Sunday, November 9, 2008

President-Elect Obama

It feels good to write those words: "President-Elect Obama." I'll enjoy "President Obama" even more. While I never really doubted he would win, it was still difficult to watch the early election returns on Tuesday night when no non-Kerry states had been called for Obama. It got a little better when Pennsylvannia went blue. When Ohio went blue, it was obviously over. Watching Indiana and North Carolina go blue was just twisting the knife in the GOP, which was quite enjoyable for me given how they've acted in the past two decades and for really what the GOP has become: A petty regional party of bigots, the ignorant, and those who would use both to get power for personal gain, and really not much more than that.

Something that gives me hope: Obama is positioned to reverse at least 200 Bush executive orders the day he enters office. It will be fun watching the GOP squirm as Obama exercises his executive power. I'm sure they will suddenly rediscover checks and balances now that they are out of power. Too bad for the GOP that they barely have enough for a filibuster in the Senate and they are completely irrelevant in the house. The GOP as a party deserves to be destroyed - and really, if it isn't, it will just wither and die a slow death. They have no ideas. They won the previous two elections mostly on culture wars and fear, and apparently that can only take you so far. There certainly was no chance of a permanent GOP majority - since the GOP doesn't know how to actually govern (they appoint cronies and just loot the treasury), they can never be in power for very long before imploding. There used to be an intelligent opposition in the GOP. Now there is nothing but bullshit bluster. They've gone from the party of Buckley to the party of Hannity, Rush, and Coulter. Demographics are against them. As the youth vote of today becomes the middle-aged vote of tomorrow and as the bigots of the mid 20th century die off (and stop voting) I think we'll see the GOP lose even more elections as the social policies they rail against become mainstream.

Of course, I am not naive enough to think that the forces that the base of the GOP represent are finished. They are experts at one thing: PR to gain power. And they know how to ruthlessly exploit power when they have it.

I have a small hope that the party can remake itself into an intelligent conservative party. But I think it is unlikely. That's too bad. It is good to have intelligent debate and discussion. Ideas that are not vigorously challenged wither into puddles of bullshit and then harden into senseless dogma. The Dems tend to allow much more debate within the party (and often disagree) - so there is less worries there than there was with the lemming-like GOP, but it is still a worry of mine.

But for now, I celebrate this victory and feel good about it. I also feel REALLY good about another, unexpected victory I alluded to in my previous post. More on that next.

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