Saturday, November 08, 2008


I didn't realize it until now. My last post before the lapse was about Lincoln and his fight for the Constitution. I described how Lincoln was an instrument of fulfillment of the original vision of equal rights. My first post after the lapse was to welcome Barack Obama, the first non-white president of the United States.

Lincoln may now rest easy. His task is accomplished. Our task has begun.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Change has come to America

It took something monumental to get me off my stupor. Today is monumental.

I've been chewing my nails all day. I was worried it was going to be a squeaker of a race - that it would be down to hanging chads and failed voting machines with cheesy keys and without backups. But I was wrong and how wrong I was. It is such a relief to have a definitive result - a landslide - and not to be worrying about the final votes in the final states. I haven't seen the participation numbers, but I'm optimistic that voting proportions are up dramatically.

Change has come to America.

Barack Obama has run an outstanding campaign. Not just a technical tour-de-force but a campaign of dignity and style. At the end, in his concession speech, John McCain attempted to make up for his rotten campaign, but he'll be remembered as he has acted. A sad end to a noble career. Eight years ago, four years ago, he might have taken it all, but he was up against a sleazy politician from Texas and Maine, a pampered scion of wealth who came equipped with all the dark tools of a brutal trade. Maybe John McCain could have faced such a foe again to win, but Obama took a different road.

I hope this is the end of the sleaze merchants. I'm not sure, and we won't know for another few years, but I hope. In the meantime, we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

George W. Bush has had eight years of practice, and he's not going to stop now. Lack of small-d democratic support has never slowed him down. He's going to try to pour regulations and policies into the system that will gum up the works and take years to undo the damage. The transition team has to learn their new jobs AND watch for devious tricks by the out-going administration. This won't be sophomoric tricks like glue on the toilet seats or tape on the phone, but will be one give-away to his cronies here and a defanging of a protection there. Words will be redefined to be meaningless and entire laws will be disabled. This will not be a cooperative transition, it will be passive aggressive to the end.

But it will end. The people have spoken. Welcome, President Barack Obama.