The Corner

RE: Congratulations and Thanks

Let me just echo what Jonah said a bit. In so far as an Obama victory proves that America truly is a meritocracy where the arbitrary circumstances of your birth won’t impede your success, that is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Manzi’s photograph below is one heck of a reminder of how far we’ve come is such a short time, and that is something we as Americans can be proud of. An Obama presidency will stand or fall on its own merits — just as Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted it.

Certainly, I can’t envison waking up and supporting his broad policy approach. And I still have some doubts about his background and lack of experience. Nonetheless, he’s won the votes of a majority of my countrymen, and he’s my president. Obama ran a great campaign and I respect him and what he’s accomplished. For his part, I hope that he remains cognizant that he represents all Americans, and not just the emboldened Democrats in Congress.

I also hope those who took leave of their senses due to the high emotions of their campaign — on both sides of the aisle — regain their bearings and contribute more positively to the dialogue heading forward. Despite the hysteria, McCain deserves recognition for running what history should rightly show was a very honorable campaign. This was best embodied by McCain’s graceful concession speech, which acknowledged Obama’s historic victory in a way that was worthy of the party of Lincoln.

Finally, all that said, I have next to nothing good to say about how the media (on the whole) conducted themselves in this campaign. I don’t think my complaints here should take away from Obama’s victory, as the Republicans made more than few mistakes and the loss is theirs and theirs alone. Still, it’s hard not to see how the press completely ablated any and all professional standards in one clumsy attempt after another to destroy McCain and Palin. Meanwhile, when they weren’t cheerleading for Obama they were actively ignoring even the most damning criticisms of their preferred candidate. I just hope they realize that this kind of overwhelming bias ultimately isn’t helpful to anyone, let alone beneficial to the upcoming Obama presidency.

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