Any comments?

7:44 PM. MST. Looks like Obama to me. Ive going to the local election central for a while. RM

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

74 Responses to Does anyone want to comment on the election?

  1. avatar Jay says:

    Obama approves the use of bear spray as an effective deterrent to charging grizzlies.

    Congratulations Barack, please clean up the mess the Big R has got us in to!

  2. avatar vickif says:

    It looks to be a historical day in more ways than one.
    No surprise that Wyoming went republican. Let’s hope the tide will turm toward better, greener prospects.

  3. avatar John d. says:

    Not that politics is one of my strong points, but, does it seem that Obama appeals to people on a personal level and McCain appeals to people on an emotional level?

    To expound: one reaches to people with promises of change for the benefit of the nation, the other works the crowd with heroism and patriotism – sort of like a band album with a new cover and ‘the best of’ in the title.

    Obama wants to rearrange a few things, remove troops from Iraq and spread the nation’s money around. McCain wants to keep the fight in Iraq going because he feels that there is some improvement. Where this sudden improvement has blossomed from I do not know for certain.

    There is a fear, major or not, that if Obama is elected he will take away the right to bare arms. A little petty actually, considering the 2nd amendment was only meant to be put into practice in wartime or when the country itself was invaded (this actually happened in WWII off the coast of Alaska, though many Americans refuse to believe that the Japanese occupied a small percentage of American territory).

    Being a wartime hero and boasting patriotism is not enough to hold one of the most influential seats on the planet. Perhaps it is time America burned some unsavoury books and started writing new ones, if you catch my drift.

  4. avatar Mike says:

    ++Obama approves the use of bear spray as an effective deterrent to charging grizzlies.++

    hahahahahahaha

    All I can say is this is very, very good for this country. We are looking at the future here.

    I’m deciding if I should head down to Grant Park tonight (I’m in Chicago), but it seems a bit too crowded for my tastes.

  5. avatar vickif says:

    When asked who I would vote for I told people Obama. They were surprised considering I hunt. I do not fear losing my second ammendment rights, for Obama to even suggest it would start such a huge surge of “oh no” response that our heads would swim with the outrage.

    I explain that because I will never be someone who makes “high income” status, I am concerned more, like” the vast majority of Americans” about how the president will effect my income and that of my aging parents.

    As a healthcare administrator, I am concerned about how the president will effect health care and medicare.

    As a female I am concerned about how the president would effect my right to choice when it comes to my body…after losing that I will surely lose many other rights and freedoms.

    As some one who is concerned about the environment, I am concerned about how the president will meet and tackle the urgent issues of environment and energy.

    As a mother and citizen, I worry about how this country is perceived globally, and how much thinner we can spread spending and service members before we lose our ability to have allies and be safe here at home,

    I vote where my own heart and head can find common ground, and with the candidate(s) who best reflect my concerns and values.

    This time around, that happens to be for a democrat, who also happens to be black. Let us all hope he does a better job than the current adminstration. Let us never forget that even a great president cannot fix it all, cannot snap his fingers and make it isntantly better, and will have years of work to make major dents in the issues that need solving.

    Don’t expect miracles from any president, and keep working hard to spromote those causes which you believe in…..no matter who is elected….the work we need to do is far from over.

  6. avatar Salle says:

    Good, now we can breathe a collective sigh of relief…

    Along with the rest of the thinking world.

    This isn’t just a great day for America, it’s a great day for the world!

    Montana went to the Democrats.

    Amen.

  7. avatar vickif says:

    SO did the country. 11:01 pm Obama officially elected president of the United States. History….wow

  8. avatar Mike says:

    While the Obama campaign may not be perfect, I think I just heard a gigantic and mountain air cooled sigh of relief from our PUBLIC LANDS.

    A new day, a new America. Finally.

  9. avatar Rusty says:

    Hopefully America has saved Idaho and Wyoming from themselves with this election.

  10. avatar Rusty says:

    Now when my 4 month old grows up her and I will have wild places to explore together.

  11. avatar Salle says:

    Over 330 electoral votes!!!

    I will sleep better than I have in nearly a decade…

    And maybe I can resume seeking my career, after an eight year interruption…

    SIGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    Just saw McCain’s concession speech, a noble one and one of his finer speeches in some time.

  12. avatar John d. says:

    Did it just get more cosy here in Australia?

  13. avatar worried about the future says:

    A very sad day. This man will destroy what’s left of our fragile economy. The beginning of socialist America.

  14. avatar vickif says:

    I think McCain without Palin would have had a better shot. But McCain deserves respect and credit for the speach he gave. I have listened to him for years now, and the one thing I think he would never want to e remembered as is “The WHITE man who represented those who opposed a black president.”
    When Obama speaks, he will be speaking as an American, and above all else, we should see him a that. He is a representative of all of us, regardless of color. Let tonight be history made, and let tomorrow be the future changed. We have a chance to get it done, and do it right. But given the wide sweeping democrat numbers….if we fail, we will see no end to those who seek to revive a buschocracy.

  15. avatar Tom Page says:

    Udall for Allard, and Udall for Domenici….even Risch is an improvement. Hurray! Let’s hope for a good Interior Secretary!

  16. avatar Save bears says:

    Vicki,

    You are really hung up on the race issue arn’t you? for me and those I know, race had nothing to do with it..

    Yes, he is black, and I admire him for his moxy and stamina, I never considered him, not eligible because of his race, and frankly I find it amazing that it gets brought up so much..

    I do hope he will do a good job, there are many things that need to be changed in this country, and I fear because there are so many things, that the environment will be very low on his list of priorities and hope I am wrong, but there are a lot of political favors to be paid back in the next four years that will take priority over the environment based on what I am hearing…

  17. avatar Todd says:

    New Mexico went from a congressional delegation with MAJORITY of Republicans to a delegation with NO Republicans. The retirement of Domenci effectively knocked of all three of the Republicans.

    A big thank you has to go to the Defenders of Wildlife political arm — they did a great job of helping to secure NM CD-1. But even they thought that a Dem would have no chance in southern NM.

    A sea change for America — but also a sea change for the politics of the West.

    Cheers,
    Todd

  18. avatar Todd says:

    In my old stomping grounds of Colorado, the congressional delegation went from 5-4 in favor of Republicans to 5-4 in favor of Democrats. Not the sweep of NM, but the exit of Allard and (joyfully!) Musgrave (CO CD-4) should benefit the environment (and wilderness designation, in particular). Dems now have a solid handle on the US Senate and moderates hold the east and west rural areas.

  19. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Save Bears said “race had nothing to do with it” and “You are really hung up on the race issue aren’t you?” and “frankly I find it amazing that it gets brought up so much..”.

    You live in the U.S and you are surprised race is an issue in an election in which for the first time we had a black candidate for President?

    Really?

    If we had 15 black Senators, I would understand your comments. If blacks were represented in Congress, or in business, or in jails, or in positions of leadership in the armed forces, in relation to their overall population, I could understand you saying that. However, they aren’t, not even close, and what does that tell you?

    I have lived in southern Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Idaho, Florida, and now Delaware.

    Do you live in an area that is almost 100% white? If so, I could possibly understand how removed you are from the reality of race in the U.S.

    Your comments toward Vickif sound naive and make it seem like live in a bubble, or something.

    I suggest you get out a little more often and meet people of color so you will better understand what it is like to be a minority in the U.S. It sounds as if you have no clue whatsoever.

    Trust me, the U.S. is a different country for minorities than it is for whites. Very different, indeed. How can you not be personally aware of that? In 2008 as an adult?

    It’s astonishing you cannot grasp the significance of race in this election. I am greatly moved by what this means for people of color and other minorities. I am personally stunned and thrilled by this outcome; I honestly never thought I would see this actually happen. I have seen my black friends victimized by racism too often in such cruel and ugly ways, and am aware of so many injustices towards minorities I am now cynical………. but today I now see a new country of true possibility and hope for all of us.

    For everyone. Every single one of us. That hasn’t been true until this very day. Save Bears, the fact you lack understanding of what I have written speaks to how distant you are from what this country has looked like from the eyes of a minority.

    That’s a damn shame.

  20. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Good Morning USA,
    it was a long night and a very early morning get-up for us here in Europe. TV being “online” nonstop throughout the night. Took the Metro to downtown Frankfurt this morning and listened around. Especially the younger generations have only one discussion topic today. Fascinating that Obama appealed to generations notorically tired of politics.

  21. avatar IzabelaM says:

    Go BARAK..but keep in mind..Bubba still can do a lot of damage. He can still use his executive power to set rules
    to help BIG OIL…he can still grab lands and open them for drilling..UTAH..

    I am not negative but it is not over until 2009.

  22. avatar JB says:

    Smoky–

    Funny, I was about to agree with Save Bears’ comment. A few weeks ago I attended NPR’s Talk of the Nation program which was being hosted here in Columbus. The second hour of the program was all about race and it included some dire predictions about the so-called “Bradley effect.” Turns out, America is not as racist as many would have us believe (note: I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist).

    Frankly, I find it interesting that the press keeps calling Obama the “first black President” given that his mother was white. What makes someone black, anyway? Seems like it has less to do with one’s heritage and racial make-up and more to do with the way they look? I like to think that the younger generation at least–those who in large part decided this election–have put the race issue behind them. We need to do the same. There’s a lot on the agenda; the race of our President is the least of my concerns.

  23. avatar tetonhiker says:

    Vicki: You could not have spoken truer words. Thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking. Beautifully put!

  24. avatar Salle says:

    JB said:

    “Seems like it has less to do with one’s heritage and racial make-up and more to do with the way they look?”

    I’d have to agree that for folks in my generation, it is still a big deal. Unfortunately. My birth certificate says I am white but I have an “olive” complexion, I am usually seen as a “person of color” upon first meeting with many folks, and in many cases treated according to their prejudices.

    The good thing is that the generation following mine, in my immediate family, all of my college educated nephews and nieces are either married to or engaged to internationals and mixed ethnicity, not necessarily pale skinned. It doesn’t matter for them when it isn’t a topic of contention in their up-bringing.

    As an anthropologist, I see it as a “nurture” issue more than anything. If you are taught racism, it’s what you know… until you are willing to learn something new.

    I have heard the “n-word” in reference to our president-elect more often than I care to mention. It’s sad that so many folks still cling to ignorance because it’s all they know and don’t want t learn anything different… they might have to change their way of thinking, heaven forbid.

  25. avatar vickif says:

    Thanks Teton Hiker and Smoky.

    Save Bears,

    I am not “hung up on race.” But to naively set aside the issue is like flipping backward through a history book instead of writing it’s next pages.

    I am a woman of multi-ethnic decent. I have four children, two of whom have a black father. (I am someone who knows exactly how if feels to have your race be an issue.)I can assure you that we are not to the point where race is over-looked or can be considered a non-factor in the minds of people. We will never be there, because there will always be that one hate filled person who doesn’t want anyone different from his or herself to have any rights. It happens everyday here, and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, China, Dufar…everywhere. If can never turn a blind eye on hate.
    If you don’t believe it is an issue, I will mail you the rock in the bag which is thrown twice a year into my front yard…and the note tied to it with a swastika and words saying “Come join our superior race, help eliminate ni@#$, sp@#$ and j#$%. Take back our country, and unify the WHITE nation.”
    Now, look back at what I said on my previous post. Obama is an example of how grass roots should work. He is the very definition of a democracy that is a representation of a majority, yet he remains a minority by definition of ethnicity. I said , in actuality, that his race makes his election one of the most major accomplishments in America’s history. But being elected makes him a representative of us all, regardless of his ethnicity.
    He has unified a nation, and allowed us to believe that those of us who look beyond skin, to the character of a man (or woman) can finally be strong enough to let the world see our ‘true colors’. But he will also find strengthened resolve from those who think his color makes him inferrior. His ethnicity will always be a factor to some, and sadly there are a lot of those people.

    JB,
    I am well aware that Obama had a caucasion mother. SO do my kids. They are asked regularly if they are adopted, or my foster children….there are still so many who cannot fathom that their mother could be caucasion and their father black.
    You asked if it is based on appearance. Well ofcourse. How else do we really differ, if not just physically? It is always based on the perception of who you are.
    Multi-ethnic people sometimes look at it as how people identify them, that defines their ‘race’. Some say it is which parent they most identify with, or what stereo-type people place them in, or if they are darker, or lighter. It is sad, but they do still have to choose, on applications, and tests, and when telling people about themselves.
    There are differences in culture, but if you really examine those differences, they have more to do with being poor than being black. You see less of those differences between upper income blacks than you do with lower income blacks….
    traditional stereotypes parallel factors we see pointed out through history…what black people have eaten, well, the same as many poor whites did….greens, chicken, etc. many food which they could more readily afford or could gather while share cropping. The bbq stuff, well they gathered as a way to belong to a community, and they bbq’d because, like the family table, we commune over food, and conversation. Their physique, was in large bred into them by slave owners, and like poorer whites who also picked crops and did manual labor, over time they became stronger, faster, dexterous and “built” for that labor. They lived in homes that were shambles packed with other extended family, because they could afford no more, or had the house provided by the farmers. From those factors of being poor, you get stereotypes like black, or red neck.

    Yes, I agree, the younger generation is looking deeper than skin, but many people would rather not put forth that much effort to know someone’s true self. It is a huge accomplishment. But what we have really witnessed is a majority of people who finally saw what was different, and did not fear embracing it. They didn’t over look his being black, they looked closely at the strength it took to overcome what came with that, the changes that had to come first for him to achieve what he has…and they admired it, they reaffirmed it, they saw the benefit of having a president who could be such a fighter and have such heart too. We can look forward to a future with new possibilities, we have broken through some major road blocks, but if we forget what lessons history gave us, we are doomed to repeat them.
    For the first time in a long time, a president has inspired not just a few, but a nation and a world. It takes a mighty accomplishment to inspire people. You don’t do that simply by existing, you have to have a story with a hero in it. I hope he can live up to his words, and to his many tasks.

    I hope he helps us to a greener future. I hope he accomplishes much more. But make no mistake, the man we elected is percieved by most of the world as black.

    I would like to believe we elected a man, who happens to be of color. That we did not elect just a color. I am hopeful again, now that he is my president.

  26. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    As a retired Air Force officer (lieutenant colonel) and spouse of an Air Force veteran, I was quite happy to vote for Obama and Biden. It has been a long dry spell since the days of Frank Church.

  27. avatar HikerID says:

    I’m born and raised in Idaho but now live in Chicago and return for backpacking. It was a moving, exciting night yesterday! It’s been odd seeing Idaho’s downward political trajectory from Frank Church (in my youth!) to Helen Chenoweth and the never-ending assualts on the state’s wilderness and wildlife. Here’s hoping that Obama can bring real change.
    HikerID

  28. avatar Save bears says:

    Smoky,

    Your lame attempt to put my views down is what is amazing, I have lived in several states as well, including many with large populations of African Americans, I happen to be color blind to humans and look at the qualities possessed to ensure good leadership. By the way, I didn’t vote for either front runner.

    As far as I am concerned, you can take your damn shame for me and keep it. I voted for the person, I felt could do the best job.

    Yes, I am aware there are still stupid and ignorant people in this country that use race as an excuse for just about anything and this includes people on both sides of the spectrum, but I also feel that the ignorance is slowly dieing in this country, last nights election was a good example of how much smaller the divide is becoming…

    You can rest assure, I do not live in a bubble, many of my duty stations when in the military, was in the SW US, I have also lived in many areas in the Midwest that have mixed populations..

    But as I said, race was never an issue for me in this election, qualifications were my main deciding factor..

    What I find a damn shame, is when someone does make their views known, that someone like you choses to be condescending and patronizing..

    That said, hopefully Obama does have the priorities in the right place and choses those that can further the issues on environmental issues and wildlife

  29. avatar Save bears says:

    Vicki and Smoky,

    I did forget to add, my first wife, who happen to be Japanese, dark skinned, born and raised in Okinawa, raised eyebrows and did show me how many ignorant people are still in the world, two of the worst were my grandmothers who lived threw WWII and didn’t have the time of day for her. It did start to change when my daughter was born, and they started to look at things a bit differently.

    I guess, living in a mixed race situation, showed me how little race really means in the big picture..

    So I do understand the issues of race, I just chose to look at it differently than many, I work to unite people of all races on issues instead of hatred or mis-understanding..

    Take it for what you will…

  30. avatar vickif says:

    Save Bears,
    Try please, not to become on the offense here. I do not think that you made race a part of your decision, never said I did. I would love to think beyond race, but I still deal with it everyday. I try my darndest to promote unity….”United We Stand, Divided We Fall” is true now, and was true far before 9/11.
    If you look back at your first post, you did not come across (to myself, or appearantly Smoky) as attempting unification. Having been on the recieing end of your words, you were more consescending in tone, and scolding in nature.
    If unification is really in your heart, I sure didn’t feel it when you lashed out, either time.
    I agree that we are narrowing the divide of race, but we will never overcome it’s choke hold if we don’t look it straight in the eye and say ‘it is alright to be different’.

    I am sorry for the pain you and your wife must have suffered, and your daughter as well. No greater pain is experienced than watching those you love suffer.

    You are right, in the grand scheme of things, race should be inconsequential. To A person it may be, but it is not so with EVERY person. To me, my race, and my children’s, is a part of the strength we have now, and the sense of self we will always have. It exists, because we do. Yet, where we came from should not and will not define who we become…it is merely part of a journey. We are, as you are, American. Being American is our nationality, being multi-ethnic is our reality.

    So I would take what you said “I just choose to look at it differnetly than many, I work to unite people of all races on issues instead of hatred or misunderstanding…”, as what you believe. Therefore, we are not worlds apart here. I just beliveve race remains a factor and issue, though it should not, and brushing it under the rug, or acting as though itis not….is, in my humble opinion, like a person with cancer pretending it will go away if you don’t say it out loud….take it for what you will. 🙂

  31. avatar Save bears says:

    Vicki,

    I didn’t take offense at what you said, I did take offense at Smoky’s patronizing post, because I choose to look at the race issues differently than many, does not mean I am not aware of them, I choose to not take race into account when I am making important choices for the nation I live in…

    Because I get tired of hearing about the race card, does not mean I am not aware of how stupid a segment of the population is, I don’t accept the race argument when I am in mixed company from either side and have more than once gone to the mat over it…I never said it will go away completely, what I said, was in this election it was not an issue I looked at, I could have cared less if the one running was purple, I want a president I feel is qualified regardless of race, and based on the polls yesterday, actually age was a larger determining factor than race….

    We have big issues in this county, and I hope the president elect is the one to start solving them..

    Telling somebody they have their head in the sand, is never going to be good for a productive conversation….I am a highly educated person, who was a commissioned officer in the Military and went on to receive a higher education degree after I retired from the military, so I am not as naive as was insinuated by Smoky’s post…

    That said, again, I will repeat, I do hope the new president has the skills to further our nation and possibly continue to close the racial divide that exists in some sectors

  32. avatar john weis says:

    I have not felt this same intensity of presidential relief since another corrupt, lying administration (coincidentally republican?) was shown the door: the day Nixon resigned.

  33. avatar vicki says:

    Save Bears,
    I appreciate the input, and respect your point of view.
    I also respect not making choices for the wrong reasons. Having said that, let’s remain optomistic, and I will hope with you-for the best.

    John Weis,

    I think we can, at long last, pat Bush on the back. I believe he was a huge contributory factor to the change we are witnessing. It is quite relieving. But-I worry that people will expect miracles….an instant cure…..what will will undoubtedly get is a whole lot of medicine and physical therapy.

  34. avatar timz says:

    “I have not felt this same intensity of presidential relief since another corrupt, lying administration (coincidentally republican?) was shown the door: the day Nixon resigned”

    Yeah, I sure miss the honesty and openness of the Clinton administration.

  35. avatar timz says:

    “I think we can, at long last, pat Bush on the back. I believe he was a huge contributory factor to the change we are witnessing.”

    A pat on the back?? He should be going to prison. I don’t know if the country can ever recover from his eight years.

  36. avatar Save bears says:

    Going to prison, maybe, but I know for a fact that the last president, should have gone to prison, it was proven he committed a crime!

  37. avatar timz says:

    savebears, kind of my point. they are all crooks.

  38. avatar john weis says:

    “”Yeah, I sure miss the honesty and openness of the Clinton administration.””

    We got the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for Christmas. What did you get?

  39. avatar timz says:

    I got wolves in Idaho, but I don’t believe it’s okay to be a slime ball all as long as you agree with their policies. Thanks for helping me make my point, the system is totally broken. I give you Ted Stevens, a convicted felon, winning in Alaska as another example.

  40. avatar JB says:

    “I have not felt this same intensity of presidential relief since another corrupt, lying administration (coincidentally republican?) was shown the door: the day Nixon resigned.”

    Don’t forget: Richard Nixon signed much of the legislation used to protect our environment. I trade Bush for Nixon any day!

  41. Yes, me too!

    Bush was far worse than Nixon, and he should be charged with a number of crimes and face trial.

    I do think that Democrats will largely let this pass in an effort to bring Republicans along and pass legislation.

    If they don’t cooperate, filibuster and filibuster, this is always a club that could be used.

  42. avatar Tom Woodbury says:

    28 years ago, I awoke in a nightmare called “Morning in America”, which was actually a very dark night of our soul, typified by greed, selfishness, corruption, contempt for laws that protect the common good, subversion of the press, belligerent righteousness that believes in an end time and manifest destiny, divisiveness and class warfare, all under the cloak of god and country. Many times in this bad dream I have thought about how countries become fascist when big business and corrupted branches of government hide behind a flag. I’ve fought against my government for 28 years, and in that time managed to overcome my own cynicism but never really embraced hope for the future. It has always seemed more about right conduct and bearing witness.

    Last night, that all changed. For the first time in my adult life I can honestly say I am proud of my country and hopeful for our future. Thank goodness the economic house of cards built on a foundation of greed and corruption came tumbling down when it did! It is a new day in America, and when all is said and done, I think the one thing that will stand out for me in this election is that for once Americans rejected the politics of cynicism and negativity, and instead embraced a more civil brand of politics based on courage, optimism, intellectual vigor, and moral integrity. That is why I can say I’m proud of my country today. Not because my guy won (for the first time in my life!), but because of the way he won and the way we as a country embraced our better angels.

    Watching people dance in Grant Park (wasn’t he a racist?) and in the aisles of Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and in the dusty town squares of Kenya was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed in my life, reminiscent of the Germans dancing on the ruins of communist imprisonment. We HAVE overcome! It’s a new day in America and in the World, and the Orwellian nightmare of Morning in Amerika, populated by the Gingrich’s and Gippers and Delays of the world, is finally over. Now let’s get to work!

  43. avatar timz says:

    Yes, just think of the Utopia we would be living in if the Democrats had controlled Congress for most of the last 40 years. Oh wait, they did. Nevermind.

  44. My experience is similar to Tom’s.

    From my childhood on the general direction seemed to me that things just got better and better, with a curious period called the Sixties in between, and the renewal that came with the end of Nixon. Sadly a dark cloud settled on America in 1981 and our hopes of really protecting our environment — Ronald Reagan.

    It angers me to see him celebrated, but to many people who did not experience his Administration, he might seem grandfatherly and maybe kind of a hero.

    History is rewritten and will be rewritten still more.

  45. avatar Salle says:

    Clinton’s crime was miniscule compared to the wide-spread rape of humanity and the environmen perpetuated by this current administration.

    What I liked about last night were the crowds who went to the white house, stood outside the gate and called for Bush’s immediate eviction.

    This administration has made my professional life a living hell since their first day in office, and I will never forgive them for all of their multiple crime against humanity and the environment.

    I feel like the targets tattooed on my temples are fading in light of the reality of the new hope we have for our near future as a nation.

    AND

    In anthropology, there is ONE RACE = HUMAN, period. Just like there are varieties of English spoken in our land and others, there are varieties of human types, that’s all.

    The sooner Americans can get over the self-aggrandizing idea that they are not descendants of immigrants and face up to the fact that they are no more special than anyone from anywhere else, the sooner we can move forward in a positive direction and actually progress as a people.

    Let’s hope that such a change can take place en masse, and soon.

  46. avatar vicki says:

    the last forty? ha!!!! In what country do you reside?

    I said pat him on the back as a way of pointing out that the only good thing Bush or his admin has done was show us how not to operate our government, and show us that we can unify to percevier.

    Nixon may have been crooked…but who was not? Reaga…whatever-Clinton- HA!!!! Bush was just one of many.

  47. avatar timz says:

    “the last forty? ha!!!! In what country do you reside?”

    Your right, I should have said the last 50 years.

  48. avatar john weis says:

    timz,

    what, you are expecting purity from politicians? does that happen anywhere but Italy (where the pol’s can be counted on to be dirty?). me, i look at the glass of beer as half full.

  49. avatar JB says:

    “I got wolves in Idaho, but I don’t believe it’s okay to be a slime ball all as long as you agree with their policies. Thanks for helping me make my point, the system is totally broken. I give you Ted Stevens, a convicted felon, winning in Alaska as another example.”

    Timz: The system works just fine, so long as you assume that people will generally act in their perceived self-interest. Felon or not, Ted Stevens brought the bacon home to Alaska (in the form of federal $) for decades. Personally, I can’t stand the man, but I can definitely see why Alaskans vote for him.

    Republicans forgave Bush’s alcoholism, Democrats forgave Clinton’s “white” lie, Republicans forgave John McCain’s affair, and so on and so on. Making a mistake (moral or otherwise) does not make someone a “slime ball,” it happens when someone continues to make the same mistakes or self righteously criticizes others for making mistakes that they have made but never admitted.

    I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect any person I elect to be either. I do expect them to try though.

  50. avatar timz says:

    purity, no. honesty yes.

  51. avatar timz says:

    I guess that’s where we differ. I don’t consider things like taking bribes, sweetheart loans and investments, etc. by politicians a “mistake”. I believe they are crimes. I really don’t care about private sins or moral issues.

  52. avatar jerry b says:

    When I awoke this morning it felt like I’d been in hell for 8 years and was just given a pass to a better life.
    At my age(ancient), having lived and traveled in numerous parts of this planet, I was beginning to think about how unfair it was to our children and grand children to inherit a world so polarized, so polluted, and so disrespectful of human and animal life and that there was little chance that I’d witness a change.
    I want to say now, that I’m happy for all of your kids,grandkids etc .
    I believe they WILL have a better chance of living in harmony with people of different cultures and values as well as a desire to enhance and protect our natural world.

  53. Hey Jerry,

    Well I agree with you.
    – – – – – – –

    Who won control of the Montana legislature?

    Of course, the Republicans kept their huge majority in the Idaho legislature, with the Democrats losing one seat.

  54. avatar JB says:

    “I guess that’s where we differ. I don’t consider things like taking bribes, sweetheart loans and investments, etc. by politicians a “mistake”. I believe they are crimes. I really don’t care about private sins or moral issues.”

    You haven’t convinced me that we do differ. What Stevens did is illegal, unethical, and clearly part of a trend. I hope they lock him up for as long as they can. However, I do not believe that Clinton deserved to be impeached for having an affair; though he should have at least come clean. What is considered “criminal” by law enforcement may be black & white, but there is a continuum of seriousness that underlies the laws we break. Stevens deserves jail, and he deserves to lose his job; the same is not true for a Senator who commits a traffic violation.

  55. avatar vicki says:

    democrats now occupy a majority of seats (from what I last read-which was late last night). Shweitzer won.
    Jerry,
    I agree.

  56. avatar timz says:

    Actually Clinton was not impeached for having an affair, it was for lying under oath, a crime called perjury. That being said I don’t think it warranted impeachment. His affair(s) and personal life are not what disturbs me about the Clinton years in power, but that too is water under the bridge.
    What bothers me about all of this is the carping about it’s this parties fault or that parties fault when it really is the entire system that has been so corrupted by money and the obsession with getting power and keeping it at any cost. There is a total lack of civil discourse in Washington. Both parties are quilty of it ad-nauseam.

  57. avatar jerry b says:

    Ralph….can’t find info on the legislature. The “missoulian.com” hopefully will have the complete results tomorrow.
    In Montana though, it’s hard to distinguish democrats from republicans.
    Ever hear of a “green democrat” in this state? They’re not around for long.

  58. avatar JB says:

    timz:

    As I said, you haven’t convinced me that we disagree. The discourse on Washington–where it even exists–has indeed been far from civil. However, I do think it has improved since the removal of the 109th “do nothing” Congress, when Republicans held closed door meetings to make decisions without even including Democrats. Hopefully, it will improve further under an Obama administration; I remain skeptical, but hopeful.

    You did say one thing I disagree with: “Clinton was not impeached for having an affair, it was for lying under oath, a crime called perjury.” As you suggest, perjury was the basis for the impeachment, though I don’t think this was the “reason” he was impeached. He was impeached because conservatives saw an opportunity to weaken a democratic president and gain political points with the religious right in the process. The underlying reason was the religious right couldn’t stand the idea of Bill Clinton having an affair in the oval office. The whole thing was political theater, staged to benefit conservatives, and paid for by the American taxpayer.

  59. avatar timz says:

    I agree with your thoughts on the Clinton impeachment. Because it backfired so badly on the Republicans I think that’s the reason the Dems wouldn’t try it with Bush.

  60. avatar Kathy says:

    Great to see some western states woke up and did what is best for America. Unfortunately, the deep south still has their head in the sand. I live in CA (org. from GA), and on my way to work this morning a jacked up, dirty red pick-up raced through heavy traffic with a Confederate flag waving from the bed. That display concerns me and should concern the Secret Service….please keep Obama safe from the crazy people.

  61. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    the feeling that swept over me last night was that for me, it’s time to give idealism, commonality, the best of our nature a chance to guide me in a positive direction. i think it’ll be more constructive for me to put my effort into aspiration rather than to react to the least common denominator.

    the results of this election will not deprive cynics (including myself) the opportunity at blame, disappointment, or unease – we’ll always have the opportunity for that. but what it does grant, at least in my mind, is the opportunity for the hopes and hard work of idealists to be heard at some greater level than we have seen in decades.

    for those of us that care about commonality to such a degree that we see in it the inclusion of wildlife and wild landscapes – now’s the time to BUST YOUR ASS.

  62. avatar JB says:

    Timz: Agreed!

    Brian: I guess it’s time to start talking about those cabinet posts, eh? I’ve been looking more at Grijalva for Interior per your suggestion and have been very pleased by what I see. After so many years of having fox in the hen house, we need someone with a strong vision for the management of our public lands: I think Grijalva may be that person. Any ideas for how to get the Obama transition team to consider him?

  63. JB,

    Daily Kos names the members in an article on the Obama transition team.

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/5/15024/5331/213/654737

  64. avatar JB says:

    Thanks, Ralph!

  65. avatar vickif says:

    sorry, I just saw my really bad typo above….montana’s results are on that site.

  66. avatar vickif says:

    in Montana the house will have 11 democrats and 9 republicans.

  67. avatar ChrisH says:

    I, like Salle, was surprised about the crowd around the White House. To my knowledge, this is a first. I had to wonder what the shrub was thinking while that scene played out.

    My wife and I both voted for Obama. I regret that it did not help the cause much because McCain took the state I live in-Kentucky. I guess that result of being 48th in education.
    Nonetheless, at least Obama carried the urban areas of the Commonwealth: Louisville (where we live), Lexington and Northern Kentucky (South of Cincinnati).

    I believe Obama and the Democrats will work to improve all the environmental departments (Interior, Agriculture EPA…)
    I also hope that they can unravel the environmental decimation that a lame duck president can wreak on his way out the door.

    Thank God the shrub is history!

  68. avatar Salle says:

    Uhhuh,

    Like “Ding dong, the witch is dead…” or soon to be.

    The DC vote was overwhelmingly for Obama and when the projection was made, a lot of those folks went right to the whitehouse gate. Apparently, THE GUARDS were celebrating and taking pictures on their phones and such, but they seemed happy about the crowds. (Quite a number of secret service and SES staff were lost during this regime due to the abuses of the authoritarian manner of those they were sworn to protect.)

    Come February, I’ll feel comfortable applying for federal positions again, maybe in the DOI.

    I would like to see a couple cabinet positions, one or another would make me partially happy;

    For instance, I think that Bill Clinton would be a great Sec. of State as much as I think Al Gore would be great as Sec. of interior. Doesn’t seem like they’d need much training. They both possess excellent skills in those specific areas…

    Of course, I’m certain there are several other individuals who could do extremely well at those posts… the above were just ideas that came to mind in my euphoria of the day. Guess I should read the article on possible appointees now that I have made my own wild speculations… 😉

  69. avatar Tom Woodbury says:

    Gore would be a disaster as Sec of Interior. If you don’t believe me, you should see “MEAT the Truth”, a documentary about how the livestock industry is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, according to UN Climate Change Committee, and excoriates Gore for consciously omitting any mention of same in “Inconvenient Truth”, noting that he/his family get a lot of income from livestock production. Plus, when he had some power and influence, he didn’t use it for any good. They are talking about Robert Kennedy Jr. as DOI Secretary, a far better choice.

  70. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    i heard Kennedy is being considered for EPA – i didn’t hear anything about DOI ???

  71. avatar Mike says:

    The best thing about this election is the mandate Obama has thanks to the landslide. The people have spoken, and now it’s time for some wilderness legislation.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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