other then himself elected.

But let's look at some of those promises:

> How about making America care about science again?

I could respond a couple of ways since you're being a bit vague.

For instance, Americans who care about science make a big enough chunk of the populace to support the Discovery Channel, Nation Geo Channel, History Channel (yeah, there's science stuff on), Animal Planet, a whole little industry of science-oriented summer camps, science/technology-oriented competitions and publicly-supported labs of all shapes and sizes.

But that's not what you meant, was it?

My guess, since you weren't specific, is that "caring about science" in this context means trying to put an end to human embryonic stem cell research restrictions. But of course it's the research that's the science, not the restrictions. The restrictions are political in nature so what you're hoping Obama will accomplish is to hand you a political victory that you prefer to tart up as science. That's because posing the debate as the noble, and courageous, pursuit of knowledge versus trogloditic, religious ignorance has a better pedigree then "because I wan nit".

> Those poor rich people need the hugest tax break, of course! They earned it!

In fact, they did earn it. But you'd like to think of yourself as generous, as opposed to those rich people who have so much and aren't willing to share it according to what you've determined to be their responsibility. But you're not being generous. You're being disdainful. Your disdain however, doesn't help poor people at all and I wouldn't find it all that surprising that the extent of your concern for the poor starts and ends with what comes out of your mouth.

> And if you're just going to take all of this and say "He won't keep any of his promises," then I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

No, we won't have to wait and see.

All politicians over-promise and under-deliver. Remember, this is a representative form of government which means we get politicians not all that different from us and if you haven't noticed people are much more likely to promise then to deliver. Especially if it's to their benefit.

Since, try as I might, I didn't see a halo floating over Obama's head, I judge him to be a human being and not a particularly distinguished human being. So I don't expect any particularly superhuman qualities from him. That means he won't deliver on all his promises, he'll under-deliver on most of his promises and he'll still be in an excellent position to cause a great deal of harm to many people by making good on what few promises he does make good on.