I keep going back to CNN.com and MSNBC.com etc., to recheck those headlines. It wasn't a dream. It really happened; we've really changed the world! And that was the easy part.
Last night was great; the unbelievable wave of emotion that came over me when the election was officially called for Obama at 8 PM Pacific, the shots of the cheering crowds in Chicago, DC, and NYC across the TV screen, the gracious and conciliatory speech of Senator McCain, and the historic and inspirational speech of President Elect Obama. It was a moment that will always be remembered.
Now comes the hard part. For better or worse, the President Elect will have stronger Democratic majorities in the House and Senate than has existed in years. It will now be his job to keep them in check; to not overreach and to keep a few ideas from outside DNC headquarters on the radar.
I fear a Congress that's like a kid in the candy shop, thinking they've got a mandate to do whatever they want without consulting the people who sent them there. If they behave in that manner, these majorities will only hold for two years. If President Obama is unable to control them, he will only be in charge for four years.
If President Obama is able to show the type of leadership I believe him capable of, and keep Congress in check, he'll be able to enact a great deal of his programs, but carefully, slowly, and with cooperation and advice from all parties. And, if he does that, the next eight years could truly change our country far beyond the symbolism of his historic election.
I'll have more to say about this, and other election results (as of this writing, it looks like Prop 8 is passing, but so narrowly that they still haven't called it officially nearly 12 hours after polls closed) in the coming days and weeks.
For today, I simply offer my congratulations to the Democrats. I was with you during this election, but I'm still an independent, and there's no guarantee I'll be with you again.