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 December, 2008


 2008 - A Good Year For Liberals

A Liberal’s Year in Review

We won. Conservatives lost.

Well, that’s not the complete story. There’s a lot more. Conservatives not only lost in 2008, they’re in political purgatory.

On January 3rd out in Iowa, they watched that young upstart with an Arabic middle name (Hussein, which they erroneously claim is Muslim) and a last name (Obama, which rhymes with Osama) defy the odds and defeat the most celebrated name in Democratic politics – Clinton.

It’d be a mighty long January. Democratic and Republican presidential candidates (armies of them) immediately realized Obama’s six letter battle cry – “Change” – could fit easily in any debate answer.

So they used that word liberally during, count them, nine Republican and Democratic January debates.

That word, though, didn’t sway the primary election voters of New Hampshire. On January 8th, Hillary Clinton bumped Obama off his brief perch as the Democratic frontrunner, sending the pollsters (who’d breathlessly predicted an Obama victory) into fits of self-examination. All that talk about “Hillary’s misguided sense of entitlement” had been premature.

Meanwhile, Republicans took turns winning caucuses and primaries while they each spread that “c” word around.

Obama won a surprising South Carolina primary victory on January 26th. That rekindled the notion he was, indeed, the frontrunner.
It was a night that represented an even bigger victory for Obama. The New York Times, it was announced, would carry an op-ed column by the last remaining member of “Camelot,” Caroline Kennedy in its Sunday edition. Kennedy’s endorsement was largely symbolic, but her words – the first to support any presidential candidate – were powerful. “I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president,” she wrote.

In early February, it was Obama who won 13 of the 22 Super Tuesday primaries.

Meanwhile, some hard core conservatives held their noses as John McCain started showing signs he’d become the Republican nominee.

Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh vowed they’d never support him, because he’d always been a closet liberal – or something. Of course, they eventually supported him anyway. But that was after Limbaugh, for instance, tried to convince his followers they should change their party affiliations, become Democrats and then vote for Hillary Clinton in states that didn’t permit cross-party voting during their primaries. That ruse didn’t work.

With a lengthy pause between the primary elections of March and the April primary in Pennsylvania, the issue of Obama’s minister Jeremiah Wright took center stage.

Repeated showings of Wright’s fiery sermons became the framework for the conservative “guilt by association” tactic that initially worked, but ultimately fizzled (read the election results) – because people with common sense vote too. Obama’s fervent denials that he’s not unpatriotic, a Muslim, the anti-Christ, a Nazi war criminal or the kinda guy who likes to pull the wings off flies and call them ants – finally stuck with enough Democrats that he won the nomination.

But conservatives weren’t finished. When the presumptive presidential candidate spoke before 200 thousand Germans, he was considered too big for his britches. That’s because the presumptive Republican presidential candidate had great difficulty filling phone booths. That is, until he got himself his own “rock star” Sarah Palin.

As the two presidential campaigns moved out of their respective conventions and into the glare of voter scrutiny – conservatives attempted to paint the fashionable, if not always factual, Palin as being more legitimate than Obama. Another burst trial balloon.
After several debates, with only one moment worth mentioning here - that famous “That one” comment – it became quite clear McCain had been torpedoed by his own words. “The fundamentals of the economy are strong,” he announced on the very same day the stock market proved him wrong.

Oh, there are many reasons why Obama is headed to the White House, while McCain is already back in the U.S. Senate and Palin is somewhere engaged in photo-ops in front of dying poultry.

I’d prefer to look at it this way. It was about time change came to America.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net