Posted by: Dark Defender | November 5, 2008

Yes you did

So its President Obama.

Its difficult for me to write about it.

Not because I’m so distraught or worried, but because I have mixed feelings.

Watching the celebrations and feeling the history of the “first black President” its impossible not to feel pride in America.  Electing a member of what was at one time an underclass to the highest office in the land is a tremendous event, one which demonstrates the diversity and acceptance of our culture.  This is a good thing, widening participation and opportunities for minority groups makes America stronger.  I think of Obama’s election as being somewhat like Trajan’selevation to the Purple, he was the first non-Italian to become Emperor.  Afterwards Italian birth mattered little in the Imperial succession and many of Rome’s future great leaders would come from the provinces.  Perhaps Obama’s win opens the door to future leaders who will do great things for America.  I hope so.

On the other hand I did not vote for Obama.  I don’t think he was the best choice.  On foreign policy I fear he lacks the experience and credibility to make difficult decisions, as a libertarian I fear him seeing every problem as an invitation, nay demand for government action.  The coming Obama administration could be repugnant to me on virtually every issue.

But the reality is we have no idea what Obama will do.  He has virtually no track record, took few positions and those issues he did take positions on he has been vague on and built escape hatches into (we may not be able to accomplish everything in a year or a term). 

Who is President Obama?

Who is President Obama?

He could fall back on the liberal law prof he was, maybe he really is into redistribution and will make that a priority, perhaps he will see his election as a mandate to bring “social justice”, maybe he is actually a pragmatic politician like Clinton, perhaps he will cling to the center and become the main obstacle to the Pelosi agenda.  There is no track record to suggest he would stand up to his own party, quite the opposite, but pragmatism would demand it. 

Maybe in foreign policy he will see us as citizens of the world and give way wherever he is pressed, or maybe he will feel the need to show he has balls and will overreact to provocations. Or he might surround himself with good people and actually weave a web of realism and be a good foreign policy President.

The fact is we really have no idea how Obama will govern.  More than any President in my life, he is a blank slate.  Very little is really known of him or his policy preferences.   His campaign was really about him, it wasn’t a conventional campaign vote: for Reagan and tax cuts, or Clilnton and health care, in Obama’s campaign its all about ill defined “change”,  We (he) are (is) the one were waiting for.  I think its fair to say Obama’s victory was large enough to give a mandate, but a mandate for what? 

I would say its for him, the people have made their choice, and it was for a man not for an idea or a policy.  Obama is a blank sheet of paper, his followers project their hope on him, his detractors their fears, what he will actually be only time will tell.

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Responses

  1. The way to get around the “blank slate,” to get an idea bout the direction of the next administration, is to look at his advisors and their track record.

  2. Indeed, im not sure I take great big buckets of hope from Emmanuel’s appointment though. Sure hes a Clintonite and thus presmuedly more moderate, but he is a partisan bomb thrower, so that aint good.


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