Yes we Did!

This is news that never gets old: Obama won! Ok, so it’s not news. You know this. As usual, I’ve been scooped. Still, I can’t get over it. Amazing.

And yet… He’s not a magician. He’s not our saviour. And there’s only so much a president can do. Obama is planning to reverse a bunch of the Worst President Ever’s policies, but it’s not like he can wave a magic wand to make that happen.

I’m excited. I am. And very glad. But I’d rather keep expectations low and be pleasantly surprised than hear a chorus of denunciations against Obama six months or a year from now when his administration has failed to meet my unrealistically high hopes. It’s exciting and amazing enough that he won.

He won! Yeah!

In a week…

The mind boggles at what is going to happen next Tuesday. Will we wake up next Wednesday to President Obama? The polls suggest “yes,” but what do polls mean in an age off electronic voting?

Yeah, I’m paranoid. But am I paranoid enough?

Honestly Obama’s 30 minutes of prime time tonight bothers me. What is he doing? Things appear to be going his way. Is now the time to do something so odd, ostentatious, and almost unprecedented? I’ve heard comparisons to Ross Perot; he apparently did something like this in 1992. Of course, Obama is in an entirely different position now than Perot was then, but I still just have this bad feeling that this tv spot is going to backfire, making Obama look cocky or giving him the opportunity to say/do something that is going to change the momentum. How could viewers not be disappointed? We’ve heard so much about this tv special there’s no way it could live up to expectations. So how can that sort of disappointment — “Oh, he was fine, but he didn’t really say anything that blew my doors off” — how can that be good for his campaign?

But I know nothing. Just thinking out loud.

On the up side, it’s fun to hear reporting and punditry about the in-fighting and recriminations beginning w/in the Republican party. NPR just featured a Republican complaining that the Republicans have become just like the Democrats in the past six years or so, there’s no difference between the parties, he’s disgusted w/the Republicans, they deserve to lose for abandoning their values, etc. It’s funny b/c that’s exactly the criticism Democrats and others further left were making back in 2000. Remember Nader’s tweedledee and tweedledum argument?

It’s sort of fascinating to look back at that whole argument now. I admit I bought it. Back in 2000 I was disgusted w/the Democratic party. I even (gasp!) voted for Nader. (But note: I lived in a state that went solidly for Gore; had I lived in a swing or Republican state, I might have voted differently.) I agreed with the argument that Democrats deserved to lose if they weren’t going to take strong stands on the issues that were really important to them. I believed, w/Nader, that a Democratic loss would teach us all a lesson and make the Democratic party stronger for the next elections.

It turned out I was wrong. It didn’t take long after Bush was installed as pResident for us to be reminded of the differences between him and what Gore likely would have done, and we all know what happened in 2004. Instead of Democrats learning their lessons and coming back strong in 2004, we got another four years of Worst President Evar.

Now we’re a week away from possibly changing things. Not that I’m counting chickens here, but I don’t know what I’ll do if McCain wins. What I do know is that if the shoes change feet, so to speak, and Republicans continue to be the ones dismayed and despairing about their party and the future b/c their party just lost the election, well, I won’t be losing any sleep over that. What goes around, kiddies…

Sadly, it looks like I won’t be able to get into the big election night rally downtown. Tickets are already gone.

Women Against Sarah Palin

We are not in the habit of criticizing women in the public sphere, as we usually feel we should support our female compatriots with as much encouragement as we can. However, Sarah Palin’s record is anti-woman. Feminism is not simply about achieving the power and status typically held by men. It’s about protecting and supporting the rights of women of all classes, races, cultures, and beliefs. Palin’s record and beliefs do not align with this. She was chosen by John McCain specifically because he believes that American women will vote for any female candidate regardless of their qualifications. He is wrong.

You might want to read this.

Via The Suburban Ecstasies, which also notes that McPain ’08 is lying and will be more of the same culture of secrecy and dishonesty we’ve had for the last eight years..

Snooze

It’s really perverse how hitting the snooze button on the alarm is like a trigger to make me fall immediately and deeply asleep, only to be rudely awakened again 9 minutes later when the alarm goes off again. On some deep psychological level I think this must be ruining my life.

Now that the Democratic primary is really (more or less) over, three things:

  1. Regarding misogyny, it seems true to me that our society has a greater taboo against public denigration based upon race than it does against public denigration of gender. So yeah, perhaps Hillary (two Ls) was stereotyped and gender-bashed in ways that Barack (with a C) was not race bashed. It was subtle, but sometimes that’s the worst kind of critique. I’m sure w/in a year or two there will be a dozen books analyzing this
  2. It would be really cool to have an Obama/Clinton ticket, but can you imagine being President Obama w/both Bill and Hill in your White House telling you what to do all the time? I can’t see it working.
  3. Lots of things are younger than McCain.

Misogyny Insanity

Listening to the NPR tell me that groups of Hilary Clinton supporters are going to vote for McCain if Obama becomes the Democratic candidate. Exqueeze me? You think the media and the Democratic leadership have been unfair to Clinton because she’s a woman, so your response is to vote for yet another old white male who believes far less of what you believe than does Obama? This is a strategy? This is reasonable? This makes any sense whatsoever?

I don’t think Hilary should stop this madness because I’m a misogynist. I think Hilary should stop this madness because she’s encouraging the kind of insanity voiced by these supporters. She could easily have put an end to this weeks ago by simply saying, ok, it’s not going to happen this year, let’s all get behind Obama. She could have done that w/a great deal of dignity, she could have claimed victory in many ways, and she could have kicked McCain in the balls by helping to further unify the Democratic party. Instead, she fights on, encouraging extremism and division w/in her own party, and for what?

As the NPR story says, someone has to lose. If you want to say that Hilary lost because too many people just want to keep women down, well, ok. So does that mean Obama won because so many people want to lift black men up? Could it be Obama ran a better campaign? Could it be his speeches and positions on issues just resonated more with more voters? Could that even be possible?

Nah, No way. It’s all about woman-bashing. Absolutely.

Grrr.

Conspiracy Detector: Orange

Homeland security alertSo why were all the polls in New Hampshire wrong? Supposedly Hilary was on her last legs; a solid loss in New Hampshire and her own staff was planning to tell her to pull out of the race. The polls all had her losing by 5-13 points, yet we’re supposed to believe that just because her eyes got a little watery in response to a question that thousands of voters in New Hampshire changed their minds and said, “Hey, that Hilary would make a great president. I’m voting for her!” Sorry, I’m just not buying it. They use electronic voting machines in New Hampshire primaries, don’t they? Hmph.

In other news, I’m still looking for an adequate way to collect notes on my cases and stay on top of The Caseload that Ate My Brain. I know someone out here has been in this pickle; how did you get out of it? Still seeking suggestions…

Still Looking

Case Management: Following up on yesterday’s post about some solution to help me track my work on my many cases, I’ve had a chance to search the Google for options and so far, not much. The best candidates I’ve found are Notes Organizer Deluxe and myBase, but I haven’t had a chance to actually try either out to see if it would really do what I’m looking for. Another option might be something like Filemaker, which might allow me to more or Iess design the database I need, rather than trying to find one that works for me. I certainly don’t need an entire case management package; our office is going to use Justware for that whether I like it or not. But, like I said, Justware is so awful (primarily because it’s so *slow*) that it won’t even come close to doing what I need. The search continues; suggestions welcome! What do you use?

Presidential Candidate: I admit, I’m just starting to pay more than passing attention to the campaign, but one thing is immediately clear: Barack Obama wins hands down when it comes to public speaking, both on radio and television interviews and in big speeches. The man is just awesome when it comes to stringing one sentence after another in a convincing, genuine, inspiring, and persuasive way. His speech last night compared to Hillary’s or McCain’s? Those two are not even in the same league as he is. For that reason alone I’m almost sold on Obama. After the last seven years of a pResident who could barely speak a single sentence properly, I’ll admit I’m swooning at the prospect of having a president like Obama who would make such a great impression every time he opens his mouth.

Listening to Gore

You know, I’m not all excited about Al Gore getting into the presidential race, but I know one thing: We should be listening to what this man is saying, and not just about global warming. In an excerpt from his new book, Gore writes:

…our democracy is in danger of being hollowed out. In order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum. We must create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future. We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public’s ability to discern the truth. Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the rule of reason.

The rule of reason. It almost sounds like a new romanticism, but hey, I’m all for it.

Democrats take Congress: America finally wakes up!

Hooray! Resurgent Democrats win control of the House! Democrats still need VA and MT to win the Senate, but in VA, Webb (the Dem) has declared victory and is ahead w/almost all votes counted (although there will almost certainly be a recount). In MT, Tester (the Dem) is ahead by 3,000 votes but one county — where I live and also Conrad Burns’ “home” county — is having a recount because of human error with the electronic counting machines. Of course, a recount raises the specter (in my mind, at least) of dirty tricks and vote-rigging—the count didn’t come out how the losers wanted, so they have a quick recount to make sure their candidate gets just enough votes to win. That wouldn’t happen, though, would it?

My paranoia aside, welcome back to divided and accountable government! (Let’s hope.) Is this election result a wholesale rejection of the Bush regime and its congressional lapdogs? Uh, yeah. But get ready for the Republican spin about this not being a mandate for Democrats, being about local issues not national or global issues, etc. Bullshit. People were freaking voting for Democratic governors just to send Bush a message on Iraq.

It’s about freaking time, is all I can say. Thanks America, for finally waking up and standing up to the “vote for Democrats and the terrorists win” lies that have kept the Republicans afloat since 9/11/01. Finally finally finally we’re going to get some reasonable discussion of real issues rather than having to put up w/a steady drumbeat of fearmongering and demagoguery that’s done nothing but make the world a less stable and secure place. Of course, the president still has the lead on foreign policy, but at least we can hope he’ll be held accountable for the most egregious of his many, many mistakes.

Finally, while I’m absolutely thrilled with the results, my happiness is dogged by two things. First, some of the Democrats who won last night are eerily like their Republican counterparts on many issues—anti-abortion, pro-gun, etc. Maybe that’s not a big deal, but it does seem to confirm that the political possibilities in this country have shifted far to the right on the whole. As L. put it, we’ve moved so far to the right that Reagan Republicans are now Democrats. That is not good.

Second, the Democrats have a lot of work to do and I don’t personally have a great deal of confidence that they’re up to the task. This is especially true if the Democrats do take the Senate (and I’m still very hopeful they will)—in that case, there will be no excuse if they don’t get things done domestically, and there will also be no one to blame if whatever the Dems do turns out unpopular. So they’ve got a huge challenge; here’s hoping they’re ready to meet it or Dems are going to really unhappy again in 2008.