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Political Consequences Of An Obama Victory

Has anyone noticed that Arkansas fell to John McCain and is one of only three states that went Republican with a higher margin than when George Bush beat John Kerry.  Bush's margin was 10% while McCain's was 20%. Can this have anything to do with Bill Clinton's widely publicized campaigning in what he, "the man from Hope" now the man from Manhattan and Chappaqua, must now think of as Dog Patch. Do you still think Al Gore was wrong not to allow him to put his persona and face all over the 2000 campaign?

What are the political consequences of this campaign?

Here for starters:

1. Hillary Clinton will never be president of the United States.

2. Hillary Clinton will never be a justice on the Supreme Court. Barack Obama has too many eminent constitutional lawyers and federal judges from among whom to choose.  Cass Sunstein, the successor to Felix Frankfurter and Alex Bickel in these pages, for example. But there are many others.  Wouldn't it be fascinating to read Jeffrey Rosen on this, rather than his-five-minutes-before-mid-nightmare about a McCain court.

3.  The enfranchising of African Americans is fully established, as Alan Wolfe points out in his article on today's website. "Home at last.  Home at last.  Great God, Almighty, home at last." And the enfranchisement of Latino and Hispanic Americans, as well.  This is not a mere political consequence but a consequence of world historical importance.  It also shows the significance of measured leadership in the United States. A demagogue could not have roused the populace to such hopes and determination, and many demagogues have tried.  Only someone resistant to hysteria, modest in promises but brave in seeing beyond what is and has been could have brought us to this doorstep. Which, in a way, is all that it is May God bless this house as he blessed Jacob's tent.

4.  No American voting bloc is actually a voting bloc. African Americans and Latinos voted overwhelmingly (and, in the end, decisively) for Obama. That is the sweet. But there is the bitter with the sweet, as often in real life. Black and Hispanic suffrage brings liberal election victories. But also liberal issue failures. Like gay marriage, gay parenting (made illegal in Arkansas, by the way), abortions...and we shall see more of this, rather than less. Did the religious right grasp that racial minorities were on some issues (many issues, perhaps) phobic in the way that the religious right is phobic?  Is this the basis for an as yet unimagined political realignment? So you know what I mean by the bitter?

5.  I don't usually quote Nicholas D. Kristoff approvingly. But in this morning's column, "The Obama Dividend," he crystallized one essence of the Obama victory: "ending an era in which the Republicans succeeded at winning votes from the working poor to cut taxes for billionaires." I am not one of those who thinks this is was a case of "false consciousness." Even the poor have other interests than money. But, as more Americans grasp now than for decades, how much cash you have is important to your lives.