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Reverberations

The presidential election of 2008 finished nine days ago, and by now most of the emotions have begun to settle. People for whom grace is their natural condition have returned to graceful tone, while those for whom spite and petulance is their preferred environment (sadly present to a significant degree in both major political parties) have continued to attack and defame their enemies and targets. In other words, things are returning to normal.

One thing which occurs to me in this readjustment of mood, is that while this election was important and its effects are significant, we are headed neither for a golden age nor the precipice of gotterdammerung. I am not one of those who believes that the United States shall die as the result of an Obama presidency, and I am certainly no worshipper of this modern Narcissus, nor am I so fooled by any of his dazzling promises, even the ones he has not already tried to wipe from his websites and interviews. What I see here is not so different from many times before, a lot of promises and in performance, ehhh, something less but nothing either of dreams or nightmares.

Since the election, I have been critical of the hype and propaganda from the Obama ('God, only better') camp, and for this have been accused of dining on 'sour grapes'. In the actual case, I consider myself far better balanced emotionally than many, even considering some on the Left who are still inexplicably bitter and foul in their mood and behavior. But there will always be those for whom nothing is ever enough to make them act with courtesy or a gracious tone. In the matter of Obama's election, though, I congratulate him not only on his victory but on the effectiveness of his organization and his near-total control of the media. If he can maintain that control, President Obama will be the first president since Reagan to able to use the media as a tool to help advance his agenda, rather than yet another obstacle or enemy waiting to trip him up or seek a weakness to exploit. Barack Obama also showed himself an adept student of Nixonian politics, wherein he not only played attacks on him into claims of victimization, but also played hard to his party's fringe during the primaries, but swung hard towards the center when running his general campaign, to the point of denying statements and promises made during the primaries. Just as Nixon knew few republicans would vote for Humphrey or McGovern, Obama knew few democrats would consider voting for McCain. And just as Nixon's campaign worked hard to get grassroots support and turnout, so too did Obama's team sweat out the details to get all likely supporters to the polls. In many respects, this year's election was one where democrats were energized, coordinated, and showed up to vote, while republicans were disorganized and allowed themselves to become demoralized and sat out the election.

In many ways this election is interesting, not least because of the myths which were disproven. The first myth shattered, obviously, was the 'Bradley Effect' - while some morons may vote for or against someone solely because of their race, it is not true to imagine that it is a major effect. The second myth, and one still floating around, is that the public really wanted democrats in control. The reason this is clearly a myth, is that despite the economic climate and the scale of Obama's victory, the congressional and senate races did not produce the overwhelming numbers predicted. The democrats made modest gains in both chambers, so it's not as if the republicans have rebounded in public approval (the third debunked myth). It would appear that President Obama will begin his term with fairly high public approval, but the democrats and republicans in Congress and as political parties will see little public support.

I have no doubt that President Obama will make some mistakes early in 2009, mistakes which some will claim prove him unfit for the job. But every president runs into some of that, and it's a poor student of history who believes that when it happens again, it's somehow the first time or proof of inadequacy. In some respects, it will be interesting to see if President Obama learns from the lessons of Presidents Bush and Clinton before him; not only that if a president does not consider his importance in relation to a policy or bill that his credibility with Congress could fail and make later work much more difficult, but also that if a president obsesses about his 'legacy' he may accomplish little work of substance.


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Comments (39)

We're already seeing signs ... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

We're already seeing signs of buyers remorse, we see one of his own kind calling him the 'Anti Christ', and we see the markets reacting to his 'policies'.

Of course the left and the lying lib media will try to put a positive spin on it, but, seems to me he isnt about change at all, many of the same insiders are just back inside again.

Bullshit. Have you seen wha... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Bullshit. Have you seen what Congress has been doing about the economy, or have you been off planet, DJ? Have you paid attention to the stock markets? the credit markets? 2 trillion dollars of Fed giveaways with no accountability at all? And Congress wants to bail out the auto industry? State and local governments running out of cash? the fricking Post Office laying off 40,000 employees for the first time in history? the auto industry on the brink of collapse? And Congress wants to raise taxes in the middle of all this?

Who voted for all that crap, anyhow? BOTH PARTIES.

I must be one of them haters. You, on the other hand, have apparently not been paying attention.

Certain members of congress... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Certain members of congress (past and present) are already mumbling a little bit and saying "WTF?!" The reason we are not hearing it is because they are afraid to voice it out in the open.

Economy was fine in 2006. ... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Economy was fine in 2006. Dims took over Congress early 2007. Coincidence?

BTW, is Biden still in the Witness Protection Program? What will happen 1st, will 'Chuck' stand up, or will Hiden Biden actually agree to an unscripted press conference?

They're just whispering it ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

They're just whispering it in your ear, LaMedusa? What are you referring to?

DJ,I commend you f... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

DJ,

I commend you for pointing out the difficulties a new president may face, but I see no need to cushion what we all know to be coming in an Obama administration.

Respectfully, your last paragraph sounded a little like that Biden speech about "something really bad may happen, and you may disagree with what we have to do, but we need you to support us."

I'll wait until I actually see the bad to happen before going on the attack, but no one gets a pass just because he's the new guy on the job... Except when that new guy has 98% media complicity.

They're just whisp... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
They're just whispering it in your ear, LaMedusa? What are you referring to?

Believe what you want, hyper. If you really want to know, it's up to you to do the "occasional" work.

I see the makings of an epi... (Below threshold)
Burt:

I see the makings of an epic power struggle in all this. It won't be drawn on traditional lines. Obama has been led to believe that he owns the press. But the press believes that they own Obama. This love affair cannot endure. The ensuing rift will be global. Grab a sixpack and some popcorn. It could be highly entertaining for those of us that are into spectator blood sports.

At the same time, SoG, I wi... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

At the same time, SoG, I will give the president a chance to do his job. Until I see his decisions, I will not assume facts not in evidence.

I wrote that I have not been fooled into becoming a cheerleader for Obama. I fully expect him to be leftist in judicial appoitnments, budget decisions, and other areas where he has said what he means to do. That said, when actual decisions come to his desk, he has the public trust to do the right thing. The moment he abuses his power, I will be sure to give him hell for it, but I will not be one of those who condemn him before he's done anything.

Seriously, LaMedusa, what t... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Seriously, LaMedusa, what the hell are you talking about? Who is saying "WTF" to what? I'm curious, I want to know who has the knives out for a guy that is still 2.5 months away from taking office.

The Dems have indeed contro... (Below threshold)

The Dems have indeed controlled both Houses of Congress for 2 years...by signigicant margins. Now they will have overwhelming margins!

So naturally, if the financial situation turns around within the next two years they get all the CREDIT!!

Likewise, if the financial situation DOES NOT turn around within the next two years then George Bush and the Republicans get all the BLAME!!

Here endeth the lesson

Justrand, playing devil's a... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Justrand, playing devil's advo here, what defines "overwhelming margins"?

I just want my free gas, mo... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

I just want my free gas, mortgage payments and free pies.

Obama just proves it's easy to make moron voters out of ignorant people. Nothing new there.

Seriously, LaMedus... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Seriously, LaMedusa, what the hell are you talking about?

Okay, hyper. Here you go because you actually sound like you want the information. It's not the ones who have the knives out for this guy that you want to focus on, but the people discussed in this video who knew what was going on before the election. Again, believe what you want: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8CdxpV682Q&feature=channel

DJ Drummond..."overwhelming... (Below threshold)

DJ Drummond..."overwhelming margins!" to means:

- they have a near filibuster-proof Senate (looks like it all comes down to Chambliss)
- larger margin in the House...meaning even LESS potential for so-called "Blue Dog Democrats" to forestall anything.

add those to a President in lock-step with them (or vice-versa) and you have "overwhelming margins"

The ONLY time the Dems will even seek to have Republicans signing on to a Bill is when they want "another set of fingerprints on the murder weapon"!! (i.e. someone to blame if it goes bad!!)

Otherwise Republicans are irrelevant!

Cry the beloved country!!

One word of advice, Justran... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

One word of advice, Justrand (and bobdog):

Decaf.

the fricking Post ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
the fricking Post Office laying off 40,000 employees for the first time in history?
Why not? Email, Online bill pay, electronic transfers,UPS,FEDEX,DHL.
I listened to about 90 seco... (Below threshold)
JFO:

I listened to about 90 seconds of that insane video you linked LaMedusa. These are the kind of people who think the black helicopters are circling around. Fruitcakes to put it mildly. I guess you must believe because you "want" to believe it. That's too bad.

The moment he abus... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:
The moment he abuses his power, I will be sure to give him hell for it, but I will not be one of those who condemn him before he's done anything.

Then we are in psuedo-agreement. My only caveat is that some of those abuses should be pointed out PRIOR to damage done. I see no problem with being a critic of what I believe may cause great harm to our nation... Though the Obama "vision" seems to change with the wind.

I do not "hope" for an Obama failure. By all means, I would love for him to wave his magic wand and for everything to be rainbows and puppies... But I think we both know that will not happen.

For the most important job in the world, it's imperative the correct decisions be made. With a left-leaning (to put it mildly) school indoctrination system and overwhelming media support, his mistakes will likely be blamed on previous administrations by both his administration and the media (I expect this to be Team Obama's mantra in 2012: "4 years is not long enough to fix the problems caused by those evil Republicans!"). If he is unable to take even a small fraction of the critiques thrown at the Bush administration (of which I've had my own critical observations), then he doesn't belong in the office.

I may certainly be critical of Obama's (changing) policies prior to their execution. Though I have little, if any power to actually do anything to prevent it, I think "wait and see" is far too dangerous for me, my family, and my country.

I will continue voicing my reservations about the president elect...

...But I continue to hope for the best.

Fun time in the old sand bo... (Below threshold)
Rebecca:

Fun time in the old sand box, I see. DJ mentioned that Obama might be able to wield some control over the media. Maybe. But he is limited in what he has the "power" to do. He hasn't gone up against the Congressional entrenched illuminati yet, and there are some wounded GOP junkyard dogs there.

JFO's contribution to the t... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JFO's contribution to the thread? Nothing. Unless you count the usual insults. And LeMedusa, hang on, Hyper is going to put your link down.

I think the bail outs are a huge mistake because the government, in either side, demonstrated many times in history they do not know how to manage. ww

I listened to abou... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
I listened to about 90 seconds of that insane video you linked LaMedusa.

A whole 90 seconds, JFO? I'm impressed! No surprise that you conveniently stopped listening right before they explained Brzezinski's involvement in selecting Obama as the candidate. What would really be too bad is if you are morphing into jp2. I hope you don't mind DJ, but I am going to post this one more time. Not for JFO, because he is already sold out, but for those willing to listen and really want to know what is happening to America and the rest of the world. Please wake up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StY98o75xuQ&feature=related

Again, JFO, believe what you want.

WildWillie, I am okay with ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

WildWillie, I am okay with whoever puts the link down. They can't say no one tried to tell them.

Well, I guess we are soon t... (Below threshold)

Well, I guess we are soon to flesh out the real conservatives from the crazies that William Buckley devoted his life to exposing.

That tape, LaMedusa, is the sort crap thet eats at the root of conservatism.

For the first time ever, I find myself agreeing with hyper twice in one day and JFO on the same topic.

That tape, LaMedusa, is not Reagan conservatism and it is not Buckley conservatism. Friedman would spit on those opinions. So would Kirk.
Here's the short answer sans the long essay: if those conspiracy theories were valid Ronald reagan would never have been elected Governor of California, much President of the United States.

What tripe. I heard this crap in the late seventies and eighties. I thought conservatives had moved beyond that.

Remember this: William Buckley established is conservative bona fides early on by shunning and humiliating the Birchers. Then he sent a strong message to the intellectuals by hiring Whittaker Chambers to demolish Ayn Rand.

That tape, LaMedus... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
That tape, LaMedusa, is not Reagan conservatism and it is not Buckley conservatism.

Hugh, it's not a partisan issue any more. Buckley, by the way, was a member of Skull and Bones. Study the difference between Reagan and Buckley. Check out the history behind John Hinckley Jr., which family he comes from and who that family was close to. It is not a partisan issue. If you want to believe it's crap, believe what you want.

Hugh, it's not a part... (Below threshold)

Hugh, it's not a partisan issue any more. Buckley, by the way, was a member of Skull and Bones.

So this is what you offer in place of four decades of Buckley publishing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-KwOkdgXkU

That was the guy on your link. Remember him?

This is your sponsor for the rebuttal of what? Skull and Bones? I would say give me a break, but I'm afraid what you would link to.

I know the difference between Reagan and Buckley: East Coast conservative intellectual who wrote "God and Man at Yale" meets Middle America conservative who made good in Hollywood.

John Hinckley has (had) nothing to do with it.

Here's a tip: Don't like Obama? Me neither. Engage him and defeat him on policy and philosophy. American voters are much smarter than the conspiracy cultists give them credit for. Voters don't need the crutch of conspiracies, they need leadership and well articulated ideas. Unfortunately Obama did a better job getting his ideas out to the voters this year. I hate that.

But the conspiracy crap is insulting to the intelligence of the great majority of Republican voters. Can't you understand the obverse of that argument, that most Republicans were duped by a conspiracy? Hell, I don't know about everyone else, but I think I'm smarter than that.

One more time, Hugh. Be... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

One more time, Hugh. Believe what you want.

I'm sorry LaMedusa, but Ale... (Below threshold)

I'm sorry LaMedusa, but Alex Jones is a nut job. I'm with HughS, let's dispense with the conspiracy theories and focus on policy and philosophy.

DJ Drummond: "One word o... (Below threshold)

DJ Drummond: "One word of advice, Justrand...Decaf."

Not: "Plastics"???

Decaf?

DJ, my powder's dry...and my head is very clear. We have ZERO time to link and align like-minded folks...ZERO. I started www.bejohngalt.com to bring together people who realize the cliff we are rapidly moving towards.

Want to link/align?? We have several other sites interested, Wizbang would be a great addition! email me if you want to chat

thx!!

cheers,
Justrand

Justrand, lemme get this st... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Justrand, lemme get this straight. Obama is going to reduce the United States to such a horrible socialist wasteland that the John Galts of the nation are going to go live off of the grid and... what... scavenge for stuff in the forest? Yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun. You'll be using Atlas Shrugged for kindling three weeks into your escapade/tantrum.

ODS, 2.5 months before the guy takes office. Can't say I'm surprised.

I listened to the link, LaMedusa. What am I supposed to take away from it? Some conspiracy theorists are conservatives? Okay, noted. Your party lost on the issues and on the politics this past election so I suggest you focus your energy on figuring out how to win an argument in the public domain rather than trying to bring down the entire liberal establishment with tangential ties to crazy people. And I say that earnestly, as debates (especially leading up to elections) are a lot more fun when they're at least a little bit philosophical instead of the McCain-Palin combination of anti-intellectualism and smearing by guilt-by-association. It didn't work and it sure as hell wasn't interesting. It sucked when Buckley died because he was a superhuman buttress against the encroachment of the Malkins and Hannitys and the other neo-morons. The guy read books, used big words, and could hold a conversation with Noam Chomsky. It is no surprise that his son supported Obama, a man whose character I think the elder Buckley would have preferred to the alternatives.

hyperbolist, actually we're... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist, actually we're going to ENCOURAGE EVERYONE to get in line for "Free Stuff". I'll be in line too! :)

The goal is to have EVERYONE demand EVERYTHING for free!! We all have RIGHTS...and Obama's gonna see that we ALL get satisfied! I've already started...just waiting for the first opportunity after "The One" is innaugarated to get a "Free Stuff Stampede" started! Many people don't know how many "rights" they have...or might have. So we're going to encourage EVERYONE to apply for EVERYTHING! Full employment...the Government will need to hire more people just to process the paperwork!!

Socialism, baby! NOBODY should have to work...EVERYTHING should be FREE!! Let's take EVERYTHING from the "wealthy"...whatever it takes!

THAT is what we're getting going. Hide and watch!

p.s. I am very serious

And I say that ear... (Below threshold)
And I say that earnestly, as debates (especially leading up to elections) are a lot more fun when they're at least a little bit philosophical instead of the McCain-Palin combination of anti-intellectualism and smearing by guilt-by-association. It didn't work and it sure as hell wasn't interesting.

Yeah, I much prefer the Joe Biden method, the one where he pulls random "facts" out of his ass any time he needs them. That's much more intellectually respectable.

Did I mention Biden? Did I ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Did I mention Biden? Did I say we should argue like that guy does? He is far more intelligent than Palin, though, his propensity for foot-in-mouth notwithstanding.

hyperbolist: "He is far ... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist: "He is far more intelligent than Palin"

Actually, according to the leading authority on Joe Biden's intelligence (Joe Biden) he is smarter than EVERYONE! Which would naturally make him smarter than Palin...since she's part of EVERYONE!

Joe Biden, 1987 (in fending off plagarism charges): ""I think I have a much higher IQ than you do."

John Wayne line in Rio Bravo talking about one of his hired hands: "I'd say he's so good, that he doesn't feel he has to prove it."

Biden versus Palin? Palin in a walk!

Not according to the voting... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Not according to the voting public, Justrand. Palin limped back to Alaska defeated and humiliated.

Except leftist blogs and activists to offer tongue-in-cheek support for her to run in the 2012 primary. She's completely unelectable.

hyperbolist: "Palin limp... (Below threshold)

hyperbolist: "Palin limped back to Alaska defeated and humiliated."

hmmm...I watched the interview with Greta Van Whatever, Palin was (a) not limping and (b) not looking "humiliated"

the election was NOT a referendum on the relative IQs of Palin versus Biden.

The MSM did a feeding frenzy on Palin that would have made the shark in 'Jaws' envious! No matter WHAT Biden said...it wuickly disappeared from view and consideration. No matter WHAT Palin said it got spun negatively and became THE topic.

Case in point: Palin's rally in Carson, CA. The A/P immediately came out with a story that: "Palin speech laced with racial undertones"

Except, of course, it WASN'T!!

Zip...zero...nada! I was AT the rally, watched every gesture, heard every word. NOTHING! The entire tape is available...watch it! The A/P simply made up a negative story, used their banner to push it and ensured the discussion was not about what she DID say...but whether she was RACIST!!

lather...rinse...repeat for the entire cycle

"I'm sorry LaMedusa, but Al... (Below threshold)
Frank:

"I'm sorry LaMedusa, but Alex Jones is a nut job. I'm with HughS, let's dispense with the conspiracy theories and focus on policy and philosophy."

Anyone check out LaMedusa's SECOND link?

If you had, you wouldn't even bother answering him.

Did I mention Bide... (Below threshold)
Did I mention Biden?

No, you were probably too embarrassed to.

Did I say we should argue like that guy does?

No, but all Democrats are supposed to be scary smart, so I was just providing a counter example. In other words, if you're going to accuse others of being dumb, you got a lot of dumb guys on your side of the aisle, too. Glass houses and all that.

And it's just not Biden's gaffes that make him dumb. He's got dumb ideas, too, but that can be the subject of another post.

He is far more intelligent than Palin

This is a media-promulgated myth that is laughably wrong, but you can believe it if you wish, kind of like those gap-toothed fundies who think that Jesus rode dinosaurs.

If you had, you wo... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
If you had, you wouldn't even bother answering him.

People can think for themselves, Frank. They don't need your "assistance". It's time to re-enforce the Constitution again.




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