Thursday, November 20, 2008

G20 Snubbing

This is just about one the greatest things I have seen...

This isn't the "bully that no one likes". This is the "drunk uncle that stole money from your grandmother". Watch it again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Long Road

Simon Rosenberg lays out just how out of touch the GOP has become.

At this point, I really believe there is a strong argument to be made that the GOP is further from power, more discredited and more out of touch with the American people than any time since the days of FDR and Truman. The GOP's challenge isn't a moderate-conservative one, a North-South one, a black-white-brown one - it is a forward/backward one. They succeeded in dislodging the Democrats in the late 20th century. They blew their shot in this decade to build a durable majority. Their government failed at a level that has done grave and lasting damage to their brand, and their leaders seem firmly grounded in an old politics that is simply no longer credible in this new day. They are going to have to go through a total overhaul. They will have to develop a new argument that meets the emerging challenges of the new century head on; a new electoral map; a new coalition that at some point begins to accept our fast-growing, non-white population; and competency in a whole new set of media and tech tools. They will have to shed the exploitation of race that has been at the core of their domestic politics; shed their raging intolerance of people not like them; of their comfort with politics and theater over governing; of the binary simplicity of the Cold War and the limitations of free market fundamentalism; and of a whole generation of leaders from Karl Rove to Mitch McConnell to Grover Norquist, who were schooled and evangelized in this breed of politics. This task is a big and complex one, harder perhaps than anything the right has had to do since the founding of the National Review in 1955.

A GOP that accepts non-Whites? Right.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama reaffirms his Gitmo position

Let's hope he sticks to this statement from 60 Minutes:

Kroft: There are a number of different things that you could do early pertaining to executive orders. One of them is to shutdown Guantanamo Bay. Another is to change interrogation methods that are used by U.S. troops. Are those things that you plan to take early action on?

Mr. Obama:
Yes. I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that. I have said repeatedly that America doesn't torture. And I'm gonna make sure that we don't torture. Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America's moral stature in the world.

This would be such an excellent way to start bridging the gap that Bush put between us and the world.

The Center-Right of Reality

It seems the fashionable thing to do if you are a conservative whose political ideology was just given the biggest beating since 1993 is to deny that it was an actual smack-down but rather more of a referendum on Bush. Tod Linberg at WaPo points out that the recent attempts to deny the clear electorate movement away from conservatism is simply ludicrous, but since this is coming from the party that praised Sarah Palin for her know-nothingness, I’m not surprised in the least.

The chant that we are hearing is that despite being handed a devastating defeat in both 2006 and 2008; America is still a center-right nation. If that is true, then why would Americans overwhelmingly elect someone that McCain-Palin called “the most liberal senator” ever or a “socialist”? If America is so staunchly center-right, why would they give full power to the left? How about the McCain attack “Redistributor in Chief” or the fact that 56% of the voters thought that Obama would handle taxed better? The last two months of the GOP ticket was solely focused on painting Obama as a radical left-wing nut job who, along with Pelosi and Reid, would in no uncertain terms, spell the end to “America the Free”. One can only assume that this is their political version of the Kübler-Ross model. And it seems that they are still just at level one of the five stages of grief: denial. That’s fine though. The longer they are living is their disillusioned world, the deeper the progressive roots get.

“Here's the stark reality: It is now harder for the Republican presidential candidate to get to 50.1 percent than for the Democrat. My Hoover Institution colleague David Brady and Douglas Rivers of the research firm YouGovPolimetrix have been analyzing data from online interviews with 12,000 people in both 2004 and 2008. It shows an overall shift to the Democrats of six percentage points. As they write in the forthcoming edition of Policy Review, "The decline of Republican strength occurs by having strong Republicans become weak Republicans, weak Republicans becoming independents, and independents leaning more Democratic or even becoming Democrats." This is a portrait of an electorate moving from center-right to center-left.”

Whatever the right punditry wants to call it is fine, but when Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia flipped to blue, the GOP knew that they were going to have to find a way to survive in political darkness they created for themselves.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Clinton as Sec. of State?

I personally don't think she should accept this position. Chris Powers at Open Left thinks that it's a gamble, but one that could pay off.

"This is a high-risk, high-reward opportunity for Hillary Clinton. If she accepts, and serves out six or eight years in a popular Obama administration, then she is practically guaranteed the Presidency in 2016."

Powers also mentions that if Obama is unpopular or public opinion turns on her and she's replaced, then that would be the end of her public life. Her call. I think it would be wiser to stay out of the limelight for a few years and work on getting some solid health care reform under her belt. Both Kerry and Richardson are receiving some attention as well and I am not a fan of either one of them being in the top position. Kerry has no chance in my opinion. Obama would not look like the "Team of Rivals" man that he once claimed to be and Richardson just doesn't sit well with me either. The SoS job is one where you don't want a rival at the helms, but Kerry would rile up the right too much and they don't deserve any more attention for at least a decade.

Wes Clark would be the best choice, but my dreams have been dashed too many times to get worked up about this.

Poor Media Handling

While progressive apathy or indifference might prove to be a hindrance on a left shift in the electorate, there is no shortage of the conservatives in the nation who refuse to let go of their mindless detestation and narrow-mindedness.

The AP and other news organizations have been reporting on "threats" and "plots" directed towards Obama and his family, but have not really delved into anything beyond catchy phrases like "Racism looms" or "Traces of racism still remain in the South". I guess that's one way to dismiss a serious rift in the American electorate, but when I read stories like this one; I start to think that the media’s handling of these "threats" is actually overlooking the significance of such behavior since they’re choosing to report them with no insight, alarm or action.

Cross burnings. Schoolchildren chanting "Assassinate Obama." Black figures hung from nooses. Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars. Incidents around the country referring to President-elect Barack Obama are dampening the postelection glow of racial progress and harmony, highlighting the stubborn racism that remains in America. From California to Maine, police have documented a range of alleged crimes, from vandalism and vague threats to at least one physical attack. Insults and taunts have been delivered by adults, college students and second-graders.

When I read that second graders are chanting "Assassinate Obama!" it raises some serious questions regarding education. However, that can be answered here:

“The day after the vote hailed as a sign of a nation changed, black high school student Barbara Tyler of Marietta, Ga., said she heard hateful Obama comments from white students, and that teachers cut off discussion about Obama's victory.”

This is a time that the nation should be in deep self-reflection on what our past has been and where we can take it now. This type of behavior is inexcusable and the AP and MSM better get there shit together before their fluff pieces on race-relations translate into tangible violence.

Welcome Back

I'm welcoming myself back from a self-imposed break that was much needed and totally taken advantage of. I understand that the timing was somewhat peculiar. Why would I write about the election for over a year and then stop abruptly right before the election? Well, the morning of October 12th, I sat down to do my usual thing where I rail into the farce that was the McCain-Palin ticket and offer praise to my ticket and it hit me. I had become nearly mechanical in my support for the Obama-Biden ticket. To be fair, Obama ran a watertight campaign and I did and still do ardently support him. Still, I lost all ability to fairly scrutinize the ticket. I looked back at some of my primary posts and the tone was much different then. I couldn't figure out why though and that caused some serious derision within me which of course shattered all ambition to write about the election.

It wasn't until recently that I grasped what my problem was. There was this idea that if Obama won this election, we would be living in a new world. It would be a world where the issues of the past would be laid in their proper place. It was as if an Obama win (not an Obama presidency) would purify the nation of its sometimes malevolent past. I, too, had become so fanatical with an Obama win, that I stopped seriously thinking about his presidency.

McCain's "The One" ad comes to mind. Of course McCain was trying to paint an Obama as the anti-Christ, but there was some precision in there. People seemed to believe that an Obama win would be an end-all to their problems. They were anticipating some gust of wind to blow through the ghosts of their past life and open a new door where "hope" could subsist in the absence of empathy.

I remember when Bill Clinton said that Obama’s message was the "biggest fairy tale [he'd] ever heard” -that being, the idea that bipartisanship and most of Obama's campaign mantras would come to a head. He was right. It was a fairy tale prologue. Everything from the speeches to the supporters to the tears and finally the victory was a Cinderella story. Well now, we have all read the story, fallen asleep, had wonderful dreams and it's morning again.

Take this song by released on November 5th.

It's quite a positive song that highlights the remarkable progress that Americans seemed to have made with this election, but the line "I've been fighting for tomorrow for all my life" is particularly interesting to me. It sums up my fear that people were "changing" and "progressing" with Obama for November 4th and that the "tomorrow" he was referring to might not be the future, but simply the feeling of victory on the 5th. Obama was not calling for people to blindly accept his message and candidacy. He was not asking people to vote for him because of the historic nature of this election either. He was asking people to seriously support a progressive agenda and, in effect, help mark the end or at least diminution of American conservatism.

It is a brand new day in American political discourse. Let's just hope some recovering sheep like me stay focused on the message that we so fervently accepted and truly fight for an open and progressive America.