Home > 2008 elections > Postmortem


I don’t have much to add to the arguments about what this election means. I’m not quite sure what it means. Yes, voters rejected the character smears. That’s a plus. Did they endorse a progressive policy vision? Obama didn’t campaign as a unabashed liberal, but he didn’t shy away from the content of his policy proposals, which are fairly liberal. On the other hand, he definitely did tack right on a few issues. I don’t want to indulge on the sort of “every election result proves America is a center-right nation” media narrative, but it’s not clear to me how far Democrats can go before people think they’ve overreached.

That said, bring on the overreach. For fuck’s sake, I’m tired of criticizing right-wing crap. I want us to err on the other side of things for a change. I want to be having a debate about whether Pelosi’s plan to legalize drugs and give everyone a monthly cocaine stipend is a good idea. It won’t happen, but I can dream, right?

On the navel-gazing side of things, blogging’s going to be a bit different isn’t it? Lefty blogs will flip to a defensive position and conservatives will no longer be tethered to the assclown who’s been running things for the last eight years. I won’t say liberal bloggers will go as loopy as the conservative blogosphere, but it’s going to be different.

Moving to even more self-centered navel-gazing, I started paying attention to politics while Bush was in office and haven’t been anything other than opposed to the leadership of the country for the past eight years (the last two are a bit more complicated, but you get the point). I’m better at deconstructing arguments than making a positive case for something. Again, it’ll be interesting.

I’m still just happy we elected someone who isn’t an idiot. Whatever else Obama does, he’ll at least be minimally competent, regardless of whether he’s right or not. It’s “I disagree with that” vs. “Oh Jesus he’s killed 200,000 people for no apparent reason.” Not even rumors about RFK, Jr. being head of the EPA have brought down my happiness.

(Seriously though, no. Letting an anti-vaccination guy in charge of an agency that deals with scientific research is like putting Pat Robertson in charge of the NAS. He’s just going to hurt someone.)

Still, it’s not a moment I’m going to forget. It didn’t even seem real when they called it last night. How NBC called it didn’t help; the come back from commercial and there’s a graphic on the screen declaring Obama to be president-elect. No voice over, nothing. Everyone else in the room thought it was some kind of glitch, until they went back to their coverage and we realized the polls on the west coast just closed.

The adults are back in charge. Finally.

Categories: 2008 elections
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