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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US Presidential elections: death of Republican America « Previous | |Next »
November 5, 2008

Obama "could actually win this thing" as many voters have job security in a depressed economy on their minds. That change is what is dawning on Americans. The dream of change will happen and become political reality. What kind of change though?

There is still the election. How significant will be the Bradley effect---where people say they're going to vote for Obama but in the privacy of the voting booth, they won't vote for a black man? Will the Rovian sludge and sleaze work on voters and save the Republicans? Will the US change from being a center-right country". Or will the entire "center" shift leftwards?

Obama.jpg Leak

Will the voters reject the GOP's claim that the war in Iraq is the "front line of the war on terror"? Maybe today's election will witness the end of the Republican era in American politics; one that began in reaction to Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, the Vietnam war and the civil rights revolution; a conservative movement pioneered by Richard Nixon, consolidated by Ronald Reagan, and was then shattered by George W Bush.

It would be great to watch the hissy fits on Fox News as a form of US comedy show as the results in favvour of the Democrats come in. (I don't have cable in Adelaide). The Fox line is that African-Americans are cheating and stealing the election for Obama, and Obama is going to take the white people's money and give it to African-Americans with a new welfare program. Socialism! Obama is Karl Marx reincarnate. Obama is a commie!

That kind of crazy scare won't work. American wants change. They want the Republicans out. They want to kick Bush into history.

Does Sarah Palin represent the end of an era of culture wars, and be the last culture warrior on a national ticket? Well, she'll be going back to Alaska to lick her wounds amongst those moose shooting social conservatives; the ones who reckon that humans walked the earth with dinosaurs 6000 years ago and who desire God's dominion on earth.

Update
CNN has called the election for Obama, who ran a superb bottoms-up electoral campaign. It's a historic moment for the USA, given its racist past and the shameful way that it has treated its African-American citizens since the civil war. America has now shifted centre-left. I guess we are going to hear a lot more about American exceptionalism about how only America can make such a big political change in the US media.

McCain's speech is gracious in defeat and he acknowledges the historic significance of a black President of the US. He speaks honestly ---he was himself, speaking as an elder statesman of the Senate, not as the presidential candidate. McCain's crowd was as ugly as he was gracious.

The opening of Obama's 'Yes we can' speech:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference. It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I love that phrase--- to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day. He adds that this is not the change we seek, but only the chance for the change we seek.

Bush and his cronies are history. That's worth a drink isn't it. The Americans see Obama's victory as representing a decisive transition into the future. There was a sense that an America that could do this was a different America than the one we had been living in for the past few years.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:49 AM | | Comments (11)
Comments

Comments

Josh Marshall puts it well:

It's hard for the GOP and Fox News to give up on whipping up fears that Obama is going to set up a black dictatorship in America where sundry pimps and gangbangers will replace the civil service and institute a reign of racial terror and compulsory miscegenation.

CNN has called Pennsylvania for Obama. That is a set back for McCain as it was a Democrat state that he need to win to counter the loss of some Republican states to Obama. At this point, McCain must win a major blue state to win. But none seem likely.

The tide seems to be flowing Obama's way in that Barack Obama has jumped to a big lead in electoral college votes. CNN gives him 174 votes to McCain's 49 votes. However, McCain hasn't lost any red states yet.

Peter,
the battleground states are Florida,Ohio and Virginia. Obama is doing well in Florida whilst McCain is underperforming in critical parts of Florida.

CNN MSNBC and Fox call Ohio for Obama. Though these are projections for the historically Republican state, it was crucial to George Bush's win in 2004. It carries 20 electoral votes. Fox is now giving Obama 183 votes to McCain's 81.

The race is all but over. It's now a question of how big a thrashing the Republicans will get.

Things look real good for Obama. McCain could lose even more red states over and above Ohio and New Mexico.

In Virginia Obama is leading McCain 50-49, in North Carolina 51-48 and in Florida 51-48. All these states voted Republican last time around. About half the vote has been counted in these three states.The networks are not calling them----too close.

Though McCain only trails Obama by a mere 500,000 votes. in the popular vote he is well behind in the electoral college voting, by a margin of 199 to 78. It's the electoral vote that counts. McCain has to get to 270.

There are around four blue states left: California, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. If McCain doesn't win one of these four, he loses the race. McCain can even win Florida, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri and still lose the race.He must gain a blue state.

It must be doom and gloom on Fox at the moment. Obama even performed with the resentful blue-collar voters in Ohio ---the Reagan Democrats (Joe Sixpack in Republican language) is becoming a Democrat.They've shifted back. It's the economy.

CNN is saying 135 electoral votes for McCain and 207 for Obama. In the Senate the Democrats are up to 54 seats. They have a majority ---its a question of how much. Will they get to 60 seats that they need to get a filibuster proof majority?

There is no path to 270 electoral votes for McCain. It's all over. Palin, however, may be preventing a complete rout in Congress for the Republicans. Is she the future of the party, as she thinks she is? Palin's fans were the GOP base with her not-real America" and pro-terrorist sympathizers talk. She could not reach out to the centre.

Anon,
I agree. If Obama wins California, Oregon and Washington, which have never really been in doubt, then he moves to 275. He's won. The Republican Party's devolution into a regional party of the South is on track.

The current CNN projection is 333 electoral votes for Obama and 155 for McCain.

McCain's speech was very gracious. It's a shame he wasn't allowed to be that man during the campaign. He was far more gracious than his supporters.

Obama's speech started off a bit slow but by halfway he was producing stuff that will appear in the history books. Couldn't see much of it. Seeing Jesse Jackson and Oprah among all the others in tears of joy set me off.

CNN's footage from Kenya was brilliant too. First time I've ever seen people waving tree branches over a US election.

Whatever happens from here on in, the world just became a much nicer, happier place.

Lyn,
it's a big day for African Americans thats for sure. However, Obama is pretty hawkish on Afghanistan.

Deja vu isn't it?

will Obama have the money to fund his healthcare program? Surely Obama will be restrained in pursuing an activist agenda by the lack of money ?

The Democrats' dream of a 60-seat Senate majority remains a dream despite the party making some gains. Maybe they'll pick up more seats once all the votes are counted.

Still, the old Southern Democrats who split because of the civil rights movement in the South have more or less gone. Daniel Finkelstein says:

For 40 years American politics has been shaped by the split in the Democratic Party over civil rights. Richard Nixon's southern strategy, launched at the end of the 1960s, was to bring over to the Republicans disaffected voters from the segregationist states. It was almost completely successful. Democratic presidents such as Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy had united the liberal north with the poor and dispossessed whites of the deep south. After the Civil Rights Act this link was broken. And Democrats struggled without this source of southern support. Yet slowly what one might term a mass chattering class has emerged to make a northern liberal candidate viable as they had not been since Kennedy.

Odd to call the college educated middle class the chattering class.

Do people remember the film "The Deer Hunter", from the seventies, that proposed that Americans could adjust to reality and move on, after the turbulence of th sixties and early seventies? Instead we got Reaganism.
A little germ of the Right survives, can incubate and should the Obama era turn out to be a sort of "Weimar Republic" some new demagogue- Reagan will be at the ready to exploit all the frustrated victimhood/entitlement to the hilt.
"God help America".