Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Congratulations to President-elect Obama
Well, the results were in last night -- and, contrary to my expectations and hopes, Sen. Obama ruled the polls, and it wasn't even all that close.
Let me start by saying congratulations to the man who will be 44th President of the United States, our first black President, the first Democrat to win a majority of the popular vote since 1976. Congratulations, President-elect Obama!
I do not like the man, nor do I particularly trust him. And I have serious doubts about the way his campaign was run, and the serious allegations of voter fraud that run entirely in his direction. Still, to pretend that the election results are anything but an overwhelming endorsement of Obama would be madness. He won; the Presidency is his.
(Don't get me wrong; I'm very proud that the United States has elected its first black President. I just wish that honor had fallen on someone else -- someone without both proven and yet-unexplored ties to terrorism, someone who is not on record as belonging to the Robin Hood school of economics, someone with a track record of achievement and devotion to country instead of credentializing for the next job. But them's the breaks.)
Hopefully this will silence, now and forever, the cries of systemic American racism. I, and many others, have gotten sick of hearing how racist America is, that we're not ready for a black President, that Obama will lose and only racism can explain it.
Racism is not dead in America, but we've come a long way indeed. We've already seen how we can transition smoothly from our first female Secretary of State, to our first black Secretary of State, to our first black female Secretary of State, with barely a mention of how unthinkable that would have been just a few decades ago. And now we have a black President-elect working with a re-elected female Speaker of the House. We're doing okay, folks.
So. What can we expect over the next four years?
Personally, I think that President Obama will spend a lot of time campaigning for reelection in 2012. Using his current job to prepare for the next one has been his entire professional life; this is what he knows. Oh, he gave a wonderful and gracious acceptance speech -- but that too is familiar territory for him. Can he actually deliver on his beautiful-sounding promises? I have my doubts... but we'll see.
He will certainly try to advance the agenda of a liberal-leaning Democratic Party; and he will have the increased Democratic holdings in Congress to help with that.
Beyond that, will he make major strides as President? My inclination is to doubt it; his career thus far has not been one of taking bold stances. On the other hand, even if his tendency is to play it safe, the troubled times in which we live will not let him.
One way or another, we're in for a turbulent four years. And personally, I'm very concerned about the challenges we'll have to face, and whether or not our President-elect is up for them.
But the American people have expressed their faith in Barack Obama. Let's hope that their faith is justified.
UPDATE: The incomparable Steven den Beste weighs in:
I think this election is going to be a "coming of age" moment for a lot of people. They say, "Be careful what you wish for" and a lot of people got their wish yesterday.
And now they're bound to be disappointed. Not even Jesus could satisfy all the expectations of Obama's most vocal supporters, or fulfill all the promises Obama has made.
I think Obama is going to turn out to be the worst president since Carter, and for the same reason: good intentions do not guarantee good results. Idealists often stub their toes on the wayward rocks of reality, and fall on their faces. And the world doesn't respond to benign behavior benignly.
But there's another reason why: Obama has been hiding his light under a basket. A lot of people bought a pig in a poke today, and now they're going to find out what they bought. Obama isn't what most of them think he is. The intoxication of the cult will wear off, leaving a monumental hangover.
And four years from now they'll be older and much wiser.
Read the whole thing. I agree with his prediction that we'll have another Islamic terrorist attack against the United States on President Obama's watch. I very much fear that his prediction of a nuclear Iran, and all-out conflict between Iran and Israel, will also come true -- the combination of an appeasing American President, a toothless Israeli Prime Minister, and militant Islam on the march is not good.
On the other hand, Mr. den Beste is classy enough to add this:
In the mean time, those of us who didn't want Obama to be president have to accept that he is. And let's not give in to the kind of paranoid fever dreams that have consumed the left for the last 8 years. Let us collectively take a vow tonight: no "Obama derangement syndrome". Obama is a politician. He isn't the devil incarnate.
UPDATE II: On the other hand, I had to chuckle at the comments I found here, in response to Michele Catalano's call to "give the President-elect the benefit of the doubt". For example:
So, suddenly since the “right man” is in the office, it’s time to respect it again and move forward? Yeah, if only people had thought of that in 2000 and 2004. Benefit of the doubt my ass. Obama’s gotta prove himself.Or this:
I hope he will prove to be a great man. As for myself, I’ll give him the exact same respect that was given to President G.W. Bush by his opponents. Nothing less, I promise.