Psalm 34 and a bit from a Zaleski book about the instinct to prayer.
Laura Ruth talked about how she volunteered as a poll worker yesterday and one hour before the polls closed, the machine the completed ballots get fed into stopped working. So they hand-recorded 1600 ballots. She said 300 ballots passed through her hands, and she prayed over each one. She invited us to think of a moment from today or yesterday which felt like prayer for us.
I talked about seeing post after post from all these people I know after the election was called, and that surge of positive energy -- that more than "having a Democrat in the White House" is what really makes me happy going forward. I said I hadn't seen that in, well, ever -- I was a teenager during the Clinton years, and that was just "yay, prosperity, happy," and the 2000 election I was a senior in high school and then I've spent the last eight years surrounded by unhappy liberals. I mean, lots of people have been excited about Obama for a while now, but this is different.
"Voter turnout best in generations" -Independent.co.uk
"Year after year after year after year having to choose between the lesser of who cares. I'm trying to get myself excited about a candidate who can speak in complete sentences." (The West Wing)
It's not going to be easy.***
All of your roadmaps are wrong.
The first time I got choked up was reading the metro on my way in to work this morning when I hit this on page six: "Even in reliably red states where Barack Obama had little chance of winning, unprecedented numbers of registrations and early votes were tallied, and election officials predicted a record turnout in places where neither candidate even bothered to campaign." -AP
I didn't watch any election coverage last night -- in part because I kept saying I was going to bed.
CNN of course showed clips of the speeches.
Barack and Michelle hugging and kissing multiple times... they looked so much like they wanted to be able to rest, but they also looked so in love with each other, and so happy.
Obama's victory speech [AP text]
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.I winced a little, 'cause it smacked of, "Democracy won because *I* won," but then he went on to say:
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.I know it's almost pablum since he's a Democrat, but I still enjoyed hearing "gay, straight" in the litany of diversity -- and way to include "disabled and not disabled."
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
Thanks to Tiffany, I recognized the MLK allusion -- "The arc of history is long, but it bends toward freedom."
He thanked individuals and everyone who aided his campaign and then said:
This is your victory.I really like that he makes it about the people instead of about himself.
And I know you didn't do this just to win an election. And I know you didn't do it for me.
You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
I promise you, we as a people will get there.
Let's remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.
Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
And I really like that he is talking right from the get-go about how it's going to be a long and challenging road and not everything he wants to accomplish is going to get accomplished (managing expectations!).
And I really like that he is reaching out to those on "the other side" -- and in a way which feels real to me.
CNN showed less of McCain's concession speech [AP text; CNN video embed] than they did of Obama's victory speech (as expected), but they did show the clip of, "The American people have spoken. And they have spoken clearly." He sounded so... "sad" is the best word I can come up with.
It was a good concession speech. I was talking with HBS-Mike later in the day and commenting on how encouraging it was that both candidates emphasized in their speeches the importance of all of us moving forward together -- not papering over the differences, but not encouraging divisiveness either.
GMA had various older African American persons talking about Obama's victory, and one woman talked about the fact that "these steps were built by slaves." I actually cried at that point.
hernewshoes has posts like Langston Hughes' "Let America be America again." and "I, too, sing America."
JadeLennox posted: "The Corner is never classy. Except when they are."
The Corner writer was at "Congressman Charlie Rangel's block party celebrating the election of Barack Obama." He writes:
Why was I, a John McCain voter, there? A bit of personal history. I was born in 1964, and on the day I was born the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Prince Edward County in Virginia had to reopen its public schools. The county had closed the schools because they decided it was better to have no public schools at all than to have to admit black kids into them. Here we are, just 44 years later, with an African-American president, a president elected with the electoral votes of that very same Commonwealth of Virginia.***
I voted for John McCain because I admire him immensely as a person, and agree with him on many more issues than I do with Senator Obama. And I ask a rhetorical question: Can we McCain voters, without embarrassment, shed a tear of patriotic joy about the historic significance of what just happened? And I offer a short, rhetorical answer.
Yes, we can.
Through passive LJing, by the time I went to bed last night I knew that Massachusetts had voted Yes on decriminalizing (possession of <1oz of) marijuana and No on abolishing the state income tax. This morning, the radio informed that we had also voted Yes on abolishing greyhound racing, and that all(?) the down-ticket races had gone Democrat.
CNN (between like 8 and 9 am this morning) told me that the Senate had moved from 49/49 to 56/40 D majority, with 4 seats still unknown (including a rly tight MN race -- like a difference of seven hundred and something out of however many million votes). 60 would give them a filibuster-proof majority
I hadn't seen/heard anything about CA's Prop 8 (except one downbeat post from rozk before I left for work), but then I saw justhuman's post: "While they're still counting the votes in California and Prop 8 has *not* passed or been called (7:59 ET), but it's not looking good."
I remember the MA SJC ruling, and my dad saying it was too much too fast, that it should go through legislative channels rather than judicial ones. I was sympathetic to that (and my dad was speaking as a pragmatic matter -- he loves his queer daughter and wants her to be able to marry whomever she wants), and I still am, but I'm also getting tired of this battle. And that wasn't so very long ago. (The ruling came down barely 5 years ago -- November 18, 2003.)
I had a busy day and didn't know where to find comprehensive results [links acquired over the day included http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/state/#CA and http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/election_results/us_questions/] so I acquired information through sporadic flist checking and etc. -- hence, linkdump.
People barely talked about the election at work today, which kinda threw me -- it was like just another day at the office.
"On a brighter note- the California proposal about parental consent for abortions (for minors) failed, as did the the Colorado proposal to define person-hood at the moment of fertilization, and the one in South Dakota that would basically ban abortion." -bella_loki
"I just read about the anti-gay-marriage law that got voted up in AZ and FL." -rivendellrose
"US abortion bans lose, gay marriage bans win" -Independent.co.uk
I don't think most voters "hate" the gays as I see some people phrasing it. penknife has a good post about reasons people oppose same-sex marriage [now with correct link!].
"I had hoped we had grown. And we have, I suppose - Proposition 8 passed by 10% less than Proposition 22, another anti-gay-marriage proposition, did eight years ago. But it still wasn't enough." -makesmewannadie
Keith Ellison, the only Muslim member of Congress (and from Minnesota, yay for my midwestern "flyover" state!), got re-elected with a 71% vote. Higher than my own Congressman, Jim Oberstar, at 67%.
-from a locked post
A lovely political cartoon and another post from Andrew Sullivan:
05 Nov 2008 01:19 pm***
The Healing Has Begun!
Words you don't hear every day from Hugh Hewitt:
I forgot to mention last night that Katie's polling place had "I Voted" stickers AND a bake sale -- including "sushi" (Rice Krispies® treats with Swedish fish).