Let the healing begin.

Let the healing begin.


Congratulations to Barack Obama, the Democrats, and David Axelrod. It was a brilliant campaign, well executed, and a historic result in which all Americans can take pride. The story of Barack Obama is indeed a story that could not be written in any other country in the world.

Obama’s victory speech was thoughtful, stirring and conciliatory:

“Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long... while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress… And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn– I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president too.”

I was inspired by the sentiment. This morning, in a spirit of reconciliation and unity, I turned my browser to the biggest and most influential Democratic bloggers and thinkers, in order to better understand how Obama and the Democrats will reach across the divide, listen the values and concerns of those who did not vote for him, and unify the country at last:

Meteor Blades – Daily Kos

“…healing cannot occur unless the crimes that have brought our nation to such a ruinous condition – morally, economically and politically – are investigated thoroughly and a proper penalty imposed. Most importantly, the bent machinery that allowed, nay encouraged, those crimes must be rebuilt with safeguards so that they never occur again. That’s not vengeance. It’s justice.”

Thanks MB, truly a pitch-perfect follow up to Markos Moulitsas Zúniga’s warm and embracing message of change and hope for a new post-partisan America:

“…we have an imperative to take advantage of a historic opportunity to break the conservative movement’s backs and crush their spirits.”

In my cruise through the leftosphere, I learned that unity is certainly possible, if only the 48% who did not vote for Barack Obama accepts the mandate delivered by the 52% who did…

Paul Krugman – “Mandate

“In this election, Obama proudly stood up for progressive values and the superiority of progressive policies; John McCain, in return, denounced him as a socialist, a redistributor. And the American people rendered their verdict.”

Chris Bower – Open Left

“…this is the progressive movement’s mandate. A mandate to end the war. A mandate for universal health care. A mandate to solve the financial crisis even if it means nationalization and harsh measures against Wall Street. A mandate to repair the environment. A mandate to restore the middle class. A mandate for a truly free and open media. This is our mandate.”

Think ProgressA Progressive Mandate

A mandate for progressive change exists. In a memo released today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund writes, “Obama ran on the most progressive platform of any presidential candidate in at least 15 years, including a promise of universal health care coverage, a dramatic transformation to a low-carbon economy, and a historic investment in education.”

John Judis – “America the Liberal

“…. If, on the other hand, Obama and the Democrats take the advice of official Washington and go slow–adopting incremental reforms, appeasing adversaries that have lost their clout–they could end up prolonging the downturn and discrediting themselves… That’s not the kind of change that America needs or wants”

Jim VandeheiA New World Order

Democrats have the capital in a headlock, holding more power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue than they have had for at least 32 years (Carter) and, more realistically, 44 years (Johnson). Obama seems ready to press this advantage. The best early clue of his ambitions: he wants sharp-elbowed Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel to run his White House.”

Glen GreenwaldSalon

The most important aspect of this Tuesday’s election is to finalize their humiliating repudiation and to bury them for what they’ve done.”

Big Tent DemocratTalk Left

The new Democratic majority is a progressive electorate. It wants Democratic and progressive change. The notion of a “Center Right” Beltway Agenda is not what they want. Democrats must respect this. If they choose to instead adopt a Broderite agenda, they will be voted out of office…”

Matthew Yglesias“The Mandate

“People want Obama to implement his agenda, and his agenda is a progressive one — cutting carbon emissions, expanding access to health insurance and early childhood education, making the tax code more progressive, and spreading the wealth around building broad-based prosperity.”

It is going to tough, but I firmly believe that Barack Obama will indeed unify the left with the far left, pull in the moderate left, and be the President that speaks clearly for the entire sweeping 52% mandate they represent.

Finally I’d like to extend congratulations to my moderate, centrist, libertarian, and conservative blogging brethren who embraced Obama’s rhetoric of change and hope. You got what you hoped for.

Divided and Balanced.â„¢Now that is fair.
I, for one, welcome our new Democratic Party Overlords.

x-posted from Divided We Stand United We Fall

  • Rob

    Are you saying the crimes of the Bush administration should not be investigated?

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    No Rob. I think everyone in the Bush administration should be dragged off in chains, lined up against the wall and summarily shot as they walk out the door in January.

    BTW – If anyone on the Obama Truth Squad is reading this, please be advised that I am in a poistion to prepare lists and help identify many bloggers who have questioned his campaign and should be detained and questioned. No, Rob I am with you on this, standing shoulder to shoulder.

    Rob, I am just trying to understand and appreciate the nature of the new post partisan transcendent change and unity we will all enjoy next year.

  • Klipper

    Seriously MW? That’s how you’re going to answer Robs question?

    How very un-Donklephant like of you.

    Seems no better than the idiots who want to “crush the conservative movement”.

    Personally, I think the alleged crimes should be investigated. It’s not a partisan issue, it’s a very base American issue. The rule of law is too important to just shrug off.

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com/ Jim S


    I am not surprised. mw has been nothing but a right wing spin machine for a few months now. This post is fairly typical.

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw


    Just doing my part to help bridge the partisan divide.

    I am curious however, to see if the Obama administration will criminally investigate AT&T for illegally spying on Americans without a warrant at the request of of the Bush administration. You may recall that when Obama reneged on his promise to fight against immunity for AT&T in the FISA bill, and instead voted to grant immunity to AT&T in the FISA bill, he made a distinction between civil immunity and criminal immunity – implying that he would go after them when he was in office. What do you think he will do, now that we have learned that his campaign coffers, and David Axelrod’s pockets are overflowing with AT&T dollars?

  • Andrew

    He’s not a real right-winger as far as I can tell, but he is a little bit too committed to his views. Though I have to agree that the attitudes of the quoted are bull****….

    Luckily, they are not Obama, so they can’t actually speak for him. I think mw’s jumping the gun a little bit. While things may end up as he’s pointing out, it is by no means a guarantee (either way).

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    Huh. And here I thought I was quoting some of the most popular Democratic blogs, websites and pundits in this post. Why would that be considered “right wing spin”?

  • mike mcEachran


  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    If you are standing where Jim S is standing, pretty much everyone looks like a right winger.

    But you are correct, it is not at all clear whether Obama with take the advice of the bloggers and pundits quoted here. I should point out they are, for the most part, main stream Dems (the Kos bloggers could be considered exceptions, but do represent a big part of Obama’s base). If Obama follows his campaign rhetoric, he will disappoint everyone quoted here. If Obama is true to his voting track record, they will be very happy.

    I expect that Jim S expects Obama to take the path outlined by these bloggers, as do many who voted for him.

    We won’t have to wait long. His best shot for sweeping change is in the first four months of his administration.

  • Oregon Mike

    None of us knows for sure whether Obama will govern with a mind that is open to policy suggestions from across the political spectrum. But I DID like the tone of his message – words like “humility” and an acknowledgement of the partisan pettiness that has become the rule.

    Of course there are jackass left-wing bloggers (and anyone who spends a whole lot of time blogging is likely an ideological robot anyway) who will say idiotic things like mw posted. But as an independent who just wants to see practicality and common sense prevail, I do have high hopes for Obama. Now, independents like me are cautious, because when, in 2000, Bush said he would be a “uniter, not a divider” he was obviously full of crap – his administration was a prime example of the lock-step ideological nonsense that I hate. Additionally, as a fiscal conservative and social moderate, I was appalled that he ran up the deficit like a teenager with a new credit card and pandered to the anti-science ignorant periphery of the GOP. And unfortunately, John McCain, who I was so primed to vote for back in February, chose to run his campaign divisively and pander to the same ignorant folks who give conservatism a bad name.

    So, I’m cautiously optimistic that we will see a change for the better – and given that we are coming off a disastrous 8 years of Bush/Cheney, that’s a little bit of comfort. I’m giving Obama a shot, let’s see what he can do – we can debate his actions as he makes them, and hopefully we can all do so in a way that is in the spirit of this site.

  • Klipper


    I’m confused, in your post you’re crying “Obama! Captain Lefty!”. But in your comment about AT&T you’re decrying his lying ways as he bucked the will of Kos and company.

    You don’t get to have it both ways.

    I think Obama will disappoint the extremes of both parties. That’s why we hired him. Why not let him do his job?


    Obviously I agree with your second paragraph. However, while most of the quotes are silly I think Krugman has a point. The Dems made this election about healthcare, the environment, etc. The Repubs tried to play catchup, and when that failed attacked Obama’s character. And America made the choice for the candidate and (hopefully) the party that could do the job. I guess we’ll see about that.

    Oh, and Mike:

    I agree that the sarcasm is SO VERY TIRESOME.

  • Klipper

    Great comment Oregon Mike!

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    Sorry klipper, but I don’t feel any obligation to fit into your pre-conceived compartments of right and left. You just don’t get to tell me what I should believe or care about. I never voted for Bush43. I did vote for Bush41.

    I know. I am exhausted.

  • Avinash_Tyagi

    I think Obama willdo what he think is right for this country, and not worry about whose toes he steps on or which group he disapooints, and if doing the right thing means he leads as a left winger then so be it, if it means moderation then he’ll do that.

    He’s not even inaugurated yet, so chill.

  • Klipper


    I don’t have any pre-conceived notions of right and left. Nor was I trying to place you in any such “compartment”.

    I was merely pointing out that:

    A. Your post and your reply to Rob was very … um … lunatic-fringe

    B. You never answered Rob’s question (save for much sarcasm).

    Come to think of it, you still haven’t answered the question. Is that the reason for all this?

  • http://candlemonkey.com Todd


    I know you’re a fan of divided government … an idea that I share in principle. However, rather than railing against Obama, wouldn’t a more productive wish be to hope that Republicans actually come up with some sort of viable list of ideas (ala 1994) and start mounting a comeback in 2010?

    We got a glimpse of Obama’s “style” during the general election. And I may be naive here, but I expect (or hope might be a better word) that many of the bloggers on the left are going to occasionally (and possibly not so occasionally) be upset that the Obama Administration is not going “far enough, or fast enough” in pushing a progressive agenda.

    Many of us who voted for him do not necessarily agree with the bloggers you quoted. I personally didn’t vote for Obama because I think I’ll agree with all of his policies.

    I voted for him because I admire his intellect, temperment, and decision making skills.

    Obama saw what happened when George Bush tried to govern as the President of 51% of the nation. Nothing Obama has said or done so far indicates that he intends to make the same mistakes.

    The first 100 days of Obama’s Presidency should be very interesting.

    … and you may very well turn out to be right in some of your predictions and worries.

    But, for the time being, why assume the worst?

    Obama is not George Bush. When he says he wants to (try to) bring us together, until proven otherwise, I see no good reason not to take him at his word.


    p.s. Bringing the nation together will be a two-way street, and to some extent will hinge on what type of opposition party the Republicans choose to become. If the “compromise is bad” crowd continues to rule, they may be able to succeed in making President Obama “look bad” … but the country as a whole will continue to suffer for it.

  • http://westanddivided.blogspot.com/ mw

    @[email protected]
    Anyone who has read any of my posts here knows exactly how I feel about rule of law, GWB, Cheney and the imperial executive branch we now have in place. Rob’s question was not serious, a diversion from the main point of the post and did not deserve a serious answer.

    The current state of our federal government is that there has been/ is no meaningful check on executive power by Congress except when Congress has been under the majority control of the opposite party, as it has for the last two years. Even then, it has been minimal, but what check did exist is now gone, leaving only the supreme court as the last restraint on the executive.

    Barack Obama has shown no indication that he has any interest in ceding any of the power that has accreted to the executive ever since he realized he might wield it. In fact, quite the opposite. He voted for the FISA capitulation which, as Glen Greenwald and other constitutional scholars have shown, is a huge expansion of executive power. He was in a position as the presumptive nominee that his voice could have made the difference on that vote. Some on the left even speculated that the reason that Obama voted for it, is that he did not want to constrain his own power. I think it has more to do with Axelrod’s pockets stuffed with AT&T cash, but who knows?

    Lunacy is the eye of the beholder. The willingness of so many to ignore the unprecedented concentration of power he will wield without checks from Congress because they like his style or temprament or intellect or comforting words on a pure “trust me, I will only use the ring of power for good” basis strikes me as -well – lunacy.

    The post only documents the expectation of Obama’s base. People who have his ear. People who helped him get elected. Some of whom (Krugman?) may even wind up as part of his administration. I find it amusing that you find simply quoting their expectations for Obama with the mildest of criticism to be a “lunatic fringe” post. But then I’ve never drunk the kool-aid for any politician of any party to the degree that I see in Obama supporters today. So I guess I just don’t get it.

  • Klipper

    I mentioned the end of your post: “I, for one, welcome our new Democratic Party Overlords.”

    And your response to Rob: “BTW – If anyone on the Obama Truth Squad is reading this, please be advised that I am in a poistion to prepare lists and help identify many bloggers who have questioned his campaign and should be detained and questioned. No, Rob I am with you on this, standing shoulder to shoulder.”

    …as sounding like the lunatic-fringe.

    I haven’t been reading Donklephant long enough to know your feelings about the rule of law.

    I was not aware that Rob’s question was not serious.

    I don’t believe that “so many” will ignore the “unprecedented concentration of power he will wield”. Again, perhaps the lunatic fringe will savor such power. But people like me, you, Todd and many more millions would prefer he give it up.

    A Republican majority congress at this juncture would not provide any meaningful opposition. They need to get their S**t together and figure out who they wanna be.

    It’s up to us, the people that voted Obama to office, to make sure he

    A. Wields his power wisely
    B. Gets things back to the way they should be (i.e. were before Bush)

    Obama is a constitutional law professor for gosh sakes, I think he understands the idea of a balance of power.

    Like Todd says, let’s let him do his job before we cut his legs out from under him.

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com Jim S

    Exactly, Klipper. MW claims to not be a right wing loon but then borrows liberally from their dialog and attitudes. Then he gets snarky and insulting when he’s called on it.

  • david

    Kind of a joke to allow mw to spew his ultrapartisan drivel on a site that claims to be nonpartisan, don’t you think?

  • Klipper

    I honestly don’t know his opinions on the unprecedented power when Bush wielded it.

    I still don’t know his opinion on investigating potential crimes of the Bush Administration. I don’t have time to go through old posts.

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    Overall, I will say that this business of going to far left blogs and characterizing them as emblematic of the electorate’s opinion or even Obama’s opinion is simply not a good tactic.

    As we both know, these bloggers became engaged because they had a very specific purpose…to consolidate power. So it’s not very surprising that many of them would act like this.

    I’d urge you to read bloggers like Kevin Drum, Steve Benen, Nate Silver, Brendan Nyhan and even Josh Marshall. They’re far more thoughtful and intellectually honest than their far left blogging brethren.