Open thread on the ’08 election

Obamaataipac2mar07 Let’s have at it and don’t forget to look at the prospects for the parties that emerge from today.

I think Obama and the Democrats are going to do very well today.

The following groups will be disappointed in the first Obama administration and in this order:

1- The far Left. (Binh {corrected}, etc.)

2- Many Black Americans

3- Arabs and Muslims

4- Characters like Chris Matthews.


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63 Responses to Open thread on the ’08 election

  1. Andy says:

    I agree with your list completely. After eight years of blaming Bush for everything under the sun, all those groups have wildly optimistic mindsets on what Obama can and will do. Maybe they think they’re electing a King? Expectations have been put so high that it will frankly be impossible for Obama (or any politician) to meet them.
    I also agree Obama will do well and will probably win, but I think the race will be tighter than the polls predict. The recent disclosure of Obama’s comments concerning the coal industry will not play well in several battleground states and could tip the balance to McCain in one or more.

  2. Tosk says:

    Also destined to be disappointed – those who want to have President Bush, VP Cheney, and other senior folks hauled up to answer for their deeds. A President-elect Obama will develop a great respect for the Office of the President… and will impeded this from happening.

  3. Cato says:

    Colonel: How about your right wing types? Do you think any of them will feel disappointed tomorrow morning if your prediction comes true? Then again, since they always seemed happiest when they were in opposition, maybe they secretly won’t be disappointed.

  4. Anon AF says:

    I tend to think elections do not to matter “too” much. The structure of “the system” – fragmented power between the two chambers of Congress, the judiciary, and the President, to say nothing of the states – means “change” is hard to effect. Beyond the government itself, the problems have their own built-in constituencies and actors to muddle things: take health care, where doctors, insurers, hospitals, nurses, retirees and others all have a stake. As Bismarck, said, you don’t want to see sausage or legislation getting made.
    Most people are always unhappy with the status quo and assume voting for someone new will make them happier. Change is hard to effect – just look at GW Bush’s inability to get traction for his domestic policies. Even the most powerful person in the world faces considerable constraints.
    The above notwithstanding, I do think this is a more important election than usual. I am not sure anyone has a good handle on the economic/financial crisis, or how to solve it. There are also myriad problems that need to be fixed: the most expensive and least efficient health care system in the developed world, declining infrastructure, poorly educated kids, immigration, to say nothing of at least two wars (and maybe more, depending on how widely you define the war on terror. I *do* think Obama will be more able than McCain to solve these issues – hence why I support him – but I think it’s unrealistic to expect him to have too much of an impact. The problems don’t get “solved;” they get managed. Too much is beyond the control of one man, even if he has a staff of 1500 or 2000 backing him up in the Executive Office of the President. These are complicated problems with a lot of actors, including built-in complications by design (i.e., the separation of powers).

  5. FDChief says:

    I’m curious: why “Arabs and Muslims”?
    I’ve always thought that one of the least addressed issues in this campaign is the degree to which the U.S. has tied its own hands geopolitically, between our reckless disregard of reality on the ground we’re fighting on and our riches-to-rags fiscal irresponsibility, I suspect that we’ll be struggling hard to hang on to what influence we have in another couple of years, much less the hegemonic fantasies of the Dougie Feith crowd. So we can’t “stay”, not in the long term, really.
    But, on the other hand, we’ve augered hard into southwest Asia. To go anywhere in a hurry is to risk a withdrawl becoming a rout. So the status quo is gonna be the status quo for a long time. So we’re not “going” anywhere anytime soon.
    If there are common Middle Eastern fantasies of the disappearance of U.S. troops and a sudden reversal of the U.S.-Israel Co-Prosperity Sphere stemming from an Obama victory – and I have no real idea how common a notion this is – then, yep, there’s gonna be some sad, sad Koran-wallopers out there. I’m guessing these are the “Arabs and Muslims” you’re talking about.
    The Kurds? Not so much, I think.

  6. Ronald says:

    re: the disappointed. I agree. Despite the frothing rhetoric, Obama’s just not much of a radical.
    By the way, I think it will be closer than the polls suggest. Just a gut feeling.

  7. Curious says:

    Virginia voter suppression report is increasing…
    Early reports indicate that Virginia may be the state plagued by voting issues this time around.
    At one precinct in Richmond’s north end, hundreds of people encircled a branch library by 6 a.m., the scheduled opening of the polls. But the line grew for another 25 minutes before the poll workers opened the doors. They said the librarian who had a key to the polling place had overslept. […]
    In Chesapeake, approximately 1,000 voters stood in line to vote, and some people reported malfunctioning machines.
    Pollard said paper ballots were brought into one polling place in Henrico County, in suburban Richmond. In Petersburg, the wrong machines were delivered to a polling place.
    Pollard said reports of optical scanning machines not recording votes were likely the result of the wet weather.
    And it gets worse:
    At George Mason University in Fairfax, Provost Peter N. Stevens wrote in a campus e-mail that a hacker had entered a message into the university system stating the Election Day had been rescheduled.

  8. jonst says:

    Matthews will be disappointed only if he thinks to be so will benefit his chances (however slim in reality they may or may not be) at winning a Senate seat.
    If not…he will be Obama’s biggest supporter.

  9. mo says:

    Arabs and Muslims? Which ones? The Saudi wing or the Iran wing?
    I would be extremely surprised if either side was stupid or naive enough to think that much will change. The walk may be made to seem softer but the big AIPAC moulded stick will still be there.

  10. Patrick says:

    Aluminum foil alert!
    There isn’t any “vote suppression” going on so far in VA.
    Things happen. Poll workers oversleep, etc. Breath slowly and deeply. You will be all right. pl

  11. TCG says:

    1) Obama will win and he is a smart guy so I assume that he will try to govern from the center.
    2) Nancy is going to have her hands full with a whole bunch of new democrats from the past two elections who may think they earned their election on their own instead of due to the democratic party and opposition to Bush’s failures. Result: Nancy will have to herd Cats not fully committed to making tough votes for the sake of party loyalty.
    3)Redistricting after the 2010 census could lock democratic gains in the house for many years. So the 2010 midterm elections both at the state level and federal level in states like Virginia will be a matter of survival for the GOP.

  12. m savoca says:

    Yes Colonel Lang i agree. People will be surprised how “from the center” Obama will govern on many, (but not all) issues.
    an interesting anecdotal story from his law school years says it all.
    Having been elected president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama used his appointment powers to put three members of the campus chapter of the federalist society, on his governing board…persons with whom he had philosophical disagreements, but for whom he had tremendous intellectual respect.
    A president Obama will be very unlike this current administration in that Obama will “argue with himself”, and surround himself with capable advisers of various stripes, and promote policy debate.
    This should not be a surprise from a guy who said he is willing to open up diplomatic channels with adversaries and even enemies.
    The failure on the part of the bush administration to do this is no where more apparent than the disregard of the the Iranian initiative after the early days of the Iraq war where the, then, relatively moderate Iranian leadership offered to recognize Israel, help US efforts in Afghanistan and cease support for insurgents in Iraq.
    the Bush administration not only failed to accept or counter this offer which was carried forth by swiss embasy officials, but to this day the Bushies fail to acknowledge the offer.
    All i can say in closing is thank God Bush did for his party what he did for the USA. The Republicans who supported this incompetant are political toast and will get the spanking today they deserve.
    In the long run one can hope that greatness will return to the Republican party because the country needs smart and honest debate from both sides of the aisle.
    (example?, sure, Christie Todd Whitman, X gov of the state of NJ would have made an excellent running mate for John McCaine and with assistance in the area of foreign affairs, a fine presidential candidate in her own right.

  13. Curious says:

    List of things that Obama will be in difficult position immediately:
    1. stabilizing the economy will be job number one. (nothing works without working economy. therefore, a lot of campaign promise will take second seat)
    2. Budget. Massive $1T in the red and climbing. He has to do keynesian spending, but at the same time the deficit may be reaching what the world is willing to supply (eg. no more treasury buyers, interest will start climbing fast)
    3. Israel. Neocon vs. get out of Iraq. This will be very complicated. Specially since war in Iraq is very profitable. (Including Pentagon three quarter of a trillion budget)
    4. Corruption and high crime investigation gets bogged down. (senate refuse to cooperate, even with democratic majority. AIPAC wins)
    5. Cheap oil prevent Obama doing his environmental agenda.
    6. Unlimited government spying continues. (I hope this doesn’t happen, because Obama will be out of office by first term. if he doesn’t fix this.)

  14. Mattias says:

    I believe people waiting for the disappointment will be the first to be disappointed. Or perhaps a few congressmen who underestimate him.
    You are probably correct that Obama will not be able to achieve as much as his supporters hope. But I’m sure he will be able to sell his small accomplishments and his story and thus remain popular.
    Btw is Maddow really far left, rather than slightly left of center? Shouldn’t the far left label be kept for some Trotskyites or other left-wing equivalents of the neocons?

  15. Dave of Maryland says:

    The one thing that made me grudgingly okay with an Obama administration is that he seems to be coming with a large group of yahoos. Much like Reagan in 1981, or Andy Jackson long ago, for that matter. But then I thought, watch out for the yahoos.
    First time I’ve ever seen a line to vote. We waited about 20 minutes.

  16. Fabian says:

    I would find it hard to be disappointed in President Obama. I expect lots of grand rhetoric and gestures from Obama, but find it hard expect anything of substance.
    My eyes will be on cabinet, administration and judicial appointments. Let’s see who Obama will choose to surround himself.

  17. Curious says:

    from 538
    Today’s Polls and Final Election Projection: Obama 349, McCain 189
    It’s Tuesday, November 4th, 2008, Election Day in America. The last polls have straggled in, and show little sign of mercy for John McCain. Barack Obama appears poised for a decisive electoral victory.
    Our model projects that Obama will win all states won by John Kerry in 2004, in addition to Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Florida and North Carolina, while narrowly losing Missouri and Indiana. These states total 353 electoral votes. Our official projection, which looks at these outcomes probabilistically — for instance, assigns North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes to Obama 59 percent of the time — comes up with an incrementally more conservative projection of 348.6 electoral votes.

  18. Matthew says:

    1. The Far Left is always dissatisfied. And cannot be otherwise. (Listen to Democracy Now for evidence.)
    2. Obama disappointed fellow black students on the Harvard Law Review by appointing three Federalist Society types to “mast head” positions on the Review, and only one black student. (He will be insufficently radical.)
    3. Arabs and Muslims will be totally disappointed because an independant, vibrant ME is not in any American president’s interest, despite all the nonsense we hear on TV. With peace and prosperity, we have not reason to stay…and lose the best market for our Arms Manufacturers.

  19. Like JFK people will keep hoping OBAMA will be an outstanding President throughout his first term. In reality the policy choices are so difficult–what the Public Administration types call “Wicked Problems” that mustering new directions will prove extremely frustrating. Again a President will turn to or events will turn him to international relations as the most fruitful arena for his skills. Since it also is badly in need of repair of the real substance of US Foreign Policy this will consume most of the first administration. Anything left over will be applied to the hard regulatory choices domestically unless the US just wants to adopt the EU regimes on Antitrust, Environmental regulation, and such arcane subjects as accounting. Perhaps some time will be spent on education but little on K-12 issues. Very disappointed in OBAMA will be those like me who believe the military-industrial-academic complex is the root of all evil for now in the US. The Israelies who believe that they have a new blank check from OBAMA. The Environmentalists who think a green revolution will be lead by OBAMA. The k-12 teachers (again). And the DEMS in general. The Republicans are going to be thrilled by OBAMA’s policy choices and appointees unless of course they (the Republicans) speak and understand only “TEXAN.” High on OBAMA will be Mexico and CANADA. OBAMA will lay the ground work for the admission of several new states, just as Jefferson took advantage of international events to sign the Louisiana Purchase thereby launching take-off for Robert Kagan’s “Dangerous Nation.” Below the horizon, some amazing changes will occur in public perceptions of what American life is all about under OBAMA. The Baby Boomers will regret that their representatives were Bill Clinton and George Bush in the White House. So be it, time to pass the generational Torch. Former Presidents will be listened to, treated with dignity and respect, but their advice will seldom be followed. Oh! And Pat Lang will be asked to help reform the Intelligence Community reform (I hope).

  20. Ed Webb says:

    Moderate Republicans will likely be disappointed as their party gets torn apart by the Palinites. On the other hand, they may seize the opportunity to reclaim their party, marginalizing the fundamentalists and rebuilding around fiscal conservatism, in which case it is the Palinites who will be disappointed. Who knows? Interesting times guaranteed, either way.

  21. frank durkee says:

    Two thoughts re: change. First the financial crisis [both Wall and main streets, plus some some direct actions to forstall foreclosures ] has already and/or will drastically change that enviornment. Add to that measures to alter the regulatory system. Second the new realism of Gen. Petraus and others in the higher echelons of the armed forces combined with the various local realities in the Middle East and west asia habe already begun to significantly alter the situations in that arena. While much will need to be done, more than we seem to recognise has or is happening. the odds are at least 50% that these landscapes will be very differnt by Inaguration Day than they were a year before that day.

  22. bstr says:

    Dear Sir, Rachel Madow is a far cry from far left.

  23. Mattias says:

    Any chance that Obama will be able to continue the work of Reagan and actually retire some nuclear warheads? I do believe he has promised to work for nuclear disarmament rather than just against nuclear proliferation.
    If he does disarm is there any chance that he could actually retire the missiles as well, with the retaliatory capacity sitting in storage rather than always being online? Or is it simply impossible to design such a storage so you can be confident enough that it will survive a surprise attack?
    Yeah I guess I’m setting myself up to be one of the far left disappointed types (proud member of the Swedish green party).
    This is perhaps not the most important issue for American voters. But it would sure be nice if you would elect people far-sighted enough to take care of this issue as well.

  24. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    An Obama win strongly suggests that if the Republicans are to survive as a political party, they will have to do something about the seemingly irresolvable ideological conflict that divides it: Those voters whose politics are directed by a theology which divides the electorate into two groups; the believers and the non-believers, and which discriminates against those who do not believe, and those voters whose politics are based on non-sectarian principles more in keeping with the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence and for whom theology is something that occurs nowhere except on the country’s currency.
    It will be interesting to look at the final poll results to see how many of the former group supported Senator McCain, where they are located and whether such variables as religious affiliation can reasonably be inferred to be the basis for their vote.
    Whether an Obama win will be of sufficient magnitude to create the kind of political disaster that will obligate Republicans to reframe their thinking about how best to win elections is yet to be seen.

  25. Nancy K says:

    We live in a fairly conservative part of Southern Ca, so I’m not sure how people were voting. However, at
    6:45 am there was a line of around 25 people and that it unheard of here. My daughter voted in Beverly Hills at 11:00 and said there were a few hundred in line. I’m 61 and there is an excitement about voting this time that I have not seen before.
    Will I be disappointed in Obama, I think not. I will be so happy to be rid of Bush/Cheny/Neocons. I feel Obama, if he wins, will be a centrist and will have people from both sides of the aisle in his cabinet.
    If he loses, God help us.

  26. S.D. says:

    This is a referendum on King Bush’s 2 terms. It is a repudiation of him, and his policies, Domestic and foreign. It’s an ‘accountability moment’.
    If Obama wins, it is not the arrival of the messiah, but at least we won’t have the ‘War president’ around, nor the real neo-con candidate of 2000 that Admiral’s son, McCain. What a disgrace.

  27. Steve says:

    “When the votes have been counted tonight, the G.O.P. will reap the final fruits of its Southern Strategy. The Republican Party will have transformed itself from the Party of Lincoln into the Party of the Old Confederacy. We will find that John McCain has achieved his best results in the Old Confederacy—to which only a sprinkling of thinly populated states of the Plains and Mountain West will be added (states that share strong demographic similarities with the “Confederate” states). The core of the congressional G.O.P. will be drawn from the Old South. Moreover, surveying the party’s leadership from the last decade, the predominance of white male Southerners will be clear. The 2008 elections will likely see Republicans falling to their Democratic adversaries in New England (which is now unlikely to return a single Republican to the House of Representatives), the Midwest, the Southwest, and the Pacific states.”
    It has now come to pass… the old Dixiecrats are now “officially” the new Dixiecans.

  28. Andy says:

    The plains and mountain west demographically similar to the “confederate” states? Scott Horton has no idea what he’s talking about.

  29. JM says:

    If Chris Matthews does eventually run for the Senate, I’m guessing he’ll go down in history as the All-Time Filibuster Champion.
    Strom’s wouldn’t stand a chance.
    Would there be any way to install a Yammer Control device on him…?

  30. par4 says:

    Col. Liberals are not the far Left.

  31. Patrick Lang says:

    Europeans often remark that American politics are played out in a band grouped narrowly around the center.
    Socialists, anarchists, communists, fascists, etc. are all outliers in American politics.
    The actual spectrum of American politics extends from people like Rachel Maddow on the left to Rove on the right.
    That puts her on the far left. pl

  32. Got A Watch says:

    Congratulations to America! As a Canadian with 59% voter turnout here, I am admiring how many Americans got out to vote.
    A historic victory – who would have thought 3 years ago that an African-American most have never heard of could win the Presidency.
    I think Obama will be one of the great Presidents. Just a hunch.
    I don’t see him having that much problem with foreign policy, his supposed weakness, most “foreigners” I have read or heard about love the guy. Maybe just because he’s not GWB, but that’s fine.
    Iraq will not be a problem for him if the Bushies can’t get the SOFA signed off. Everyone but the neo-cons will approve pulling US troops out.
    Just by being elected he will restore a large portion of the respect America has lost this decade. He is starting out with a large amount of intangible “goodwill” that GWB never had.
    GWB was so bad that Obama has to be only average to handily surpass him, while cleaning up his mess.
    Talking about “disappointment” already, really, is a bit premature isn’t it? You can’t please every one, and there are many challenges ahead.

  33. watcher says:

    watching Obama give his speech, very stirring, maybe SPQR has some hope in this countries future…

  34. Patrick Lang says:

    “The best government is the least possible.
    Too much is being expected by too many. pl

  35. Patrick Lang says:

    Someone wrote to say that “Rove is a criminal,” and that therefore comparison to Maddow is inappropriate. Rove is a creep but he has never been convicted of anything. Nevertheless, Hannity would have been a better comparison.
    If you check the result by county you will see that Obama ran well in the really red, almost all white parts of Virginia. Northern Virginia could not have elected him if a lot of white prople had not voted for him all over the Commonwealth. pl

  36. Cieran says:

    I believe that Obama’s half-hour TV buy last week was a lot more than a campaign ad. He outlined the general form of his policies and priorities, and the quality of his narrative was uniformly excellent, with specific examples of just how horrendous some parts of American life have become (e.g., the awful failures of health care).
    What he can now credibly argue is that he laid out his political agenda to the American people a week before the election, and they responded by providing him with a landslide win. He thus has a clear mandate, and he will remind members of Congress early and often that the policies he presented last week are the policies the American people want.
    It’s a tough argument to refute, given the electoral outcome.
    Reagan did something similar, but he had failed to articulate most of his actual policies before the election, and many of the policies he had advocated he quickly abandoned (e.g., his pledge to get rid of the Department of Energy), so his message of mandate got muddled.
    Bush tried to sell the results of the 2004 election as a mandate for his wartime administration, but that pitch never really worked for him, i.e., nobody believed it.
    Obama has handled this very differently, by outlining via an informercial the general principles and priorities he wants Congress to act on, and I think he’ll be bringing Congressional leaders in for some little chats soon enough, to remind them of his mandate.
    I would especially love to be a fly on the wall in the Oval Office when Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are summoned. They haven’t had a leader of the Democratic party to answer to lately, but they will now. I wish them luck, because they will in all likelihood need it.

  37. Cieran says:

    Rove is a creep but he has never been convicted of anything.
    There is some good evidence that he has violated the Hatch Act, and that he has directed subordinates to do so as well. Some highly credible witnesses have first-hand evidence of this, and so his criminal behavior has been asserted, but not yet proved.
    In the current DOJ, where violating the law is not necessarily seen as evidence of a crime (as our current attorney general recently asserted), we might expect that Rove will not be prosecuted. But if I recall correctly, there is no statute of limitations for such violations, so we may yet see Rove prosecuted for such crimes.

  38. wcw says:

    ‘Far left?’ The Maddow/Democracy Now crowd wouldn’t know ‘far left’ if it bit them square in the nuts. At their most threatening, they’re a center-left hippy whiners. The US polity has not had a functional far left since Debs.
    If you’re conservative enough to be to the right of the very careful, establishmentarian president-elect, you don’t want to see one. Some might consider it begging a jinx to pretend it exists.

  39. slipkid says:

    From the jump:
    The center has moved to the left farther than the road map as then was drawn. Even farther, than you might think! This is now! All thoes nickle and dime donars, McComplain talked about, have had their say!
    Traction for Bush’s domestic policies?
    By that, are you pointing to the Bush push to have Social Secutity invested in Wall Street? Whew, we doged a bullet on that one. Why do you suppose that idea gained no traction.
    A ban on same sex marriages, abortion, stem cell, prayer in school, creatisim the dependency on foreign oil, all were never in play.
    My list.
    1. The Bush Presidency
    2. neocons
    3. Big Oil, even if they don’t like it. As a matter of practicallity.
    4. Rush, Bill Orley, etc,etc, etc,
    5. The electorate.
    In my home state,in ’05, 50,00 mobile homes were built, in ’07, 5000!
    Who do you think buyes these homes? These home and jobs did not go overseas!
    In ’99, quick stops in Chapel Hill, N.C. were paying $10.50 p/hr and couln’t find any/enough help! Now the wage is $6.50 p/hr
    It will take along time to fix this!
    If we don’t buy, you don’t work!
    It will not come quick nor easy!
    “Men who have created new fruits in the world cannot create a system whereby their fruits may be eaten. And the failure hangs over the State like a great sorrow … In the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage”
    -John Steinbeck, ‘Grapes of Wrath’

  40. jr786 says:

    As far as Arabs and Muslims are concerned, an Obama presidency is marginally preferable to a McCain one. In terms of substance they might be equal (Col. Lang has already pointed to the presence of the execrable Dennis Ross – a really disheartening bit of cynicism there) but at least Obama will not demonize the Muslims as the neo-cons have done.
    I’ve back in the region for some time now and steady exposure to regional Arab news didn’t lead me to think that anyone had high hopes for Obama, just hopes for a tiny bit of reason and fairness. Oddly, Press TV – the Iranian news channel in English – showed no preference for either candidate – perhaps a more damning position.

  41. Bill W, NH, USA says:

    Congratulations President Obama, Please do yourself the greatest of favors by never being associated with the torture of another human being and do the United States a favor by disassociating it from ever again using torture. Thank you.

  42. Kevin says:

    Obama will be a bad hangover in a couple months; people expect too much from this guy. Plus, we all know what happens when one party controls both the executive and legislative branches; the only checks and balances the american public have is republican fillibuster in senate. I think we gave the democrats enough rope to hang themselves for 2012.

  43. lina says:

    Obama cannot and will not be all things to all people. However, progress will begin to be made in the following areas:
    — healthcare reform
    — energy independence
    — environmental sanity
    — foreign and defense policy.
    Far left and far right will always scream for more. It’s what they’re there for. The radicals and reactionaries exist to influence “the center.”
    Nothing new here.
    And may I just say for the record: YES WE DID!!!

  44. TomB says:

    Col. Lang wrote:
    “The best government is the least possible.”
    Ah my (apparent) fellow limited government enthusiast, that sound we heard last night was the death rattle of same I think. Very possibly a hopeless cause even by the time Reagan came around but in any event utterly betrayed and strangled now by Mr. Bush. All that’s left is the internment ceremony on January 20th.
    Leviathan has cometh and I don’t think there’s any alternative now but to embrace it.

  45. Will says:

    “states that share strong demographic similarities with the “Confederate” states)”
    the Scotch(Scots)-Irish culture elucidated in (now Senator) Jim Webb’s book Born Fighting is as close to a national culture as there is.
    The Scots-Irish rising to the Planter’s patriotism card furnished the bulk of the confederate troops and many of the Northern troops from the loyalist NC, TN, KY, WV and many of the troops from Ohio, IN, IL and other Midwest states. The whole culture of country music, guns, fundamentalist religion, unreasoning patriotism spread from the South.
    Love it or Leave it, Okie from Muskogie
    Many strands make up this nation’s rope, the Puritans, Cavaliers, Scots-Irish, Scots, Germans, French, East European immigrants (mainlhy Jewish), Native Americans, Hispanics, Africans, but when a person says “confederate,” I don’t think he means “Cavalier” or planter culture.

  46. Binh says:

    Maddow is not the far-left, I am the far left, and I won’t be disappointed in BHO, Inc. because I recognized from the outset that he was, despite his rhetoric, the Corporate Establishment’s candidate.
    Maddow is nothing more than your standard-issue factory-made liberal. You can put publications like The Nation in that category as well.
    But yes, they will be disappointed probably in that order when Obama doesn’t deliver universal health care, full-scale withdrawal from Iraq, and sends tens of thousands more troops to Afghanistan.

  47. Patrick Lang says:

    So what makes you the “far left?” pl

  48. Curious says:

    well it has begun…
    (“bail me out, or the new guy gets it” gambit)
    I for one think GM should be split apart then bailed out.
    One or more automaker failures “would be a difficult way for a brand-new administration” to take office, said Altman, an Obama supporter whose Treasury Department service also included working as deputy secretary under President Bill Clinton. He said he didn’t expect to be asked to be Treasury secretary.
    GM sought about $10 billion from the government last month, with Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner lobbying in person for help, people familiar with the plans said. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson wants any assistance to come from a $25 billion low-interest loan program through the Energy Department, not the bank-rescue funds, the people said last week.

  49. GSD says:

    A fellow by the name of Rod Dreher summed up the election as follows:
    1. The modern conservative movement began with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race. The modern conservative movement ends with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. John McCain — who took Goldwater’s Senate seat upon his retirement — in the 2008 presidential race.
    2. Modern liberalism began its implosion with riots in Chicago’s Grant Park at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Tonight, modern liberalism is reborn at Chicago’s Grant Park, where a black Chicago Democrat will celebrate winning the presidency.
    Sounds about right to me.

  50. Cold War Zoomie says:

    Ah my (apparent) fellow limited government enthusiast, that sound we heard last night was the death rattle of same I think.
    I don’t think so. My ever prescient gut tells me that this election will ultimately be seen as the “beginning of the end” to this cycle of big spending! Why? Because the Democrats will be forced to spend lots and lots more public money to keep the economy from tanking completely, a la The New Deal. Meanwhile, the GOP will do its required soul searching and decide that the Karl Rove “every policy decision is a political campaign ploy” method of running the country ultimately ruined the GOP’s “permanent majority.”
    So, the GOP will decide that the best way back into power is to offer a distinct alternative to the Dems “tax and spend” binge, and a new version of the Conservative Coalition will emerge to dismantle the New Deal Redux. Hopefully they will recognize once they inevitably get back in power that they cannot let the cult of personality blind them to reality. Whomever wins at that point will have to stick to their guns and actually do the impossible – shrink the government. Something Bush never really intended to do as far as I can tell. (Of course, shrinking government is easier said than done, and that’s a whole new topic.)
    By then, I’ll probably be a Republican again and cheer them on, as long as they dump Rush Limbaugh and his ilk as well as the evangelicals. All I want are level headed social libertarians and fiscal conservatives who are realistic about the need for some sensible market regulation, while recognizing that the majority of Americans may actually like some old New Deal programs such as FDIC and Social Security. Is that too much to ask?

  51. Kevin says:

    Economic Impact of Obama Victory, Ron Paul’s campaign economic advisor

  52. Twit says:

    To take up Point 2:
    I will judge the Obama administration in part on whether they reverse the disparity in life expectancy, unemployment, AIDS infections, and poverty rates between Black Americans and all other groups. The disparity in each of these has greatly increased during our recent era of extreme affluence. If this situation remains unchanged, then I guess many in the black community will have to settle for the crumbs of historical symbolism.

  53. charlottemom says:

    Is it true that Rahm Emmanuel will be Obama’s chief of staff? If so, I’d say Obama is off to a dreadful start. Oh, and on short list for Treasury sec’y — Rubin and Volcker — two Formers. This is new, real, hopeful change?! huh!?
    I voted for Obama, it’s not even over in NC and I’m not loving it already.

  54. cruz del sur says:

    I don’t think the far left is going to be dissapointed. Obama already stated where he stands when he voted for the retroactive inmunity for telecoms. That was a very clear message. I do consider myself the far left, and I welcome Obama’s presidency. I know what I can expect from him and what not to expect.
    Yet, after the past eight years, Obama is like the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course I would like a more progressive president, but you can’t always everything you want. And I also like Biden, who is nothing close to far left.

  55. Kevin says:

    I think he’ll be the “good house negro” corporate stooge for the financial powers that got him elected.

  56. mo says:

    To any Arabs and Muslims or in fact anyone who thought that the Obama presidency was reason to cheer vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli issue, Rahm Emanuel’s father was a member of the Irgun and Emanuel himself was a civilian volunteer in Israel, rust-proofing brakes on an army base in northern Israel in 1991.
    As I said on a post a long time ago, Obama will go that much further to prove his pro-israeli credentials than a Clinton or a Mccain.

  57. hope4usa says:

    I recognize that this comment is a day late, hopefully not a dollar short. I read this website because I respect the wisdom and knowledge of the Col. and for the most part the commentators. I speak as one of those you refer to as “The Far Left”, although I refute that description. I see myself rather as a fiscal conservative, socially liberal person who above all respects the Constitution and would like to see the Rule of Law restored. From what I have read you are all correct the laundry list of what we would like to see accomplished by the new Administration is overwhelming. I would be satisfied if Obama could accomplish the following:
    Dept of Justice: After flushing out the political appointees, hopefully the Regent Law School mental midgets, and 97% of the USAs, I would like all of the legal opinions regarding torture, spying, imprisonment, rendition, Executive Authority, released, reviewed and hopefully rescinded. If people have broken the law, they should be held accountable. We are a nation of laws, no one is above it. I would like the Justice Dept. returned to the relative non-partisan status it used to hold and be respected for. I would like any on-going political prosecutions to be stopped or overturned.
    EPA: I would like the scientists as opposed to political, business convenience to regulate again. The number of last minute, destructive regulations put in place by the current Admin. will have to undone. I would like to see environmental regulations/laws enforced. Again, we are a nation of laws, let us act like it.
    Homeland Security: I would like to have at least someone looking over their shoulder at their spending, spying, tactics, Sen Lieberman has done none of the above. Fema needs to function again. It might be helpful if we put people in positions —who are competent.
    CIA: I would like to see the end of outsourcing. I recognize this will take years. Outside companies inherently have a conflict of interest. I believe the CIA should be rebuilt with career professionals. The end of Blackwater and other corporations (Halliburton) who have been above and beyond the reach of law.
    If we go Dept. by Dept and re-regulate, support the laws and enforce them, and rebuild the career staff (true patriots who work hard and believe in this country)that would be an enormous step.
    I could go on and on by department.
    The Bush Cheney Cabal has wreaked more damage on the institutions, laws and economy of this country than can possible be undone in 4 years. That was their goal.
    There is no simple way to get back on track. A start in the right direction is really what we hope for. We weren’t perfect 8 years ago. Certainly the beginning of the financial crisis started then, but we were a hell of a lot better off and it seemed as if their eye was at least on the ball.

  58. TomB says:

    Cold War Zoomie, charlottemom:
    Cold War Zoomie wrote:
    “So, the GOP will decide that the best way back into power is to offer a distinct alternative to the Dems “tax and spend” binge, and a new version of the Conservative Coalition will emerge to dismantle the New Deal Redux.”
    Well I have no doubt they’ll try, Zoomie, even though lacking any credibility on the issue thanks to Bush. But my point was about more than just spending and was about big gov’t generally, and regardless, both tend to be ratchet-type phenomenon, don’t they? With it being very difficult if not impossible to go backwards. Even with all Reagan’s eventual popularity, for instance, or with the Conservative Coalition in the ’90’s, they still couldn’t even get rid of the Education Department, could they?
    And I think the nature of what’s coming is going to be different too and not just about more spending generally. Certainly whatever health-care thing Obama has in mind will involve lots of spending—adding to the gazillions which the prescription drug program of Bush’s is going to cost, adding to the bazillions that that Baby Boomers are going to demand when they retire from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But also I suspect it will involve the structural realigning of a goodly part of the entire health-care system itself. And look at the Dem’s ideas about the need to utterly restructure the energy, transportation and even industrial systems in the name of energy or global warming concerns. And now of course who would dare to oppose almost any level of governmental involvement if not outright ownership of the financial system? Plus spending itself changes things structurally, doesn’t it? Look at higher education. The more in the name of making same “affordable” that gov’t went about subsidizing loans for same what’s really happened is that it’s become ever more a huge investiment decision with tuition increases following such increased subsidies like Fall follows Summer, and with higher education inflation consequently running at three or four or five times the rate of general inflation. (No different than with the medical system’s insane inflation rate following the ever-increased funding for Medicare and Medicaid.)
    (And I note that very interestingly the first thing out of Obama’s lips after he won was to call in his victory speech for “a new spirit of sacrifice” which word, needless to say, wasn’t exactly on his lips on the stump beforehand.)
    So you might be right but I suspect that no, the limited government pooch, which still had somewhat of a chance when Bush took over, has been well and truly and permanently screwed. I’m not ordinarily prone to perceiving huge new changes at every turn (and indeed am even reflexively sceptical of same), but I think this might one of them. It’s a new century in more ways than one I sense.
    As regards Rahm Emanuel a guy named Phil Weiss runs a blog ( that’s kinda been talking about him.
    I dunno if it’s true, but I think it was said there by someone that when Emanuel’s father was in the Irgun he was part of the effort that zipped the U.N.’s Count Bernadotte.
    As with what you say, it was also said that when the first Gulf War broke out Rahm went and either joined the IDF or just volunteered to help it and was assigned to “rustproof brakes,” but again I don’t know about that. At the time he went over there he was already the money-man for Clinton’s campaign so you’d think that the Israeli’s would find something more useful for a guy like that to do than rustproof brakes. On the other hand I think whoever reported that got it from Wikipedia so it might have come from Emanuel himself and thus might be true.
    Notice I said “might.” Twice in fact.

  59. Laleh says:

    I’m a far leftie and of Middle Eastern Muslim descent and have worked in the Arab world. As neither of those things, I expect(ed) much from Obama, so I am not sure I will be disappointed. What I find exciting about the elections is a) the rise of an African-American to that position on the basis of his competence, intelligence and charisma, rather than his daddy’s money and b) the extent to which people in the US were mobilised to vote.
    The latter is very exciting, even if short-lived.
    Obama has always been a centrist and once he moves into that inherently conservative (with small c) office, he will become even more cautious.

  60. TomB-
    I was talking about this Conservative Coalition.
    We slowly but surely dismantled much of the New Deal, and left the bits and pieces I think most Americans want to keep.
    Anyone who has worked inside of government will tell you about the waste. Now, to be fare, any huge bureaucracy has waste, even in the supposed super efficient dog-eat-dog private sector. In government, what really drives me crazy are the procurement processes – FAR, DoD 5000, etc. I’m no expert, but I swear we spend a $1 to make sure 50¢ isn’t wasted! And much of it ensures “spreading the wealth” around to prime contractors and subcontractors of various sorts – veteran owned, minority owned, women owned, and more (called 8a’s).
    Let’s see if Obama keeps his word as outlined in this Washington Post article…
    Obama intends to make government more efficient by sending “SWAT teams” from the White House into major agencies to improve programs and eliminate waste and inefficiency. He has promised to install a White House chief performance officer to work with federal agencies to set tough performance targets and hold managers accountable.
    We’ll see.

  61. TomB says:

    Ah, *that* Conservative Coalition, and *that* kind (and degree) of dismantling.
    Very astute. Even if it comes around again though I still think the best it will be able to do is only slightly restrain Leviathan, but who knows? History seems to be oscillating pretty wildly of late, so as Ignatius Reilly might say God knows where Fortuna’s wheel will end up stopping.
    Regardless, and again, a very astutely perceived historical parallel.

  62. Disappointments

    For some reason or other I seem to be seeing all sorts of posts about disappointments with the results of Tuesdays election. It goes without saying that lots of Republican bloggers are very disappointed. Im seeing all sorts of doom and …

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