Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Barack Obama: Yes He Did

It's been more than a week since the American people elected Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. It's an extraordinary story after eight years of the most failed presidency in American history. On Election night I'm not sure what was more moving, the great speech that Obama gave or the many moving crowd shots in Chicago, New York, Washington and elsewhere. Jesse Jackson will be remembered for a long time simply for the tears on his face. A lot of cynicism withered on November 4. Just amazing.

Now way back when, I supported John Edwards in the primaries (that was a mistake) and I was skeptical that Barack Obama could pull off a victory in this year's election (that too was a mistake). Sometimes it's nice to be wrong. But here's a map from 2006 that explains some of my early skepticism:


But in just two years, Barack Obama managed to go from one state to this:


If you're a relative newcomer, you have to be an exceptional person with an exceptional campaign to beat a powerful candidate in the primaries and then a big name politician in the general election. But I think Howard Dean should get a little credit too for the map above. I liked his 50 state strategy and I suspect Barack Obama liked it too. By the way, I don't know what happened in Missouri, the "show me" state, but Barack Obama should consider it a challenge and turn it blue by 2012.

Those who opposed Barack Obama are now either his best friends or they're just as shrill as ever. It's not pretty. Obviously, the leadership of the Republican Party has lost its way. Palin, as just one example, was an embarrassment. I never saw anyone fill air time with such inanities and drivel. Palin is a parody of today's Republican Party.

Of course, many men and women were far more qualified to be on the ticket than the $150,000+ fashion candidate. That McCain still stands by her is another embarrassment. Republicans have become the party of illusions and sheer cussed stubbornness in the face of a changing world that requires new ideas. I can still remember Republicans posting maps of the 2000 election showing all the red areas for Bush, except a lot of that red covered sparsely settled states. Too many of the right-wingers didn't want to notice that Al Gore had a plurality of votes. So here's another map that takes into account something we call democracy: an electoral map of the 50 states according to population:


This map was from a few days ago before Indiana and North Carolina became blue states for Obama.

It looks like President Barack Obama will be a uniter but if he wants a mandate, he has far more of a real mandate than George W. Bush ever thought he did.

Our country is facing enormous problems and those who wish to pursue business as usual are indeed making the usual noises. The truth is that our nation cannot afford business as usual. I'll make a prediction: the more the American people become aware of the problems we are facing and the more Barack Obama can explain what those problems are and what needs to be done, the more progressive solutions we are going to see because there really is no other viable alternative. Right wing conservatism has failed, utterly. Republicans are in need of pragmatists and most of the few Republicans pragmatists left are currently supporting Obama or wishing him well. George W. Bush and Newt Gingrich have no clue though the latter is already making noises about 2012; at the very least, Gingrich still wants to be a players though he has nothing to offer. We'll see. There is an enormous amount of work to do. But maybe we have a chance now. I look forward to the inauguration.

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home