Tuesday, November 04, 2008





Karl Rove just said that "every American ought to celebrate tonight."

Sorry, having a little trouble there, and I don't think it's going to go away.

Would I celebrate if I had a terminal illness and I got some doctor to tell me I was really going to be okay? No.
What's to celebrate if something that appears to be good is just an illusion?

Certainly, no one would deny that in terms of symbolism, the American nation has just undergone an historic seismic shift. And symbolism is not without value, in terms of bolstering the health and strength of a nation. But symbolism is not a substitute for wisdom, or character, or administrative talent. It cannot create virtue where it is lacking. And it is worthless if it is merely a veil to obscure the leadership vacuum, and the seamy stepping-stones, upon which this political victory has been cobbled together.

There are plenty of candidates whose election to the presidency would have grossed me out -- the thought of President Hillary shrieking and shriking at us for four years or more would be a serious bummer; the thought of nodding to the soporific drone of the hau
ghty, French-looking John Fitzgerald Kerry for a term or two might induce coma or a drug habit. But neither of them would inspire in me the sheer cold-sweat fear with which I contemplate the coming Obama administration. Give me a tired old left-wing D.C. hack any day before you ask me to trust my country, its future, the life and well-being of my military sons to this wet-behind-the-ears, pompous empty suit who has cultivated a colossal indifference to every brand of moral and political corruption that he has deemed necessary to embrace in his quest for ever-higher position.

I continue to find the readiness of the black population to vote as a massive block (95% for almost any Democrat) to be an unhealthy sign of a prolonged cultural infancy (deeply underscored by the
simmering threat of waves of rioting should Obama not have achieved his anointing). At the same time, it is hard to hold this hollow victory against the black Americans who have found the idea of President Obama irresistible. Enough of them are of an age to remember a time when they were barred from countless acts and places that formed the pattern of ordinary life for white America.

In an earlier post I remarked that, over the course of the campaign, it has been very moving to watch the response of thoughtful and fair-minded people like NPR's Juan Williams, who has been capable of recognizing Obama's most obvious flaws even as he has felt the powerful pull of his people's history surging forward. He was in his usual eloquent, yet clear-eyed, form tonight as the long-awaited corner was turned. I can't help feeling sorry for him, though, because for the sake of people like him I wish that this first black president could have been a better man -- a man who was worthy, and (more importantly) prepared for the job he is about to undertake. Barack Obama is neither, and I think it is safe to predict that history will amply demonstrate this.

Many voices among the conservative pundit class tonight are urging restraint, and sounding the alarm about the danger of falling into the reverse version of the "Bush Derangement Syndrome" which has driven so ma
ny on the left to the wildest extremes of hatred and sabotage over the past eight years. And these voices are to be heeded. But the sad truth is that, years down the road, when those of us who shudder at the prospect of an Obama presidency have long since recovered, re-grouped and resurged, it will be those celebrating his ascendancy on the basis of his being the "right" race who will have the hardest time forgiving him if he proves to have been the wrong man.

It goes without saying that Joe Biden will be an insufferable embarrassment as Vice President, on a scale that Sarah Palin's most savage critics could hardly imagine -- in the tumult of this evening's vote-count and all the high emotion, i had all but forgotten about Idiot Joe and what a foul and cynical joke that VP
selection was. But the painful truth is that Barack Obama is poised to be almost as great an embarrassment, and the consequences could be shattering, perhaps fatal -- to Israel at the very least, if not to some substantial segment of Obama's fellow Americans. I have no doubt that many of the pundits and politicians who were gracious and complimentary to the winner secretly agree with me on this, and if we are proven right, NO ONE will take ANY satisfaction in being so.

I am sorry for John McCain's loss this evening, more for the sake of our country and especially our military, and for the world at large, than for the man himself, who ran a less-than-competent campaign, plagued by McCain's own stubborn refusal to recognize where his real enemies were and push back a
gainst them accordingly (and coherently). I am almost (but not quite) as sorry for the sea of dupes who are cheering in Grant Park this evening, and across the nation, and already chiming in from around the world. You have bought a pig in a poke, my friends -- a fistful of magic beans, a gaseous Chimera of Oz. [And I use the term "bought" advisedly, for this presidency begins under the shadow of donation fraud on a massive scale, which will always leave open the question of whether the office could have been earned had it not been bought.] The price of your folly may be high and widespread.

To add insult to injury, that slandering slob Congressma
n Jack Murtha has beaten his challenger, Lt. Col. Bill Russell in Pennsylvania. Shite.

* * * * * * * * * * *

It's easy to make predictions, especially in the flowering of fresh bruises. These will heal. There is much to be grateful for, not least that America could produce such an interesting and impressive character as John McCain and watch him rise fr
om the bottom of his Academy class to the peak of his nation's esteem, even in defeat. Because America can, and has, and will continue to produce many thousands upon thousands more with his backbone and his love of country, at the end of the day we will be all right.

And, at the end of another day, not this one, but one on the near horizon, we will see Sarah Palin take her place on the national stage again -- she will still be unique and electrifying and determined, and Frum, Noonan, Brooks, Parker, Powell, et al., will still be wrong about her. [Memo to Sarah: keep the goddam clothes. You earned them.]

For the first time in long memory, I abandoned the election returns this evening, even before the fate was sealed, unwilling to wallow in the agony -- and switched over to the [only mildly] funny politics of Stewart and Colbert. I gave half an ear to part of the concession speech, and no hearing at all to the victory oration. I have watched only minutes of the late commentary.

I am now having a massive bowl of ice cream and watching Ozzie and Harriet. It's going to be a very long four years.