5-10% better; or, how I learned to shut up and love the Unity Pony
I suspect many didn't and won't believe me when I say that, as the primaries unfolded, I was hoping for Hillary Clinton. And I said it then too. I had various reasons, some of which were different from the usual ones. Now people will believe me even less, given that I'm writing a belated Personal Conversion Diary. Because, you see, I was wrong about quite a few things then.
Back then, and during the general, for instance, I remember discussions around here about whether Obama was 1% better than the alternative, or 0.0001% better, with a number of prominent Correnteans voting for 0.0001%. But at the moment, given everything, I would rate him at 5-10%. That there is a stimulus package alone is enough for me to say this. Does anyone doubt that a McCain package would have even less (effective) stimulus? Oh, it may not be enough, and indeed it may not alone save the US economy by any stretch of the imagination. But add to that the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the repeal of the Mexico City Policy, and so on, and, well, you have made an improvement to a large number of people's lives relative to what their condition would have been without these things.
If he could Save The Economy, I'd put him at 25-50% better, but without that, 5-10% better. But 1% and 0.0001% is just, well, being ornery for it's own sake.
This leads to the other thing on my mind, the Unity Pony. Now, for me, well, I view politics as kind of like war. So the Unity meme just rubs me the wrong way. But, ironically, this whole stimulus-bipartisanship debacle has led me to rethink that. I thought that the margin of victory of Obama would be much closer than it was---if he won at all. (ETA based on comments: I am talking about the election victory here. I am saying that the recent stimulus debacle made me reconsider the context of the general election victory, but not in the way some might expect.) But it was not very close. And I give the Unity Pony some credit for that. The media is clearly in love with memes like that. To get past the media filter to keep the (R) party looking sufficiently weak, the Unity Pony was necessary.
I used to think that if Clinton had won the primary, she could have taken the Presidency as easily as Obama. But it's now less clear to me that Clinton could have done this, because it would have been harder to adopt the Unity Pony. So this was clever on Obama's part. And if this were so, then the 5-10% improvement that he represents is owed to the Unity Pony.
Finally, it turns out that it is probably important that he follow through with the Unity Pony. And he has. It has to be very clear and obvious that the (R) party is repudiating the Unity Pony, before a (D) presidency can.
And, from the Big Dog via *gasp* the Great Orange Satan:
Their embed is not quite there yet, so here's a link.