Tuesday, November 04, 2008

On Barack Obama being President...

Occasionally, I read Markos' blog. Dailykos has a reputation for being a super-opinionated liberal blog, and I try not to get caught up in the marching rhetoric. Every once in a while I find myself getting sucked up. Markos got me early in October with this piece where he speaks in a fiercely quiet way about the change we are witnessing.
So with conservatives bracing for the worst, they won't experience the kind of pain we did in 2004. Not unless we deliver a defeat even worse than their worst nightmares. And I'll be honest with you -- I want them to hurt as much as we did. I want their spirits crushed, their backs broken. The day after the election, I want to see an electoral battlefield littered with defeated Republicans, their ranks demoralized, their treasury in heavy debt, and no real leadership to take the helm. I want a vacuum so complete, that a bloody leadership battle between the neocons, theocons, and corporate cons shakes the GOP to its core, and leaves it fractured and ill-equipped to stymie the progressive agenda, much less ramp up for an even bleaker (for them) 2010.
We're not out to win this thing. We're out to crush them. And that's going to require a level of engagement beyond anything you've ever done before. It'll mean more phone banking, more canvassing, more donating. Work on this site keeps me from working the phones or walking precincts (my wife has helped out on those fronts), but I've surrendered a significant portion of my income, way more than my family can really afford, on behalf of the cause. We've all got something to offer, whether it's time or money, and now's the time to offer what we can…
I am proud to say that I did my little bit in convincing people the need for a positive change – through blogging and otherwise. I am happy that I did - however small it might be. I hope for a better future, not just for our country, not just for our people, but for the world at large. The new President has a host of problems that he will have to shoulder and hit the ground running. On top of the agenda is the economy and distressed homeowners. Add to that the dangers posed by creeping inflation and rising unemployment and one has the recipe for disaster. Outside of the country, it is a fact that Afghanistan is hurting badly and Iraq is still in a quagmire. With global recession and a bellicose Russia he will have a lot to deal with internally and externally. A lot will be expected of him over the next four years and my hope is that he delivers. Time will tell. For now I am happy.

In light of the fact that President Obama faces a Great Depression like scenario in front of him, a historical parallel drawn by George Packer in the New Yorker today is handy:

On the night of his landslide victory over Hoover, in 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, Roosevelt had an intimate conversation with his son James:
"You know, Jimmy," Franklin said, "all my life I have been afraid of only one thing—fire. Tonight I think I'm afraid of something else."
"Afraid of what, Pa?"
"I'm just afraid that I may not have the strength to do this job." He paused reflectively. "After you leave me tonight, Jimmy, I am going to pray. I am going to pray that God will help me, that he will give me the strength and the guidance to do this job and to do it right. I hope that you will pray for me, too, Jimmy."

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