This election appeared insurmountable from the get-go and so we congratulate President-elect Obama and the Democrats on their victory.
In the end, however, it wasn't quite the bloodbath many forecast, as Obama won by around 52-47%, the Democrats picked up 20 seats at last count in the House, and five in the Senate. And look here
we may have a recount somewhere after all, as the up to the minute tally in Minnesota has Norm Coleman leading Al Franken 1,210,790 to 1,210,028, so that could end up being a six-seat pickup.
So let the Democrats celebrate and enjoy their victory. Now comes the hard part: actually governing and holding their majorities. When they last had such edges following the 1992 elections, they lurched too far to the left and paid an enormous price in 1994.
So for you Republicans and conservatives out there, know that the 2010 election cycle now begins and learn from your mistakes. Know that moving to the left and becoming mushy middle moderates alienates your party base. Know that you need to attract younger voters by preaching strong conservative principles. Know that in America, anyone can be elected and understand that by electing an African-American to the highest office in the land, it also means a Latino can be elected President or an Asian can be elected President, and those are two groups you should actively court.
You can be sure the Democrat House and Senate leadership will drag a President Obama to the left; they just can't help themselves. But if President Obama doesn't want to wake up with a divided government two years from now, he'll resist the urge to move far to the left and will indeed work toward uniting Americans.
The ball is now his. How he plays with it will determine his future and his legacy.
So today, the Democrats and African-Americans should indeed enjoy this historic moment. It's theirs. Now they have to govern and be held accountable, and we'll be there holding them to account.
Update: I see some alleged "journalist" from the Huffington Post has invented a quote and linked here. Having read the above, I would like to know where I was being anything more than gracious to Barack Obama. Here is the "quote" from the HuffPost cub reporter Jason Linkins:
JAMMIE WEARING FOOL: "Now, the Democrats will learn the perils of being in charge of the entire government, and they'll be sorry."Well, Jason, here's what I said, in case your readers were inclined to think otherwise.
So let the Democrats celebrate and enjoy their victory. Now comes the hard part: actually governing and holding their majorities. When they last had such edges following the 1992 elections, they lurched too far to the left and paid an enormous price in 1994.Well, what do you know, this is what Nancy Pelosi said today:
While Democrats are eager to churn out the new president's legislative programs, they're also anxious to avoid the electoral wipeout that swept them from power in the 1994 congressional elections.Of course, Pelosi is as full of shit as Jason Linkins, but she at least understands not to make such mistakes again.
That's one reason top leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi promise not to lurch to the left and give in to pent-up demands from party liberals.
"The country must be governed from the middle," Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters Wednesday. "You have to bring people together to reach consensus on solutions that are sustainable and acceptable to the American people."
Or to make up quotes and attribute them to others. Maybe when Jason Linkins takes a class in journalism, he'll learn that.