With Ohio being called for Obama, we can pretty much conclude that this thing is over. I can't remember seeing a single scenario that had McCain losing Ohio, but winning the election.
Keep an eye on the Senate. Republicans need to maintain the filibuster in order to stonewall radical liberal change in this country. Some of the worst kind would be single-payer, so called "universal" or government administered health care and "card check" unionization. These things are bad and only a Republican filibuster can keep us from them.
One other thing to keep an eye on is the popular vote. I still don't believe this is a "sea change" election in which the political orientation of this country has changed. A relatively close popular vote would confirm that.
I'm going to keep banging this drum until people get it into their heads: The Amazing thing about this election is how well John McCain has done despite the many things stacked against him: Bush, general dislike of Republicans for past corruption issues (see 2006), credit crisis/economic issues, Iraq (though diminished), Democrat GOTV & new voter registration, did I mention Bush?, voter identification--on all these things, Republicans have been at a disadvantage. Despite it all, McCain has done well.
Look, folks, you want to talk about a party without ideas? How about this: The policies we have heard about most from Obama are conservative issues. Tax cuts for 95% of Americans. Yeah, that idea is straight out of the conservative playbook. And it has gotten more play than almost anything else. Obama has also run as fiscally responsible, with promises to balance the budget. Yup, that one too is also a conservative policy. He even had the audacity to attack John McCains economically sound health care plan by calling it a net increase in taxes. Does that sound conservative or liberal to you?
Where are all these "new ideas" that have propelled Obama to victory? Anyone? Anyone? He has even adopted a hawkish position in support of Israel and on Afghanistan and Pakistan. On Pakistan, in particular, he out-hawked John McCain.
Now, I'm not saying that I believe that he actually believes or will hold to these positions, but they are the ones on which he has campaigned and which brought him this win.
Going forward, it is important that conservatives and Republicans draw the right conclusions and learn the right lessons from this loss. A wrong conclusion would be to say that Sarah Palin was the cause. This will be the clarion call of liberals and "moderate" Republicans. Because they don't like her. Don't believe them. She's part of the reason it's as close as it is. Without her, no one would be GOTV'ing.
UPDATE 4:14am BST: One bit of good news, it looks like Republicans will maintain their Senate filibuster. Assuming Democrats don't blow up long-standing Senate rules, this should keep them from adopting radical things like card-check unionization and government health care.
A simple thing like the filibuster means we don't have to rely on President Obama to moderate Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi--a scary proposition, indeed.
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