The Post-Racial Republic Stands

This is nice, and about how I think about it.

For me, Obama’s negatives outweighed the great positive of electing the first black President. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t find some pleasure in the fact that we have done so.

One would have to have a heart of stone to fail to be moved by the emotion of black announcers such as Juan Williams, or another black media guy (I didn’t catch his name; heard him on the car radio) who was crying when he explained that his own father had told him solemnly when he was young that a black man could never, ever be President in this country. And now this.

Wonderful as these moments were, they won’t mean much to me if Obama governs in a way that undermines our economy or our liberty. But for now I will enjoy them, as I will enjoy imagining the stunned shock of those Europeans who have insisted until now that the US is such a racist country.

Eh. I don't think Europe actually cares about racism --certainly I never heard more routinely racist remarks than when I lived on The Continent: things Americans not only don't say, they don't think. There are just pieties elite people utter, and "America is naive and racist and cowboy" is one of them.

But look at this:

I didn’t see it myself, but a friend told me of a post-election TV interview with a group of young black men in an inner city, who each said something like this, “Well, now we have no excuse if we don’t make something better of our lives.” If that sentiment translates to action rather than wearing off, it would be a powerfully good thing not only for that group of men, but for the country as a whole.

In further at least chill out until after Christmas news, David Forte points out most of our presidents have been terrible. It's a weird way to go about making a gal feel better, but it works. The wind-up:

The people have chosen their electors, and the electors shall choose Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. For many [me! me!], it is a woeful prospect: abortion, embryonic stem cells, cloning, the fate of Israel, the danger to free speech, activist judicial appointments, the loss of economic freedom, the weakening of the military, the threat of terrorism. In such a parlous mood, we should pause and repair to Madison, the Madison of Publius. Men are not angels, and angels do not govern men, he counseled. Against that reality, the republic was erected.
A list of bad and even tyrannous things Presidents did:

The Presidency has been peopled by fools and knaves, as well as by heroes and more ordinary men. Many of the less worthy, or those who did less worthy things, were carried by waves of adulation. At the height of his popularity, John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. Thomas Jefferson sought a one party state, assisted by his aide James Madison, the erstwhile defender of checks and balances. And in his ultimate quest, Jefferson largely succeeded—for a while. Jefferson’s embargo of 1807 beggared the country and had no benefit to our foreign relations. He attempted to raise 30,000 troops, not to battle Britain, but to enforce the Embargo Act against the American people, but Congress said no. For his part, James Madison, when president, blundered into an unnecessary and nearly calamitous war with Great Britain.

The wildly popular Andrew Jackson destroyed the bank that anchored the American monetary system, and proudly proclaimed his success in cleansing the eastern United States of Indians, showing no regret for the thousands who died on their trek as forced refugees. During his tenure, Jackson’s manner and favoritism reduced the Presidency to its meanest state. No President from Jackson until Lincoln did anything to stem the growing plight of the slave. In fact, they were often complicit in giving political and legal cover to the practice (as, of course, was the Congress).

Andrew Johnson’s presidency was founded on the touchstone of personal bigotry
Not to mention:
We have had Presidents who were inept or incompetent: Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan—a remarkable run when you think of it—Harding and Carter. And those that were venal: Jackson, Nixon, Clinton.

In fact, by Forte's lights, we've only had 3 great presidents: Washington, Lincoln, Reagan. Not to worry, though: it's not a bug, it's a feature. As he reminds us, our system was designed for bad men and that is precisely its genius.

In January, the four-year miracle will again take place. One president, at the direction of the people, will witness the transfer of power to another. It should remind us that our republic and our Constitution give us the means to resist, deflect, or even convert bad executive policies and bad executives.

The times ahead may well be difficult. But we are not cast adrift. The republic still stands.

See, don't you feel better?