It's been fascinating to see the range of responses to the Obama victory.
Right wing publisher Brent Bozell, claims, on Fox News, that Obama won by espousing conservative economic policies, so his win is not a mandate for liberal policy.
But I've also heard from McCain voters who now say they're praying for Obama, that he can do the right thing and help America in our time of crisis.
Then there are the crazies who Sarin Palin (no spelling error. She was toxic, like the poison gas) whipped into such a frenzy they went out and bought automatic weapons, shouted "kill him" at McCain/Palin rallies and who now are printing Impeach Him tee-shirts. The secret service reports that Palin definitely played a malignant role in increasing the number of threats against president elect Obama. I heard of one person who didn't vote for Obama because she was so afraid he'll be killed, like Bobby Kennedy.
On the left we have people who are intolerant of ANY challenges, questions or criticism of Barack Obama. "We Elected him, now trust him" they say, which is fine, but then they add. and shut the F**k up.
Angry far left Naderites, Greens and people who literally advocated for not voting, because the system is "broken" claim that Obama only won with 37% of the people who could have voted, so he has no mandate. And they are already sure he's no different than Bush. They proudly say, "Don't blame me. I didn't vote for him." But what are they proud about? He's not even president and they have no idea how he'll do.
There are plenty of liberals and progressives who are holding back from judging Obama. Many are dismayed by his selection of pit-bull Rahm Emanuel. He's shown a history of backing conservative democrats, even funding them in primary runs against progressive candidates. It's no wonder some progressives are annoyed and disappointed. And Emanuel is also an orthodox Jew, son of an Israeli immigrant-- and that rubs against lefties who want to see peace in the Middle East, starting with better treatment for Palestinians. One pundit friend observed that Emanuel is the fourth most powerful person in congress and might be easier to manage if he’s taking orders and carrying out Obama's policies than operating in the house as a member of congress. And his clout in congress may make it easier for Obama to get things done, including taking positions on Israel that might be attacked by AIPAC.
I voted for Obama with eyes wide open. I saw him as a moderate, with a moderate history, who showed promise to do a profoundly better job than John McCain, who demonstrated that he couldn't even lead an effective campaign, which entailed managing money, choosing managers to delegate to, selecting competent advisers to trust and failing to maintain his integrity when pressured by the people he hired and the party he was elected to represent. The final straw was his total failure in judgment when it came to selecting his vice presidential running mate. Sarah Palin proved herself many times over to be a terrible selection, in terms of her capacity or readiness to be VP or president. In selecting her McCain beyond bad judgment, showed he had put winning over what was good for America.
Now, we see a plethora of different groups and voices from all ideologies trying to frame the election. It's hard to see how they can NOT call it a landslide mandate, without really stretching their point. But they are trying.
And from every media organization and think tank, every advocacy organization--left and right-- people are trying to get Obama to take a position or a direction on this or that. It was a shock for me, then, when I went to one of the largest Democratic sites, Dailykos.com, and posting an article asking for Obama not to recycle too many former Clinton staffers, I was thoroughly blasted in the comments-- about three to one, out of close to 140 comments. Fortunately, I added a poll and IT showed that over 70% of the respondents agreed with me. The lesson is that the loudest shouters don't necessarily represent what the people really think.
Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the appointees Obama selects. I think it's quite reasonable for all of us to to give our opinions on appointees, priorities, etc.. Over and over again, Obama, almost every day, would talk about his desire to take a bottom up approach to solving our economic problems. Well, speaking up and giving feedback is what bottom up is all about. Accusing Obama of failure, of showing he's not good, already-- that's clearly premature.
The USA is in deep trouble. We've elected a man by an incredible margin. He's going to be president for four years, at least, Let's pray for him and give him time to get his administration off the ground. Let's do it with lots of feedback. He's invited it and can take it. Go to http://change.gov/ and tell him your visions, your ideas, your worries. No president has ever before started off asking for it. That's a good beginning.