Thoughts on the election




So here’s my take on things. (I know you were dying to hear it)

The Good:
Congratulations to President Elect Obama. He deserves our respect and I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I hope he leads our country well and makes us safe and enables us to be prosperous. Expect me to be the loyal opposition without all the derangement we’ve seen from the other side of the aisle.

This election sends a message to every minority person in the country that yes, they too can be president. We are not a nation of bigots or racists (contrary to what John Murtha would have you believe). If anything white people voted for Obama because of his race rather than against it. The visceral weight of this election for African Americans is something I can’t really process but I can see it.

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the Race Hustlers are going to be unemployed. Good riddance.

This woman lived long enough to see an African American president

Obama won not only as a repudiation of Bush, the GOP or John McCain. That is certainly part of it but it’s more than that too. They voted for him.

It is not the end of the world

The GOP will need to have some drumhead trials and rebuild itself or spend decades in the wilderness. I expect the Evangelicals will find themselves out of the driver’s seat.

Given that I could not have been more wrong, I am out of the political prognostication business. I’m like Delaware’s Dick Morris.

The world will like us again. This is especially important to liberals as European disapproval gives them the vapors.

It ended at the ballot box and not in a courtroom

Liberals must now put up or shut up. They have both houses and the Presidency. No excuses now.

We are not them.

The Bad:

Big Government is going to get bigger

Your taxes are going up (yes you). Either directly or indirectly and probably both.

We have to listen to Biden who now has a global microphone.

Biden was correct. Obama will be tested upon taking office. This is no reflection on the man. Every President is tested upon entering office. I fear he will dither and debate and send extra strong frown beams at our enemies but no more. I hope I’m wrong

He is not going to be able to deliver on many of his promises.

Liberals will excuse anything he does wrong or anything that goes wrong and will hang it on Bush or Republican roadblockery in Congress

One and possibly two USSC picks that will make the 9th Circuit look like a bank of Scalias.

Economic stagnation and depression. Could be Jimmy Carter II if he does what he said he’s going to do.

Liberals appear to be as classless in winning as they are in losing.
I was hoping for way too much, even from the right.

The MSM isn’t pretending to be objective any more.

These people are bound to be disappointed.



A roundup from the right:

Stephen Den Beste

It's easy to let yourself go in despair and start thinking things like "We are well-and-truly fucked" or "This is the worst of all possible outcomes". But it isn't true.

I think this election is going to be a "coming of age" moment for a lot of people. They say, "Be careful what you wish for" and a lot of people got their wish yesterday.

And now they're bound to be disappointed. Not even Jesus could satisfy all the expectations of Obama's most vocal supporters, or fulfill all the promises Obama has made.

I think Obama is going to turn out to be the worst president since Carter, and for the same reason: good intentions do not guarantee good results. Idealists often stub their toes on the wayward rocks of reality, and fall on their faces. And the world doesn't respond to benign behavior benignly.

But there's another reason why: Obama has been hiding his light under a basket. A lot of people bought a pig in a poke today, and now they're going to find out what they bought. Obama isn't what most of them think he is. The intoxication of the cult will wear off, leaving a monumental hangover.

And four years from now they'll be older and much wiser.
(snip)
In the mean time, those of us who didn't want Obama to be president have to accept that he is. And let's not give in to the kind of paranoid fever dreams that have consumed the left for the last 8 years. Let us collectively take a vow tonight: no "Obama derangement syndrome". Obama is a politician. He isn't the devil incarnate.



Some of his predictions:

2. The US hasn't suffered a terrorist attack by al Qaeda since 9/11, but we'll get at least one during Obama's term.

3. We're going to lose in Afghanistan.

4. Iran will get nuclear weapons. There will be nuclear war between Iran and Israel. (This is the only irreversibly terrible thing I see upcoming, and it's very bad indeed.)

5. There will eventually be a press backlash against Obama which will make their treatment of Bush look mild. Partly that's going to be because Obama is going to disappoint them just as much as all his other supporters. Partly it will be the MSM desperately trying to regain its own credibility, by trying to show that they're not in his tank any longer. And because of that they are eventually going to do the reporting they should have done during this campaign, about Obama's less-than-savory friends, and about voter fraud, and about illegal fund-raising, and about a lot of other things.

and 6. Obama will not be re-elected in 2012. He may even end up doing an LBJ and not even running again.


I fear he may be right on #2 but that depends on their ability to project force. If there is a strike I don’t think it will be anything like 9/11. I absolutely agree on #3. We haven’t been focusing on Afghanistan in ages and it shows. He’s also right on #4 but I don’t think there will be a nuclear exchange. The Iranians, as crazy as they are, won’t go that far. They will, however, support terror campaigns in and against Israel. He’s dead wrong on #5. The press will remain in the tank for Obama for as long as he’s in office.


John McWhorter asks if this is The End Of Racism?


I know--what about "societal" racism? Well, if we can now relax about the backward folk "out there," then maybe Obama in the White House can help open up an honest discussion about the role racism does not play in black communities' problems.

Obama has come in for some criticism for not putting forth a "black" agenda--i.e., one designed to combat "racism" in various ways. It's because he knows that paradigm has no useful application to our times.

The harsher penalization of crack than powdered cocaine that has put so many black people in jail needs revision, but it was not created by racists: The Congressional Black Caucus helped pass it. Newark's schools are not failing because of racism, when New Jersey funds them as liberally as schools in the suburbs and most of the teachers and staff are black.

America has problems and our new president knows it. However, is America's main problem still "the color line" as W.E.B. DuBois put it 105 years ago? The very fact that the president is now black is a clear sign that it is no longer our main problem, and that we can, even as morally informed and socially concerned citizens, admit it.

There is nothing at all "unreal" about this. It is, after all, what we were supposed to be working toward. We must embrace it.


Perhaps he should team up with Bill Cosby or something.


I've seen a President that I am generally-inclined to like get crapped on for eight years, and I've seen McCain and Palin (honorable people both, despite policy differences I may have with them) get crapped on through this election season. If the Democrats think that a President Obama is going to get some sort of honeymoon from the folks who didn't vote for him, as a wise man once said: heh.


I hope not. I hope they give them the benefit of the doubt and charity of spirit. He’s facing a tough economic climate at home and foreign policy needs some heavy lifting.

Ever the even keel, Instapundit advises:

Whoever Wins, Chill A Bit


We've had eight years of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Before that, we had eight years of Clinton Derangement Syndrome. And though people forget it now, President Reagan inspired a lot of anger and hatred, too. Can I ask that, regardless of who wins, we tone things down a bit?

You don't have to love the "other guy." You don't have to hold back on fighting against policies you don't like. You don't have to pull punches. But once someone is duly and legally elected president, you do owe some respect to the office and the Constitution. And to your fellow Americans.

We don't have to agree on issues, or on leaders. But if we can't agree that a free and fair election can produce a legitimate president even when it's not the candidate we like, then we've got a very serious problem.


Ron Coleman has some thoughts (excerpts)


* Given that it can’t be replaced, the GOP must be rebuilt from the ground up. A total loss of political power was the only way this was going to happen.
* The most painful thing about this is not that the other side won, but that so very many of them are such absolute insufferable asses.
* But among these asses, none is more contemptible than virtually every member of the Democratic caucus of the two houses of Congress. To them I wish nothing but the worst. Ever word they utter in front of a microphone is encrusted in falsehood, cynicism and a desire for control that makes their most Byzantine fantasy of Karl Rove look like a frat boy.
* Well, okay. The MSM is more contemptible. But their day is coming.
* Sarah Palin may be the most exciting and the most divisive part of the whole story — but those, including many conservatives (including many Pajamas Media bloggers) who believe that one’s attitude toward her is the dividing line in the coming fight for the soul of the “right” are mistaken. It’s a lot more complicated than that, and she’s entitled to a lot more respect than she’s getting even from a lot of people on “our side.”
* George Bush: At the end of the day, probably never forgivable.
* Let’s not be like the other side. Opposition can be fierce, heartfelt and even brutal if need be, but let’s not demonize our adversaries or turn our anger, disappointment or alienation into subversive hopes for our common good, disengagement from the system or just plain obstinacy.
* There’s no room for any games on the race thing. Period.

Effective Inauguration Day, Barack Obama is the President. He’s not “my President” — but only because there’s no such thing as “my President.”

But he’s the President of the United States. My country.


Jennifer Rubin is asking
The Seven Big Post-Election Questions

1. Will President Barack Obama govern as a moderate centrist or a liberal extremist? (snip)
Bottom Line: Expect Obama the liberal to trump Obama the equivocator.


Yes until his political capital and good will are exhausted which may be much sooner than he thinks. He does have Joe Biden there to help him navigate those waters. I may disagree with Joe on just about everything, but he’s been in Washington a looooooong time. He’s no greenhorn.

2. Who will get blamed for the Republican wipeout?
Bottom Line: After months of fighting, the conventional wisdom will be to blame Bush, banish the McCain campaign team, and conclude that the absence of any viable economic message was a significant factor in the loss. And expect conservatives in the base to rally around Palin in the face of an onslaught by the punditocracy which will label her selection as McCain’s biggest error.


Precisely correct. The knives are out for Palin. The McCain team ran a terrible and erratic campaign and are intent on putting the blame on someone else.

3. What will the Republican Congressional minority do?
Bottom Line: Look for a “Heck, no!” strategy while young Turks like Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) strive to develop a comprehensive alternative agenda.


They’ll make mewling noises but no real opposition will be forthcoming. They’ll be in shambles for the better part of a year.

4. Will “continuity” or “change” be the watchword in national security policy?
Bottom Line: Aside from rhetorical flourishes, expect less change than promised. The rub however will come when, as Joe Biden predicted, the first test of Obama’s mettle comes. If he blinks, expect to hear a lot about ”Jimmy Carter II.”


Sort of agree. He will err badly by meeting with someone (like Iran or DPRK) without preconditions and then find himself bemired in a situation without leverage. Talks will continue without progress. Somewhere around 2010 he’ll realize that talking is fine but unless you have a club (military or economic) you’re not going to get anywhere.

5. Who becomes the Republican frontrunner for 2012?
Bottom Line: Palin will work to round out her expertise while Romney will seek to redefine and soften his image. (Combined, they have the brains, charm, and experience for a fairly impressive ticket.) But if conservatives wish to obliterate any memory of 2008, look for Jindal to emerge as the newest outsider with a record of conservative reform.


Way too soon to start this crap. Romney is a phony and if the Republicans know it everyone else knows it in spades.

6. Will there be a crack-up of the conservative punditocracy?
Bottom Line: After a short period of hostility and some columnists “leaving for new opportunities,” pundits will settle down to the business at hand: fighting about the direction of conservatism instead of with each other.


It’s already happening. C.f. Noonan, Peggy

7. What to do about the MSM?
Bottom Line: Technology, reading, and viewing habits and public disgust with MSM bias are powerful influences which will allow conservatives to find and bolster alternative outlets. But they shouldn’t kid themselves. Ronald Reagan got elected twice with no talk radio, no Fox News, and no blogosphere. The MSM is not the source of conservatives’ woes; it just adds to them.


Correct. I’m already hearing a lot of “treat MSM as damage and route around it”. Expect print media to take further beatings with large cuts in staff and circulation.

On the left, John Scalzi offers a Reality Check. Sobering and required reading for Obama supporters.

Powerline offers Ten theses on President-elect Obama

I’ll highlight the few I think are most salient.

2. The secondary thesis of the Obama campaign was that there was a substantial desire among Democrats to move on from the Clinton era. After Obama's Iowa breakthrough and his New Hampshire loss, this theme had legs.

4. Obama's claim to represent a new politics ending partisanship and division is as pure a product of the Bush era as Jimmy Carter's "I will never lie to you" was of the Nixon era. That the products both have a lot of buyers does not mean they have any substance, but they built or build on genuine insight into the will to believe among a significant part of the electorate.

10. The substantially enhanced Democratic majorities in Congress stand poised to pass a raft of legislation that ranges from the destructive to the abominable and the tyrannical. It will serve as an early challenge to the judgment of President Obama, and to the efficacy of the loyal opposition.


Perverse glee from Perry de Havilland


Looking back on this period ten to twenty years from now, the Republicans crying into their beer tonight will be saying "thank Christ it was not us in office then".

Many will find the glee of the statist left over the next few days and weeks hard to endure, but to be honest I have been walking around with a grin all day. Finally the era of gradualism is over and the masks are going to come off. The USA has voted for statism and it is going to get exactly what it voted for at a juncture in history where it will very quickly be impossible to hide the cost of those votes.

Obama is not the start of a new era, he is the death knell for the old one.


He may be right. I don’t know that Obama has the juice to run as hard to the left as Perry does. He may find his political capital expires too quickly. He is absolutely right that this is the death knell of the old era. In more ways than one.

Recriminations abound from Jennifer Rubin Top Thirty Errors That Doomed McCain

Read them if you’re inclined. Personally I need some distance from this before any sort of post mortem.

Andrew Sullivan is mentally ill. In all seriousness I think he is in trouble. He stopped talking about his health some time ago and I’m starting to wonder if he isn’t having some dementia that he either won’t mention or doesn’t know about.

National Review declares that
Obama will get the most lavish and extended honeymoon in history. Every time he walks to the podium without falling down will be trumpeted as the greatest accomplishment since MacArthur returned to the Philippines.


Steyn as always, says it best

Most of all, we should be magnanimous in defeat


The quote of the day:

"Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.

We never hide from history. We make history."
-- John McCain, November 3, 2008.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Loved that speech and love the quote. Great man. I wish he would have had a chance to truly show himself more during this campaign. I think playing catch up with the media for the last several months brought out the worst in his campaign strategy. He should have just been himself and not resorted to the negativity that he found himself surrounded in. I guess he really wasn't given a chance to shine or have any positive spot-light in the media with that big nasty "R" behind his name. Sometimes I really wish we would do away with the two-party system and stop the labeling. Let's run on the issues and may the better man (or woman) win.

I will stand behind my President and support him in his endeavors until I'm given a reason not to.

God Bless America!
Mike W. said…
"Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest of the Race Hustlers are going to be unemployed. Good riddance. "

Want to put money on that?

I bet they come out stronger and nastier than ever.
Duffy said…
I think they'll be unemployed because they were interlocutors between white liberals and the African American community. It also explains why Jesse was so enraged by Obama's ascendancy. We've not heard a peep out of either of them for quite some time. Why do you suppose that is?
knowitall said…
I am going to pray for him, and hope, that's all we can do. But the left-wing illuminati supporters need to know that eloquent words can't protect us.

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