In the wake of a presidential race that culminated in the election of a pro-abortion administration, U.S. Catholic bishops moved quickly on November 11 to send notice to Barack Obama that they would oppose legislation to roll back abortion restrictions.
According to Obama, "Change has come to America." But has it really? And if so, what kind of change is it? In his 83-page "Blueprint for Change," the new president-elect proposes a myriad of ideas. Most of his plan involves more spending and, according to some experts, stepping further outside the bounds of the Constitution than ever before. His plan covers everything from healthcare, the economy, ethics, seniors, education, energy, immigration, and rural issues to poverty, service and civil rights.
As part of an ongoing post-election series entitled "The 44th President," the New York Times conducted an "If You Were President ..." reader poll on November 11 asking readers to "Make your selections for President-elect Obama's cabinet by choosing the name of a potential member of the new administration from a pulldown, or entering your own pick."
The Republican Party must accept much of the blame for its recent drubbing in the presidential and congressional elections. President Bush and GOP congressional leaders betrayed and alienated their party base, as well as conservative Democrats and independent swing voters by outdoing the liberal Democrats on federal spending, foreign aid, foreign interventionism, foreign wars, border security, immigration, and a host of other issues. And Senator John McCain was rightly identified with most of those discredited policies.
Rahm Emanuel may have been a ballet and dance major at Sarah Lawrence College, but in political circles Obama's choice as chief of staff is infamous as a profane "tough guy." Politicos and pundits frequently reference his reputation as a Chicago-style "enforcer" and his ready use of "sharp elbows" and "brass knuckles."
On November 7, the New York Times reported that "sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the last week, according to gun store owners across the nation who describe a wave of buyers concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms."
During the presidential campaign, as well as on election night, the major media generally ignored the third-party candidates who threw their hats into the presidential ring. These largely ignored candidates, none of whom attained one percent of the vote, included: Independent Ralph Nader (667,000 votes; 0.5 percent), the Libertarian Party's Bob Barr (494,000 votes; 0.4 percent), the Constitution Party's Chuck Baldwin (178,000 votes; 0.1 percent), and the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney (144,000 votes; 0.1 percent).*
During the Republican presidential debate in Durham, New Hampshire, in September 2007, Congressman Ron Paul warned that "we've dug a hole for ourselves and we've dug a hole for our party. We're losing elections and we're going down next year if we don't change it."
The flying circus that is the quadrennial U.S. presidential-election campaign is finally coming to another cyclical finish. It culminates today, when millions of voters will go to their polling stations and cast their ballots. But millions will also stay away and not participate, feeling that it is a waste of time to stand in line for up to two hours, because they believe that, as a certain Southern politician once put it, "There is not a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."