Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election

What a day in America.

Anyone looking for a measure of just how much the people despise what George W. Bush has done to this country, anyone wondering exactly how disappointed and let-down the American people feel, got their answer in a big way on Tuesday night in the form of Obama 349, McCain 161, and counting. It's pretty dam near a landslide.

Wanna know just how hated, how reviled our current President is? A black man (and eff this half-black stuff -- just look at the man, he is black!), a a 44-year-old black guy whose name rhymes with Osama and with somewhere between little and no experience whatsoever, a guy who the very people who voted for him actually know shockingly little about, a guy who openly plans to raise taxes on businesses and the rich in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in the world since the Great Depression, absolutely crushed in the U.S. election. 'Nuff said.

Barack. Hussein. Obama. Just repeat that name to yourself a few times. There's your next President. No, not of Kenya, and not of Saudi Arabia or Syria. Barack Hussein Obama is the next President of the United States of America.

What a condemnation of George W. Bush. I mean, what else can you possibly say about it? This was the people giving a major collective middle finger to the man who has led this country into the abyss by a web of lies, misinformation and just general stupidity and denial about the country's problems over the past eight years. It's not the first time the people have lashed out in the voting booths like this, of course. Look back to the 1970's, where republican Richard Nixon was caught in the Watergate scandal and forced to resign, embarrassing our country in front of the world while the American economy began its descent into one of its worst decades of the century. Sound familiar? The American people were so disgusted with that whole thing that, when the next elections rolled around in 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter was elected President by a margin of close to 60 electoral votes, and the Democrats suddenly found themselves with 61 seats in the Senate and 292-143 in the House. Now that right there is what I call a supermajority.

The elections of 2008 will go down in the history books as a similar phenomenon. I mean, this is undeniably the closest America has come to electing a demagogue in any of our lifetimes. I don't pretend to know about the past history of guys who were elected 6o and 70 years ago or more, but the bottom line is, in modern U.S. history, we've never come out and elected a President with quite this balance of smooth talking and oratory on the one hand, combined with a general lack of understanding of his background, and a mix of actual policies that seem more or less incongruous with the situation the U.S. currently finds itself in on the other. And this doesn't mean that Obama won't do a fine job as President -- nobody knows that at this point -- but it is at least in my mind an unbelievable statement by the American people that they vote Obama in by this kind of margin given the circumstances surrounding him.

As I've written about here many times over the past month or two, this election was John McCain's to lose at some point in the fairly recent past, and lose it he sure did. The man tried his damnedest to run on a platform of change, of cutting the reckless and ridickulous overspending that has completely taken over Washington during the current administration, of ending the pork-barrelling and tacking on of bullshit provisions to unrelated bills, but when push came to shove, he showed the American people beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly what he is really about, which is, sadly, an extension of the George Bush mantra of overspending and throwing pork around like it's his job. The day that McCain voted in favor of the $750 Wall Street bailout, he was finished. Then when he started talking about spending another $300 billion of taxpayer money on bailing out troubled mortgage owners, you might as well have piled the dirt on his grave. We've already had eight years of a schmuck who thinks throwing hundreds of billions of Americans' money haphazardly and thoughtlessly at our problems is the solution to everything, and despite what McCain's mouth said, his actions with respect to that pork-laden bailout bill, with its tax breaks for wooden arrow makers as well as $150 billion for corporations, told us all everything we needed to know. This country absolutely, positively needed a stark change from the current administration, and boy did we show it on Tuesday night.

So that's my take on the 2008 Presidential election -- it's a vote for change, more than anything else. And one thing I have heard about 85 times since last night, ranging from every talking head on tv to the President-elect himself, that I flat out do not agree with, is that this election is some kind of a victory for race relations in this country. I am not seeing that one. Obviously, the election of a black man as President is a hugely meaningful moment in the history of this country, and in the history of the world, and it shows how far we have come as a nation over the past 150 years, and even just the past 50 years. And that is undeniably a great thing. But any suggestion that the rampant racism that is still out there is somehow going to get better from the election of Barack Obama completely puzzles me. In my opinion and from talking to some of the people who oppose Obama's election, I think it will get worse.

Number one, this country is in dire straits right now economically. That's a fact, and it's going to get worse, probably much worse. Right now the unemployment rate stands at 6.1%, and by all accounts that figure is likely to raise significantly, perhaps as much as 50% higher than current levels, over the next couple of years as the Obama presidency begins. And that is going to be a very, very ugly development for millions of Americans, and for the millions of Americans who depend on those newly-unemployed people for the funds they need for food, for shelter, for life. Odds are several of you reading this right now, including the person writing this very post, will find yourselves out of a job over the next few years, and frankly, the few of Barack Obama's policies he has made us aware of are not going to be helpful to corporations and to small business at all in their attempts to survive and/or to stave off the effects of the siginicant recession facing the country right now. Now of course, when all this happens, the Obama machine will naturally repeatedly and consistently blame the previous administration for 100% of the problems the country experiences during his term in office (simultaneously taking 100% of the credit for all the good things, like any good politician), but the bottom line is that things in this country are likely to get a whole lot worse economically for a ton of people before they get better, and that is only going to fan the flames of racism that unfortunately still burn brightly in many parts of America.

More than that, though, looking at Obama's electoral victory this morning, I can't help but notice something in many of the states thought of as the key "swing states" that Obama ended up mostly winning on Tuesday, and it's something that can't in my view be termed as anything but anti race relations, not pro race relations. In most of these key swing states, Obama won the electoral votes for the state and won the popular vote by a decent margin, and yet when you look at the distribution of the votes in those states, the vast majority of counties and distrcits voted in favor of McCain, while it is the urban districts that voted en masse for Obama and carried him to victory. Let me show you what I mean.

Take a look for example at the key swing state of Pennsylvania map. Obama took this state overall with a pretty whopping 55-44 margin in the overall voting. But look at that electoral map. That small blue area in the southeast is Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, the smaller blue area in the northeast is Scranton / Allentown, and the little blue blip in the west is of course Pittsburgh. Basically, you had the working class, heavily-minority areas turning out huge numbers of voters and electing Barack Obama for the entire state, despite the fact that McCain won more than two-thirds of the districts in the state overall.

Now let's look at Iggy's home state of Ohio. This state went to Obama, 51-47. That's Cleveland in the northeast, Toledo in the northwest, Columbus in the middle and Cincinatti in the southwest. Basically everything else, again more than two-thirds of the state's districts, went to John McCain.

This here is Florida, a state that went to Obama by a 50-48 margin. Again, nearly three-quarters of the distrcits voting for McCain, and yet Tallahassee in the north, Tampa on the west side and of course the Miami area in the southeast carried the state overall for Obama.

Here is Indiana, another swing state often mentioned by the pollsters and talking heads. Obama ends up winning the state's 11 electoral votes, despite losing in nearly 80% of the state's districts. But Gary, Indiana in the north and Indianapolis in the middle were enough to carry the state and keep it blue.

Check out Missouri, which as of Wednesday morning is split 49-49 and still being tallied. Any doubt where St. Louis is on that map? That one is about 90% of districts voting for McCain, and still might end up going to Obama.

And for you Las Vegas lovers out there, here is Nevada's map. Obviously, that's Vegas there at the bottom, and capital Carson City and Reno there on the West and NW. There's five more electoral votes all going to Obama, despite winning less than 20% of the districts in that state.

Here's Maryland, with its 10 electoral votes. In case you're wondering, that blue strip starts right in Baltimore up there in the north, and makes a beeline straight to Washington, DC. Everything else solidly in the red.

Now don't misunderstand me here. I am not saying this is unfair, that Obama didn't "really" win the election, or anything that in any way cheapens Obama's victory here. This is the way elections have always been run, and just because this kind of split is more pronounced in the Obama election doesn't have anything to do with changing the fact that the electoral college system is based on overall state votes, it has been for over 230 years, and it's the best system we have, one which I support 100%. Obama won this election, and won it big time, and he did so fair and square by any possible measure. But, to call this election a victory for race relations in this country is to me stretching the truth qutie a bit. To me it seems that we are going to have tens of millions of voters in America, covering about 80% of the surface area of this country, who are staunchly against Obama, and who know beyond dispute that it was the urban areas that came out in force and en masse and voted Barack Obama into office. Personally, I don't see how this is going to be good for race relations at all in America.

One interesting thing I found while I was looking through that cool state-by-state electoral application on the foxnews site is that exactly one county among all of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut voted for John McCain. New England, once considered the home of the traditional, the Puritanical conservatives among the country, is long gone, replaced now as the greatest bastion of unfettered liberalism this country has to offer. Which is amazing in a way if you live there, because the people of the area -- Massachusetts especially, as I lived there for six years of my life not too long ago, were and continue to be the most provincial, most race-biased group I have ever lived among, to the point that after six years in Boston I could not wait to get the hell out of there and to a more accepting, open-minded city full of people more like me. But you can't find a McCain voter in Massachusetts anywhere, check it out for yourself.

So that's my take on the election. Personally, although I clearly have my doubts about Barack Obama's plans to deal with the economy and just in general the policies he plans to put in place since he's been so opaque about them in general during this election, I am excited -- make that thrilled, even -- for the idea of change coming to this country. What we have gone through with the current President is so redonkulous, especially during the past couple of years but really throughout the entire two terms, that I love seeing the people tell him and his entire party to fuck the hell off and regroup, and I love the thought of a completely new set of people coming in and taking over. A new President, a new Vice President, a new Secretary of State, a new Treasury Secretary, a new SEC chairman, all of that stuff sounds real fuckin good to me right now, and obviously to millions upon millions of other Americans as well. It is official -- George Bush has ruined not just his own legacy but the constitution of his entire political party right now, much as Richard Nixon did in 1974. The republicans will be back of course, but right now the people have spoken and their words are telling the Bush lovers to Get Lost, a chorus in which I willingly chime in.

And for those of you all worried about the Democratic fillbuster-proof supermajority in the Senate, don't worry, it does not look like the people were qutie ready for that yet, which IMO is a very good thing. Based on projections of the still-open races, it appears that the number of Senate Democrats will go from 49 to what right now looks like 56 versus 42 republicans, and in the House, the number of Democrats will increase from from 235 to what looks like 251, versus 173 republicans. Interestingly, these figures are far from what most conservatives viewed as the "nightmare scenario" of the fillibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate -- requiring at least 60 seats controlled by the Democrats -- as well as the more optimistic projections for the House, which had the Democrats picking up as many as 25 or 26 seats instead of the 16 they appear to have won. Still, much like in the mid-1970s, it is a great example of what a truly, sickeningly horrible president can do to an entire political party, and what he can do to the political mindset of an entire nation.

Starting in late January of 2009, this country will embark down a road of liberalism not seen in more than 30 years. It's going to be an interesting ride to say the least. Congratulations to Barack Hussein Obama (no matter how many times I say it , I just cannot get over that a guy with that name is going to be the President of the United States!) and to all those who supported his historic run for office this year.

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23 Comments:

Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

Yeah I grew up (PA)in west Northampton/east Lehigh (Obama)counties and went to college in Venango county (McCain). And as you put it, rural america did not vote for Obama.

And I agree this should not cheapen or diminish the historical factor of this amazing win, and I hope that while it does not solve race relations, it can start us as Americans, down the path of a little bit more tolerance.

11:01 PM  
Blogger zach said...

Wait, so were not supposed to tax businesses?
Who the hell else should we tax, the people who cant afford to keep their homes?

jesus christ dude sometimes you just sound retarded

11:54 PM  
Blogger Neilc999 said...

i was halfway through your post and didnt wake up till half an hour later, thanks for that. I was just wondering though why there isnt any MTT posts sinse 2007? has it been a dry year? I like reading those posts as sometimes i feel i might be learning something and finding blogs on MTTs is hard sinse luckos been so lazy latly.

Anywoo, get some MTT posts done

luv ya

12:56 AM  
Blogger Neilc999 said...

oh just wanted to mention i couldnt agree more on harrington being a complete tard. His books make usefull bonfire tinder.

1:06 AM  
Blogger Riggstad said...

Why do people make such retarded statements like the one above?

The issue isn't taxing businesses numb nutz. And its not taxing the middle class out of their mortgage payents either, retard.

What it is about is saying to small business, "hey, we are not going to over tax you because we think you make too much, and it nots fair for mr $50k a year to pay his share since you have so much".

I own small businesses dick head, and don't talk about what you think you know. I guarantee you as well, when he starts raising taxes on small businesses, there will be a few mr. $50k's that will bo out of work. And thats not out of spite, or to keep my level of pay where it is. I get paid last EVERY FRIGGIN MONTH.


Figure it out douchebag.

Jesus Christ I'm so pissed at the idiocy of some people it makes me want to kick the shit out of something!!!!!!

1:12 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Yeah zach's comment suggested that I am saying we should not be taxing businesses, which of course I did not say and which would be ludicrous right to its core for anyone to say IMO. What I did say was that I do not believe now is the time to be raising taxes on businesses with the economy in the state it is in, which is a position that I freely respect other opinions on but which I believe rather strongly based on universally accepted historical data will delay economic recovery. It will also inexorably lead to deeper job cuts, again based purely on economics and historical precedent, which I am really not in favor of right now in any way, shape or form.

I'm so used to having my words miscast for others' own personal agendas that I typically don't even bother responding anymore.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

Interesting times ahead.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Fuel55 said...

+1

1:36 AM  
Blogger Bayne_S said...

Answer is obvious:

Give me more services from Government and figure out a way to tax someone else to pay for it.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Champ said...

Wow GREAT read Hoy! I agree with you on all sides.

2:59 AM  
Blogger zach said...

"a guy who openly plans to raise taxes on businesses and the rich in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in the world since the Great Depression, absolutely crushed in the U.S. election"

He plans to raise taxes on the rich. As in people who can afford it. not the random small businesses who cant afford it. God forbid people who make more money get taxed more than people who make less money. I mean its not like trickle down economics have failed for generations or anything.

Secondly. Obama won the cities. yes. He also won the POPULAR VOTE. Know what that means? it means more people voted for him than for McCain. In a close election where hes winning states 51-47 etc hes going to lose a lot of districts. Youre right that in certain cases he lost 2/3 of districts in a state, but should districts with 1/4 as many people count as much as a huge city in a REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY?

Finally this is the first time ever that a demographic has voted 97% together. 97% of black voters voted for Obama. Also, more black voters voted in this election than ever before, more voters voted in this election than ever before. If this isnt a race relations victory i dont know what is.

40 years ago Obama couldnt sit at a diner and now hes the president elect of the united states. That shows how far we can come.

3:14 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Zach,

The second paragraph of your comment immediately above is classic. Thanks.

Your third paragraph, I agree with 100%. Read my post and you will see that.

As to your last point, it appears one of us is confused about the difference between "race" and "race relations".

3:37 AM  
Blogger zach said...

this election does not solve race relations but
the citizens of this country OVERWHELMINGLY voted that a black man should become the most powerful man and leader in this country. I think that shows that we trust and respect black people a little more than we did 50 years ago. i also think it shows us moving in the right direction with respect to race relations

4:00 AM  
Blogger sootedshit said...

Riggs, congrats on your phillies, but I can not understand your rebuttle because of all the "numb nutz" "retard, "douche bag" and "dickhead" labels. At least Hoyt was eloquent and calm when he shat on Zach.

4:12 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Zach,

Again I basically agree with your last comment there. The election of Obama is one of the greatest days in the history of America, just for it showing the opening of people's minds from where we were at 150 years ago, 50 years ago and even less, really. Obama doesn't have a prayer even in the 1980s in this country as far as I'm concerned. By far that is the greatest part about the entire 2008 election.

I just don't think his election is going to help relations between the races. I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong. But I doubt it.

4:16 AM  
Blogger carvingCode said...

>>I mean, what else can you possibly say about it?

How about this:

We have a leader; an intelligent, inspirational leader who cares about the average person.

To say it is anything else is missing the point.

5:24 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Carvingcode: I certainly don't think I have missed the point at all.

That said, I will freely admit that my statement of "what else can you say about it" was poor word choice. I only meant it as a figure of speech in the moment, not as literally asking what else one could say about the election. Hopefully the rest of my post got that point across. This is a historic moment for America and one which I fully revel in for its history.

Way to keep me honest.

5:38 AM  
Blogger FezHenry said...

Trickle down economics has not, and will never work. Historically, it's trickle up economics that have made the country prosperous, because a strong middle class has always equated to a strong economy, which benefits everyone.

The whole tax argument is completely ridiculous. Obama's tax plan rolls back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to the same rate as when Clinton was president which was one of the most prosperous periods for everybody in American history. The economic climate during the Clinton years was light years ahead of where we are now.

Additionally, Obama's tax plan calls for the elimination of capital gains taxes on small and startup businesses, which absolutely encourages real, organic growth. Not the "paper" growth we've seen in the Bush era (housing, government spending, etc.). If you take out Government spending from the GDP numbers, we've been in a recession for a long while now.

This plan potentially gives business owners the same tax breaks they've enjoyed under Bush, but they have to invest in America in the form of job creation and providing health care in order to get those breaks, instead of just getting a blank welfare check that they don't need.

If you think the country is heading in the right direction after looking at all of the economics indicators over the past eight years, you are absolutely living in a dream world.

5:59 AM  
Blogger 2$RlP said...

I don't understand politics or what anyone's name or ethnicity might have to do with anything. And, as long as we get better poker legislation, I really don't care.

8:10 AM  
Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

So Harsh on my home state. :(.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

You know it's true though, don't you Waffles?

10:09 PM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

"Finally this is the first time ever that a demographic has voted 97% together. 97% of black voters voted for Obama. Also, more black voters voted in this election than ever before, more voters voted in this election than ever before. If this isnt a race relations victory i dont know what is."

The fact that almost all black voters across the country all voted for a black guy is a race relations victory? Maybe I'd call it a victory if 40% of black voters voted for a white guy and 40% of white voters voted for a black guy.

This election again demonstrates that there are really two Americas ... and the gap between them is certainly not getting smaller.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Obama WON??

4:09 AM  

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