Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name

Congratulations to President-elect Obama and the Democrat party in general for their victories last night. Obama's quasi-landslide, facilitated by the fact that he pretty much swept every key swing State, surprised me slightly. And the Dem's picked up some key Senate seats (take that, Elizabeth Dole), but will not reach 60 for a super-majority...I guess we'll have to wait a little while longer for the complete nationalization of private industry, the elevation of unions to Big Brother-esque power, free unlimited abortions for every woman and the changing of our national symbol from the bald eagle to the hammer and sickle. Here's hoping for 2010, though.

Obama must obviously be excited - in the same way that any comic who is informed that he'll be performing after Carlos Mencia is excited; safe in the knowledge that he can't possibly do any worse than the last guy. Seriously, if Obama sat in the Oval Office and played Sudoku for 4 years, he'd go down in history as a better President than GWB. Not content to sit around and do nothing, however, Obama apparently has plans and goals.

So it's been less than 12 hours since the Obama victory was announced and, much to my surprise, there has been no noticeable change in life (for better or for worse). The sky did not open up, fire did not rain down upon us and I did not even hear a single trumpet (if you got that last one, I'm impressed. If not, here.) On the flip side, the blind still cannot see, the water in my sink is not wine, wars and genocides continue globally, and it is still true that white colonists enslaved Africans 300 years ago. But like I said above, Obama has plans.

I'd just like to forewarn Obama backers that they should temper their excitement a little. This article, though a few months old, gives good reasons why: he can't possibly find the money for all his change. $6billion for rebuilding bridges and dams? $15 billion for developing clean energy? $10 billion to bail out foreclosures? $18 billion for education? I guess my favorite is $50 million a year to "help make men better fathers" - I assume that means giving that money directly to the dad's so they can buy their kids an IPod...that automatically makes you a better father.

The article notes that Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, suggests that Obama is going to have to cut back his plans a bit. Fortunately, Robert Rubin, a former Clinton adviser has been working closely with the Obama campaign. This is a good sign. It may just be that Obama realizes, much like Clinton in the 90's, that he will have to forgo many of his campaign promises in order to focus on deficit-cutting. It will be difficult because Obama promised so much to so many people...but if he takes even a modest step towards balancing the budget and reducing our national deficit, he will be serving the people in a manner more praiseworthy than any government program he had planned on creating.