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Historical Perspective on Obama’s Win

Posted by rightwinger on November 14, 2008

From Kiriath-Arba’s blog

Obama does have a mandate to lead. He won the popular vote, the Electoral College, and he brought out significant turnout. But it’s a stretch to count the high turnout as a credit to Obama since his margin of victory was so slim. This means that almost as many of the votes that Obama got out were coming out to vote against him. Similarly, the Electoral College results may like slanted heavily to Obama’s favor, but historically speaking they are not even up to the average margin of victory. And the popular vote is the same story – Obama won. But that’s about all you can say about it.

There’s one final detail to consider. Obama’s victory is historic because he’s black and this is America. Many of those who came out to support him were motivated by this sense of history rather than by support of his policies. On the other hand, many of those who voted against him were motivated by a fear for his policies. If we believe that the race factor was a net positive for Obama (and I do), then this means that if we subtract that from the mandate to see what supports exists for Obama’s policies – there is arguably no mandate left. Obama may have a mandate to be president, but it seems his mandate doesn’t cover his political objectives – just his presence in the White House.

If you combine the razor-thin, arguably non-existent mandate for Obama’s policies with the absurdly high expectations fueled by both Obama’s rhetoric (to “heal the world”) and the innate naïveté of his young supporters, it looks like a recipe for a disastrous presidency.

Read the article for yourself.


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