At American Thinker, Dave Smithee considers opportunities:

Obama is not just a Democrat, or a liberal. Obama is liberalism. He is liberalism stripped of all of its false fronts of civic mindedness. Shorn of all its bogus declarations of interest in the public good, or lip service to free markets or property rights. He is liberalism as it exists only in the psyche of the petty tyrant, rarely glimpsed emerging in public. Shrieking, demanding as a newborn, nakedly ravenous for power. Worshipping expedience, debasing of life, and viewing everyone else’s wealth as his own, with which he may conduct his vast social experiments on the subdued human landscape.

But as an ideological flagship surrounded by hysterically unrealistic expectations, if he fails, Obama is going to drag the Democrat ship down to truly crushing depths. And when he does, the redemption of the Democrats will not be swift in coming. With Obama, they have bet the ideological farm, and several surrounding properties too. They have damned the torpedoes and abandoned the strategy of advancing themselves in managed increments. By pushing Obama into the spotlight, they’re tipping their entire ideological hand a good twenty years ahead of schedule.

It’s difficult to tell how much utterly unchecked leftism America will be willing to endure, or for how long. But one thing for certain is that Obama, in tandem with Pelosi/Reid is the greatest gift the Republicans and conservatives everywhere could have been given. Over the next four years, there will be no political ‘moderation’ in Obama to muddy the waters, confuse his identity, or cast doubts about who’s to blame for what.

It’s an odd (and maddening) trait of elected conservatives that they come alive almost exclusively in the face of opposition. They define themselves most persuasively when juxtaposed against runaway state largesse, oppressive economic conditions, or the sheer buckling incompetence of Carter-esque liberalism. Conversely, as they were and would have been with McCain, they’re on their weakest footing when squandering intellectual resources and goodwill in the defense of ideologically compromised leadership. And now they’ve been blessed with an undiluted, unambiguously radical leftist with which they have four years to contrast themselves and make their case.

Disappointed as some will be, Obama’s win is not surprising in the present climate. Sadly, Cavuto had it right on McCain’s lack of economic conviction. With one hand committed to vague free-marketisms and the other dealing out murky condemnations of ‘Wall Street greed’, he was unable to deliver a coherent counter-punch that addressed the Democrat-driven interventions that birthed the subprime crisis.

In a painful campaign video from Wisconsin, a famously enraged voter declares “I’m mad!” about the “socialists taking over the country”. The audience was in a fervor over the gentleman’s comments and salivating for partisan red meat. McCain promptly deflated the crowd by stammering that he would again ‘reach across the aisle’ and work with everyone to fix the problem. The silent groan of agony that settled on the leadership-starved crowd was palpable. Obama by comparison, was consistent and on message with his serial deceptions and class warfare; but at least he was consistent and on message.

Most painful of all was watching Palin, shackled to McCain’s policies like Princess Leia to Jabba the Hutt. Squirming her way through explanations her heart clearly wasn’t in, needing to toe the line of McCain’s nebulous free-market-populism. It was doubly frustrating to conservatives who knew that Palin understood the root of the problem, and could have eviscerated the Democrats on it handily had she been taken off her chain. Despite the media’s crowing about the wickedly energizing Palin being a ‘drag on the ticket’, the race would have been over long ago without her; she truly represents the future of the party. Like Obama, she is sharp, determined, decisively partisan, with a governing philosophy definable in clear, easily marketed and communicated strokes.

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