Archive for ‘2008’

November 5, 2008

A look back

by thoughtfulconservative

Last night’s election, while disappointing was not the disaster many thought it would be. Democrats are far short of the “super majority,” and didn’t pick up as many in the House as predicted by some. I attribute this to the fact that, although people want change, they don’t want revolution. They are mostly satisfied with their lives, but want some stuff fixed.

McCain lost and he lost by about what pundits predicted. The interesting thing was that it was over before Florida, Indiana, and North Carolina were decided.

So where should the Republican Party go from here?

Many have said that Sarah Palin has the inside track for 2012. Of course many thought Hillary Clinton was a shoo-in. I like Gov. Palin and believe she would be no worse a candidate than Barack Obama. But four years is a long way off.

President-elect Obama seems to have won by appealing to African-Americans, young people, and Hispanics. It’s also clear that tax cuts as a campaign strategy works about as well as abortion (but note that anti-gay marriage proposals passed in FL and CA; reminds me of two years ago, when the marriage amendment and an opinion question concerning restoring the death penalty passed in a year when Republicans were defeated nationwide).

If Republicans want to win elections, we have to figure out how to appeal to the groups that went big for Obama. We either have to come up with new ideas as Paul Ryan (although like Nick, I am troubled of his support for the bailout) or we have to sell the old ideas better.

I think part of McCain’s failure was not selling the ideas better. He spent too much energy attacking Obama for things that didn’t seem to matter to the electorate. One could argue the reasons why the people didn’t care, but that’s not the purpose of this post.

But, better than coming up with new ideas, I think Republicans have to prove that they are willing to follow those ideas themselves.

The Republican Party has traditionally been the party of small government. The past 8 years were anything but. If we decide we want to continue to be the party of small government, we have to mean it.

I’m not sure that’s what the American people want. They seem to be satisfied with government being involved in areas that Republicans traditionally haven’t been comfortable with. Health care is one area.

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth will follow in the coming days and in fact, has already started. The death of conservatism has already been proclaimed.

We shall see.

November 4, 2008

Congratulations, President-elect Obama

by thoughtfulconservative

Barack Obama has been elected president of the US. He ran a great campaign, especially in exciting new and younger voters to actually vote, compared to previous elections when they didn’t.

Beginning essentially with his speech at the Democratic convention in 2004, Obama has made few missteps in his march to this moment. An underdog, inexperienced, he conquered what many felt was a superior field of candidates, finally besting Hillary Clinton who, with her husband, was a superior campaigner.

And then he took on the party in power and defeated it.

He did it with a simple message of change and convinced people that change could happen.

It’s an historic occasion and I am proud of the fact that we have been able to elect an African American president, without regard for his race. I can only speculate on how all African Americans feel at this moment.

Both men made gracious speeches. We knew Obama was gifted, but McCain has seemed more comfortable lately, perhaps having resigned himself to defeat several days ago.

McCain was humble in accepting blame for the defeat. Obama was humble in reiterating that he doesn’t have the answers and can’t solve the problem on his own.

Now the hard work begins. Do I disagree with the direction he wants to take the country. Yes, I still do.

But he has my prayers as he chooses his cabinet and the direction his administration will take.

November 4, 2008

Election Day notes

by thoughtfulconservative

Probably won’t be much else today, since I’m working today and Drinking Right is tonight.

But here’s a collection of comments I’ve made on an open thread at Cindy Kilkenny’s blog with some other thoughts.

You can get free stuff! They say you need a sticker, but I’m pretty sure they couldn’t enforce it if you forced the issue. UPDATE – They would be breaking federal election laws (h/t Brad V).

Lines at Ward 3 and 4 in Waukesha were not long, at least from mid-morning to noon. In fact, they were almost non-existent. One friend took less than an hour to get his residency proof, get to Frame Park (5 min. drive), register, vote and get back.

Being a working-class neighborhood, it’ll probably get crowded after about 3pm.

Many of my friends and co-workers are completely unaware of Wisconsin election laws concerning proving their residence and who can vote. Even that you are allowed time off to vote. Thankfully, I got a piece of Obama literature that tells everyone what they need to do.

JSOnline has a bunch of stuff.

First there’s this Google map of reports on wait times at various polling places. You can send in your wait times, if you’re so inclined. You might even read it in a future Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

I just like to look at the maps.

Next, we have

They also have a forum dedicated to recording your voting experiences. The first posting talks about lines around the block at the MLK library at 6 in the morning! Again, if you post yours, the paper may contact you. So embellish. 🙂

Then they have a map of how Wisconsin counties have voted over the years. It goes back to 1964.

Dixville Notch, NH went for Obama, the first time they voted Democratic since ‘68.

Huffington Post has a collection of widgets for election night. If you’re looking for something, chances are it is here or will be here.

I may add more if I find more. Many blogs are posting pictures and their experiences at the polls so check the blogroll for more news.

November 3, 2008

Are you watching Monday Night Football?

by thoughtfulconservative

Washington Redskins Predict Presidential Elections

Stay with me here. For a long time, the winner of the last Washington Redskins home game before the presidential election echoed the winner of the election in this way; if the Redskins won, the party in power retained the presidency; if they lost, the party in power lost the election.

This went unchanged from the time the Redskins made their home in Washington until, well, 2004 when the Packers beat the Redskins and John Kerry lost the election.

OK, this is like that coincidence of every president since 1840 who was elected in a year ending in zero, died in office. This ended with President Reagan.

But if you’re a Republican grasping at straws, watch the game.

UPDATE: Here’s another (via steveegg),

1960 – Jets record: 4-5; Party elected: Democrats

1964 – Jets record: 4-2-1; Party elected: Democrats

1968 – Jets record: 6-2; Party elected: Republicans

1972 – Jets record: 5-3; Party elected: Republicans

1976 – Jets record: 2-6; Party elected: Democrats

1980 – Jets record: 2-7; Party elected: Republicans

1984 – Jets record: 6-4; Party elected: Republicans

1988 – Jets record: 5-4-1; Party elected: Republicans

1992 – Jets record: 2-6; Party elected: Democrats

1996 – Jets record: 1-8; Party elected: Republicans [sic – as steveegg points out in the comments, this should be Democrats]

2000 – Jets record: 6-3; Party elected: Republicans

2004 – Jets record: 6-1; Party elected: Republicans

The Jets are 5-3.

November 2, 2008

Pray?

by thoughtfulconservative

NOTE: I’m keeping this at the top until after the election. Look below this post for more recent ones.

Our pastor at church Sunday asked who was nervous about the outcome of Tuesday’s election. Quite a few raised their hands.

Now I may be nervous, but I’m not concerned.

You see whether Obama, McCain, Barr, Nader or whoever wins the presidency, I believe whatever happens is God’s will.

Why?

Because I believe what the Bible says.

OK, the scoffing can now commence.

Read the rest

November 2, 2008

How I know the forecasts are wrong

by thoughtfulconservative

Even reliably red Montana in play as Election Day looms.

Right.

Of course, I realize I could be the one that’s wrong.