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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The Morning After

The media are doing their best to convince people that Obama had a big win. Don't buy it. Just looking at the two-party vote, Obama won by about six percentage points. That's a only a slightly larger margin of victory than Clinton in 1992 and smaller than Clinton's margin in 1996, Bush Sr.'s margin in 1988, way smaller than Reagan's in 1984 and 1980, and Nixon's in 1972.

Predictably, liberals are claiming this represents an embrace of liberalism.

These guys--and the others who are counseling Barack Obama and the Democrats to "go slow"--couldn't be more wrong. They are looking at Obama's election through the prism of Jimmy Carter's win in 1976 and Bill Clinton's victory in 1992. Both Carter and Clinton did misjudge the mood of the country. They tried unsuccessfully to govern a country from the center-left that was moving to the right (in Carter's case) or that was only just beginning to move leftward (in Clinton's case), and were rebuked by the voters. But Obama is taking office under dramatically different circumstances. His election is the culmination of a Democratic realignment that began in the '90s, was held in abeyance by September 11, and had resumed in the 2006 election.

Nonsense. America is not becoming more liberal. Obama plainly ran a campaign that for the most part was patterned after Bill Clinton's "third way". He benefited from a terrific tailwind due to general Bush fatigue and the economic crisis. And he still barely won, losing (as I write) some traditional bellwethers like Missouri.

I am not going to sit here and hope that Obama turns out to be another Jimmy Carter; I'd much rather have another Bill Clinton (albeit without the raiding of the intern pool), even if it means two terms instead of one. The country has too many problems for us to pray for four bad years so we can make it into power again.

If you want something to give you a chuckle today, check out chucklehead John Derbyshire:

What lost this election was the cloth-eared cluelessness of George W. Bush, the timid squeamishness of John McCain, and the deep lack of interest in conservative principles among Republican primary voters.

Sour? You bet I’m sour. Where was conservatism in this election? Where was restraint in government? Where was national sovereignty? Where was liberty? Where was self-support? And where are those things now? Where are they headed this next four years? Down the toilet, that’s where. Pah!

My vision of hell is a world where the only two political pundits are Derb and Sully.
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