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Post-Election Thoughts

I've been meaning to post all day.  The election's over; Obama won.  I've been planning this post -- hoping I'd have the chance to write it -- for weeks.  But I've spent the last hour looking at the posts my friends have written and commenting on them.  And I find that I have little to add to what others have said with eloquence and grace and same mix of joy and disbelief that I've been feeling since last night.

But one comment on a friend's blog caught my eye.  The comment was from a Republican who was distraught at the way the election had gone and who said that he was lying low today, avoiding his friends for fear of having his nose rubbed in last night's defeat.  I wrote in reply that as a Democrat who has suffered through Kerry's heartbreaking loss in 2004, Gore's bitter defeat in 2000, and the embarrassing drubbings of the Reagan/Bush-the-Elder years, I won't be rubbing anyone's nose in anything.

The power and beauty of Barack Obama's speech last night lay in his magnanimity and humility.  It wasn't a victory speech as much as it was a call to action.  And it was made all the more effective by John McCain's concession speech just moments before, which was as generous and full of grace as any speech I'd ever heard McCain give.  Perhaps together, these two men -- acting as leaders, as politicians are supposed to --  showed our entire nation how we might move beyond the acrimony and raw emotions of this extraordinary campaign.

We have so much to do as a people.  We can't afford to waste a moment on recrimination or gloating.  Let's get to work.  Together.  Yes, we can.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
sboydtaylor
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yes. We can.

If people vote with their feet and stop listening to the vitriol and hate spewing from Rush Limbaugh today. The man has gone mad.

I fully expect tomorrow he'll start declaring that the South Shall Rise Again.
fionagh
Nov. 6th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
Hear, hear! No more vitriol I'd only add to this a general suggestion that now it's okay to turn off the TV too and instead maybe invite a former opposition-mate to dinner this week. And we don't have to talk politics for once. We can just talk like human beings.

That's what I'm thinking of doing anyway ...
davidbcoe
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Nice idea.
davidbcoe
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping that Rush and company will be further marginalized by what happened Tuesday.
sboydtaylor
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Dare to hope. Dare to dream. :)
markwise
Nov. 6th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
I have to congratulate Barack Obama on the win. He ran a good campaign. I only wish the Republican campaign pundits hadn't screwed up in their approach to a McCain/Palin ticket, but what's the use crying over spilled milk? All we can do is look forward and hopefully we can combine both party's goals for the betterment of the nation as a whole.

P.S. - As an early BOW award nominee, I would nominate Ralph Nadar. He went on FoxNews not 8 hours after the election and called Barack Obama a potential "Uncle Tom to Wall Street". Way bad taste there. He may have had a point in his rant, but it was lost in his poor choice of words which he stood by even when called out by the FoxNews interviewer about it.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=24&entry_id=32372
davidbcoe
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, Mark. I'm sure this is a rough week for you and I appreciate your willingness to stop by my blog.

Saw Nader's comments and could not believe what he was saying. Once upon a time I respected that man, but he's become a joke. I'll keep the nomination in mind. I'm actually planning something a bit different for this week's BOW, but I'll hold new nominations in reserve in case I don't get to what I've planned.
markwise
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks David. Yeah it's a rough week but I make it through by clinging to my guns ans religion. *haha j/k*

Seriously, I wish him well and I hope he proves me and the other naysayers wrong. When he does something right, I will be one of the first to support him. But when he strays, I will be one of the first to point it out as well.

*raises his glass* Here to an interesting 4 years! :)
davidbcoe
Nov. 6th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
Fair enough! [Clinks glasses]

(Good line about the guns and religion, btw.)
jp_davis
Nov. 6th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC)
The one thing that was most incredible about Obama's speech, which I really think ranks up there as one of the best speeches in American history, is how far across the aisle he reached. I also gather that when McCain called, Obama commented on all the areas where McCain was a leader, told him he admired him, and asked for his help in the coming years. This to a man who the day before had been insinuating that he was a terrorist. What unbelievable grace and class.

McCain himself showed amazing grace and class in his speech, too, and if that guy had been running for president, the outcome might have been different. But honestly, I'm pretty glad it didn't.
davidbcoe
Nov. 6th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
I'm not so naive as to believe that Dems and Reps are going to stand around a campfire holding hands and singing "Kumbayah", but I do think that Obama is smart enough to understand that if he goes the partisan route, he'll fail and will wind up being a one term President. He's as smart as any person we've ever elected, and I have great hopes for his Administration.
hedwig_snowy
Nov. 6th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
He's smart enough to know that, just like in the campaign, that most people are more interested in their problems that effect their lives than wrangling over partisan issues.

Also, from a strategy standpoint, it's much better not to get drawn into the mud. 1) It makes you looked bad and 2) It enhances their status.

The fact that the RNC and Boehner already attacked his choice for Chief of Staff shows that they learned nothing on Tuesday and, if they're not careful, will result in even more marginalizing of their party.

I, for one, hope that the majority of Congressional Republicans can be brought along. However, it won't mean that I won't work hard, from now until 2010, to take Mel Martinez's senate seat.

After I rest for a week... :-)
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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