Thank you, America, for getting your act together!* Time to repair the damage of the past eight years and get back to a place where we can talk about actual issues. Thank you, also, for such a symbolically resonant and brave choice (The New York Times has the biggest headline I've ever seen: OBAMA - "Racial Barrier Falls as Voters Embrace Call For Change"). I am watching Obama's family dancing and singing in rural Kenya. And a historian on the Norwegian state channel is pointing out that he is the first black leader of a Western nation, as well.
Now that he has been elected, we can start talking about all the things that are to the left of Obama, and all the things that we want him to start changing his mind about (a president who could change his mind - man, remember when we had that?). I know that Obama is not going to be able to do everything he says he would, and I obviously disagree with a lot of his policy ideas. But I believe that he was the absolutely best candidate who could have won at this point in time. That means we can move the range of possible policy and political conversation back into sensible territory. If the US chooses the perfect candidate again in 8 years, we'll have come a long way. Despite all the imperfections of Obama, this is the US's Mandela moment.
Mostly, I am just happy that the Bush era is so profoundly, completely over. The disastrous presidency of George W. Bush and the dominance of movement conservatism has cast an immense shadow over my entire adult life. I feel a sense of immense relief that it's over. The conservatives have been routed and are in disarray. And that... that feeling... feels like... victory:
* And - dare I say - it took you long enough? But now is not the time for recriminations.