Barack Obama wins! Finally, compassionate conservatism for real

Despite running the worst GOP campaign since Bob Dole’s in 1996 —most people don’t remember that Dole even ran —John McCain managed to confound my expectations and crack 45%, by quite a bit, in the popular vote. This should be instructive for anyone who genuinely believes a new day is dawning in America, although no more instructive than the conservative platform Obama has laid out in word and deed during the past year or so.

I’ve been agitating for a McCain victory, although in the end I voted for someone else. What I saw in McCain was a shortcut to hell, which either would or wouldn’t precede a genuinely progressive backlash. What I see in Obama is someone who will screw up insurance reform to the satisfaction of the major financial interests involved; who will bomb as many, but perhaps different, tinted people as McCain would have done; who will adopt without the shadow of a shudder the executive excesses pioneered by Dick Cheney; who will tweak the economy according to the guidance provided by those who buggered it; who will find environmental initiatives that don’t truly initiate much.

What I see in Obama is a GOP comeback in 2012, because he’s not the firebrand who could overcome a trillion-dollar deficit and massed corporate interests —who underwrote his campaign to a much greater extent than most of his supporters acknowledge —standing in the way of a public works program, universal healthcare, major cuts in “defense” spending, economic reforms, tax reforms and the other actual initiatives that would bring some semblance of prosperity and fairness to the country.

What I see in Obama is the actual product that Bush counterfeited: a conservative with empathy, one willing to work, within limits, with liberals, assuming there are some to work with, and assuming that the cloture-proof crackhead Republican minority in the Senate allows any legislation to pass.

What I see in Obama is the most disappointing president since World War II.


16 thoughts on “Barack Obama wins! Finally, compassionate conservatism for real”

  1. Someone, a pretty cynical sort, was telling me how she believes in hell since there had to be a comeuppance to all those who do bad things on earth.

    I said she was one big optimist. Since I never thought some miracle would occur, I won’t see any big disappointment myself. I’m also not big on a wager where the “win” very will might never occur, while the alternative will mean some good for some people.

    Without the hell, with the other guy you will just get less of that good. Ask those who get it if they rather have none of it, since it’s not enough.

    Anyway, I see people still hate gay people and people in Alaska like to vote for criminals. Well, lots voted for two in 2004, so no big surprise there.

  2. There’s a fair amount of pessimism sprinkled about in conversation since the Dem win but really, isn’t it a little early to be harshing everyone’s mellow? Try to look on the bright side, if McCain had won it was a statistical certainty that Sarah Palin would have been Preznit for some portion of that first term. Now, even lowering expectations regarding Obama and the Democrats I think you’ll find the bar is still way too high for Sara Palin and what the Republican party has turned into.

    Let’s wait for a bit shall we?

  3. Geez, WB … I’m living proof you can be cynical and still optimistic at the same time … I urge you to give your inner optimist some breathing room at least until Jan. 21, 2009 and there is something concrete to find disappointment in. For now, imho, it’s giving in to the fearmongerers who actually just lost this election by carrying the fear torch from the opposite pole … I too have a lot to grind teeth about in Obama’s various Senate votes that set mine (teeth, not votes) on edge … But we still have no proof of how he will govern … certainly not to be writing him off already to some post-WWII dustbin …

    It’s time to still feel what it means for this nation’s evolution (long long overdue) that the person more people have voted for as US President than any time in our history is a sign of just how many people in this prejudice-forsaken nation have overcome their own prejudices and/or outnumbered the others… Never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. That alone changes everything. Changes how the US views itself and the world views us and, inherently, how we view the world. What that does to Obama’s governance is now in a whole new world that changed overnight and – while it doesn’t change every player on the stage or the props or the threatening curtains, it does change the lighting. Completely. And that could wind up have utterly unpredictable impacts.

    I cannot buy the gloom-and-doom litany of scenarios your 2nd ¶ predicts … but especially not this one which I wouldn’t have worded this way in a million years: “who will bomb as many, but perhaps different, tinted people as McCain would have done” … and I don’t see any evidence to support the claim either. This is my rather worked-up way of agreeing with TRex here:

    Let’s wait a bit (76 days, i believe they’re saying) for the dirges, okay?

  4. I thought about the premature harshing, and I suppose I could have waited a few weeks until he finishes announcing a cabinet full of DLC hacks seasoned with a bit of neocon, and I’ll happily concede I was wrong if he turns out to have multiple personality disorder and one of them is a good president. Since I want someone who espouses social and economic justice along with universal health care, I’m not very troubled by the likelihood of having to recant.

    1. Hey, Mike. Yes, I wrote it the day after the election, and it was none-too-well received. Those are my friends chastising me in the comments; I got some emails that were far more severe.

      Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it.

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