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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Congratulations to Barack Obama

First black president of the United States of America. That's significant, worthy of recognition even by his staunchest opponents.

Obama being president doesn't mean the world is going to end. It means we -- and, by "we", I mean all those who think government should be doing less than it now does -- it means we have a lot of work to do. It means we have to be prepared to pick out (and pick on) the failures of Big Government, just as we've always done. It can be done.

The best repudiation of the slogan "Yes we can!" came from National Review's John Derbyshire: "No, we can't, you fools." No, we can't: no, government cannot solve our problems. No, government cannot turn back the tides. No, government cannot bring about peace, prosperity and happiness. We still believe this. We're still right in believing this.

Perhaps an Obama presidency will give us ample opportunity to demonstrate to Americans -- indeed, to the world -- that government is the problem, not the solution.

But let's please heed what Mark Steyn said, "As for us losers, there's no point going down the right-wing version of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Any shrill vicious ad hominem invective would be much better directed at each other. The Republicans lost this election."

He's right. We're too good for Obama Derangement Syndrome. The Republicans should be blaming themselves. We should be blaming the Republicans. Every chance they had to shrink government, they failed. Every chance they had to prove their faith in the market, in individuals, they failed. Blame the Republicans. Blame Bush.

Do not blame Obama for skillfully winning an election in the face of an inept, unprincipled opposition.

As Wendy Sullivan wrote on this night,

Whatever my feelings, and whatever yours, we have just borne witness to a piece of American history. Americans have elected their first black president to lead them.

Historic eras in America are all important, but the big ones are few in number: Independence from England, the slavery era, the end of the slavery era, women’s suffrage, the black vote, and the various wars. Those are the biggies. And now, a black president.

Or as Jim Manzi wrote at the Corner:

There are about 1,460 days until the next Presidential election, and I assume that I will spend approximately the next 1,459 of them opposing Barack Obama. But I’m spending today proud abut what my country has overcome.

I'm proud, too. Even though I expect that the Western Standard will oppose 95 per cent of the change Obama will attempt to bring to America. But if change is coming, the Republicans were the harbingers. In a choice between "compassionate conservatism" and genuine welfare statism, you can't blame voters for choosing the more honest alternative.

Conservatives and libertarians need to figure out what they stand for, and they need a candidate who can eloquently make the case for it, something McCain did not do. I agree with Mark Levin:

[The Republican Party] suffers from much neglect and misdirection.  And the nominee is a good man, a great man in many ways, but a flawed candidate.  And we conservatives do need to work things out, and we will.  In fact, we must.  We face a juggernaut.

We can turn things around. I don't have a lot of faith in voters, but I do know that government can't do what Obama wants it to do. Government has failed and it will fail again.

And we will be there, shining light on those failures: always right, but rarely popular. We do it because we must, because we enjoy it, because people -- however caught up they are in this historic moment -- will one day soon look to us for alternatives.

We offer those alternatives. It's not "change you can believe in." We don't cater to hope. We tell people what they don't want to hear: "No we can't, you fools." Whether we are conservatives or libertarians, we believe -- we know -- that individual liberty will always triumph over the "juggernaut" of government.

History has proven us right. It will prove us right once again.

Posted by Terrence Watson on November 5, 2008 in U.S. politics | Permalink

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Comments

Thanks for that very moving and insightful post, Terrence.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-11-05 12:23:47 AM


"We're too good for Obama Derangement Syndrome. The Republicans should be blaming themselves. We should be blaming the Republicans. Every chance they had to shrink government, they failed."


Every chance they had to shrink government, they failed?
"We" should be blaming the Republicans?

Man alive, the Republicans shouldn't be blaming themselves, and YEAH you've been blaming the Republicans ever since you Libertarians have taken over this blog.

The only thing Republicans are to blame for is being foolish enough to clutch the poisonous snake that is the Libertarian too closely to the Republicans bosom, false friends that the Libertarians are, to be bitten when the chips are down.

From the beggining of the race for the Republican candidacy the supporters of Ron Paul had vowed to stay home on election day and the numbers show that they have.

I hope you Libertarians are happy.
When you complain about Obama's policies I'll be happy to rub your faces in what you have wrought.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-11-05 12:41:18 AM


This is indeed a sad day for the USA I fear, and as for the positive comment of Obama being the first black president that is also sad. Sad because of the percentage of people who voted for him because he is black. This is voting for the wrapping instead of the contents of the package. I can think of several black Americans who would make a top quality president, not because they are black, but because of their values, ideals and qualities, but they are not politicians.

I agree that the Republicans are much to blame but one cannot turn a blind eye to the shameful cheerleaders of American MSM. Also I have little doubt that voter fraud took place, although the extend to which this pushed Obama ahead I know not. Terrence is correct that the Republicans turned their back on any form of conservatism and went from bad to worse in this regard. We face the same threat here unless the CPC begins to act as a conservative party instead of house-sitting for the Liberals.

Posted by: Alain | 2008-11-05 1:08:57 AM


Sorry to be a party-pooper, Mr. Watson, but this is not a historic day. As I sit here in New York in the midst of euphoria in the streets, I take heart only in comments such as Alain's above.

It is nice for people of various skin-tones to know that they are not barred from public office, but they should have known that already. It is superficial, dare I say racist, to call this a victory, when everything about Obama is ugly besides his skin and his oratory. He is ugly on the inside, as McCain is, and as Biden is. He is ugly because he seeks to harm the peaceful existence of his fellow man through confiscatory taxation, abrogation of civil liberties, and coercive systems of 'national service.'

Watching Oprah and Spike Lee crying because the President-elect shares their skin-tone, and seeing the corporate media praise this day as transcending our history of racial conflict, I can only think that this proves we are still stuck in the past. Bitterness, animosity, and distrust reign within the African-American community, while guilt, superficiality, and paternalism reign within the Progressive European-American community.

If we had transcended our history of hatred, then it wouldn't matter if we elected a dark-skinned fellow – it would matter that we elected a just fellow. They may laud the latter for achieving in the face of historical disadvantage, but his accomplishment would not be winning elective office, but defending the rights of his countrymen. Obama is a pretty face for a politics of hate, an identity politics that divides people by such silly things as the color of their skin, the very politics that perpetuated slavery in the Southern States.

When libertarians retake the reigns of government, whether they be dark, light, blue, or clear, then we will have risen above the crimes of past generations. Then, every culture should feel whole in the knowledge that each individual's rights are protected.

Thomas Sowell in 2012!

http://www.mikevine.com/

Posted by: Mike Vine | 2008-11-05 1:46:25 AM


When libertarians retake the reigns of government, whether they be dark, light, blue, or clear, then we will have risen above the crimes of past generations. Then, every culture should feel whole in the knowledge that each individual's rights are protected.
~Mike Vine

Libertarians can't retake what they never had, the reigns of government.
None have to share in the crimes of others.
Culture's don't have knowledge, individuals do.

Posted by: Speller | 2008-11-05 2:19:46 AM


"We must - and we shall - destroy him."

Posted by: Adam Yoshida | 5-Nov-08 12:41:06 AM

=====

Given Adam's posting history, that sounds an awful lot like a death threat. Was his post about how voters rejected Churchill and Thatcher was shit-canned for similar reasons? Hmmm... Did you hear that? I think I just heard the sound of the FBI opening a file on Adumb....

Posted by: Fact Check | 2008-11-05 6:10:31 AM


I hope you Libertarians are happy.
When you complain about Obama's policies I'll be happy to rub your faces in what you have wrought.

Posted by: Speller | 5-Nov-08 12:41:18 AM


That is completely twisted. You might want to take a look at what Libertarian values really are.
Start with the Constitution and work back from there.

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-05 6:26:48 AM


Terrence, we don't agree on a lot of things. But thank you for a classy post.

For me it's not Obama so much as what this vote represents, or may well represent. A transition, a tipping-point.

Could the Civil War finally be over? Could the "race" construct have finally begun its slow decline?

Bravo, American majority.

Posted by: Dr.Dawg | 2008-11-05 6:50:37 AM


I wish Obama the best of luck--he's going to need it. Charismatic he may be, but I can't help but wonder if he's going to be another Jimmy Carter. Carter was well-intentioned but out of his depth, particularly on foreign policy matters, and Obama is comparatively inexperienced, having been a U.S. Senator only since 2004 and an Illinois senator from 1997. His far-Left voting record and the fact that the Democrats now hold both Houses of Congress--and are in a vindictive mood--are further concerns.

That said, I hope he succeeds. The consequences for America, and perhaps the world, will be terrible if he doesn't. And it would be a shame if after such failure people were to take home the message that maybe blacks shouldn't be President after all.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-05 7:29:33 AM


It's true: the Republicans lost this election. McCain tried to say non-partisan and as a result failed to draw enough distinction between himself and Obama. Bush went down the big government road and made it look (as it so often does) as though there was no big difference between the parties. It adds up to the photogenic young guy with history on his side wins.

BTW to Shane Matthews: I agree that the prospects of a Carter-like Obama Presidency are significant.

Posted by: Charles Martin Cosgriff | 2008-11-05 9:25:08 AM


So much negativity! Remember, it's just an election!

I know people who have personally risked their lives to spread ideas of freedom in countries where this was a death sentence. We hardly need feel sorry for ourselves for the fact that our new president is unlikely to be a friend of liberty - almost none of them are!

If simple electoral victory or defeat for one politician or another defined the success or failure of freedom, it would truly be sad. But that is not the case. Freedom is precious, and nothing precious can be had so easily.

Maketh thyself free!

Posted by: Isaac | 2008-11-05 9:53:44 AM


Well said, Isaac.

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-11-05 10:01:33 AM


Speller - you would do well to live up to your 'stage name' - it is the REINS of government, not the REIGNS of government. The reign, er rein, er rain in Spain... And on topic, this shows what owning the media and spending five times what your opponent spends on campaigning can do. Money as a substitute for values.

Posted by: Aviator | 2008-11-05 10:46:26 AM


I have my doubts about Obama but he has been elected and deserves an opportunity to show his stuff. I wish him well.

Call it "enlightened self-interest."

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2008-11-05 10:50:34 AM


Watching Oprah and Spike Lee crying because the President-elect shares their skin-tone, and seeing the corporate media praise this day as transcending our history of racial conflict, I can only think that this proves we are still stuck in the past.
Posted by: Mike Vine | 5-Nov-08 1:46:25 AM

It should be noted that nationally 90+% of blacks voted for Obama, and 100% in some districts. Anybody who suggests that the Democrats were not playing racial politics is naive. The real question for me is how does Obama deal with the payback issue. Are whites, and Asians for that matter, both Republican and Democrat going to stand for the reestablishment of loads of Johnson type "Great Society" programs.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-11-05 11:41:06 AM


I wish only evil and damnation on Barrack Hussein Obama/

Posted by: Faramir | 2008-11-05 1:40:46 PM


Libertarians can't retake what they never had, the reigns of government.
None have to share in the crimes of others.
Culture's don't have knowledge, individuals do.


Posted by: Speller | 5-Nov-08 2:19:46 AM


The original Libertarians are commonly referred to as "The Founding Fathers"

And Thomas Sowell makes some very inmportant points.

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-05 5:55:37 PM


I wonder how Toronto will greet Obama. They don't care for non-whites very much there.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-11-05 6:21:17 PM


The mainstream media(CBS,NBC, ABC,CNN, and MSNBC) was in Obama's backpocket. He had Oprah, John Stewart, and the other celebrities on his side.He had a major advantage in fundraising(almost 2 to 1). MTV was promoting his candidacy through supposedly non-partisan political stories. What effect did that have on the youth vote? In addition, Obama got a record 95-96% of black vote. Why is it that 95% of blacks voting for a black candidate isn't racist but whites behaving in such a manner would be? In addition, the media emphasized the defections of so-called republicans like Scott McCellan(phony who wrote a hit piece book on Bush. Trashed Bush on MSNBC but talked positively about him on the O'Reilly Factor and said his book was sympathetic to Bush), Colin Powell(never much of a solid Republican), and Lincoln Chafee(former Republican senator from Rhode Island who opposed war in Iraq but supported gun control, abortion, and big government spending). However, they never really discussed Democrats besides Lieberman who supported McCain. Finally, McCain's campaign was disorganized and he was being unfairly linked to Bush. Yet, Obama wins only 52%-46%. A 6-pt margin after the media tried to make it seem that Obama would win by double digits and that a vote for McCain was futile. This was Obama's high water mark and he only got 52%. Now, Obama has to lead and get results. He knows how to campaign but he has no governing experience. Nice words can only get you so far if you can't back them up.The mainstream media can only run interference for so long. In 2012, Obama will be up for reelection and the shine will be off the rose. I highly doubt that he'll get 52% or anywhere near that. Also, his fanbase among the under 30 crowd will be seriously dented if his high tax policy leads to high unemployment and more companies sending work overseas. Obama got through the election by emphasizing "change" and blaming Bush. In 2012, he won't be able to use Bush as a crutch. Also, income redistribution will lose its appeal among the young if they see that the end result of his economic policies are less available jobs, higher product costs, and magically finding out that their income puts them high enough to be hit by Obama's tax increases. Third, the war In Iraq appears won. It appears that the surge broke the stalemate and crushed Al-Qaeda. The credit goes to Petreus who took command of the Iraq theatre, the soldiers who sacrificed for victory, and a few politicians(John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham) who pushed for the surge. Everyone forgets that Obama and Biden wanted to turn tail and run. This country owes McCain its gratitude for the risk he took. At the time, McCain said "I'd rather lose a campaign then lose a war." If Obama withdraws troops too soon and leaves a power vaccuum(that militants can exploit) then the blame will be his if violence erupts.

Posted by: Jason | 2008-11-05 7:46:11 PM


I wonder how Toronto will greet Obama. They don't care for non-whites very much there.
Posted by: Zebulon Punk | 5-Nov-08 6:21:17 PM

They don't like him in Alabama either Punk, other than your brotha's and sista's.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-11-05 8:49:13 PM



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