Feeling melancholy today

And by melancholy I mean the second definition on this page.

After months – heck, two years – of intense attention devoted to this election, this weekend has been a time to refocus and decompress a bit for many of us. In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s over. In some ways you wish it weren’t over – that the candidates and their supporters still had time to convince others thta now was not the time to put someone as inexperienced in office as Barack Obama. But in other ways, it’s a relief in some sense that it’s over. The writing had been on the wall since mid-September with the FM/FM collapse and then the stock market tanking. A valiant effort was put in by the candidates and their supporters alike, but in the end, outside circumstances – coupled with a biased media and an electorate hungering for “change” – were obstacles that could not be overcome.

The people spoke this past Tuesday, and the majority chose Barack Obama. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but we – the opposition – will, and will move forward with a renewed sense of purpose, both towards turning our party back in the right direction, and holding the other side’s feet to the fire when they take things too far, which I’m sure will be quite often. I will not oppose this administration just out of sheer spite, nor will I treat Barack Obama the way the far left treated George W. Bush the last 8 years. But I don’t wish to see socialistic ideas gain root in this country anymore than they already have, and I will call him when I think he’s wrong, and I will especially call him out of his treats his political opponents in the manner he did throughout the last year of his campaign.

President-elect Obama will face some huge challenges when officially sits in the big chair for the first time – both domestic and foreign, so huge that he’s understandably trying to get a jump on them before he ever raises his hand to take the oath of office on January 20th. Quite frankly I have never been more nervous about an upcoming administraton in my life as I am this one. The jobs report that came out last week was like a punch in the gut. Here we are a month and a half before Christmas, and 240,000 jobs were lost in the last month. Obama has promised “tax relief” for the middle class, but if he follows through on his other campaign promise to raise taxes on those making over $250K (or was it $120K? Who knows anymore?), I fail to see how he can turn the jobs situation around as quickly as he’ll need to -if at all, even with a middle class tax cut. You won’t find many people who’ll want to start a business (or expand their current business) if they know they’re going to be taxed to death. There are rumors swirling that Obama will likely suspend his pledge to raise taxes on the over $250K crowd – at least for the first year of his presidency. Gee,thanks.

There are also pressing international issues. Obama made some startlingly naive promises while on the campaign trail, including the promise to cut funding for “unproven” missile defense programs, a promise that should prove interesting to see whether or not will hold up considering the first test he rec’d as president-elect came from Russian President Medvedev’s order to station missiles on the Polish border the day after Obama was elected, in response to the US’ plans to build and place a missile defense shield system in Europe as a defense against potential Iranian aggression. It goes without saying that this is a dangerous situation, and which way Obama decides to go on this matter will be a strong indicator of how he will handle other foreign policy issues that happen during his presidency.

It’s easy to make lofty campaign promises when you’re not the man having to make the decisions, and when you don’t have all the information at hand necessary to be able to make an informed decision. It’s another thing altogether to actually be that man, and be privy to information you weren’t as a Senator. Obama is facing some sobering realities right now about key pledges he made as a candidate. In the end, will reality bite him and make him realize the folly of some of those pledges, forcing him to make decisions that won’t square well with his base of support? Or will he hold strong to ideological rigidity?

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