Wednesday, November 05, 2008


From the Washington Post:

Obama Wins Historic Presidential Victory

Democrat Barack Obama was elected the first African-American president of the United States Tuesday, capping a meteoric rise for the freshman Illinois Senator whose message of change resonated with a broad cross section of anxious voters eager for a clear break from the policies of the past eight years.

"If anyone out there still doubts whether America is a place where all things are possible ... who still questions our democracy, tonight is your answer," Obama said at midnight eastern time, speaking before a massive crowd at Grant Park in Chicago.

Obama said the nation is not a collection of red states and blue states. "We are and always will be the United States of America," he said.

Obama, 47, defeated Arizona Sen. John McCain (R) Tuesday by a convincing margin, appearing to hold every state won by Democrats in the 2004 election while making significant inroads into previously Republican states in the South, Midwest and Mountain West. Obama won the battleground states that drew the bulk of both candidate's attention and resources during the campaign -- Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Virginia.

His victory, along with the expansion of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, gives the party complete control of both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since 1994.

More here.

Back in 1992 I attended a small gathering of liberals I knew in Austin to watch the election returns. Clinton won with a plurality of votes, thanks to Ross "the Boss" Perot's weird renegade independent candidacy. The room exploded into joy and dancing when talking heads called it for old Bill. The dancing continued for some time after, hours in fact.

Maybe it was because I had only recently decided that I was a liberal, and instinctively understood that the Reagan revolution was far from over, but while I watched the celebration around me, I had a bad feeling about it all. "The conservatives aren't going to just go away," I thought to myself, "This victory party is premature." Within a year, Clinton's signature proposal, health care reform, went down in flames. Gays-in-the-military only heralded the arguably worse policy of renewed witch hunts called "don't ask; don't tell." Within two years, the Republicans had taken both houses of Congress for the first time since Eisenhower was in office. Within six years, that Republican Congress had impeached the president.

Then came the Bush II era.

So my bad feeling back in '92 turned out to be much more right than I had feared. The Conservative Movement wasn't done; it was only just getting started.

I spent tonight watching election returns with a small gathering of liberals in New Orleans. This time, the Democrat was elected in an electoral landslide. No dancing when the corporate news people declared it for Obama, but we were all very pleased, serious but pleased. And I didn't have a bad feeling this time around. I mean, conservatism has been lying in ruins for some months now, but Obama just drove a stake through its heart. Actually, I'm very hopeful tonight. The Conservative Movement is dead. America is celebrating this new era, but appears to be determined to get it right--people seem to understand that we can't just go home now and expect everything to work out because we put another Democrat in the White House. I think this country is serious about cleaning up the mess left behind by nearly thirty years of Republican leadership.

Things are looking up.

Oh yeah, Nader lost. Bummer.