Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

I almost feel more swamped by political readings than I did before the election.

I remember reading something which argued historical numbers that a Democratic victory (regardless of the candidate/s) was inevitable, but I appear to not have saved the link. 

Megan McArdle wrote:
I'm not discounting the possibility of a major Democratic realignment, not at all.  But I feel compelled to point out that many of the people excited by massive voter shifts are confusing a) serious Bush hatred during a once-in-a-generation financial crisis and b) massive black voting turnout to vote for the first black president, a definitionally unrepeatable happening with c) actual permanent demographic change in the electorate.
    [05 Nov 2008 05:44 pm]
Every time we have an election, the partisans confuse the fact that the independents disliked the opposition candidate, with the idea that the independents joined their party.  The independents did not want to stomp the Democrats in 2004, and they do not want to stomp the Republicans now.  They are not interested in advancing the electoral fortunes of the Democratic Party, any more than they were preparing to hand the Republicans a "permanent majority" in 2004.  And when the various parties act as if it is so--as if the independents had actually voted to join their power-hungry two-minutes-hate, rather than voting for the guy they thought would best shelter them from the vicissitudes of fate . . . well, for the last few elections, they've had their asses handed to them on a silver platter two years later.
    [06 Nov 2008 08:43 am]
dorrie6 linked to a Newsweek article "Goodbye, Anti-intellectualism. Brains are Back!" and excerpted:
What Obama's election means, above all, is that brains are back. Sense and pragmatism and the idea of considering-all-the-options are back. Studying one's enemies and thinking through strategic problems are back. Cultural understanding is back. Yahooism and jingoism and junk science about global warming and shabby legal reasoning about torture are out. The national culture of flag-pin shallowness that guided our foreign policy is gone with the wind.
I winced, but the article turns out to be about Obama himself and what kind of President he is likely to be, rather than about what his election says about the American people.  I also liked this bit:
"I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face," Obama said in his acceptance speech in Chicago Tuesday night. If he holds to that pledge and nothing else, we'll be OK.
And some snark from Megan McArdle:
One thing that struck home last night, as I was sitting on a dinner panel about the next four years, is that their huge majority, combined with budget constraints, actually poses one big problem for the Democrats:  no one to torpedo their electoral promises for them. [...] the Democrats do not have the luxury of proposing unpassable legislation in order to look like they're doing something.
    [06 Nov 2008 08:56 am]

thistlerose linked to a NYT blog piece which ends:
Two images will forever stay in my mind to mark this epoch-breaking Election Day. One is that of Jesse Jackson’s face, drenched in tears, in Chicago’s Grant Park on Tuesday evening.

And the other is a photo that ran in The Times on Wednesday. In it, a black mother and daughter sit on the floor of a church in Harlem. The mother, Latrice Barnes, having heard of Obama’s victory, is doubled up in tears; her daughter, Jasmine, is reaching a tentative hand up to soothe her. To me, she looks like the future, reaching out to heal the past.


For me, this will be the enduring memory of election night 2008: One generation released its grief. The next looked up confusedly, eager to please and yet unable to comprehend just what the tears were about.
The argument that the current youth are a somehow post-race(ism) generation is true to some extent, but I worry that it elides so much of the subtler racism -- the stuff that's harder to deal with because it's not blatant and obvious.

AP article on Obama's "Mutts like me" line at a press conference  (Watching the video, I was struck by how his face and tone seemed so serious -- despite the levity of his words.  At group on Thursday, Mike commented that Obama only smiled once his entire victory speech, and pointed out that his grandmother had just died -- plus of course the exhaustion of the two-year campaign.)


jennyo said, "Kos, you can be a mega-douche, but you got this one right."  I'm a little hesitant to agree, in part because it's such a simplification, but on reflection it does seem somewhat accurate.

Megan McArdle writes:
I confess, I didn't see this coming:  California votes yes on Proposition 8.  I do think, though, that the success of anti-gay-marriage initiatives reinforces something I strongly believe:  the issue was pressed too quickly, and in the wrong venue.  Using the courts to establish a right to gay marriage made opponents feel threatened, and railroaded.  If socially conservative voters hadn't felt they needed to protect themselves from activist judges, we wouldn't be seeing these provisions written into state constitutions.  Few of them would probably have bothered to vote out legislators who voted for gay marriage five years from now.  But with it on the ballot, in front of them, and worries that judges would make the decision unless they did, they shot it down even in California.

In general, courts are the wrong place to press these sorts of claims.  The courts were appropriate for civil rights because blacks were literally denied the right to participate in the legislative democratic process.  And on a practical level, they worked because a majority of people in the country were more than happy to force civil rights on an unhappy white southern minority.  Unfortunately, too many groups have decided that the success of civil rights can be widely applied to circumvent the electorate on issues where there is no public consensus.  Now widespread gay marriage seems quite a bit less likely for the near term than it would have been had we attacked the issue legislatively.
    [05 Nov 2008 12:46 pm]
I've seen some LJers talking about the legal challenge (arguing that Prop. 8's a "revision" rather than an "amendment," so it should have gone through a different process than it did), but what little I've seen thus far has been skeptical about the challenge.

Eugene Volokh says:
the two cases that I've found in other states that dealt with the same question have likewise concluded that an opposite-sex-only marriage initiative was an amendment, not a revision: Bess v. Ulmer (Alaska Supreme Court, 1999), and Martinez v. Kulongoski (Oregon Court of Appeals, 2008). Bess, in particular, expressly applied California precedents (though with a minor change that doesn't seem relevant here), and concluded that the opposite-sex-only marriage initiative was an amendment, not a revision: "Few sections of the Constitution are directly affected, and nothing in the proposal will 'necessarily or inevitably alter the basic governmental framework' of the Constitution."

Some of the first stuff I was reading about Rahm Emmanuel, I thought, "Hey, he sounds like Josh Lyman."  Turns out Josh Lyman was actually based on him.  And we all know Matt Santos was based on Barack Obama.  Heh.

On the topic of life, art, imitation thereof... via justhuman: President Barack Obama being introduced to the Stargate Program and:
Europe flames America's recent WIP starring an OMC named Obama <--- funniest shit ever. Keep reading the comments at least until you get to Canada's comments. If you're into ironic meta, there are two rants from comm members about how off topic the post is ... in fanficrants
And from the Onion:
Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job
November 5, 2008 | Issue 44•45
WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."

Hillary Clinton Resumes Attacking Obama
November 5, 2008 | Issue 44•45
NEW YORK—Less than 20 minutes after Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States, New York senator Hillary Clinton officially resumed her political attacks against the senator from Illinois. "My fellow Americans, I admire Barack Obama, but in his first 20 minutes as president-elect, he has failed time and time again to deliver the change he promised," the former Democratic presidential candidate said at a small rally in Harlem. "Mr. Obama may deliver a rousing victory speech, but right now this country needs more than just speeches. It needs real leadership." In addition to her numerous scheduled public appearances, Clinton has also released a series of coordinated television and radio ads questioning the near-half-hour Obama has spent away from the White House, his failure to meet with a single foreign leader at Camp David since being elected, and the current lack of any female or minority appointments to his cabinet.

via ann1962: "Fifty things you might not know about Barack Obama" (telegraph.co.uk).  Hi, I would like citations. 
• He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics

• His favourite meal is wife Michelle's shrimp linguini

• He has read every Harry Potter book

• He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali

• He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can't stand ice cream

• His favourite snacks are chocolate-peanut protein bars

• While on the campaign trail he refused to watch CNN and had sports channels on instead

• His favourite drink is black forest berry iced tea

• He promised Michelle he would quit smoking before running for president – he didn't

• He can bench press an impressive 200lbs

• His favourite book is Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

• He visited Wokingham, Berks, in 1996 for the stag party of his half-sister's fiancé, but left when a stripper arrived

• His desk in his Senate office once belonged to Robert Kennedy

• His favourite films are Casablanca and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

• He carries a tiny Madonna and child statue and a bracelet belonging to a soldier in Iraq for good luck

• He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while at Harvard but was rejected by the all-female committee.

• His favourite music includes Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bach and The Fugees

• He took Michelle to see the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing on their first date

• He enjoys playing Scrabble and poker

• He doesn't drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol

• He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician

• He uses an Apple Mac laptop

• He drives a Ford Escape Hybrid, having ditched his gas-guzzling Chrysler 300 SUV

• He wears $1,500 (£952) Hart Schaffner Marx suits

• He owns four identical pairs of black size 11 shoes

• He has his hair cut once a week by his Chicago barber, Zariff, who charges $21 (£13)

• His favourite fictional television programmes are Mash and The Wire

• He was given the code name "Renegade" by his Secret Service handlers

• He plans to install a basketball court in the White House grounds

• His favourite artist is Pablo Picasso

• His speciality as a cook is chilli

• He has said many of his friends in Indonesia were "street urchins"

• He keeps on his desk a carving of a wooden hand holding an egg, a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life
Tags: issues: decision 2008, issues: obama administration, issues: race, issues: same-sex marriage, issues: u.s. presidential race: 2008, life imitates tv, the onion

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