Tuesday, November 04, 2008

One big victory

I can't really describe how I feel right now, my joy that the nation has taken, at long last, a whopping big fat sanity pill. No, I don't see Barack Obama as some messianic figure come to save us all. But I do see him not as simply the lesser of two evils, but as a truly engaged and intelligent statesman who does in fact care about this country; who is determined to get us on track to a workable plan for withdrawal from the quagmire of Vietnam II, aka Iraq; who isn't going to stack the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologues who would wipe away church-state separation as McCain most certainly would have done; who supports science instead of wanting to gut it. Who will restore to America the goodwill of the world, which we had disgracefully lost under the egregious and arrogant leadership of Bush and Cheney.

Cleaning up the last eight years of disaster is a tall order, and I truly hope he's up to it. Maybe tomorrow, I'll post more of my thoughts and reflections in greater detail. For now, I just want to rock out.

Oh yes. I understand that Liddy Dole, who ran that grotesque and sickening hate campaign in which atheists were her villains of choice against her opponent Kay Hagan has lost.

Bad news from California though. The forces of Christian Hate seem to be headed to victory. As of this writing, with 5% of precincts reporting in, the "yes" votes on Proposition 8 are ahead by 58.4%. Still, it's early days yet on that one. Fingers crossed.


  1. I'd like to personally say 'sorry' from California in advance, just in case prop 8 passes.

  2. Yeah, I'm elated. I agree with everything Martin said. Obama's effect on saving the supreme court from a full-on, exclusive rightward lunge alone is worth having an orgasm over. Not to mention having a president who isn't a total religious nutjob and who values intelligence and science. After the last eight years that will truly be a breath of fresh air!

    Also, I'm really concerned about the Prop 8 situation in California. As of this writing there are no results yet, but as Martin said, it is (amazingly) not looking good. A victory for the forces of hate would be truly sad on an otherwise awesome evening.

    If it does pass, I think we can take some solace in the knowledge that it will inevitably be turned over by another vote, even if it takes 2 or 4 years. The tide of progressiveness will not allow such a law to stand for long. It's just such a shameful mark on our society that such a thing could pass in the first place.

  3. I went to CNN.com. Then I came here. I am overwhelmed. Here is a copy of an email I just sent to a friend:

    I still can't believe it. Can Americans really do this? Part of me realizes that if McCain had chosen a different running mate, or if the economy hadn't tanked, this never would have happened. I let that sink in, and then I don't care. We are here. It doesn't matter how we got here. We are here. I don't know if you knew this but I am engaged to a black woman, and I am engaged (happily) to a black family in law. I know this email seems deep but for some reason you are the one who is getting this. It has been a very emotional ride for me. I am going to have mixed children. They may have the gene for "black hair" and the gene for dark skin and the gene for sickle cell anemia but they won't have the gene for bad or good. They won't have the gene for corruption or trustworthiness. I wlll teach them that and I hope that the world will see that in them. They will be my legacy, a legacy that some of my family will disown. It is horrible, but I can't worry about that. OBAMA HAS WON. People have voted for change, but what they have voted against is more important. They voted against intolerance, they voted against racism, they voted against entitlement. For a man who doesn't believe in miracles, this feels like a miracle. This is an emotional surprise. ONE MAN!!!

  4. I was going to blog last night with something really similar. And then I logged in first thing this AM (it's 4:30 as I type this). But I knew Martin would hit it. Before I logged onto the blog--after staying up all night to just be sure Obama bagged it--I looked up Prop 8.

    While I am disappointed, I wouldn't call it a landslide. And the truth is--a load of money was poured into that Prop from the Mormons (John Stewart's criticism last night was very clever: "This is something the Mormons have always believed in--that marriage is an institution between one man and...?" He pointed out that Utah was established in part because of the Mormon's views of marriage and their rejection by mainstream Christians due, in large part to that issue. What can I say, "hypocrites"? Would anyone here expect less from fundamentalists? Even nonmainstream fundies?

    On a schadenfreude note, I argued with a theist after work--saying Prop 8 would pass. He claims I attribute too much power to fundies and that I'm prejudiced, which distorts my judgment--and that Prop 8 couldn't possible pass in CA. I won't say who this theist is--but part of me can't wait until he wakes up so I can vindicate myself as a person of balanced and reasonable judgment and not an atheist wingnut. ;-)

    So, I'm sorry, too, for Prop 8--but maybe this can be addressed at a SCOTUS level one day--and all this stupidity can be remedied. As Martin pointed out--we can maybe get some justices onboard who, unlike Scalia, will actually use real facts in making their opinions--and not toe the line for an ultra conservative ideology.

    But Obama. I have a history of having no faith in politicians. So, like Martin, I'm not expecting Superman. But I've watched two space shuttles explode in our atmosphere (the first one live off my front porch in Florida). I saw the Sovient Union undo itself. I saw the Berlin Wall come down. And NEVER have I felt this much entrenched in a historic moment than last night.

    For me the initial positive shock was, "The U.S.--that went through violence and even lynchings not very long ago--has just elected an African American president." For me it was unbelievable in a fantastic way. But I can only speculate on what it means to anyone in this nation who has grown up as an African American. I was especially enthralled with the interviews with African American representatives and senators who talked about how they never thought they'd live to see this day. Men in very high office saying that knowing our country and our politics as well as they must, and having been elected themselves--that they never thought an African American could become president. Wow. I bet nobody is happier this morning than they are that they misjudged. I'm speechless.

    Well, I guess, considering the length of this comment, "speechless" is a bit of a stretch. Stunned is more like it--and happy.

    But I'm also stunned to see someone in office who reminded me so much of the debates I see all the time--and engage in myself. How many ad hominems did he endure? How many slurs and slanders at the expense of legitimate Americans? "Socialist" as an insult is no better than "Godless" was, as tossed out by Ms. Dole. You don't grab one group of law-abiding Americans and use their collective label as a slander! That's insulting on two counts. First, you're likely lying about the label to the person you're attacking. And next, you've just slandered all those who wear the label.

    I would watch Obama make his points. And I would watch the ad hominems thrown back at him like a monkey tossing poo. And it was maddening to see the same type of stupidity we often have to deal with in the atheist community played out on a world stage--with something this significant at stake--and really NOT KNOW if people, by and large, would have the brains to see what was happening?

    I wondered if there really were enough right wing conservative religious wingnuts to float Palin into office. Did you see McCain's concession speech? Well written--I have to admit. Very graceful. But what got a bigger cheer than his hat tip to Palin? The crowd lost their wad at that point.

    My biggest question is this though. If I'm a member of American Family Association or Wallbuilders--a fundamentalist Christian--do I have to believe everything that's in the Bible is "gospel truth"? And if so--what do I do with this passage this morning?

    Romans 13:1-7
    1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

    I am an atheist--but I find it interesting that even a fundamentalist has to acknowledge that his own god couldn't stomach Palin in the White House. How ironic is that?

    Intellect over ad hominem. And the first person as president who isn't a middle aged white male. Oh--and other nations don't hate him. That's the cherry on top. We may actually stop being hated around the globe--there's a chance at least.

    Even if Obama totally messes up, the racial significance of this reality can never be undone. And that alone, to me, might be all it takes to make it worth it.

    Good luck to him. Things are in the crapper. But let's see what this guy can do. And if he actually does pull a rabbit out of his hat--he's young enough to do it again in four more years!

  5. Congratulations on the election result, i watched the results coming in until the early hours. It will be a novelty to have a president who can spell his own name!

  6. For some fun, some of us are keeping track of how the religous right are reacting to this.

  7. Congratulations liberal America. Your time has come.

    Proposition 8 will be an anomaly. A statistical blip. Cling bitter to your guns and religion.

  8. I don't want to take anything away from Obama's victory. It was without a doubt a major milestone on the road to true equality. However, in the same election we have seen open hatred of Arabs and Muslims at Republican rallies, a blatantly discriminatory law passed by California voters, and a slap in the face for all atheists courtesy of Dole and Hagan. So, even as we celebrate how far we've come, we must acknowledge the long road ahead of us.

  9. We're crippled because we literally cannot sink to their levels. We are hamstrung by the need to be fair, rational, and make sense.

  10. TracieH wrote:
    If I'm a member of American Family Association or Wallbuilders [...] what do I do with this passage this morning?

    Come on, Tracie. You know as well as anyone that it's okay to ignore parts of the Bible, or arbitrarily decide which passages are literal and which ones are metaphorical, in order to make God agree with your preconceptions.

  11. Right on.

    "I love God so much, and he obviously loves me because he hates the same people I do!"

  12. From a Fox Noise forum:

    Comment by How about a parade
    November 4th, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Lets have a huge parade…how about on Nov 22…In Dallas….Barack can ride in the back of a convertable with his wife…they could drive by the School Book Depository…yes thats the ticket…

    Stay classy, asshats!

  13. To be _absolutely fair_, we have some really unclassy libs on our sides too. Consies are just more numerous that I've seen.


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