Archive | 9:12 pm

Congratulations, President-Elect Barack Obama

5 Nov

This post from Dirty Harry posted last night sums up my thoughts exactly…

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It’s impossible not to be touched by the history that unfolded tonight. Just the vision of a President Obama, his First Lady and their two beautiful girls inhabiting the White House goes so far beyond politics I confess to looking forward to it, if only because of what it says about America.

Of course Barack Obama will be my President. And I wish him all the success in the world in bringing prosperity and security to America. Nothing would make me happier than for him to leave office remembered as one of our greatest Presidents.

When it comes to what’s best for this country, I will recognize when he does right, never celebrate his failures (much), and should he ever decide to put American men and women into a foreign conflict I consider unwise, that disagreement will become a cry for victory the moment boots hit ground.

I was sure the most difficult part of defeat tonight would be in knowing that haters like Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Jeffrey Wells, Bill Maher, John Cusack and their ilk in the unholy HuffPo, liberal Hollywood, corrupt media crowd would have a good night. Even as I write this a gang of jerk-off college kids, flush with victory, are taunting President Bush in front of the White House. But when I watched the crowd celebrating in Chicago’s Grant Park, I realized most of Obama’s supporters are no different than me. As Vice President-elect Joe Biden might say, God love ‘em.

Certainly I’m disappointed by tonight’s outcome and tomorrow it’s game back on in the war of ideas. But for now I take a breath and recognize that the great and grand wisdom of the American people has spoken. There’s no doubt our history is about to lurch off in a new direction and if nothing else the ride promises to be an exciting one.

I recognize many of you are disappointed, some bitterly so. But I remind you that like all elections, 2008 is but a battle in an unending, bloodless war of passionate ideas. Sure, we lost this one. But comebacks are inevitable.

This is America. And I remain as excited and optimistic about the future as I was yesterday, and last year, and the year before that. This evening a center-right country gave a relatively unknown, liberal black man the keys to its future. Whether or not that was the right decision, time will tell. But what’s worthy of recognition tonight is what that decision reveals about the character of America.

All the passion, anger, frustration, anguish, hope, fear, and loathing that went into this election, and yet tonight power transferred without a drop of blood being spilled.

I love elections. Even when I lose them.

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Obama Cultists Cope with Victory

5 Nov

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

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Presidential Hugs All Around?

5 Nov

Is a big old hug from the commander-in-chief the answer? Yeah, I think I’ll pass on that for now.

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Meet the ‘New Politics’, Same as the Old Politics

5 Nov
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Yikes. We're in the sh** now!

Rahm Emanuel Named or Not Named Obama Chief of Staff!?

The first major personnel announcement of the new Obama Administration is out, and the word is that Congressman Rahm Emanuel has been offered the post of Obama’s chief of staff. The announcement didn’t exactly go off smoothly, as this NBC report shows:

From NBC’s Andrea Mitchell A senior Obama advisor confirms to NBC News that Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel has accepted the job of Chief of Staff for the Obama White House.

UPDATE: In an email to NBC News, Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg denies the reporting that Emanuel has accepted the chief of staff job.

If you’re reading tea leaves for what kind of Administration Obama will run, Emanuel does not exactly embody “new politics” and a “post-partisan” future. He’s a Chicago Democrat who worked as a “senior adviser and chief fundraiser” (his words) for Mayor Daley and later worked in the Clinton White House, and he’s known as a hardball-playing scorched-earth arch-partisan in the Tom DeLay mold. He’s been widely seen as a possible future successor to Nancy Pelosi.

Will Emanuel take the job? If his spokesperson is publicly denying that he’s taken it, that’s basically a public slapdown to Obama’s people for jumping the gun in leaking his name, and it’s certainly a sign of initial dysfunction in the naming of what is probably the single most important staff position for a new president who will be facing a sharp learning curve as a new executive.

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UPDATE: HOTAIR has more background on Emanuel:

Believe it — Mr. Cool and Captain F-Bomb, together at last. Yuval Levin reads the writing on the wall:

He is smart and tough. But he has been, in both positions [as Clinton staffer and House member], a vicious graceless partisan: narrow, hectic, unremittingly aggressive, vulgar, and impatient. Those who have worked for and with him come away impressed but not inspired, and generally not loyal.

The White House chief of staff is not a chief strategist or a chief advocate. He is a manager of people and of process. Above all else, he sets the tone internally, and shapes the president’s decision process and the feel of the upper tiers of the administration. Obama is especially in need of someone who will lead him to decisions, because he appears to be intensely averse to making difficult choices—which is the essence of what the president does. His inclination is to step back and conceptualize the choice out of existence, looking reasonable but doing nothing. To overcome this, he will need a chief of staff with a sense of the gravity of the choices the president faces, and one capable of moving the staff to decision, keeping big egos satisfied and calm, and resisting the pressure to be purely reactive to momentary distractions. None of this spells Rahm Emanuel.

Daschle was the touted alternative; instead, he went with a crony from Chicago. Word on the street is that we could be looking at Secretary of State John Kerry by the end of the week. Can you feel it?

How Did This Happen?

5 Nov

mccainobamaI’m still reeling from all that has happened within the past 24 hours. So much has changed and yet so much is the same. New positions for old dems are the talk of the day. Will it be Kerry for Secretary of State? It looks like Rahm Emanuel, former Clinton admin, will be Chief of Staff. Many more names, positions, placements will come in the days ahead. For now, it’s worth investigating how this happened.

I’m not up for the painful analysis just yet. To the rescue comes the awesome, powerful, and super-dedicated Hillbuzz. They’ve already done the introspection for us.

Here is their take on how it happened along with their thoughts on how we can make things work moving forward. I may not agree with every bit, but much of it is worth reading.

I’m certain more theories and more insight will emerge in the days ahead. It’s important to understand how/why this happened so we can apply what works toward future candidates we want in office. Just as we learned much from the weaselly ways the republicans worked to elect Bush twice, we can learn much from how the Obama camp worked to elect their candidate.

5 Nov

Need some help dealing with this shocker? Here are a few tips for coping when your candidate does not win.

A Bit of Humor Courtesy of The Onion

5 Nov

Because we can all use a bit of good cheer…

From the Onion:

Nation Finally Sh** Enough To Make Social Progress

WASHINGTON—After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome.

Enlarge Image ObamaFaced with losing everything, Americans took a long overdue step forward and elected Barack Obama.

Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change.

“Today the American people have made their voices heard, and they have said, ‘Things are finally as terrible as we’re willing to tolerate,” said Obama, addressing a crowd of unemployed, uninsured, and debt-ridden supporters. “To elect a black man, in this country, and at this time—these last eight years must have really broken you.”

Added Obama, “It’s a great day for our nation.”

Carrying a majority of the popular vote, Obama did especially well among women and young voters, who polls showed were particularly sensitive to the current climate of everything being fucked. Another contributing factor to Obama’s victory, political experts said, may have been the growing number of Americans who, faced with the complete collapse of their country, were at last able to abandon their preconceptions and cast their vote for a progressive African-American.

Enlarge Image Shitty ThingsAfter enduring eight years of near constant trauma, the United States is, at long last, ready for equality.

Citizens with eyes, ears, and the ability to wake up and realize what truly matters in the end are also believed to have played a crucial role in Tuesday’s election.

According to a CNN exit poll, 42 percent of voters said that the nation’s financial woes had finally become frightening enough to eclipse such concerns as gay marriage, while 30 percent said that the relentless body count in Iraq was at last harrowing enough to outweigh long ideological debates over abortion. In addition, 28 percent of voters were reportedly too busy paying off medial bills, desperately trying not to lose their homes, or watching their futures disappear to dismiss Obama any longer.

“The election of our first African-American president truly shows how far we’ve come as a nation,” said NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. “Just eight years ago, this moment would have been unthinkable. But finally we, as a country, have joined together, realized we’ve reached rock bottom, and for the first time voted for a candidate based on his policies rather than the color of his skin.”

“Today Americans have grudgingly taken a giant leap forward,” Williams continued. “And all it took was severe economic downturn, a bloody and unjust war in Iraq, terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan, nearly 2,000 deaths in New Orleans, and more than three centuries of frequently violent racial turmoil.”

Said Williams, “The American people should be commended for their long-overdue courage.”

Obama’s victory is being called the most significant change in politics since the 1992 election, when a full-scale economic recession led voters to momentarily ignore the fact that candidate Bill Clinton had once smoked marijuana. While many believed things had once again reached an all-time low in 2004, the successful reelection of President George W. Bush—despite historically low approval ratings nationwide—proved that things were not quite shitty enough to challenge the already pretty shitty status quo.

“If Obama learned one thing from his predecessors, it’s that timing means everything,” said Dr. James Pung, a professor of political science at Princeton University. “Less than a decade ago, Al Gore made the crucial mistake of suggesting we should care about preserving the environment before it became unavoidably clear that global warming would kill us all, and in 2004, John Kerry cost himself the presidency by criticizing Bush’s disastrous Iraq policy before everyone realized our invasion had become a complete and total quagmire.”

“Obama had the foresight to run for president at a time when being an African-American was not as important to Americans as, say, the ability to clothe and feed their children,” Pung continued. “An election like this only comes once, maybe twice, in a lifetime.”

As we enter a new era of equality for all people, the election of Barack Obama will decidedly be a milestone in U.S. history, undeniable proof that Americans, when pushed to the very brink, are willing to look past outward appearances and judge a person by the quality of his character and strength of his record. So as long as that person is not a woman.