Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Goodbye Cruel World: Hello Bright New Morning – UPDATED

O What a Beautiful Morning.

Actually, it’s a grey damp start to a new Era here in London. But despite sleeplessness and hangovers, the world seems a lot brighter today. People are walking with a spring in their step.

What happened last night? What happened over the last year? Did I dream all that? Did America, the country that gave George Bush two terms: whose voters were robbed in 2000, bamboozled in 2004: did that same country really elect this smart, dedicated, eloquent, passionate man called Barack Hussein Obama?

When our most read newspaper, a famously right wing tabloid, publishes a headline like this, then you know the world has changed, changed utterly…

Here are some other headlines from the UK

And here’s Gordon Brown congratulating President ELECT Barack Hussein Obama. Even his traditionally dour Scottish bearing has a lightness and kindness this morning:…

This is a moment that will live in history as long as history books are written

But I found this the picture from last night and it made me think:

As Literature majors will know, much of the American narrative, in fiction and in politics, is about breaking away from fathers. Some say this a metaphor for the radical act of independence. Others put it down to the pioneer spirit, which while opening up new frontiers, meant a painful several with old patrimonies. Even McCain and Bush fit into this narrative of confronting, emulating, struggling with the father, higher or otherwise.

Obama’s election changes this utterly too.  

That a man who never really had a father, is clearly such a brilliant father to his own daughters, and is now a kind of father figure to a whole nation, nay to the world, I find that infinitely telling and touching.

Just seen Colin Powell on CNN, and he’s still in tears.

So how does it feel America, to be a role model for the world again?

UPDATED: PATERNALISM, PATRIARCHY AND GOODBYE TO ALL THAT. Hmm.  In retrospect the bolded line above was poorly expressed, and I’ve given some the impression that we’re voting for ‘father figures’ or that I’m some advocating paternalism and patriarchy. Apologies for that: though I hope I’ve explained myself in comments.

Meanwhile, I’ve always meant to leave MYDD when the election is over, and the response to some old foes from the primary wars, and then an anti British rant from another poster, has made it easy. I’ve overstayed my welcome on MYDD, and I’ll leave it to you guys. I don’t need to fight those wars anymore. We’ve won.

The conversation here is much better without all that pointless – and very male and paternalistic –  point scoring. Good Bye Cruel World. Hello Bright new Morning


  1. …is that speaking to my son last night in Harrisburg PA, is that he’s fallen in love with America again! I’m beginning to wonder if he’ll ever come back

  2. ragekage

    Can’t believe it looks like Bachman, Young, and Stevens have all won re-election. You know, if Stevens gets kicked out of the Senate, you realize who’s going to run for that slot in a special election, don’t you?

    Franken and Merkley still hanging tough. We’ll have to see how that bears out.

    On a positive side, every candidate I had a vested interest in won; Tom Perriello getting an awesome “Dewey Beats Truman” moment.

  3. DeniseVelez

    not the traditional old patriarchal figure – but a new male – partnered with a strong female.  The role model so many youths need in this country (and worldwide)

  4. I believe he has a core of steel in his spine. There is no weakness in this man, neither mind nor body. His apparent effeminate traits are simply a reflection of his empathic nature.

    It is easy to fall into the trap of projecting all of your hopes and wishes on someone like Obama. Huge disappointment surely lies that way. However, I truly believe we have just elected an extraordinary man to lead our country into the 21st Century.

  5. mady

    I don’t want another father, I had a great one.  I want a brilliant and inspiring  leader and I think I’ve got that with Obama.

    My hackles go up a little when things get paternalistic, even new style paternalistic.  It’s not about the personal.  It’s about Obama’s ability to govern and his incredible ability to reach out and understand exactly what needs to be spoken of and, I hope and believe, done.

    Actually, the father figure thing really bugs me, it’s so about the guys. It is so exclusive of women.  

  6. NavyBlueWife

    Watching BBCA tonight and seeing the world celebrating means that America is rejoining the world.  We’re all world citizens, and we are responsible to each other.  I, for one, really appreciate your perspective as a Brit.  The world truly is watching, and to throw out someone else’s opinion because he is not an American is despicable and imperialist.

  7. louisprandtl

    I wanted to crib a little with your reference. I thought it’s too early to put Obama in the same reference scale as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Einstein .. but this is not a day of disagreement. I just hope you’re doing fine…

  8. i have managed (for a short time) to make it to a pc so that i may properly reply to you.  it is a crying shame that you are leaving mydd (although you said this was always your intention) and also how the comments in your diary there took such a nasty tone.

    i guess there is a lot of baggage left over from the primary that has spilled over now even though the election is over.  anyway thank god its over!

Comments are closed.