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History in the Making

Wednesday, Nov. 05, 2008 3:43 AM

To borrow a phrase, it's morning in America.

And we have a new President-Elect in Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, who claimed over double his opponent's electoral votes and well above the 270 votes needed to win.

Reaction around the nation and the world has been impressive, with crowds cheering in the streets.

Except for the boneheads in the audience when John McCain made his concession speech.

A groan or two, a cry of 'No!' I could buy - but booing? Grow the fuck up, kiddies, and as much as McCain accepts that he dropped the ball, go look in the mirror - because the booing, cries of 'kill him' and 'terrorist' made it quite clear to America that we don't want another four years of sewer conservatism.

Here in California, several propositions of note passed:

- Proposition 1A, a bond measure to fund a putative high-speed rail line. Voters must believe wishes make good policy, because the measure did not include anything resembling a plan, just funding that can be gobbled up by bureaucratic layabouts in a heartbeat.

- Proposition 2, establishing standards for the treatment of farm animals, passed.

- Proposition 4, the second go-round for the parental notification on teenage abortion, failed. Can we get it through our heads that if your daughter doesn't trust you enough to confide in you about a difficult and intimate situation, it's not the state's role to make her tell you.

- Proposition 8, amending the state constitution to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, appears to be passing. (Attorney Gloria Allred will be filing a suit to overturn Proposition 8 on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.)

And, on the local front, San Francisco Proposition R, which would name a sewage treatment plant after George W. Bush, failed. I'd much prefer seeing #43 prosecuted and tossed in the slammer than being a sewage plant's namesake.

And, of course, now the work really begins. Obama has to assemble a cabinet and address all of those issues people look to him to solve.

Clearly, an economic recovery has to be engendered, preferably through responsible regulation, not just 'let's throw cash at the people who made bad decisions to begin with.'

Let's put an end to our babysitting mission in Iraq. Fighting terrorism is one thing, taking someone else's lumps because they can't or won't get off their duffs is another.

It's time to run No Child Left Behind out into the backyard and shoot it in the head. We need to address education through how we teach, not how we test. We need to start investing in our children, not treat schools like scaled-down prisons.

And let's not forget the damage the Bush Administration did to civil liberties. We need to make smart decisions about security and stop emulating failed fascist states.

We'll see if Obama - and a Democratic majority in Congress - is up to the task.

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