Saturday, November 22, 2008


If it's reasonable to draw any conclusions about the meaning of electing Barack Obama, the central one might be that enough people said "enough!" Time to get to work; time to focus on issues rather than politics. That's what I had in mind, anyway.

So the question is, will congressional Republicans rise to the occasion? Will enough of them work with Democrats -- and will Democrats include them -- to the extent that party can be put aside while we work our way out of the many messes in which we find ourselves? Signals from the right are at best, mixed.

Regarding that last link: it's my impression that for mangy Mitch, obstruction has become his mantra. For its own sake. Nor has it faded from my memory -- as it seems to have from his -- that in the first years of the Bush administration (the very term puts the "moron" in "oxymoron"), when Republicans controlled the ball, they made a point of NOT including Democrats in any significant way. And, oh yeah, the Republicans -- who filibustered legislation in the last two years more than any group in any congress in history -- screamed bloody murder back then whenever the Dems threatened or used the filibuster.

To be a politician, you have to have the ability to say a thing and later say the opposite, not only without hesitation but without the least sense of irony. It defines the subspecies.

Time will tell. I do think Obama continues to signal a desire to include everyone; and it's already clear, by way of appointments so far, that he intends to surround himself with brilliant people who are not ideologues. I wonder how long it will be -- if it ever even happens -- before those who characterized him as the "most liberal Senator," a Marxist/socialist/terrorist/Muslim/America-hater will notice? Might be a while.

Even so, I'm cautiously optimistic. Results will speak for themselves. And it will be a survival test for the crazy-talk wing of the right wing: if no crisis is too great; if there is no national need that could ever justify putting aside reactionary rhetoric, then a successful Obama administration might -- as a welcome side-effect -- put their brand of idiocy out of business. And, given the numbers, it'll only require a couple of decent conservatives to make it happen.


Anonymous said...

Jeez Sid, this is like the 10th post since the election where you mention "Bush" somewhere. Your Candidate Won!!! Enjoy it!! Tell the truth I wasn't lookin forward to a McCain Presidency anyways, its gonna be so much more fun to watch a Democrat President not support Gay Marriage, and just shift troops around Lyndon Johnson Style. So lighten up, wait until January 19th to get mad when all the Blanket Pardons are issued,

Shalom, Frank Drackman

Sili said...

I rather like the suggestion that it'll be a good thing if the Dems don't get a filibusterproof majority. But let the Republans do the filibustering. No lazy "this is a filibuster", no. Let them stand there talking till they wet their pants and keel over.

Sid Schwab said...

sili: I've thought the same many times. How feckless of the Dems to let the mere threat end legislation. Make 'em get up in front of the cameras and let everyone see what they're doing. I assume the reason they haven't is because they figure, when the roles are reversed, they'd be forced to do the same...

Patrick said...

My take-homes were different than yours, though not by any means more valid.:

From the general election: My conclusion was not that enough people said enough. It was that the American demographic is finally shifting away from rural red to something decidedly more mongrel (not unlike Obama, and I mean that in the best possible way). With a growing urban population and a steady bleeding of power from the vast middle toward the coasts, the teeter toter is finally beginning to tip. Americans now live in apartment buildings, hail from different races, realize how much they depend upon a functioning economy and infrastructure, and are increasingly socially progressive. I admit, I am preferential to that model because it suggests things will continue to improve with time.

From the 'radio' addresses: this guy is going to milk his honeymoon period for all it is worth!

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