Winning Hearts and Minds
Following a snarling and ugly tenor in the campaign, John McCain on losing (badly), gave a good concession speech, even if his fervent followers seemed inclined to carry on with the nastiness. The Senator came across far better as a good loser than he did as a failing candidate. Palin shed tears, her prayers of the night before having failed, suggesting God was not exactly on her side, so the radical would-be Christian take-over of the US government is delayed. Hopefully her credibility inside the Republican party will remain, so she can run in 2012, making for another rout.
A glance in the NY Times electoral map shows a basic schism in the US electorate: rural vs urban. Out in the country-side, almost from coast to coast, the voting tilted approximately 60-40 for McCain; flip that around for urban areas. The trick is that a lot more people live in urban areas, and so Obama won, by American standards, very handily. Exceptions there were – dominantly rural Vermont went heavily for Obama. Unfortunately if their behavior during the campaign is indicative, at least a sizable contingent of the losing side will likely carry on in destructive actions, doing what they can to gum up the works. As Bush is busy doing in his last days, ramming through agenda driven Executive Orders to tear up protections for the environment, loosen rules for mining, etc. etc. I wonder if, during the inaugural ceremony, Bush will have the pleasure of hearing boos.
I can’t say I envy Obama his position of shit-cleaner-upper for the last 8 years (and more) of crap issued by a derelict government and a lax public. It is an Everest of difficulty. On the other hand, of figures on our political horizons, Barack is the only one who seems of temperament and intellect, plus political acumen and in-fighter smarts, to maybe be able to push things along. Soon it will be time for him to pull up a chair and issue all the bad news in some calming Fireside Chats. Prepare to tighten your belts. Face the music for some decades of willful opulence unsupported by the fiscal means for it. And so on.
I was happy see in the voting statistics that the youth vote went overwhelmingly for Obama. It appears that this was the primary reason for his win. My generation went 65% for McCain nationally. Ugh. No wonder I can’t talk to most of them outside of little cordialities. Those younger 64-50 split 49-49.
Anyway I was happy to see my much-doubted-by-friends-and-readers for the last 3-4 years view that the wind had shifted, and Americans were in general fed up with Bush and all things associated. I guess I feel vindicated. Now the hard part for Obama and company begins – getting out of Iraq, doing the myriad things needed to correct the economic mess, etc. etc. Nope, I don’t envy the man. Just wish him the best.
And then, given the performance of the Democrat controlled Congress of the past two years, largely supine before the deflated swagger of BushCo, one wonders just what Obama might accomplish without a major change of the deck. For example, the House leader will still be this lady, who perhaps explains just why it is I can’t talk much with my peers
She appears ready to give the pit-bull with lipstick a run for her money. Madam Pelosi handily defeated Cindy Sheehan in oh so librul San Francisco district: money talks and… Yes, Mr Obama will have a mountain of work on his plate.