"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

November 05, 2008

Wow. That was the most surreal evening in recent memory. Terrific concession speech by McCain (why the hell didn't he act that civilized during the campaign?) and a classic speech by Obama. Too bad there isn't any way to get Obama into the White House now instead of having to wait two and a half months. Imagine all the damage Bush can still do before he escapes from his job, scurrying out the back door under the cover of darkness on January 20, 2009.

Chris Bowers sums up that which must now happen:

Now To Governing

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 05:59

At long last, after eight years in the wilderness, it is time that we shift our activism efforts away from electioneering, and toward governing. This is a moment I have long desired. Now that it is here, I relish the opportunity. This is just the beginning for Democrats, for the netroots, for the progressive movement. This is just the beginning for Open Left.

Make no mistake--for all of our activism, for all of our new infrastructure, for all of our candidates, and even for all of the demographic changes I have trumpeted so loudly, the fundamental reason why Democrats are now in power is because Republicans made people's lives worse (and lying to people about it while it was happening didn't help, either). If we do the same, then the same electoral fate will befall us. If we do not make people's lives better, there will be no realignment, just a brief, historic blip. It is only when we improve the lives of most Americans that our gains will be solidified, and our realignment will take hold.

We must pivot toward governing immediately, no matter what happens in the few outstanding elections. It is no longer about electing more Democrats--at long last, we have more than enough. Now, it is about making the Democrats we have better and more effective, so that they will make the lives of most Americans better. There are good reasons to believe that, left unchecked, the Democratic trifecta will not go far enough to mitigate, much less solve, the myriad crises we face. In order to make sure they do go far enough, it is up to the progressive grassroots to keep up the pressure through primaries, the activism shifted toward policies and issues, and the dedication to be willing to see our mandate carried out.

And yes, 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. The country is with us. Better Democrats have shown we can win. Our tenacity and ingenuity have already demonstrated the ability to secure massive electoral gains in a very short time. Now, let's turn those skills to governing. This is just the beginning, but a progressive governing majority is starting to appear on the horizon. Reaching it is a task worthy of our greatest efforts.

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