Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Spoils of Victory

It has been less than 48 hours since the results of the historic election on Tuesday and the Republican response has been swift. There has not been an official from the Republican party to appear on TV without mentioning that America is "a center-right" country and that Obama would be best served to govern with that in mind. The Republicans were unable to come up with a strategy for the McCain campaign, however it seems they have decided upon their post-election strategy. Their idea is to try and convince the American people that Barack Obama has to govern as a Republican would in order to be effective.

Apparently it has not occurred to them that they lost this election. They do not get to dictate the terms under which the Obama administration goes about its business. And where do they get the idea that America is a center-right country? The Right has certainly been very vocal and organized, but with the rise of the Internet, the Left has found its voice as well. We are a 45/45 country. The 10% in the middle (who are truly persuadable) decide the fate and the direction of the country in every election. In this election they have decided that we are a little more left than right. In fact in they had pretty much decided that during the '06 election, where the Democrats made dramatic gains in the House and regained control (tenuous though it may have been) of the Senate.

Barack Obama may indeed govern from the center, but it won't be because he feels that he has to follow the dictate of the Republican party. One of the main themes of his campaign was civility. While I believe that there will be times when he takes advantage of the Democratic majority in Congress, for the most part I think that he'll try to find a position that can attract the moderate Republicans, at least, to his side. The economic realities that he will face won't allow for much creative law making anyway. The economy will dominate his domestic agenda and I suspect that while he will find very vocal opposition (to whatever position he takes) from the far right, he will also find those who are willing to cross the isle and work with him.

Republicans have to come to terms with the fact that the American people have rejected the center-right or far-right policies of the Bush administration. In the end, voters do not elect a Democrat as President for his center-right policies.

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