November 6, 2008
Any damned fool?
Nothing surprised me more in the campaign than the absurd charges leveled at Obama by Palin. He is a Marxist (Groucho perhaps), a Socialist, and one who will "redistribute the wealth."
With those charges in mind, I note that yesterday was the birthday of America's most famous Socialist, Eugene V. Debs. Yes, the candidate for president in 1904, 1908, 1912, and 1920 who would have copped a plea--indeed, he believed in redistribution of the wealth. Had Debs, who died at 70 in 1926, lived to see the giving of bonus payments of billions of dollars on Wall Street while millions of Americans lose their homes he would not be amused.
Would he be the one to "lead you into the promised land"? No, sir. Debs said, "If I could lead you into the promised land, any damned fool could lead you out." Words of wisdom. The challenges facing us will not be the private preserve of President Obama. A Congress with guts and determination must be working along side or even out front.
The near-record turnout has altered the Congress substantially (and Al Franken might yet be elected in Minnesota). No Dole or Sununu; no Republicans in the House anywhere in the northeast; big majorities in both houses. One might adopt a slogan for this Congress: "No excuses."
In Wisconsin, Obama rocked. Just under 3 million voted for president. Obama won going away. But the Democrats in the state Legislature didn't take much advantage of the tail wind. The Senate is about the same as it was but one must credit Alberta Darling for a hard-fought victory over Sheldon Wasserman. She won 52-48. A Wasserman victory would have been a game-changer.
Democratic Senate leader, Russ Decker, hailed the election as "a great election" for Democrats even though no Republicans lost.
In the Assembly, the Democrats won control but not with the results one might have expected with Obama heading the ticket. When 52-46 is the margin and at least two of those "Democrats" vote most of the time with the Republicans, it is not a comfortable margin. Four Dems want to be elected Speaker: Jon Richards, Fred Kessler, Pedro Colon and Mike Sheridan. The question to be asked is, which candidate can hold together a progressive coalition in light of a multi-billion dollar hole in the bucket?
This was a victory for Democrats in Wisconsin, but it was a photo finish.
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Have you thanked your local evangelical today?
Now that the elections are over and the winking moose hunter has been hung out to dry along with her hockey mom wardrobe, it's not up to Democrats or Republicans to make this nation work. It's up to each one of us as a people to guide this nation forward.
The challenges ahead need not discourage us. Our future will be nothing like the misery of the past 8 years we have had to endure.
What's that Wisconsin motto again? Forward!
I'm excited, are you?
-Franz Fripplfrappl | Stoughton, WI | November 6, 2008
I didn't realize that yesterday was Eugene Debs' birthday. I invoked his memory on Tuesday, when Vigo County, IN came through for Obama early in the evening. Terre Haute, in Vigo County, is where Debs was born and grew up.
-Suzy Grindrod | Madison, WI | November 6, 2008