President holds high power
Published 2:59 pm Wednesday, November 5, 2008
You have the luxury of knowing the outcome of the Presidential Election as you read this column. However, I am at a disadvantage in that I had to go to print prior to Tuesday's election.
By any measure it has been a historical and watershed election. There was no incumbent president or vice president on the ballot for the first time in decades. In addition, this was the first presidential election without a Bush or Clinton on the ballot in 28 years.
The contrasts between the two candidates were obvious. You had a 72 year old white male, John McCain, versus a 47 year old African American Barack Obama. If the polls are correct, Obama has won the Presidency, although McCain has carried Alabama overwhelmingly. The outcome of several races in Alabama are in doubt and I will review those with you next week.
Again, if the polls are accurate, in addition to Obama's White House triumph, you will see a significant increase in the Democratic ranks in the U.S. House and Senate. In short, it is a Democratic year. American voters obviously wanted a change from eight years of George W. Bush. The electorate wanted to punish the Republicans for being associated with the most unpopular president in U.S. history. The entire Democratic campaign was built around tying John McCain and all Republicans to Bush.
Bush's last four years have been devastating to the Republican Party. The massive defeats in 2006, coupled with the probable losses Tuesday, have been the most dramatic since the 1930's. They have gone from holding the Presidency, the Senate, and the House to losing control of all three. Bush's legacy within the Republican Party is the same as Herbert Hoover's.
However, Bush has left an indelible conservative handprint on the Supreme Court. The religious right will hail him as the Messiah in years to come. He ran as a social conservative and he has delivered. He has been as unwavering in his devotion to his beliefs and his commitment to the conservative cause as he has to his war.
If indeed Obama was elected Tuesday, the biggest losers in the election may have been social conservatives.
Steve Flowers is a political columnist who served 16 years in the state legislature. He can be reached by email at www.steveflowers.us.