Yes, 10:00pm (Wisconsinstan Time) on Tuesday was one of those “where were you when” moments. (Me? Driving north from Beloit with a friend, returning from poll-watching to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin get-together in downtown Madison.)
It was a nervy day. Even as the initial returns came in, we were knocking on all forms of wood. (Get yer minds out of the gutter.) In the final minutes before 10:00, however, when he and I were driving home and realizing that California et al would put Barry over the top, I told him, “you know what this is? A repudiation of George W. Bush.”
It turns out that apart from “change” and “hope,” that word was on the tips of other tongues. It crossed the ink-stained lips of the New York Times. The second paragraph of the Page 1 article in Wednesday’s paper? Yep, yep:
The election of Mr. Obama amounted to a national catharsis — a repudiation of a historically unpopular Republican president and his economic and foreign policies, and an embrace of Mr. Obama’s call for a change in the direction and the tone of the country.
George Will, however, said the same word in a different context:
Voters have endorsed Barack Obama’s audacious — but not, they have said, presumptuous — proposition, which was: The skill, tenacity, strategic vision and tactical nimbleness of my campaign is proof that I am presidential timber. Because imitation is the sincerest form of politics, the 2008 campaign will not be the last in which such a proposition is asserted. Obama’s achievement represents the final repudiation of the Founders’ intentions regarding the selection, and hence the role, of presidents.
And then some bull about how the Founders wanted something above partisanship and factions and how it later turned to the Smoke Filled Room and how it’s now just one big popularity contest.
Personally, I like the Founders. Generally good guys, particularly when Ben Franklin and Sam Adams bought the beer. But they totally goofed on the whole three-fifths-of-a-person deal. Read Federalist 54 again, and talk to me again about what the Founders wanted:
The Federal Constitution therefore, decides with great propriety on the case of our slaves, when it views them in the mixt character of persons and of property. This is in fact their true character.
The Fourteenth Amendment fixed that, of course. But the final blow to the Founders’ biggest blunder came this week. That, dear friends, was the repudiation we saw on Tuesday.