Good Scenario, Bad Scenario

The optimistic scenario is:
  • This is not a realignment election, but a straightforward economic panic election.Economic security is also a family value. People are afraid for their families and of drowning in health care costs, and that trumped everything.
  • McCain was ahead and had momentum until the market dived, and that was that. Evidence that America has not gone liberal to its core: the passing of marriage amendments in Florida, Arizona and California (including Los Angeles county!). The defeat of several pro-life ballot measures can be attributed to internecine pro-life squabbles and media lies mischaracterizing the measures. Washington voting to kill itself? It's all that rain in Seattle: those people are gloomy. Obama got only 52%, the "youth vote" only increased one point, Obama underperformed John Kerry in Ohio by 500,000 votes. The stars aligned, but didn't re-align.
  • Obama and the new Dem senators ran right: on tax cuts, helping families, winning the war on terror through better tactics.
  • 45 votes in the Senate and Mitch McConnell survived, so there is ample opportunity to halt the Dem juggernaut.
  • When Dems are in charge, they start loving America again. There's talk of keeping Gates on as Secretary of Defense. Dems are the true party of the rich and don't really want to destroy the economy, so they'll be moderate against their own desires.
  • The Press is not really in the bag for Obama as much as it is in a naked power-grab for itself. After a period of adulation, the Washington Post, at least (the NYT is gone forever), will become a force once again for the first amendment and national defense.
  • Much also hangs, as I am only the millionth person to observe, on which President Obama shows up in January. If it's Doug Kmiec's Obama, things could be worse.
Prognosis: tough economic times, the cold war's back, terrorist attacks on Americans, especially overseas, roll-back of protections on the unborn --it's 1976 all over again!--but nothing we can't come back from.

Doomsday Scenario:
  • We've just elected Hugo Chavez President of the United States. I tend to agree with Ken Thomas, I don't think the President-Elect's acceptance speech was in any way conciliatory or gracious (Note how he pointedly said nothing good about Bush, who had just called him?). Its true meaning was: we will read you out of America if you oppose us.
  • America has gone Left. If I can see through Obama's moderate-sounding promises to what he actually wants to do, isn't it probable most other people do too --and in fact embrace those policies? (Here's video of the hammer and sickle being flown outside the White House election night.)
  • Dems will re-district, as new Congresses always do. They will also pass all kinds of "enfranchisement" legislation and legalize our "undocumented workers" and nothing will be done about false registrations and illegal contributions to Obama's campaign. Read the internals and you'll see the tipping point for all the battleground states that flipped blue was Hispanic Catholics. I don't mean to be alarmist, but it is forseeable that we will never have a legitimate election in this nation again. It really could be as simple as that.
  • Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff? Smart guy, but probably the hating-est man in Congress. If that's true, there is no question which Obama's going to show up! (Someone just sent me an email suggesting Joe Kennedy --the literal Chavezista-- will receive a cabinet post.)
  • And we're supposed to believe Obama's against the Fairness Doctrine? I believe all he said is it wasn't his first priority. That would be FOCA.
  • The Senate GOP calling a halt to anything will depend not only on its nimbleness in manipulation of Senate rules, but also upon its members having the stomach for being vilified worse than Bush and threatened with violence. I'd say Mitch McConnell can take it. Possibly John Cornyn. Have no real confidence in the mettle of the other 43.
  • What the hey, let's go whole-hog apocalyptic! Fr. Rutler is. Writing of the anti-Christ figure in Lord of the World, he reminds us:
    He writes of a young political figure from the American midwest, with enormous financial resources, who offers himself as a pacific healer of divisions between Eastern and Western world cultures. Julian Felsenburgh’s rise to power is inexplicable in terms of any accomplishment. He is serenely self-confident, cool to the point of coldness, and capable of reducing crowds to sobbing and fainting by his prepared speeches; he persuades all nations — which had not heard of him until recently — to make him “president” of the world.
    And here's the media response:
    “Not peace but a sword,” said, CHRIST; and bitterly true have those words proved to be. “Not a sword but peace” is the retort, articulate at last, from those who have renounced CHRIST’S claims or have never accepted them. The Supernatural is dead; rather, we now know that it never yet has been alive. What remains is to work out this new lesson, to bring every action, word and thought to the bar of Love and Justice. Every code must be reversed; every barrier thrown down; party must unite with party, country with country, and continent with continent. Man has groaned long enough. but at length he understands himself and is at peace.
    Felsenburgh makes all out war on Christianity, by which he means Catholicism, because of the collapse of Protestantism as a moral force.
    Felsenburgh uses compromised Catholics and compliant priests to persuade timid Catholics, and they set up ritual parallels to Catholicism, rather the way the Theantrophistes and others tried in the French Revolution. In one scene a modernist priest offers the services of such to Felsenburgh’s minions in Whitehall: “We number about two hundred in London. I will leave a pamphlet with you, if I may, stating our objects, our constitution, and so on. It seemed to us that here was a matter in which our past experience might be of service to the Government.”
  • I for one do not actually think of Obama as an anti-Christ (though he's remarkably like Michael O'Brien's antichrist figure in Fr. Elijah, too!). I'm not sure we Catholics even believe in an anti-Christ as such. But Chavez is real enough and he's waging war on the Church in Venezuela and creating parallel churches. The protect traditional marriage ballot measures that won in CA, FL & AZ passed on the strength of Church-going Catholics. As I keep saying, there will be payback for that and for all the courageous and true pro-life statements of our bishops this year.
Prognosis: Come, Lord Jesus! And: Last one into the catacombs, turn off the lights! Except, there'll be no need because we'll have no electricity most of the time, just like the Venezuelans.

I guess what I actually expect is some mix of the two scenarios. This isn't a matter of hating the new President or not wishing him well. I don't and I do. I would be delighted to turn out wrong and find he's a great man and a good president. People do rise in office, and sometimes he does seem very good.

But we're at the tipping point, at least, of very dark times. Beautiful times as well, perhaps --it is always possible to be and do good, in any circumstance. But it may really be the moment when the republic no longer can be kept. I thought Thomas Sowell was just having a bad day when he wrote this last year. There is corruption from which a people cannot return.

And yes, I know, Obama seems personable and nice and has a nice smile and seems to have a nice family life and how could I think such things? If we really are in the grips of something dark and evil, how would we know?