Limbaugh and Hannity today suggested that Barack Obama doesn’t have a mandate. Hmmm…
Seems to me I recall Bush going on about how he had gotten a mandate after the 2004 elections to pursue Social Security reform. He had “capital,” and he was “going to spend it.” As I also recall, Limbaugh and Hannity were just fine with Bush’s mandate, despite the fact that Kerry/Edwards received fifty-nine million votes and Bush won the popular vote by just over three million votes. So with Limbaugh and Hannity and even Peggy Noonan saying that the fifty-five million votes McCain got means that Obama doesn’t have a mandate (despite the fact that he won the popular vote by over seven million votes), the simple fact is that even John Kerry got more votes than John McCain did, and that was with less overall turnout.
So who has a mandate? Who has political capital to spend?
But let’s not get off on the wrong foot, shall we? I think most of the conservative blogs have been as gracious as John McCain was last night in his concession speech. I would love to put a lid on the Clinton and Bush years and “reset” everything. There’s been enough bickering, and I think a majority of Americans — even those who did not vote for Obama — are willing to take a wait and see attitude with an Obama administration, despite the fact that many of them believe he will be a disaster for this country and plunge us into a bankrupt welfare state. Ironic, since… Well, I’ll resist comment on that last part…
Just remember who got the welfare last month…
Dammit!! Sorry, couldn’t resist.
The rumors are already out that President-Elect Obama will appoint some Republicans to his administration. I think that will go a long way toward proving to the naysayers that he really does intend to make a decent attempt to unite the country. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will ever be enough for the extreme right-wing of the party. You know — the sort that wants Sarah Palin to be the torchbearer of the new, reconfigured Republican party.
As I was listening to Rush and Hannity today, and later, Levin (who just played tapes of Reagan all night), I just got the sense that perhaps their time is over. I really hope the Democrats don’t try to replay the “fairness doctrine.” I don’t think it’s necessary, and I think it will ignite cries of censorship from the right. I say let the most radical, most outspoken members of the self-appointed leaders of the “new” Republican party talk all they want on the radio. Let America hear how wrong they are. They’re there for ratings only, and from what I hear anecdotally, true conservatives are starting to see them as negative caricatures of the party they love and hope to rebuild.
Anyway, I think the Obama campaign has provided a template by which future campaigns can innoculate Americans against hateful smear-filled attacks. It certainly seemed to work this time anyway. It remains to be seen just how much the economic crash contributed to diffusing these Rove-ian tactics though. In any case, the smears didn’t work this time. The right-wingers can claim all they want that the media was in the tank for Obama and that they pushed for his election, but in reality, this thing grew from the ground up. It was funded by CITIZENS who saw something in this man and believed he was the leader we needed at this time. The attacks were floated. We couldn’t help but hear them. We know about Ayers. We know about Wright. We know, folks. We heard. The media repeated it. FOX repeated it. The View repeated it. The right-wing blogosphere repeated it. Drudge repeated it. And then the left-wing media repeated it because it was a story on how the right-wing repeated it.
We heard, guys. Really. We did. But America dismissed it. America has heard the lies for years.
Rush, you said today that when you looked at the crowd in Grant Park that you saw a throng of people who didn’t care what they heard, as long as Obama was talking. They were dazzled by their rock star.
You couldn’t be more wrong. That crowd relished every word. They were very aware of the historical event that they witnessed. Those of us at home did not hear the “eloquently spoken, yet empty speech” you talked about. We heard a man appealing to the best in us, to the best in America. We heard a man acknowledge that the country sent an amazing message to the world, that we would no longer be led by fear, but by hope. I don’t think you are able to see the significance of that. Have you forgotten it is our hope that dazzles the world? The hope of America? That’s why we’re all here, after all. For you to dismiss that, well, I feel sorry for you that you did not feel that last night. I feel extremely privileged and proud to be able to say I lived, I was here in America during a moment such as this. I voted for him. I was a part of it. I felt it.
We’re not drinking the Kool-Aid, Rush. It happened. There is more to come. If an African American with the middle name of Hussein (and the most liberal member of the Senate) can be elected President of the USA, doesn’t that tell you anything is possible?
Rush’s day is done. Hannity’s day is done. Levin’s day is done. Ingraham’s day is done.
These folks are espousing the radical Christianist moral conservative movement as the way forward for the Republican party. This is embodied by the supposedly sensible conservative values echoed by Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin as Ronald Reagan. Hmmm. Think that’s going to fly with the Reagan Democrats? Because you’re going to need them. There are more and more Democrats all the time, and the Republican party keeps succeeding in alienating the voters it desperately needs to win national elections. Just the Hispanic vote is increasing dramatically every year, and if you want to keep building walls and talking loudly about deporting these folks, they’ll be very happy to continue to vote Democratic in the future, I’m sure.
I think part of the key to a resurgent Republican party is going to be the toning down of the rhetoric. This will be good for both sides. If we can start talking about ideas again while respecting our differences of opinion, hopefully the last two decades can be remembered as the partisan storm before the calm.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say this since my candidate won, but as I mentioned before, I believe there will be some real good-faith gestures from the Obama administration that should help reconcile the two sides.
But before that happens, the GOP has a lot of internal cleaning up to do, and it should start by relegating the Hannities and Limbaughs to cult/fringe status in the party.
This is a chance for all of America, and the world. It would be a shame to start the same old shit all over again. It’s not often a country gets a second chance at reconciling its differences and healing its wounds.
This is a good place to start. Hopefully we’ll all make the best of it.
I’m going to try once again to be less confrontational in this blog (I started along this path when I changed its name from “Hannity Sucks” to “Blue State Journal” initially), but I will keep pointing out where I disagree with my fellow conservatives, and I will certainly point out when I see hypocrisy.
From both sides.