The Obamanation of Desolation

November 5, 2008    By: Jacob J @ 11:18 am   Category: Life

We can’t hold it against those copying texts thousands of years ago. It is entirely understandable that as they copied the original text of Daniel, when faced with what must have seemed to them a nonsense word “Obamanation,” they would try to smooth out this difficult reading by substituting the more reasonable look-alike word “abomination.” For us, living in the end times prophesied by Daniel, the meaning is obviously much more easily discerned.

But seriously, my hat is off to Barack Obama for a commanding victory. As a republican partisan, I was proud of McCain’s gracious concession speech. I was also encouraged to see Obama reach out with some very gracious rhetoric in his acceptance speech. After a bitter campaign, I hope the country can rally behind Obama as our new president. I don’t expect to agree with Obama on much and his massive majority in congress means he’ll probably get a fair amount of his agenda through. But I’m hoping his presidency will be successful and I am not interested in following the leads of Daschle, Gephardt, Murtha, Reid, Pelosi, Dan, and Schumer. I will not forget the plain meaning of words (e.g. “lie“, or “patriotism“). I will not assume of Obama the worst possible motives for all his actions. I will not support a republican should s/he travel abroad and attempt to undermine Obama’s foreign policy. I will not convince myself that this election was stolen from me even after all suggested recounts show that Obama would have won even if the supreme court had not not become involved.

Many of the democrats in the bloggernacle have been good examples to me of how to be a thoughtful and respectful opposition. I will do my best to follow their examples.

Over the last eight years, I have seen hate and vitriol and I have judged it to be ridiculous and unbecoming. Given the current economic situation, it is almost unthinkable that things will not be looking better in four years, so I predict now that Obama will win in 2012 by a wider margin than he won last night. Here’s to a prosperous eight years under President Obama and a republican opposition that can disagree without being ridiculous. Congratulations to all of you Obama supporters out there.

P.S. mfranti, there had better be a bounce in your step this morning! (at any rate, I am hoping there is)

46 Comments »

  1. Thanks for this.

    The office of President of the United States of America deserves a certaing amount of respect regardless even if the person holding that postion is one with whom we disagree. I’m hoping we can reclaim some of our dignity that has been lost in recent years.

    I will cheer, not boo, should President Obama choose to throw out the first pitch at a baseball game I am attending.

    Save for gross misconduct, I shall not call for a resignation nor impeachment.

    I will not hope for a complete failure of policy to ensure a Republican win in 2012.

    I will not turn to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh for my source of information.

    Comment by Tim J — November 5, 2008 @ 11:45 am

  2. Both Obama’s acceptance speech and McCain’s concession speech were very well done. While I was very disappointed in some of the kinds of negative attacks McCain engaged in I was also very happy at how he often defended Obama.

    Like you I was deeply disappointed at some of the hate and vitriol of the past 8 years. I didn’t even like Bush but found myself often defending him at frankly egregious attacks. I pray the right doesn’t fall into the same mire than the left did.

    As for 2012 I think it all depends upon whether Obama acts as President the way he ran for President: a center-right economic, a center-left person on most else. I suspect though that the Congress will attempt a more left wing activist set of initiatives. How well Obama is able to control congress will really determine how well Obama does in 2012.

    Comment by Clark — November 5, 2008 @ 11:49 am

  3. Great title! Hilarious.

    Clark: that’s why I was praying that Dems didn’t get a super majority in the Senate, even while I voted for Obama and several other democrats. I don’t want the Senate pushing liberal bills onto Obama’s desk. Obama needs to focus on two things: health care and renewable energy. Anything from a liberal agenda (e.g., gay marriage, abortion, unions) will be a huge distraction, alienate moderate voters, and cost the House and Senate big losses.

    Comment by BrianJ — November 5, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  4. I suspect that Obama and his camp will have the the first two years of the Clinton administration in mind as they set the agenda. Clinton spent too much time on the divisive gays in the military issue and as a result the Dems lost control of congress two years later. My guess is that Obama will stay away from those kinds of radioactive subjects and focus on the things both sides of the aisle want — an economic recovery and a real move toward energy independence. I suspect the GOP might even tolerate moves toward more universal health care if the Dems don’t overreach. I think the conciliatory comments from Harry Reid were very encouraging too.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 5, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

  5. Well, appointing Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff is not a good sign…

    Comment by Tim J — November 5, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

  6. Nor Kerry as Sec. of State…

    Comment by Tim J — November 5, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

  7. Our neighbors in the world seem pretty happy today.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 5, 2008 @ 1:42 pm

  8. Obama sounded good all through the campaign: That’s why people voted for him. Others saw, or
    thought they saw, something else behind the fine and fair words. We shall see who saw more clearly.

    Unfortunately, I expect the ugly rhetoric of the campaign to be promptly replaced by the equally ugly rhetoric of politics as usual. Even if I chose not to boo and create clever epithets, or resort to common profanity and obscenity to make my political orguments and describe the political opposition, I expect all those who have gotten into such habits to find them easier to get into
    than out of.

    Comment by Confutus — November 5, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

  9. Tim J

    (#1) Some good additions to the list, thanks. (#5, #6) He hasn’t picked anyone yet, give him a chance to actually appoint someone before you get too worked up.

    Clark,

    What you said about controlling Congress is interesting. I think Obama has the mandate and the power to set the agenda and control what happens in the next year or two (at least). It can be pretty hard to go from idea-guy to the guy who is handed the reigns, but I think his challenge will be in implementing his ideas rather than controlling Pelosi.

    BrianJ,

    Thanks. I probably would never have posted on politics except I couldn’t pass up on the title.

    Geoff,

    (#4) That is probably a good strategy for Obama in his first couple of years. I hope he does what you’re saying. As to the comments from Reid, you’ll have to provide the link. The NPR interview I read was not at all conciliatory.

    (#7) I think it’s great that this election gives us a chance to start fresh from the global PR perspective.

    Confutus,

    I expect the ugly rhetoric of the campaign to be promptly replaced by the equally ugly rhetoric of politics as usual.

    That is undoubtedly true. I guess I’m trying to say in the post that I, for one, will be trying hard not to contribute to the ugly rhetoric of politics as usual.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 5, 2008 @ 2:45 pm

  10. BTW, it might seem odd that I would post on this since I have had very limited participation in political threads online and I have never posted on politics before. I live in Oregon where a large percentage of my friends are very happy democrats today (and I’m happy for them). In my offline life I talk partisan politics every day and this is more about my behavior there than about any online conversations I expect to have going forward.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 5, 2008 @ 2:51 pm

  11. Jacob,

    This is a quote from Reid that has been repeated in several places.

    “It is not a mandate for a party or ideology but a mandate for change,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 5, 2008 @ 2:59 pm

  12. P.S. mfranti, there had better be a bounce in your step this morning! (at any rate, I am hoping there is)

    what? i don’t read this blog. how did you know i would today?

    yeah. there was a little bounce in my step on the way to work but when i saw the mountain of paper sitting on my desk…it dissapeared,

    coulda got the bounce back with a match and fire extinguisher but duty won.

    thanks for thinking of me.

    Comment by mfranti — November 5, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

  13. Ditto Tim. Although there’s a lot of people saying he plans to keep Gates.

    Comment by Clark — November 5, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  14. Jacob, what I’m saying is that if Obama wants to implement his plans then he has to be able to reign in Reid and Pelosi. Look what happened to Clinton.

    Comment by Clark — November 5, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

  15. It’s been reported Obama has offered the position to Emanuel. The Kerry one is still a rumor.

    Comment by Tim J — November 5, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

  16. Although there’s a lot of people saying he plans to keep Gates.

    He could score some major bipartisan points if this comes true. I wouldn’t mind someone like Hagel for the long-term though.

    Comment by Tim J — November 5, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

  17. Clark,

    I’m saying that Obama’s position is dramatically stronger than Clinton’s was. Clinton one with 43% of the popular vote or something like that. By contrast, Obama won with a very healthy popular vote and an impressive electoral margin. He takes over at a time when the congressional approval is below 10%, the lowest numbers ever measured if I recall correctly. If he can’t control Reid and Pelosi in this environment, he is done for. But I don’t think he’s done for, I think he’ll fairly easily dictate the agenda and they will fall in line.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 5, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  18. mfranti,

    Must be fate, or my undying optimism. Also, I assumed with a title as catchy as this one you’d have to take a peek. Sorry about the mountain of work.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 5, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  19. yes it was a sexy title and i’m a sucker for sexy titles.

    I was proud of McCain’s gracious concession speech.

    oh man. i’ve said this elsewhere, had that JM run for president, the map would have had more red and i wouldn’t be reading your sexily titled post.

    c’mon folks. give it a rest and look forward with optimism. give BO the benefit of the doubt, get behind him and help him and our other leaders, get us out of this mess.

    we are, as trite as it sounds, in this one together.

    cheers!

    Comment by mfranti — November 5, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

  20. Tim J,

    True on Emanuel. He’s not my favorite guy, but hey, that’s what elections are about. I don’t expect Obama to appoint people I like. He won the election, he gets the people he likes.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 5, 2008 @ 4:58 pm

  21. Do you think there’s the slightest infinitesimal chance that Obama might appoint Romney as Secretary of the Treasury? Or is that completely laughable?

    Comment by Jack — November 5, 2008 @ 5:34 pm

  22. Nah,

    There’d be too big a tussle over where to spend the money.

    Comment by Jack — November 5, 2008 @ 5:36 pm

  23. I don’t expect Obama to appoint people I like.

    I don’t either, don’t get me wrong. It’s his perogative. But Emanuels seems to be in that Pelosi/Frank/Reid mold. I was hoping it might be different. There are a lot of other appointments to follow, so we’ll have to see what happens.

    Comment by Tim J — November 5, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  24. Or is that completely laughable?

    Yes. Rumor has it he’s offering the job to Larry Summers.

    I honestly don’t think Romney would have made McCain’s cabinet.

    Comment by Tim J — November 5, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

  25. Jack (#21),

    I put that somewhere between -1 and 0 percent.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 5, 2008 @ 6:04 pm

  26. Yeah,

    I knew it was a stupid question. But then, I’d hope the severity of the economic crises might cause an unusually serious consideration in picking the right guy/gal for the job.

    Comment by Jack — November 5, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  27. Jacob, the point is that like Clinton Obama ran as a centrist. What happened with Clinton is that he pushed too much and there was a backlash. Now one big difference is that Clinton was pretty undisciplined. Obama’s strength is discipline and temperament. So that’s huge.

    One issue with Obama is that the parties have become polarized. There are far fewer moderate Democrates today than in 92. Of course one could argue that hurt Clinton since many democrats objected to Clinton’s big policies. Today that is pretty unlikely. However the problem many worry about is that the far left (the Charlie Rangles of the party) will have few in the party to stop them.

    That said it was being reported today that Obama made an agreement with the few blue dog Democrats (roughly centrist or economical center right Democrats). He promised that there would be no spending without corresponding income generation (either tax increase or spending cut). That’s a promising sign – so long as Obama doesn’t significantly increase taxes as many Republicans fear. But if Obama does that then that’s an issue for 2012 for Republicans.

    So I’m sticking with my comment that it will be very interesting to see if his initial 100 days are about a center-left agenda or a far left agenda.

    Comment by Clark — November 5, 2008 @ 8:14 pm

  28. To add, while Obama won with more vote the fact is that there was a big perception in 92 that Clinton had a huge mandate. I’d note that Obama seems to be much more conservative thus far about such claims.

    One other thing is that Clinton had no foreign policy catastrophes. Indeed the big talk was the peace dividend.

    Obama enters in during an economic meltdown and two wars one of which that is going very badly and then a resurgent Russia looking to reclaim some past glory. Pushing too heavy a domestic agenda while there all these issues is likely to be seen in ways somewhat akin to Bush in 2004. (Remember his successes?)

    Comment by Clark — November 5, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  29. Tim Emanuels is much more of a centrist than Reid and company though. Remember how he pissed off a lot of Democrats under Clinton over such issues as welfare reform and so forth. He was the centrist angle of the Clinton administration.

    Comment by Clark — November 5, 2008 @ 8:19 pm

  30. Clark,

    I agree that it will be interesting to see what the first 100 days bring. Charlie Rangel will get his chance to make hay, but I think Obama will be setting the agenda for the first year or two. As to the mandate thing, give them a bit of time, I predict you’ll hear plenty about Obama’s mandate in the next few months. You make an interesting point about foreign affairs. Obviously Obama wants to focus on domestic issues, but foreign issues have their ways of pushing themselves front and center. You mentioned Bush in 2004, I was thinking Bush in 2000-2001. He actually started out by passing some big bipartisan domestic legislation, but after 9/11 no one really remembers.

    Emanuel may be somewhat of a centrist, but he likes to poke sharp sticks in the eyes of his opposition. I think that is what Tim was referring to.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 6, 2008 @ 9:57 am

  31. I for one will be a Republican who will root for given em’ what they gave. I will not be nice. I will praise those Republicans who draw political blood. My problem with McCain is that he was too nice and didn’t say what needed to be said. He didn’t fight hard enough, but tried to be civil instead of calling out the Obamanation.

    I pray that Mormon conservatives will NOT be “nice” and then they end up dinosaurs. Please conservatives let the gloves off! The opposition certainly hasn’t worn any.

    Comment by Jettboy — November 6, 2008 @ 11:35 am

  32. Jettboy,

    You are obviously an awful person and based on your attitudes here and elsewhere you are not a Christian in any meaningful sense of the word. In fact you are such a tool that I suspect you are not even a real Mormon at all but some fictitious character played by an anti-Mormon with the intent to make all Mormons look bad.

    Go away you stinky little troll.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 6, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  33. Wowzers.

    Jettboy,

    I’ll admit it is tempting to want to return in kind and I feel confident there will be plenty of people who’ll do just that. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that is a downward spiral. I am not blind to the fact that there are both republicans and democrats who are mean and vicious. The disturbing thing to me over the last several years is how mainstream and widespread such nastiness became. When the city of San Francisco actually has a measure on the ballot to name sewage plant after the sitting president, then you know things have gotten pretty bad.

    But, the bottom line is, I don’t approve of that. I think it’s ridiculous and frankly disgraceful to show such a lack of respect for the presidency (if not the president). I am all for fighting tooth and nail politically, but not beyond propriety. So I’m not going to do it, plain and simple.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 6, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  34. I should add, I think Obama has so far shown a lot of restraint and decorum (like Bush). I don’t agree with him politically on much, but I feel it’s the right thing to give him a chance and try to put the terribleness behind us as much as we can. Plus, he’s the president, so the fate of the country is, in significant ways, in him hands. Isn’t it American to root for the president to succeed?

    Comment by Jacob J — November 6, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

  35. Geoff, bless your heart.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — November 6, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  36. Jacob, I’m quickly losing faith in Obama’s main quality I voted for: his temperament and willingness to bring in educated competent people. (Unlike Bush) There are a lot of stories that he’s going to make the anti-science quack Robert Kennedy Jr. his head of the EPA. I’ll not derail this discussion here down that tangent. I discussed it at my blog though.

    This does not speak well for Obama in the least.

    Comment by Clark — November 6, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

  37. I say wait until he actually makes an appointment to that post before getting worked up over it Clark.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 6, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  38. I’m curious how Emanuel will affect Obama’s policies with Iran. With or without the talks Obama speaks of, I sense that within the next four years, he’s going to be forced to make a decision about whether or not to support an Israeli air strike on Iranian targets. I would imagine that having Emanuel in the room when those decisions are being made would make a difference on some level.

    Comment by Eric Russell — November 6, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

  39. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuel

    Rahm Emanuel is interesting guy. I just heard him publicly state he had to discuss the position of chief of staff with his wife and make sure he could fulfill his family duties with his new job. get’s a gold star from me in that department

    so what is is about him you don’t like? He’s pro business and willing to piss folks off.

    Comment by mfranti — November 6, 2008 @ 2:17 pm

  40. Geoff if you can raise enough stink about it before it’s announced you might be able to stop it.

    Comment by Clark — November 6, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

  41. mfranti,

    so what is is about him you don’t like?

    Not sure who you’re asking, but I don’t have anything against Rahm Emanuel specifically. I said he is not my favorite guy, by which I meant that he is a liberal and I am a conservative. I do like the family duties comment and I’m ready to give him a chance. As Eric Russell intimated, I think it may be a good thing if he is in there when Israel is on the line.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 6, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  42. BTW, that story in the Rahm Emanuel wikipedia article about how he got the nick-name Rahm-bo is classic.

    On the night after the 1996 election, “Emanuel was so angry at the president’s enemies that he stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign, grabbed a steak knife and began rattling off a list of betrayers, shouting ‘Dead! … Dead! … Dead!’ and plunging the knife into the table after every name.”[2] His “take-no-prisoners attitude” earned him the nickname “Rahm-bo”.[14]

    Comment by Jacob J — November 6, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  43. True dat Clark. I think your point is a good one. Putting some anti-science knucklehead in charge of the EPA sounds like a horrible idea to me.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 6, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

  44. Emanuel actually is fairly centrist for a Democrat. Remember he was the “axe man” for both NAFTA and welfare reform and irritated a lot of Democrats. While I don’t think this speaks well for the tone I think many expected Obama to take I think that Emanuel is likely to be the axe man against liberal Democrats so as to keep the House and Senate in line. That is Obama recognizes the problem of a very liberal congress that might wish to pass legislation that would hurt Obama politically. (Especially since Obama is likely to have most of his focus on foreign policy and simply won’t have the time to focus on what congress is doing)

    I might well be wrong but I think Emanuel will have as his primary function not alienating and subjecting Republicans as the liberal version of Tom Delay but rather in keeping Democrats from passing every liberal wish list regardless of consequences. (As many very liberal Democrats have been voicing the past few days)

    Comment by Clark — November 6, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  45. Jettboy,

    I agree that conservatives shouldn’t just fall over. However, payback is not much of a political philosophy. Effective opposition to President-elect Obama’s questionable policies must be based on conviction and principle, i.e. the so called “loyal opposition” or it will do the country more harm than good.

    There was certainly plenty of room for people to have principled disagreements with President Bush’s policies. But the “Bush Derangement Syndrome” helped no one. Neither did Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Obama Derangement Syndrome won’t help anybody either. I think we have had enough of the paranoid style in American politics for a while.

    Comment by Mark D. — November 6, 2008 @ 11:10 pm

  46. I think that Emanuel is likely to be the axe man against liberal Democrats so as to keep the House and Senate in line. That is Obama recognizes the problem of a very liberal congress that might wish to pass legislation that would hurt Obama politically.

    very good point! i’m tired of the kids fighting. if there’s a good nany in the house, they might learn to play nice.

    Comment by mfranti — November 7, 2008 @ 10:44 am

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