Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper.

So I went to bed last night hearing the tail end of Obama's speech on the radio, because my DirecTV is down right now because of some wiring issues. I didn't have a particular emotion or reaction to the result. Then this morning I had a sort of morose feeling and thought of my epigram.

The Democrat's House majority is the largest they've had in 15 years. They have control of the Senate too, with Biden's vote to break any ties. Until Mid-Term Elections in 2010, they have the mandate of the people and control of the Executive and Legislative branches of government. I hope for their and Obama's sake that they make hay while the sun is shining, because if they don't, they might not get another shot for a while.

I have friends that are staunch Democrats, and I have friends that are staunch Republicans (they still hold a grudge for when FDR let cattle die in the fields to boost beef prices.) My Republican friend tells me that in 2010 Bush's tax cuts expire. So the promise of no tax increases from Obama will be tested at that point, because he also promises $1 trillion in domestic spending in the first two years (more than the entire Iraq war has cost to this point), for the poor essentially. Another thing I never heard from McCain when talking about tax cuts for corporations and small businesses is that the government and the IRS receive their largest revenues after tax cuts. 2006 and 2007 were record revenue years after Bush's tax cuts. Apparently when people don't have as many taxes they are more willing to use their money to stimulate the economy especially if they are the corporate types that can have a large impact with their spending. I don't know if any of these things are true.

But I do know that after caucusing for Obama in February (Nebraska's first such event), I realized that people I really don't like at all wanted Obama to win. So for the sake of Schadenfreude, I wanted to see their reaction if he lost, plus the Democrats have a knack for messing up elections they should win, so it is fun to pile on them. I still couldn't vote for McCain because I don't like him (or Palin) or his policies in comparison to Obama, so the other alternative was Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root, the Libertarian ticket.

I voted Libertarian in the last Presidential election because I'm a usually a one issue man and my issue that year was the legalization of marijuana. But this year I actually went to their website and read their stance on the "issues." I really liked what they said. I knew that they were for small government, and with it smaller taxes, but I didn't know about their faith in Capitalism and the free market or their Ron Paul-like passion for the Constitution. I loved how they want to get out of Iraq, not for any moral reasons or because of the horrors of war, but because it costs too much and the longer we prop them up economically the longer it will take them to stand on their own. I once did a research paper about the financial burden of capital punishment, so that was right up my alley. They are kinda out there when it comes to the education system, but every platform needs some weak planks to give it some character. So they got my vote.

Back to that morose feeling. I think it comes from a couple places. One is that the people I wanted to see disappointed were overjoyed. Another is that I get the feeling that Black people think this is a victory for them, and that they feel they are better than others because they won. And maybe I'm upset because I'm racist at heart, and I realize that I'm racist, and that isn't a good thing to be. I hope not.


At November 05, 2008 8:08 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

I hope you're not a racist, too. And I'm very curious about the people who you wanted to be disappointed, and why!

At November 06, 2008 6:33 AM, Blogger Angela said...

I'm happy to see you're blogging again, and I hope this continues. I also hope that your morose feelings abate. Unfortunately, from what I learned student teaching, you probably are racist because it's how you've been raised. The good news is that admitting it is the road to recovery. From what you wrote, and I do say this with love, you sound a bit bitter as well.

Daniel, my friend, it's time you left the country for a bit. See something new. Meet interesting people. European hostels could do a world of good, mentally and socially. I'm not going to suggest visiting us in Mexico, although our door is always, well, automatically locked, but we'll throw it on open should you knock, because you said you've never wanted to go to Mexico. Also, the pollution here leaves a little haze over my optimism. Still, do get out, my friend. Head for a clean place with good beer.

At November 06, 2008 12:21 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

It's good to be back. Ceri, I mainly have one person who I've butted heads with in the past in mind. Angela, I appreciate your advice, and I will see new things, just maybe not out of the country. Maybe my bitterness comes from a general loneliness and a jealousy of the throngs that are celebrating together.

At November 06, 2008 11:41 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

Ok. We all have the weaknesses and insecurities that racism tries to hide. It's human. Racism isn't a single opinion or a single value. So let's not beat ourselves up for fleeting thoughts.

Re: libertarians:

I have some definite libertarian leanings. I believe in a government that leaves people alone when they don't need or desire involvement. I believe in a government that's socially liberal and financially responsible. I believe in states rights on many issues but not on others. But I'm not really saying that I believe in small government. I do think the government has a definite accountability. And there are some ways in which I'm happy to have a huge government.

Disaster relief. Moral military presence. Educational funding... and so on. (emphasis on "Moral" there...)

Regardless of some philosophical accord here are some reasons I couldn't bring myself to vote libertarian this time around:

Bush created a monster of the Republican party. He and Rove are responsible for adding strength to the nasty arm of the Religious Right. It has turned into a party that I really believe poses a great risk to our liberty from religious rule. Case in point -- Prop 8. The only reason issues like that pass is because of a view that homosexuality is immoral. A view based almost entirely on religion.

If we want to move as far away from Bush's legacy of constitutional dismantling I'm convinced that the two branches will have to work together with a certain amount of cooperation that I don't think Bob Barr would get. All his time would be spent trying to roll back programs that the congress likes. The train is so far off the tracks we need two branches that know how to pull together.

Here's the strangest thought I've had lately. The two party system is not great for politics. And I have to wonder if the best way to shake it up is to smash up one party and make the resulting heavy majority too big to stay intact. You get specialization in the bigger party and a Lord of the Flies revolution in the smaller. It's worth a try.

There is a risk with all of this. Part of Bush's horrible legacy has been the expansion of executive power. A president with a friendly and powerful congress is not exactly the best way to take that away. But I'm trusting that in order to do his work Obama will be able to trust the legislation enough to do its job and he won't have to wrest the power through unconstitutional means like Bush did. Perhaps a libertarian President would be a better way to limit the role of the executive branch. But I'm not sure that's such a necessary move right now. I do think Bush's abuse of power was mostly due to the neocon ideology and influence from his evil little minions.


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