Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama becomes first African-American President of the United States

And so you know, I feel like I need to start foamulating my comment for November 5 when you post something about Obama winning the election. Do you think you could give me a sneak peek as to what that post might look like so I can start working on it now?

So Travis, that's how it's going to start... unless a completely unlikely catastrophe happens in the next 12 days, we'll have a historic end to this year's presidential election. In the immortal words of James Brown,
Hey, country
Didn't say what you meant
Just changed
Brand new funky President

I wait with bated breath to see what he will come up with large majorities in the Senate and House. We can expect a pragmatic liberal agenda.

One thing I think is getting lost in the foofaraw about the economic crisis is that the next president's challenge will not be to tighten the budget during a deep recession. Like was asked in all three debates, I think, "Dontcha wish your economy was hot like ME? Dontcha wish you didn't have to cutcha domestic agenda like ME? DONTCHA? DONTCHA?" That's not the function of government, as Hoover demonstrated with disastrous consequences during the Great Depression.

The next president will have to find creative ways to stimulate the economy. We do that by spending in lean times and saving in fat times. I read the other day that there's fairly strong evidence that we've been in a recession for a year now. FDR did it by creating massive public works projects, employing people and strengthening the fabric of the nation. I look at Obama's clean energy agenda as a similar win-win, a de-facto stimulus in an area that our country and the world as a whole desperately needs. The next president should have long-term goals to cut the deficit and start paying down the debt, just not right away. (This is a "fundamental difference" between the candidates: hint, one of them proposed "a spending freeze".)

There is little chance that McCain will be president. He has to run the table in a number of states where he is behind by double digits. A lot of people have already voted in early voting, in historic numbers, so he can't flip them. I keep saying it's over, but it's OVER. You can follow the electoral projections in mind-numbing statistical detail at and But it's over.

On the lighter side of the news... I did see Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. I heard from several people who only watched the cold open, where, in a Hamlet-like recursion of scenes, we watched Sarah Palin watching Sarah Palin give a press conference. Instead of feeling the ironic distance between Fey and Palin, like Hamlet's murderous uncle, we are meant to feel the essential identity between Fey's portrayal and Palin. Alec Baldwin's bit where he mistakes Palin for Fey pushes them even closer together.

But what you really just gotta, gotta see, is the second Palin segment. She's on Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, and she demurs, again, from doing her planned segment (in the script; she said something similar about not wanting to do the SNL press conference). So Amy Poehler busts out the Palin Gangsta Rap, which is like a greatest hits compilation:

She had a very passive role in everything that was being done to her. I agree that she was a good sport about being pilloried yet again, but wasn't the point to show a different side of Sarah Palin? And yet we didn't see much of one...

I don't think you balance a ticket by starting with a qualified candidate and balancing with an unqualified one. And McCain's flat-out lie on Don Imus does not make me confident about his judgment of her: "I think she is the most qualified of any that has run recently for vice president." This is totally off the wall.

More qualified than Biden? He's been a Senator for over three decades and chairs the Foreign Relations Committee.

More qualified than Al Gore, a Congressman and Senator for sixteen years before he became VP? (He went on to win the popular vote in 2000 and the Nobel Peace Prize, but it would be unfair to compare that record to Palin's while she still has a chance to go on to accomplish those things.)

More qualified than Jack Kemp of Dole/Kemp, who was a Congressman for the better part of twenty years, then Housing Secretary under the first president Bush?

More qualified than DICK CHENEY (Evil as he is)?

Stanford professor Larry Lessig did a video about a month ago comparing Palin's experience to every serving vice president in history. It makes this question of experience eminently obvious.

So why did McCain lie?

I'm being called away to The Office, more on your more substantive points later...


Francis Deblauwe said...

As Julius Caesar said when he was stabbed to death: "Et tu, Brute?" Poooor Joe Lieberman, shunned or betrayed by Democrats, Republicans and McCain alike. See this great cartoon at the Word Face-Off blog!

Dan Lewis said...

Well, I do think Lieberman has been a Republican booster this year. He campaigned for McCain and spoke at the Republican National Convention, doing the full Zell Miller...

However, he was still more qualified than Sarah Palin. He was in the Senate for 12 years before running with Al Gore in 2000.

travis said...

"...and so the pendulum swings back left. The citizenry's remembrance of the perils of an unbalanced government draws nigh, foretelling the swing of the pendulum yet again. Enjoy your feast of gluttonous entitlement for tomorrow we die."

How's that for the beginnings of my November 5th response?