Thursday, November 06, 2008

Too early to tell

It's too early to make much sense of Obama's victory. A few things though:

Firstly, this bit stood out from the victory speech. It's the sort of quote that you could expect in quite an enjoyable essay title - followed by the word 'discuss.'
"...tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow."
Secondly, John Bolton (a Republican) was on Newsnight earlier raising something - and I don't know if he's right here. He said that this is a few-point victory in the face of economic collapse, a fantastic fundraising campaign, a spectacularly unpopular President, the perceived failure in Iraq and so on. Bolton made the point that the next race in four years time is hardly one that Republicans should fear under the circumstances. Tom raises similar questions here.

For all of the 'historic victory' shtick, is he right? Or is this a watershed? Is it that Republican voters are meeting their maker while young voters turned out disproportionately highly for the Democrats? And is it the case that the tide of history is moving permanently (or for the foreseeable) away from the Republicans and that we only saw a first flowering of this last night?

It may all seem a bit of a flaky question to ask, but if you read Snowflake here, it's a question that has a great deal of significance for the debate - particularly around tax - in the UK. I'd suggest that a likely Democrat second term would be needed to cement the kind of shift that Snowflake is hoping for in the medium term?


Crushed said...

I think however it is seen, it heralds change for the better.

It is a new America today.

passer by said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paulie said...

Passer. You obviously have a range of half-arsed theories that you want to share with the world. Set up a blog and do it here. And stop commenting here.

passer by said...
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Chris said...

For all of the 'historic victory' shtick, is he right?

I don't think it's so much the gap in the popular vote (maybe there was a Bradley effect after all) that's the issue as how long it takes the Republicans to understand why they lost and adapt - Obama could have won less handily and still broken the Republicans plan. If they think McCain was too wishy-washy, that he should have been nastier (because it was in no way the sleaziest campaign ever), that they needed to preach their way louder, then it'll be a while. If they get some new leaders in place quickly, drop the more divisive crap, not fight too much among themselves, adopt some of the changes that proved popular for the Dems and figure out what they're for, then surely they can look to 2010 to start a revival. Especially if the left indulges in fighting itself.