Nov 13, 2008

It's Time to Say "Good Riddance" to Anachronisms in our Politics

Truthiness is a Sign of Ignorance

It's extraordinary that a minority party obtains such big majorities, plus a 7 point win for the presidency, in just 2 years! Perhaps the stars were properly aligned, or there was a perfect storm, but nevertheless the Dems won big and now have a mandate--which also means a great responsibility. The other side is trying to figure our what went wrong. The initial spin is that the problem was Bush & company, and Mac-Palin. Surely these were important factors but there's lot more to it. [my latest posts focus more on this]

Two weeks later, and the election of 2008 is not over. There are 3 US Senate seats to be decided, and Missouri hasn't declared either. Obama's EV total stands at 365, with the latest addition of 1 from Nebraska! Oh, in the Senate, Lieberman must be kicked out of the important chairmanship of Security and Governmental Affairs. He's an embarrassment and a buffoon. He has not investigated the incompetence & corruption of the Bush administration and he won't do it even after Obama becomes president. We have a right to know what happened during the last 8 years, so let's get a decent fellow in instead of someone who worked against what we tried to achieve before and during this election.

Hillary Clinton is rumored to have been offered the Secretary of State job but, even though she'll be a great fit, I don't know if she'll take it.... unless, she's tired of her place in the Senate and wants a different direction now. She can easily win in New York and probably stay in the Senate for as long as she wants, but a SoS position will definitely be shorter. The Dems look good in 2 years when they'll have another good chance to top 60 seats in the US Senate--and by doing this, break a pattern that the party in the White House loses seats in midterm elections. The GOP will most likely be an obstructionist faction, as they did when Clinton came to the White House. They were rewarded in the midterm elections but I think the times are much different now.

The Republican party is going through a crisis. I do prefer a modern political party to be in opposition, but this GOP is anachronistic and not good for the country. If it self-destructs, I won't miss it. I wonder whether some (few) reasonable voices will be heard or understood. Take for example the Republican MN gov. Tim Pawlenty who said:

"We cannot be a majority governing party when we essentially cannot compete in the Northeast, we're losing our ability to compete in the Great Lakes States, we cannot compete on the West Coast, and the Democrats are winning in the Western States.".... "we cannot compete and prevail.. if we have a significant deficit, as we do, with women, where we have a large deficit with Hispanics, where we have a large deficit with African-American voters, where we have a large deficit with people of modest incomes and modest financial circumstances...."

In a way, I'd like Palin, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, Liddy, Savage, Ingraham, Coulter, and all the other wingnuts to take complete control and try their version of conservatism. Actually, I would very much like to see this, because their views defy logic. It's not about a reasonable difference of opinion or priorities but a wingnuttery steeped in ignorance.

As long as their party embraces ignorance and an ideology that does not appeal to the majority of the American people, their victories will be short and regional. The Dems can mess things up thereby giving an opportunity for the GOP to come back, however--as a party that has it's power base in the religious conservatives, the racially motivated, the big business interests, anti-science, anti-environment, anti-minority, and ignorance--it will diminish in the years to come. And, may I say, good riddance to such a party!
UPDATE 11/20/08
Check this article from the Economist. The US has been changing and it seems that the Democratic party has an ideology and direction that the majority of Americans supports. Anti-intellectualism may be appealing to many Americans but their numbers are declining. Here's an excerpt from the Economist's Ship of Fools:
The Republicans lost the battle of ideas even more comprehensively than they lost the battle for educated votes, marching into the election armed with nothing more than slogans. Energy? Just drill, baby, drill. Global warming? Crack a joke about Ozone Al. Immigration? Send the bums home. Torture and Guantánamo? Wear a T-shirt saying you would rather be water-boarding. Ha ha. During the primary debates, three out of ten Republican candidates admitted that they did not believe in evolution...

The Republican Party’s divorce from the intelligentsia has been a while in the making. The born-again Mr Bush preferred listening to his “heart” rather than his “head”. He also filled the government with incompetent toadies like Michael “heck-of-a-job” Brown, who bungled the response to Hurricane Katrina. Mr McCain, once the chattering classes’ favourite Republican, refused to grapple with the intricacies of the financial meltdown, preferring instead to look for cartoonish villains. And in a desperate attempt to serve boob bait to Bubba, he appointed Sarah Palin to his ticket, a woman who took five years to get a degree in journalism, and who was apparently unaware of some of the most rudimentary facts about international politics...

Republicanism’s anti-intellectual turn is devastating for its future...

Nov 5, 2008

A Historic Election: The United States Re-invents Itself!

At around 9 pm, when it seemed that Ohio would go blue, we knew that this election had been won by Obama. So, I was off by a couple hours in my prediction. However, I had also predicted:
  • 57 Democratic Senate seats (not counting the 2 independents); As of 11/5/08, the senate races in Oregon and Minnesota are yet to be decided. So, I'll probably be off by 1.
  • 41 Republican Senate seats. (See above)
  • 251 Democratic House seats. The Dems have 250 as of now and 4 are tied.
  • 184 Republican House seats. Spot on!
  • 364 Obama Electoral Votes!!!!!!! Spot on!
  • 174 McCain Electoral Votes. Ditto!

There have been several trends and indicators that let me to believe Obama could ride a wave of change, a political realignment. When I wrote about this back in June, it was a hard sell. Again, right after the GOP convention--when MacPalin were "ahead" in the polls--I thought this bounce (like most convention bounces) would dissipate. My previous posts here explain in detail my thinking. Finally, after almost 2 years since the candidates prepared themselves to run for the nomination, the contest comes to an end. A happy end of us progressives.

One more observation. I argued that the longer contest (that lasted until last June) was good for Obama. It tested him, it introduced him to the American people, and the latter became more comfortable with the him. He looked poised, cool & collected, knowledgeable and presidential. I also thought that the animosities between Sen. Clinton and BO back in the first half of 2008 would be "ancient history" by September. I'm glad that close to 90% of Dems came home to vote for BO. Without having seen the numbers, I'm willing to bet that not only the majority of Dem women but women at large voted for BO.

Here's are some more pictures from Times Square.

All these pictures are from Midtown Manhattan, where people gathered to celebrate BO's victory. Traffic came to a standstill, and for many blocks people filled the streets.
I took these pictures shortly after the networks called it for Obama.

We almost had a riot when all the big screens (as seen here) in Times Square went blank at the moment when Obama came out to speak in Chicago. Fortunately, it only lasted a minute or two.

This is the Fox (Faux) News building on 6th Av. It's about 1 am on Wednesday... I thought this was really funny. Notice that the banner says "projects"... Everyone else knew it, but Faux was still projecting it! Ha! I think all the cons left the building much earlier after they realized their ticket and party would take a good beating!
Sure, it's not the ideology, the view on the role of government, that's responsible for this defeat. Like in other regressive systems, the ideology or the system is never at fault; it's always the "few bad people" that fail. That's what they'll tell us now.
Well, at least we now know that the conservatives and their Republican party is a minority, regional party. If it chooses the likes of Sarah Palin as the flag bearer, it'll further shrink. Carl Rove's (and several others) had predicted a new Republican majority in 2000, a political realignment for the next several generations, have been proven wrong.
In the next few days, when the numbers come in, it'll be interesting to crunch them and see how the country voted. Meanwhile enjoy this! Oh, I think we should move the inauguration of the new president on December 1st. We moved in once from March to January, now we should do it again.