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Morning Again in America

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Posted on Nov 4, 2008
Obama
AP photo / Morry Gash

President-elect Barack Obama smiles as he gives his acceptance speech at Grant Park in Chicago on Tuesday night.

By Robert Scheer

It’s time to gush! Later for the analysis of all the hard choices faced by our next president, Barack Obama, but for now, let’s just thrill, unabashedly, to the sound of those words. Heck, both he and we deserve a honeymoon, at least for a few paragraphs of this column.

It is “Morning Again in America,” to reclaim and revise the slogan from the 1984 campaign of President Ronald Reagan, only this time the promise of an American renewal is in the hands of a moderate post-Cold War leader who embraces, rather than denies, the diversity and complexity of the modern world. It is difficult to imagine Obama ever asserting the arrogant jingoism that has come to mark Republican stewardship of this nation in the eyes of the world.

How refreshing for Americans to have elected a leader who was among the first to reject the imperial hubris that led this nation to invade Iraq over the objection of most of our allies. A leader who had the courage in the midst of a hotly contested primary election campaign to refuse to play the inveterate hawk in order to qualify as commander in chief, and instead had the audacity to advocate efforts at dialogue even with those we despise. The dead hand of Joe Lieberman has been lifted from the party that he betrayed. It is hoped it is also the end of the road for the neoconservatives who had rallied around John McCain as their last best hope for establishing a Pax Americana.

On the all-important domestic front, with our economy crumbling, it is reassuring that the man whom what’s-her-name from Alaska derided as a “community organizer” does indeed have that background. It is not a guarantee that he will be mindful of those suffering most in this economic downturn as he turns to deal with the banking mess, but it is a start.

The Reagan Revolution of rampant deregulation of the economy in the interest of big business is over. Not because Obama has anything to do with the “socialist” label that the Republicans attempted to stick on him, but rather because a decisive role for the federal government is at the heart of the Bush bailout and the vastly expanded military economy a President Obama will inherit.

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Big government is now officially a partial owner of big banks, and although we might bemoan that state of affairs, our collective credit card has already been swiped. The pressing issue is: What do we taxpayers get in return for bailing out Wall Street? Will the goal be to make the financial swindlers whole at the expense of ordinary homeowners? Or will it be the reverse of what the Bush administration has been doing? What is not in doubt, after the banking meltdown, is that the state will play a decisive role in the economy; what must be decided is: Whose interests will it serve?

If Obama turns to the Wall Street Democrats like Robert Rubin, the Clinton-era treasury secretary who led the crusade for deregulation, then he will betray his own fervently expressed concern for the fate of ordinary folks. The change we need is a divorce from the financial moguls who have dominated both parties. That’s what progressive politics is all about.

We have a chance to move in that direction, thanks to the election of Obama. Not because the man himself is the second coming—he, like all politicians, will have to be watched—but because of the movement he created around his candidacy, which I believe will hold him accountable.

The word of his victory came as I was making a brave effort to try to teach my large class at the University of Southern California, and from the cheering of students throughout our building as Obama reached the Electoral College delegate number needed to become president, you would have thought USC was just picked No. 1 in the BCS poll. Make no mistake about it, this is a victory of these students’ generation—a generation that is no longer mired in the divisiveness and arrogance that had come to dominate the lives of their elders.

Politics will never be the same. The fat cats and back-office politicos are out, and grass roots—youthful and Internet-connected—will dominate in the future, as they did on Tuesday. President-elect Obama knows that, and, at least on this night, I fully expect him to be true to those who took him on this journey.

It is a night also to remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the man who did so much to make that journey possible, along with the other heroes of the civil rights movement like John Lewis and Jesse Jackson, who did so much to keep hope alive.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By Andy, November 5, 2008 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To those that seem to want to insist that of course nothing has changed, that this is simple a case of “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”, I simple wonder have you lived in the same country the rest of us have.

To Ignore the historical relevance of this election, in a nation tarnished by a history of discrimination and hatred seperation, is to simple ignore history. By very definition, this election has changed america. No, we do not know if he will change anything, and we dont know what he will do. But it saddens me that as Americans, we can not pause and congratulate ourselves and each other on doing something that quite frankly was unimaginable even 20 years ago for the VAST majority of americans.

It belittles the lives of those that fought in the civil rights movement, it belittles the feelings of all minorties that ever experinced discrimnation, and it belittles the feelings that at the very least, it might turn the page on a very dark chapter of american history.

Yes, perhaps nothing may change. Perhaps, things will get worse. Yet, for one day people, lets trying saying will we proved one thing wrong about us as americans, and as a country, pat each other on the back, and attempt to fix the next problems that are facing us.

If you truly feel that this election is not significant, that this signifies no change, then perhaps its time to consider another country to live, stop trying to fix the things that are wrong, and to stop caring.

It’s a little victory to be sure, but as a black man with grand parents that lived thru share cropping, and Jim Crow laws, as a man that 10 years ago was told to leave a midwestern town by sundown if I didnt want to be lynched (and the state in which this happened voted overwhemingly for Obama) its a victory that carries deep emotional and physcological Importance.

Its disgraceful and Un-american to simple belittle this moment as nothing more then media hype. People white and black, have fought and died for a moment like this, and if you cant not see the importance of that for all americans, then in all honestly I truly have a hard time believing you see the promise of this nation at all.

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By Elizabeth, November 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I was younger, I never understood exactly what adults meant when they said, “I will always remember where I was when ______ (insert moon landing, assassination of a President, etc.) happened.”  Although I was in 8th grade when the September 11th attacks happened and can recall some of that day, those memories pale in comparison to those of last night.  For the first time in my life, I can now say that I will always remember where I was… on November 4, 2008.  I will always remember how I felt, what I was doing, whom I was with when Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. Not only do I feel privileged to be an American, but also I am thankful that on that momentous day, I was old enough to understand the value of my vote and the significance of the occasion.  Nothing could have prepared me for the excitement, pride, and hope that rushed through me as I watched Obama and his family walk on to the stage in Grant Park.
I do not think that anyone can predict what will unfold during the next four years or what challenges this country will face or the true, lasting significance of last night.  For now, though, I will rejoice. I will welcome, not deny, the feeling of pride that I have never before felt for the United States.  Moreover, I will always appreciate the freedom that is the right to vote… and with that, the opportunity to elect Barack Obama as President of the United States!

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By get real, November 5, 2008 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What I witnessed last night watching Obama’s speech
was not arrogance or gloating but a man who realizes
the seriousness of the job at hand. He seemed to have
a better grip on the reality of the issues of not just this country but the world than the ones who are
currently in office. He did not bend or flinch under
the vileness directed to him during the campaign, but
stood firm in his mission.

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By ocjim, November 5, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment

Last night, I watched John McCain’s concession speech. It was very gracious and provided the healing message that America now needs.

But as I watched President-elect Barack Obama’s speech, I couldn’t help feeling a sense of dread. After all, like most older Americans, I have lived with assassinations of great charismatic leaders: John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy.

The common thread motivating the assassins is the same—hate, division and fear. In spite of McCain’s healing words, I can’t forget or forgive the extremely polarizing tactics of the McCain-Palin campaign.

Their name-calling, their slander, their lies, and their derisive sneers could easily plant the seeds of violence in the breast of some follower who has mentally transferred blame – with the help of McCain and Palin rhetoric – to president-elect Barack Obama.

I know that this is a time of healing. I thank God for the emergence of a thoughtful and intelligent leader to help heal our nation.

But the malevolence of the Bush administration is still present, and the fetid stench of the McCain-Palin campaign is still in my nostrils.

I hope the hate, the fear, and the transference of blame, first nurtured by the Bush regime, then fed to so many vulnerable Americans by McCain and Palin will dissipate as Obama succeeds the worst president that the United States has ever had.

I apologize for my divisive words, for unity and healing should be the theme after hard-fought elections, especially when we’re blessed with a unifying figure like Barack Obama.

Let’s just hope that negative opponents haven’t sown the seeds of violence to spoil our celebration.

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By cann4ing, November 5, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, November 5 at 10:23 am #

Anarcissie!  You put your pessimism, cynicism and paranoia away for another day?  For God’s sake, man, buck up!  I never though you would wallow in this kind of sloppy sentimentality.  What’s the matter, are you sick?
_________________

What’s the matter, Folktruther.  Are you going to miss the darkness that was the Bush regime?  Sad that you lack the ability to enjoy the sunlight of a new day.

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By c-post, November 5, 2008 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am enormously encouraged. Before any laws are enacted or legislation proposed, a leader sets a tone. He sets a tone by the words he says and the people he brings on board. This alone is cause for optimism. What a change in tone from W!!

So one word to describe this election might be R-E-L-I-E-F. Soothing relief. Hopefully NOT soothing temporary relief.

Be watchful of the filters. Hostile elements in the media will frame Obama’s actions the way they want. Toxic corporate media could poison the well of truth.

And language is all important. Drop the word consumer and restore the word citizen. Choose debt to describe what has happened, not the ubiquitious word “credit”. You can’t borrow your way to prosperity. If we can’t get our language straight we will fight an uphill battle. 

That said, I love Obama’s use of language—clear and concise and, as they say, NUANCED.

And above all, I want the Secret Service to do their very best work to protect this man.

c-post

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By Jaded Prole, November 5, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Celebrate a massive repudiation of the bankrupt neofascism of the last 18 years (yes, I’m including Clinton). This is no revolution but is is a great moment and Obama promises to be the best leader in a long time. Today and the next few weeks is a time to celebrate. Come January, the struggle continues but on much more receptive ground.

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By Folktruther, November 5, 2008 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie!  You put your pessimism, cynicism and paranoia away for another day?  For God’s sake, man, buck up!  I never though you would wallow in this kind of sloppy sentimentality.  What’s the matter, are you sick?

The slide into the abyss is going great guns. We are being taken there by the Obiden and the Progressive Dems of America, that’s all.  They have changed drivers on the Bullshit Express, that’s all that’s happened.  The FBI is still going to spy on you, but now with a Progressive Dem in charge.

Obiden has won a great Victory!  Let the wars continue.  Let the Bailout proceed.  Keep the prisons overflowing.  Increase class inequality.  More death, more torture, more prison, more poverty.  We are going down the toilet of history under the flag of Freedom and Democacy.  A non-White has been elected president!

Whoopdie, as Inherit the Wind stated on another subject in another post, Doo.

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By steve, November 5, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s all stop dancing and singing for a few moments and realize that while last nights election was indeed historic, in reality, nothing is going to change.  Do any of you really think for one second that the multinational corporations are going to let anything “new” happen?  Does anyone really think that Obama, no matter how well intentioned, can actually bring out some kind of new health care system in this country or get us out of iraq?  Sorry but things are too profitable right now for the real people who run this country.  If you want to change things put away your signs and flags and get out your guns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Still, Good luck Mr. Obama, you are going to need it.

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By WARIS SHERE, November 5, 2008 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A new era in the history of the United States of America has begun. The son of a white woman
and a black man, has been elected the 44th president of the United States. Americans placed their faith
in Barack Obama, turning their backs on a past of slavery and segregation and electing the
first African-American to the US presidency. I vividly recall when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered an historical and moving speech - “I Have a Dream”. At that time the President - elect Barack
Obama was only 2 years old. “The life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of
segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a
lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years
later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an
exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and
live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men
are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former
slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of
brotherhood. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where
they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I
have a dream that one day, black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little
white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”, concluded Marin Luther King, Jr. But race is hugely relevant to this moment. “The stain of slavery and discrimination can never be
obliterated, and no single day can mark a nation’s progress into some mythical “post-racial”
era,”, observed the Washington Post. The challenges the new president will face both overseas
and at home are enormous,and the road ahead is likely to be very different. Leading the country
in such a time will require intellect, creativity, honesty and passion for those traits that
have made America great. By making
Barack Obama a black American the most powerful man in the world signals a once-in-a-generation
change in America. Men such as Franklin D.
Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Winston Churchil to name a
few are hailed as heroic figures of their time. Now is Barack Obama’s time who has captured the
heart and has become the darling of the new America. Planning was one of his passions, for his mind always raced ahead. The new president - elect possess the spark and passion to inspire the best -
creativity, generosity and a fierce defense of justice and liberty. He has brought a touch of the rock star into American politics. From Berlin to virginia and finally to his home town of Chicago, he has appeared in front of crowds of over 100,000.
Obama has the vision to restore United States to its place of leadership around the globe and
rally the public at a time when the winds are picking up and the clouds keep on darkenining. He
has built up an excitement such as no candidate has created since President Kennedy in 1960.
Like Kennedy, he combines personal magnetism with a strong appeal. His victory to Presidency
has resembled more a social movement than a political campaign. Barack Obama’s victory has come
at an opportune time and is particularly important because it comes at the end of George Bush’s
calamitous two terms and amid such economic turmoil. America’s standing in the world has been damaged during the George Bush’s presidency. Different challenges require different strengths. In the final analysis Barack Obama understands that international respect and admiration can’t be forced at gunpoint.

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By cann4ing, November 5, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Thanks for the link, Anarcissie, and for your thoughtful post.

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By Cichawoda, November 5, 2008 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

While I was celebrating a well deserved and long awaited victory some nut jobs in my neighborhood went around spray painting Obama lawn signs and bumper stickers black.
I was very angry and hurt to have such hate directed at me - simply because because of a professed opinion. I didn’t think we had people like that in my neighborhood. My next door neighbor, who is African American and did not have a lawn sign or bumper sticker just smiled knowingly as I explained my disappointment.
I now realize how naive my white, suburban world view can be.

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By uglyfemale, November 5, 2008 at 10:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I voted for the Green Party candidate yesterday.  Unlike most of the descendants of enslaved Africans, I don’t trust Obama to care about the working poor/middle classes.  Read the Shock Doctrine to see what the free market terrorists did to Malaysia,Russia,Poland, Argentina,Chile,Bolivia,South Africa, and now US.  Stay on his behind to ensure no free-market cheerleaders,Neoccons, DLC or Blue Dog type politicians get within hearing distance of the President-elect.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, November 5, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I heard the victory speech and thought it was an excellent political speech, but if I had to come up with an operative descriptive term, it would be ‘vacuous’.  I’m tired of vacuous speeches from Obama, we don’t need any more.  He should be shouted down the next time he tries it.

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By Peggy, November 5, 2008 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I voted yesterday there was a palpable sense of excitement at the polling center. The man ahead of me turned to me and at the same time we both said, “This is so exciting.” You could feel it.

There were blacks, whites, orientals, latinos, old and young lined up with great expectation. They all wanted to be a part of “history in the making.”

Outside a young couple who had just voted, had their young son with them. They affixed the oval tag, “I voted” to his shirt and he shouted, “We voted!” to everyone around.

So, even before the results were posted later that evening, the hopes of the people were revealed in the act of voting. I have voted in every election for 37 years and I have never seen or felt the emotion I saw yesterday.

As a purely personal aside, it feels great to finally have an inspiring, articulate and intelligent public speaker as the face of our nation. The smirking and bumbling Bush was an embarrassment.

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By Anarcissie, November 5, 2008 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

As I was coming home from work last night, riding my bicycle over the Williamsburg Bridge, I met a crowd of young people going the other way, carrying an enormous American flag through the gloom, cheering and shouting “Obama”, “USA”, and “Yes we can!”  Later they showed up in Union Square (see http://www.rikomatic.com/blog/2008/11/yes-we-did-goba.html).  That crowd was going somewhere and Mr. O might have to run pretty hard to stay in front of it.  They are the change they wanted to see, and God knows what will happen to it. 

I waved to them as they passed, having already been through most of my share of mills, and took my pessimism, cynicism and paranoia home and put them aside for a sunny day.  For me it is enough that the slide into the abyss may be been arrested.

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By curmudgeon100, November 5, 2008 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As Obama gave his speech, i was in a hospital ER waiting room.  The audience was extremely mixed and very representative of many ethnic, racial, and age-related groups.

Their collective - TO A PERSON - looks of anticipation and hope was unbelievably touching - and encouraging.

I won’t forget the experience.

That said, let’s keep after him to keep promises and educate him to realities.  He just may listen. I certainly have hope!

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By zeotrope, November 5, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all my American friends;  Way to go and sincere congratulations from Canada.

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By TAO Walker, November 5, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

The recurrent descriptive term applied last night to Barack Obama and his “victory speech” was “SOBER”....surely an essential quality in one just picked to be “designated driver” for a people still drunk with a decades-long binge of CONspicuous CONsumption.  There were hints, too, of his instinctive awareness that resuming the debauchery anytime soon is no more in americans’ best interests than it is in “the cards.”  He also sort of acknowledged the terrible toll domesticated peoples’ “immature” pursuit of material excess has taken on our Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement. 

This old Savage has several times suggested here that theamericanpeople are in this mess mostly because they made it theirselves….by chasing after the Windigo of “happiness” while driven by motives and employing methods fundamentally antagonistic to virtually everything Native and Natural to Turtle Island.  Whatever his personal qualities and talents, Barack Obama will not succeed in “leading” americans (or the rest of the tame two-leggeds around the world, either) out of the wasteland of their institutionalized ignorance without the help of Native Guides, wherever they can be found. 

THE CHANGE (Y’all) NEED! is in the very foundations of your understandings-of and your attitudes-towards Life Herownself, and the place of Humanity in HER Song ‘n’ Dance.  Nothing less will serve to deliver you now from the already overwhelming consequences of your self-satisfied folly and the self-stupifying behaviors that causes.

The tides and currents of Life here are running hard against the abusive practices and dead-end habits of “civilization.”  So when some speak of this as “a watershed” moment, they ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.  The “unlikely” success of the Obama candidacy does offer, as Robert Scheer opines here, a chance to enjoy a brief respite from the generally degrading effects of politics/business-as-usual.  It shares in a certain way, too, something offered by 9/11 (at the tragic end of the modern sociological spectrum), but lost in a “national shopping spree” coupled-to an opportunistic orgy-of-revenge.  It is a chance for theamericanpeople and their “leading lights” to carefully examine their selves and their institutions with a view to discovering, finally, the fatal flaws in their characters that’ve brought them to the precarious (and worsening) state they’re in today.

Lots of Young Persons seem ready, willing, and able (even eager) to undertake just such a soul-searching, even if their Hero isn’t quite all-the-way there yet.  It remains to be seen whether “the powers” that wannabe can prevent it again.  It seems wise to expect they will try.

HokaHey!

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By Allan Scheer, November 5, 2008 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nice article Uncle Bobby.

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By faith, November 5, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Right you are, Mr. Scheer.  Great article.  We have just witnessed what is best in the human spirit - specifically, in the American human spirit !  Persistence, hope, and confidence that we can learn from past mistakes.  I am renewed in my love for my fellow man.  Yes, they did !  In spite of obscure voting locations, broken voting machines, diatribe and false representations of material facts, the American people voted with their minds, not their hearts.  They voted in spite of lies and misleading ads for a man of conscience, smarts, and integrity. This is a great day in America.  This is a day to be thankful and grateful.

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By Outraged, November 5, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think The Who put it susinctly = “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.
THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE!!!! WAKE UP!!!
He is a facist as this is a facist state! He is owned by the corporations! He is Pro war (He wants troops in Iraq, increased troops and saturation bombing in Afghanistan and wants a new war with Pakistan and you can bet he wants to go to war with Iran), against universal healthcare, pro corporations, pro israel and against Palistinians and he helped Bush steal all our hard-earned money in the “Bailout” and that’s just for starters! Just look who he has selected for his Chief of Staff, a right-wing, neo-nazi, hardliner who wants more military intervention not only abroad, but at home!!!!!!!!
Obama is the same as McKKKcain in most respects except in different packaging and at least Obama is not a bigot, I’ll give him that. (McKKKcain/Palin really made me sick with their racism).
If you don’t believe these things about Obama, then you have not heard a single word he has said and have not been watching his actions.
The only hope we have is revolution which unfortunately will not happen because 99% of americans don’t understand history or what it takes to make change.

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By cann4ing, November 5, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Having been so young, my recollection of the 1952 presidential election is a bit hazy, but I can clearly remember every election night thereafter (other than 1968 when I was in Vietnam and didn’t get to watch).

I do not “ever” recall anything like we witnessed last night—people spontaneously filing up Times Square as if it were New Year’s Eve, the massive, euphoric crowd that filled Grant Park, the tears streaming down Jesse Jackson’s face.

When I last visited London, a cab driver explained to me the difference between “Brits” and “Yanks.”  “Over here,” he said, ” we think 100 miles is a long way.  Over there, you think 100 years is a long time.”

Last night must be appreciated within an historical perspective.  It was only 148 years ago that a nation, divided over the issue of slavery, elected Abraham Lincoln.  Today, all over America, people are celebrating the election of our first African-American president.

That simple fact, as momentous as it may be, does not of itself explain what we witnessed last night.  The damage inflicted by the Bush regime these past 8 years to our economy, to our reputation, to our constitution and the rule of law, to our very hopes and dreams, and, through torture and extraordinary rendition, even to our own questioning of who we are as a people, has been so great, so painful, that last night had the feel of a people emerging from darkness into the light.

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By knute, November 5, 2008 at 9:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As we and the world celebrate Obama’s victory last night. We must remember that it represents an oppurtunity for changing the course the republicans had us on for so long. But, the true measure of whether we as a nation have learned anything from the Bush era can only be when we hold bush, Cheney, and the rest accountable for what they have done. They cannot be allowed to comfortably retire to the riches they have accrued while tearing down this country. The present administration has untill late january to continue to bankrupt the treasury. Leaving no funds for Obama to even attempt to right things. They should not be allowed that time, they should be dragged out today, and held untill their trials for treason against the United States of America. No administration in history has come close to the destruction to our democracy that this administration has brought. How can we expect to again have any moral authority in the world if they are not held to account by the american people.

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By Folktruther, November 5, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Congratulations, Democrats!  Congratulation, Cyrena, Tony, Inherit, and Cann4ing!  Change has come to America.  Or, actually, as CNN writes it, ‘change.’  Yes, we have ‘change’ in American and it is all because of people like you.  I hope you are as thrilled as I am.  Morning in America!

Oh, sure, as Obama says, we may not achieve ‘change’ in a year or even in a term.  But he promises you that the American people will get there.  Someday.  Get where?  Why to ‘change,’ of course.  But we have to be practical, and Obiden is nothing if not policially practical.  When we acheive this ‘change,’ everything must remain the same.

Because now the Dems are in charge.  They are no longer the complicit enablers of militarism, corporatism, and a bipartisan police state.  They have the Power, they can take a leadership role! 
You are now on the Inside, Cyrnea!

And why?  Because, as Kennedy said,  the voice of the people has spoken! And in the fullness of time the bankers and corporate CEO’s, through the learned and mass media that they own and control, will tell us what we have said.

    The ‘change’ you can believe in.

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By Jewel Ida, November 5, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just on time you come, when this world was deeply lacking of true leaders!  Thanks President Obama, GOD BLESS YOU!

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By Bilejones, November 5, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama will not enact any meaningful change.
Will he set up a war crimes tribunal? Will he try John Yoo and the torturers and the kidnapping renditioners? Will he stop the domestic spying?
Will he stop ALL the wars? Will he prosecute those responsible for domestic spying? Will he roll back the empire from its 737 foreign bases? Will he repeal the “Patriot” act? Will he repeal the Military Commissions Act? Will he disband DHS?

Of course not. There will be no change.

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By Louise, November 5, 2008 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Last night, before president elect Barack Obama headed over to Grant Park he sent this email to me and a few million other me’s.

And while my, your and our responsibilities are not line by line defined, the letter lets us know, this is only the beginning!

~~~

“Louise—

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign—every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

Barack”

~~~

“We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.”

~~~

So lets all remember. This first step in the direction of real change is just the first step. Barack has the wisdom to understand, real and lasting change comes from the bottom up. He proved that wisdom through his campaign, and all of the millions who voted for him understood. And now it falls to us to stay engaged, be prepared to continue working for change, and accept it may not always be easy, but thanks to all, it is finally possible!

We only have four years. Four years to turn around a dangerous slide into oblivion. Four years to rebuild a coalition of citizens, willing and committed to bringing the best possible future for all. Four years to climb out of, and fill up the hole that has been dug for us. Four years to finally approach the reality of hope fulfilled.

Perhaps these coming four years are the most important four years this country has yet faced. If we do it right, they can only be followed by four more!

I concur with Purple Girl’s, (November 5 at 6:29 am) beautiful and insightful comment. Last night McCain gave the best speech of his campaign. Perhaps the best of his career. And if his comments are any indication, perhaps there is real hope for non-partisan effort to make the heretofore unreachable, reachable.

Conservatives can learn by example what “the possibility of hope” means. They can experience the tangible benefits of putting self aside and reaching out to build a true United States. A strong but humble nation embracing all. And the real meaning of living in a democratic republic:

Citizens recognizing that they not only have rights, they have responsibilities. Citizens recognizing their freedom requires an investment of time and hard work—a government of the people demands constant vigilance and support by the people. That’s what our new coach Barack Obama calls for and shows us by example.

So heads up players ... this is only the beginning!

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By JC Tripp, November 5, 2008 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a victory for the spirit of America, the dreams and aspirations of millions of hard working, honest, patriotic citizens who believe in the audacious possibility of change and hope. We did it and we will lead this nation in a new direction with a renewed social contract of care, responsibility, opportunity and respect. This is a time for all of us to rejoice and to plan for the hard work ahead. As President Obama stated in his speech:

“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. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even 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.”

It would be so easy to sit back and watch the show, there are many that will take pleasure in pointing out the flaws and faults that are sure to arise in an Obama Presidency.

Now is the time to play your part as an active citizen and put your cynicism aside. Are you ready to keep on top of issues, to communicate with your leaders, to volunteer, to sacrifice, to commit yourself to the promise?

Let’s not let this historic opportunity pass us by. Don’t let the naysayers determine the path ahead. We must ready for the battles and challenges ahead and never back down from our belief in Democracy.

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By JC Tripp, November 5, 2008 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a victory for the spirit of America, the dreams and aspirations of millions of hard working, honest, patriotic citizens who believe in the audacious possibility of change and hope. We did it and we will lead this nation in a new direction with a renewed social contract of care, responsibility, opportunity and respect. This is a time for all of us to rejoice and to plan for the hard work ahead. As President Obama stated in his speech:

“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. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even 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.”

It would be so easy to sit back and watch the show, there are many that will take pleasure in pointing out the flaws and faults that are sure to arise in an Obama Presidency.

Now is the time to play your part as an active citizen? Are you ready to keep on top of issues, to communicate with your leaders, to volunteer, to sacrifice, to commit yourself to the promise?

Let’s not let this historic opportunity pass us by. Don’t let the naysayers determine the path ahead. We must ready for the battles and challenges ahead and never back down from our belief in Democracy.

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By Paracelsus, November 5, 2008 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkCjMkakbB0

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By DancesWithFascists, November 5, 2008 at 7:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look it’s still Bush and Cheney until Inauguration Day and the world can change a lot if they do something really especially stupid like initiate a nuclear exchange with Russia or China or stage another terrorist event.  There are literally hundreds of billions of dollars of war profits flowing to Halliburton et al. and they are not going to want to give up that cash flow easily.  Bush has already given himself the executive power to declare martial law in the event of a ‘national emergency’ he gets to define, there are hundreds of FEMA detention camps sitting around empty all over the country, and Rep. Brad Sherman recently informed us publicly that Bush actually threatened selected members of Congress that he would be forced to declare martial law if they didn’t pass the Wall Street $700 billion bailout right away.  And they did.  So it seems we could actually remain quite a lot closer to martial law and dictatorship ‘for the duration of the national emergency’ could be upon us at any time between now and Inauguration Day. 

I will fully relax after Inauguration Day if it turns out that Bush doesn’t declare martial law, but for now I am ecstatic at Obama’s victory which really represents a victory of hope and change over hate and fear in this country and makes me feel proud to be an American again after seeing my country’s honor sullied for so long by immoral war, torture, illegal detentions, illegal wiretapping, illegal everything they think they can get away with.  Finally there’s hope for a return to our real American values that so many patriots gave their lives for.  However we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get complacent and forget that Bush and Cheney still remain very significant threats to our fundamental freedoms and liberties, that they remain fully armed nuclear threats to whomever they may deem to kill, and that they are both morally bankrupt men who will say any lie and perform any deed to achieve their ends.  Until they are out of power we are in danger of their continuing agenda, whatever it really is.

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, November 5, 2008 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Oh the names and lies thy have told about US- ‘Unpatriotic’ ‘Sinners’...the denial of Our rights as Americans to voice our opinions…..We have traveled and struggled for far too long
We have been vindicated..All men are create Equal, all are guanteed Inalienable Rights.
We have risen from the ashes of economic inequality, social injustice, We have made a monumental Shift back to where we Started…Not just 40 yrs ago, but over 200 yrs ago.We can begin to not only Dream again, We can fufill The Promise. Lady Liberty Reigns!
I Must give a huge Kudo to Sen John McCain last night…His Speech was impeccable, the best of his Political career. Far better than either Hillary’s or Bills in fact and will have no doubt far more influence and benefit to the people of this GREAT Country. Was this the REal John McCain, the one who his handlers disgarded since his ‘reorganization’? Was this the John McCain which could have handlily won this election? I Think Yes!
So it begs to ask…Why he failed to reveal this during the election? Why did he make some of the most concerning Gaffes, why did he pick the most unqualified, terrifying VP? Why did he go so far into the ‘Dark side’ his legacy hold on now by a thread? Could John McCains slogan been dead on? Was it he Took one for the Team?Did he hate the Cheney Regime so bad he intentionally took a Dive? Did his action over the last 8 months solidify the Real American Spirit to rise and conquer this Criminal element in Public Office? Has John McCain Helped US Defeat the Miltiary Industrial Complex?
His Concession Speech last night wiped many ill feelings away, brought a tear to my eye and a ‘Thank You’ to my Lips. This may be America’s greatest Epic heroic Story of sacrific.
John there is an Italian saying ‘Revenge is a dish best served Cold’....I think you Served the Neo Cons Up Quite nicely and You may have Just Resurrected the Grand Ol’ Party. Hellova Speech John, One for the History Books!

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By Tim Kelly, November 5, 2008 at 7:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is fantastic that America has elected a President that is in favor of the death penalty, granted immunity to the telcoms who spied on Americans, and campaigned hard for the fascist bailout of mismanaged banks and insurance companies.  America has really turned a corner from the previous President that favored the death penalty, worked hard to grant immunity to the telcoms that spied on Americans at his request, and helped create the conditions that led to the fascist bailout of mismanaged banks and insurance companies (which seems to a trend in his family).

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By sab, November 5, 2008 at 7:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain

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By LibertyWatch, November 5, 2008 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

I, like so many other veterans, carry memories and scars and a sense of abandonment by my country. The Bush years are some of the darkness and ugliness in my 60 years.

But I have a new feeling within me as I consume my morning coffee. We the people have changed to course of our nation and now for this brief moment there is hope of moving from “darkness into light”

Thank You to all my brothers and sisters of our wonderful America. The crucible of the melting pot has forged our society and we in turn have overcome the tyranny and hubris of the neo-cons.

Now on to restoring justice for all!

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By Patriot from VA, November 5, 2008 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

For all those who voted Obama…The people have spoken. What we cannot do as a people is allow this historic win cloud the fact that there is so very much to do. I actually appreciated McCains speech last night because it was the first time I had heard him say much of anything positive about Obama. What I hope for after this election that Obama KEEPS HIS WORD! I never voted in a presidential election before this one because I felt there were no politicians in Washington to be trusted.

Obama has the same chance as any of the old-guard at going against his word…to continue to support big interest and put the burden on people who can’t take the financial pressure.

Whether you like Obama or not, he is your next president. I voted for Obama and my father voted McCain. We disagreed on who should change our country but at least we agree that many changes are needed.

Lets hope that republicans and democrats can meet in the middle to improve this nation. To show the world that we are still a model nation to try to live up too. God bless america and everyone in it. Lets all pray for “good weather” over the upcoming 4 years!

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By HH Snyder III, November 5, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sky was blood red over the rock-bound coast of Downeast Maine this morning. a profetic message?

Sailors have long voiced a ditty about the prevailing weather. “Red sky at dawning, sailors take warning.”

The voters favor the Democrats this year. Not my cup-o-tea, but that’s the system.

My guess is that the problems facing this neophite will sink his boat in four years when the voters will again demand “change” without defining what “change” means.

The question is will he make the same mistakes as Jimmy Carter (our last Democratic “change maker”) will he be a wishy-washy go-a-long to get-a-long Faux Republican like Clinton?


There’s a lot to do:

Wars in Iraq, Afganistan, and thefuture of wars in Pakistan and Iran.

I believe Obama will be able to BEGIN to heal our foregin image, and I hope he extends that attempt to South America.

The Israel/Palestine issues have not disapated,
The problems with Russia’s southern neighbors will be important.

and what about our diminishing constitutional rights?

There’s a lot to do, and I was never of the opinion that Obama had Roosevelt size feet.

we’ll see, but I think mant hearts will be broken, and next time the “first black president” line will no longer play.

Good luck to us all, we’ll need it

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By KDelphi, November 5, 2008 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

jurnei==what does that matter? It was Obama or McCain/ Most people knew that.Anyone who doesnt break rules is welcome here—and Id like to keep it that way

I dont think it is time to talk Obama in a neg. way—I voted for him, but was not fully ethralled. So what.

Few peope ever are. Mst just hope it will be better

So you just want anyone whodidnt vote for or support Obama to “go away”? You wont get far with that attitude.

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By Benjamin Tasker, November 5, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

Good Morning,

I’m not celebrating today that we have Obama as president. I’m celebrating that Obama has successfully - through various grass roots movements - thwarted the social conservative movement. McCain/Palin would have been an immutable force if they achieved executive powers and I can sleep comfortably the next few nights.

While I agree with some others here - Obama is NOT an agent of change - he does not oppose it and we have a chance to rise up and make the changes we need through him. Having witnessed the movement to elect obama - the record voter turnout - I’m hoping the momentum will do just that.

Cynicism and complacency must be pushed aside. We have a small spark that needs some kindling and a gentle breeze. Don’t let any pessimism or procrastination ruin this VERY small 4 year window of opportunity. The faster and more louder we are - the better chance Obama and the democratic congress will hear us over the din of corporate lobbyists who still inundate Washington.

Change takes more than a vote.

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By jackpine savage, November 5, 2008 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

Surely there will be disappointment, high expectations always lead to disappointment.

But we have an articulate man of intelligence leading our nation come the end of January, and that is more than enough. We, as a nation, have overcome barriers that some never thought would fall. And for at least a few hours last night, this nation was happy. It’s been a long time since you saw a million Americans together dominated by smiles, hugs, and tears of joy rather than anger, signs of protest, and resentment. For now, that is enough.

But we must take the message that president-elect Obama made, if not clearly enough for my taste, throughout this election. A vote isn’t enough. We must shape our nation, and if we succeed it will be by doing the little things and watching them grow.

Here’s to hope that the impressive machine that the Senator built will now be turned to other pressing matters…to organizing our communities, to strengthening the bridges built between people during this campaign, and to darning the fabric of a nation.

Tomorrow will come soon enough. Revel and bask a little.

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M Henri Day's avatar

By M Henri Day, November 5, 2008 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

My guess is that signaturen «Paracelsus» and I embrace diametrically opposing political Weltanschauungen, but when he cites Robert Scheer’s «gushing» (Scheer’s own term) at its gushiest, and responds «Boy, are you going to be disappointed!», I fear he hits the nail squarely on the head. Still, with Mr Obama - given his intelligence and his realism - in the office of US president, the world has a chance, however slim, of making it through a coming decade characterised by the dismantling of the US Empire ; with Mr McCain or Ms Palin in that position, we should have had no chance at all….

Henri

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By Expat, November 5, 2008 at 4:16 am Link to this comment

I’m stunned, truly.  I’ve followed this with cynicism and trepidation.  Yet here we are; this emotional roller coaster is fraught with it’s own danger and it’s time to pull back with a hard, cold view of reality. 

Scheer’s statement, “Politics will never be the same. The fat cats and back-office politicos are out, and grass roots—youthful and Internet-connected—will dominate in the future, as they did on Tuesday. President-elect Obama knows that, and, at least on this night, I fully expect him to be true to those who took him on this journey.”  IMHO, is a bit over the top.

Rejoice at the election’s outcome but don’t lose your mind (head).  I think Paracelsus is correct.

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By DarthMiffy, November 5, 2008 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

Hi ya’ll,
I’m an American from SF living in Tokyo. My joy at this result led me to my local terrific local “micro” beer bar, Popeye’s in Ryogoku. I was just so happy that I went to share a few moments with real people, on top of many in the ‘net world. I asked for an “Obama beer” and they said, after a moment of thought, “Oh yes, a BLACK beer!” So, a lovely brew from Gumma-ken north of Tokyo arrived, delivered with several thumbs-up. It was a nice moment. I would like to celebrate that this watershed moment as shared by people worldwide. Cheers, mates!

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By artswede, November 5, 2008 at 3:10 am Link to this comment

400 years of prayers and a tough trip ahead.
An energy that our country has nurtured against its common comprehension has been unleashed.
This is why we drink Champagne and walk arm in arm against arms, folly and plain old republican hubris.
Bob (et al @ the office); -Yup, we’re in some mighty dire straits, but the catharsis that has brought us to the inevitable will pay it’s dividend.
We can, we will and we’ll do it in a way that will astound even the most cynical of observers.
It really is that big.
Good night, good riddance and good morning.
Even if knowing that we are in the midst of the murkiest of mires, I for one will wake up with a smile.

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By vthom, November 5, 2008 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Organized an entire continent right under their noses, or at least presided over the process. Now let’s see if Bush gets out of the way.

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By kamtree, November 5, 2008 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

I am glad to be given permission to bask, thrill, chill, honeymoon, gush, and glory for a day or so. I know we must be vigilant and work ourselves as hard as we want Barack to work. It’s up to all of us. Robert Scheer, if you read this, you were one of the strongest radicalizing influences on my life with your articles in Ramparts, lo, these many years ago. I would love to meet your or correspond with you, and I hope that will happen sometime soon.

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By Peter Z, November 5, 2008 at 1:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the greatest Moment in American Politics ever -
this has been my proudest Moment as an American !
After living for almost 40 years in this Country as a naturalized Citizen,I honestly can say that,with the election of Barack Obama as President,was and will be
my proudest Day since I became an American Citizen !
Today I realized that Dream all over again and what I
truly belief that what makes one feel so proud to say:
I AM an AMERICAN ...and ” Long live the new President ” !

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By expat in germany, November 5, 2008 at 1:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

OK, can Truthdig NOW take Palin’s face off the home page???

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By kath cantarella, November 5, 2008 at 1:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I could’ve sworn i saw Jesse Jackson shed a tear.

What a great day for the world. I’m glad i’m alive at this time, in this coming era.

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By cripes, November 5, 2008 at 1:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paracelsus:

Man, are you correct or what? The man has already betrayed, in his senate votes, nearly every “progressive” position he ever pretended to support.

Not only is he squarely in the pockets of big doners, despite unprecented small donor fundraising, he is a tool for the CFR, Chicago school of economics, military complex, big pharma, telecom, banking and insurance. Let’s not even talk about foriegn policy.

Although I am encouraged by the voters solid rejection of reagan-bushonomics and empireism, it’s always a dangerous development when the populace becomes excessively enamored by the idol worship we see around obama.

It’s no substitute for an informed and involved citizenry. Democracy is what happens between elections.

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By Paracelsus, November 5, 2008 at 1:11 am Link to this comment

@jurnei

You appeared to have voted for someone else.  I wonder why you’ve stopped by truthdig?

Would it make any difference if there were a Truthdig in ‘64, and I said back then all those people who voted for Johnson are really going to be disappointed? What if it was Carter, and I said back then, you liberals are going to be so annoyed in 4 years?


Whom do you imagine that I voted for? Why shouldn’t I stop by?

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By jurnei, November 5, 2008 at 12:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paracelsus:

You appeared to have voted for someone else.  I wonder why you’ve stopped by truthdig?

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By davidperi, November 5, 2008 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

I was watching part of the http://www.democracynow.org long live broadcast.  In it was an interview with an Iraqi and he said that the M.E. is really watching what will be the promises or failures of Obama´s M.E. policy.

Will it be the end of war or a lingering U.S. military presence when the war it over?  The M.E. is watching.

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By Paracelsus, November 5, 2008 at 12:48 am Link to this comment

Politics will never be the same. The fat cats and back-office politicos are out, and grass roots—youthful and Internet-connected—will dominate in the future, as they did on Tuesday. President-elect Obama knows that, and, at least on this night, I fully expect him to be true to those who took him on this journey.

Boy, are you going to be disappointed!

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