Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"Obama Speech
I think this is a dream.
-Atrios 00:02"

Liberals in the US and the old European Colonial powers are ecstatic; American blacks are celebrating; immigrants to this country and many former colonial subjects are impressed. Those who could still be said to fit that description, Iraqis, Afghanis, and Palestinians (along with their neighbors) are less sanguine. The best description of my immediate response is relief.

The obvious irony is that as Obama moves to the right he'll be helping to ease racial tensions much more than if he remained loyal to his base. But his options in that direction may be limited by the situation itself. George Bush was forced into partial nationalization of the banks -and we're just lucky that wasn't left for a new Democratic administration, which would have been made to pay for such "radical" and "unnecessary" actions- so the Democrats could choose to see their job as being to stabilize the new reality. They won't choose to see their job that way however, and will lead a retreat.
But how far?

The fact that a black man was elected is not shocking. It's a milestone, but a milestone is only a marker. It's not a leap forward, it's just a step, and one that was going to happen sometime soon. It didn't have to happen now, though and it did.

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