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Congratulations to All My Pro-Obama Friends

(and there are very many); I know President-Elect Obama's victory means a lot to many of you. And, of course, best wishes to the President-Elect for the coming four years. It's a difficult job, and I hope he does it extremely well.

Ari (mail) (www):
"I know President-Elect Obama's victory means a lot to many of you."

Don't get all mushy on us so quickly. A few congratulations are in order, but not like that...

Palin '12!
11.4.2008 11:54pm
J. Aldridge:
I hope Obama is allowed to accomplish his goals (tax, borrow, and amnesty) and send the economy crashing into the ground over the next four years.

Will be a GOP dream come true in 2012 and Democrats are going to wish it was McCain who won tonight.
11.4.2008 11:54pm
Jerry F:
Greatest setback in human history since the fall of the Roman Empire.
11.4.2008 11:56pm
Jonathan F.:
My hope: that President Obama does so well that I'll want to vote for him in 2012.
11.4.2008 11:56pm
Bruce_M (mail) (www):
The nightmare of the Bush years is finally over. Whew. I just hope the damage can be undone.
11.4.2008 11:57pm
Pon Raul (mail):
I hope he does the national security part of his job well. I also hope that he keeps his party in check. I, however, hope that Obama is really bad at working with his party at getting "change" bills passed. The good news for conservatives/libertarians is that this is an opportunity to reshape the Republican party. Lets just hope that he doesn't "change" this country too much in the next 2-4 years.
11.4.2008 11:58pm
Andrew Davis:
Why would you want someone to fail? I hope he does extraordinarily well.
11.4.2008 11:58pm
Pon Raul (mail):
I should add that it might have been better overall if Kerry had won in 2004, except for the fact that we would not have gotten Alito or Roberts.
11.4.2008 11:59pm
FoghornLeghorn (mail):
"Why would you want someone to fail?"
I suppose it depends on what they are trying to do now doesn't it.

Godspeed to President-Elect Obama.
11.5.2008 12:04am
David Warner:
Aldridge,

"I hope Obama is allowed to accomplish his goals (tax, borrow, and amnesty) and send the economy crashing into the ground over the next four years."

No you don't. You'd rather lose an economy than lose an election? I think you're better than that.
11.5.2008 12:12am
DLL Circulation Worker (mail):
How could you possibly want Obama to fail? So you can be right? If he fails, America is going to be in a lot more trouble than it is now. Is it worth that to be right?

My dad said it best: "I know who I'm voting for, but even if the other guy wins, I'm going to support him and hope to God he can do a good job, because we need it."
11.5.2008 12:13am
Lady on the Left:
Will be a GOP dream come true in 2012 and Democrats are going to wish it was McCain who won tonight.

Sort of how Republicans are wishing tonight that Gore had won in 2000 or at the very least Kerry in 2004?

This is the final, complete and total rejection of George W. Bush's America and those who supported it. Ohio AND Florida? The sweet icing on the cake.
11.5.2008 12:16am
Michael J.Z. Mannheimer (mail):

"I hope Obama is allowed to accomplish his goals (tax, borrow, and amnesty) and send the economy crashing into the ground over the next four years."



I suppose that is what is meant by "Country First."
11.5.2008 12:28am
J. Aldridge:
Lady on the Left wrote: "Sort of how Republicans are wishing tonight that Gore had won in 2000 or at the very least Kerry in 2004?"

Bush won both times because the economy was not a significant issue like it is now (or will be in 4 years).
11.5.2008 12:30am
cgb:
Very gracious of you, Prof. Volokh. Best of luck to President-Elect Obama from me as well. The reality of the enormity of the job will soon set in for him, as it would for anyone, and I wish him the best under the burden.
11.5.2008 12:30am
eyesay:
Thank you, Prof. Volokh, and I hope that the assorted comments here that are less hope-embracing than yours represent at best a tiny minority. Barack Obama cannot solve all of our problems by himself, but his experience as a community organizer reinforces his instinctive belief in the need for everyone to have a seat at the decision-making table. Contrary to some of the worst fears expressed by others over the past days and weeks, Obama is not going to usher in an era of socialist or ultra-liberal hegemony on our moderate nation.
11.5.2008 12:44am
nyu law libertarian (www):
Best wishes indeed. We'll have an interesting couple of years to come. Lets hope Obama will be a moderate. I'm actually happy in some respects about all of this.
11.5.2008 12:50am
ObeliskToucher:

but his experience as a community organizer reinforces his instinctive belief in the need for everyone to have a seat at the decision-making table.

So... John McCain for Secretary of Defense?
11.5.2008 12:51am
DiversityHire:
Secretary of the Interior—Sarah Palin
11.5.2008 12:54am
LM (mail):
Thanks, EV. I'll congratulate you in return and hope eventually, with all our help, Obama makes you a believer that such congratulations were in order.
11.5.2008 12:55am
I'm Finished (mail):
I certainly hope Mr. Obama fails to implement his reckless and juvenile economic plans. But I'm not waiting around to see.

Anticipating the result we have seen tonight, I have already begun the legal niceties required to liquidate my small business before the end of the year. Immediate consequences: 9 employees added to the unemployment benefits dole, 27 dependents moved from a 100% company paid health insurance plan to the uninsured rolls, approximately 200K$/annum sales tax collections gone, approximately 100K$/annum in Social Security taxes gone, approximately $150K$/annum income taxes gone.

Now, it is true that some other organization will pick-up my most of my sales eventually, but mine is a tiny, low-tech niche market. Some projects will simply not be feasible at the higher costs required by my successors to the market, and some will necessarily be delayed. My people will eventually also find different employment, but I fear none to soon.

Why am I taking this seemingly impulsive, arguably disastrous action?

I will not surrender the 1/3 additional capital gains taxes that Obama will, at a minimum, impose on my equity. This equity has been built-up over 20 years of earnest toil and personal deprivation. It exists only after paying sub-chapter C corporate taxes as well. Also, a good portion of my "gains" are nothing more than the result of deflation of our currency.

I'm 45 years old. I want to see what it's like to be a "taker" for a while. So, yes, there is an element of spite here, but as our president elect might say; "in your face."
11.5.2008 1:12am
DLL Circulation Worker (mail):
This is your knee, and this is it jerking.
11.5.2008 1:17am
A. Zarkov (mail):
I'm Finished:

"Anticipating the result we have seen tonight, I have already begun the legal niceties required to liquidate my small business before the end of the year."

The Democrats don't realize that many business or personal decisions are made on the margin. Raise income taxes and people will buy more muni bonds. Raise taxes and many people will put in less hours because the marginal return is not worth it.
11.5.2008 1:23am
Harry Eagar (mail):
Well, boo-freakin'-hoo, and I'll get around to feeling sorry for Mr. I'm Finished as soon as the 5,000 or 6,000 wage workers in my county, who never took out funny mortgages, never heard of a derivative, have a way to buy food for their families, which they used to have, until the market-crazed manipulators ruined it for them.

And Aldridge, in case you haven't heard, the economy is already sick.
11.5.2008 1:34am
Randy R. (mail):
"Raise taxes and many people will put in less hours because the marginal return is not worth it."

BS. Obama is only proposing to raise taxes on people earning over $250,000, and then only to the Clinton era levels. Are you really saying that in the 90s people worked less than they do now?

"I have already begun the legal niceties required to liquidate my small business before the end of the year."

Good for you. I'm sure a forsighted entrepreneur will see the hole that is left by your leaving and will start up a business that will be highly profitable by taking advantage of the change in circumstances, instead of saying "Oh, I don't know how to deal with this, so I'm closing my tent without even trying."
11.5.2008 1:34am
Hoosier:
Obama's victory means only one thing to me: Now we will have Nazis riding around the country on Dinosaurs. Again. I guess I have to congratulate you Democrats for "winning" this one. But is it really worth it having Obama as president when we all have to hide in our basements until 2012?
11.5.2008 2:07am
U.Va. Grad:
I'm 45 years old. I want to see what it's like to be a "taker" for a while. So, yes, there is an element of spite here, but as our president elect might say; "in your face."

You want to make yourself a taker? Fine, whatever. If an individual wants to be a free rider, well, free riders happen.

But you're not just doing that. You're deliberately sending 9 people (and 27 dependents!) to the unemployment lines and the ranks of the uninsured out of spite.

I sincerely hope you're flame.
11.5.2008 2:22am
John D (mail):
When McCain gave his concession speech, his supporters booed when he mentioned Obama. To his credit, he silenced them. It was a wonderful speech.

When Obama gave his acceptance speech, his supporters clapped politely when he mentioned McCain, to their credit.
11.5.2008 2:23am
I'm Finished (mail):
Harry Eagar;

I'm not crying for myself. I'll be fine, more than fine. My grief is for the 9 people (and their families) I work with, similarly situated to those unfortunates you describe, who will lose their incomes also. I have "toughed it out" through bad times before, for my sake and theirs, but I have a family too.

Isn't it true that my approx. 2MM$ capital gain will be taxed at least at 20% not 15% (addressing only the federal level), even though it was accumulated over 20 years and even though much of is not "real"? 5% of 2MM$ is 100k$, that's a year and a half of my life, in good times, not this economy.

Randy;

I'm guessing you are not an entrepreneur. I acknowledged that, in time, and then only to some degree in my estimation, would "the hole" be filled. My calculus indicates that would it be foolish for me to continue considering the entirety of my circumstances and Obama's coming tax policies. Might I have may this same decision in the context of a McCain victory? Perhaps, but 100K$ difference isn't inconsiderable to me.

If a guy like me with an existing customer base, capitalized by equity and a long history of (modest) profitability makes this decision; who is going to risk their capital to fill the hole? Somebody much smarter, better capitalized and more courageous than me. Probably bushels of such folks out there. These fellows would account for the present booms in the skilled labor and IPO markets presumably.

I don't think I'll be prohibited from starting again, should the host of better men fail to appear. I'd just be 100K$ better off and in position to "right size" my capitalization and mitigate risk by choosing the time to re-enter.

On the other hand, maybe I'll enjoy being a "taker" too much to bother. I don't think I'll have any earned (or even taxable)income in 2009, how much is Obama going to send me again?
11.5.2008 2:26am
I'm Finished (mail):
U.Va.Grad;

"You want to make yourself a taker? Fine, whatever. If an individual wants to be a free rider, well, free riders happen."

Part of my angst and most of my spite derive from the increase in "free-riding" that Obama'a policies will generate. You don't seem so concerned about this. These things happen after all.

So, choosing to be a leach is OK; I don't agree. Condemning others to the same fate is odious; I agree. But doesn't this condemn Obama's policy in my case at least? Or am I only to be condemned?

What is it to be a "flame"?
11.5.2008 2:46am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
When McCain gave his concession speech, his supporters booed when he mentioned Obama. To his credit, he silenced them. It was a wonderful speech.

When Obama gave his acceptance speech, his supporters clapped politely when he mentioned McCain, to their credit.


But they booed Obama's mention of McCain a couple of days earlier ... the evening that Obama "accidentally" gave McCain the finger.

I sincerely hope that President Obama makes decisions that are good for the nation, and that his foreign policy ideas work to the benefit of freedom around the world. I hope that the media will be honest, and that they report the good and the bad without fear or favor.

We shall find out soon enough whether these things happen.
11.5.2008 2:55am
DaveinSouthCarolina (mail):
BS. Obama is only proposing to raise taxes on people earning over $250,000, and then only to the Clinton era levels. Are you really saying that in the 90s people worked less than they do now?



Well those rates during the clinton era were the highest in the history of our nation. wow, what a great thing to look forward too. i worked during the '90s, and I can tell you that my tax burden was very high under clinton. After filing as single with no dependants during the year, I was lucky to get anything back. In fact, for several years I had to pay more at the end of the year. I was making between $50k to $55k a year. In south carolina, thats a decent wage for the year. Under bush tax cuts, my weekly tax amount is lower, and I actually get some refund at the end of the year. I don't have to pay anymore. Plus my income has increased about 17% since 1997. I really do not want to be taxed like the clinton era again, and by the way, I did not make over $250k a year under clinton. My taxes went up under clinton compared to the elder bush era.

With Obama it will be business as usual. At the heart of the matter, he's a democrat, and democrats always raise taxes to fund more socialistic programs. You know , share the wealth. Why should have to give money that I earn for my family to someone else.

heres what needs to happen. get the special interest groups out of washington, we don't need them. elect members to congress that actually represent the will of thier districts. remove all the lobbyist from washington, its nothing but legalized bribery, plain and simple. Stop sending vast sums of our money overseas to other countries. take care of home first, and others later. find a way to remove the federal reserve system out of our counrty, and establish a real american currency, not one composed of federal reserve notes. yes, in case you are wondering, that money in your pocket is not american money. It's a federal reserve note. we need to send the united nations packing, along with the council on foreign relations, or the CFR, as its better known. niether one of these organizations have america's best interest at heart. we put more money into the united nations than any other country in the world.
those are just a few things that will get the ball rolling. Go research the federal reserve and you will find out how bad they are and why they are at the center of whats wrong with america financially. in fact, Obama is not the mot powerful man in america, the chairman of the federal reserve is.

I think that Obama is the wrong man for the job, but hey, e has 4 years to prove me wrong. I just do not think he can.
11.5.2008 4:57am
marc (mail):
I hope all the best for Mr Obama, after his election to an office with incredible burdens, even though I hate it that he's won.

There's going to be a chief magistrate who is deadly serious about appointing justices to the Supreme Court who are effervescent with emanations and penumbrae and eager to share them with us; those of us who can't understand how a putative statesman is unable to distance himself from the pro-abortion party even so far as to be able to vote for the protection of infants already born are unlikely to be much comforted by the thought of four years of further evidences of his charisma and media-friendliness.
11.5.2008 6:29am
Ex parte McCardle:
DaveinSC, tax "rates during the clinton era were the highest in the history of our nation?" You can't seriously believe that, do you?
11.5.2008 9:34am
Pauldom:

Well those rates during the clinton era were the highest in the history of our nation.

Those liberal college history professors have a lot to answer for if this false belief is widespread.
11.5.2008 9:40am
Fury:
Congratulations to President-Elect Obama. He deserves a modicum of respect due to the President, and I hope folks will have a civil tone the next four years is discussing his Presidency.
11.5.2008 9:57am
Smokey:
Randy R:
Obama is only proposing to raise taxes on people earning over $250,000, and then only to the Clinton era levels.
That source of funds is entirely inadequate to fund Obama's plans. There are not nearly enough people earning over $250,000 a year. The only source of money that is adequate for what Obama has promised his supporters is the middle class; those earning well under $100,000 a year.

Obama has told such a long string of lies to get elected that it is doubtful he will suddenly find Jesus and become an honest man. Everyone in the top 50% of wage earners had better be prepared to have their taxes jacked up substantially.

But it won't be all income tax increases. The ravenous federal and state governments have already demonstrated their insatiable hunger for more, more, more money. In addition to hefty tax hikes, get ready for fees on top of fees. It's in the cards.
11.5.2008 10:23am
Smokey:
Fury: Obama "deserves a modicum of respect due to the President, and I hope folks will have a civil tone the next four years is discussing his Presidency."

Sort of like the "respect" the liberals gave to GWB from the get-go? That kind of respect?

Sorry, pal, the honeymoon is already over.
11.5.2008 10:27am
rarango (mail):
Congratulations to President Elect Obama and I wish him well in his Presidency.
11.5.2008 10:51am
Fury:
Smokey:

Sort of like the "respect" the liberals gave to GWB from the get-go? That kind of respect?

Sorry, pal, the honeymoon is already over.


There's a difference between respect and disagreement. I believe we can do the latter in the context of the former...
11.5.2008 10:54am
Sarcastro (www):
I think I speak for all real Republicans when I say:

REVENGE!

We thought it was horrible and petty when you guys had the BDS, so now we're going total ODS! This may not be good for America, but it sure does feel good!

B. Hussein Obama: Not my President.

Spite is my Commander in Chief, at least till Palin/Plumber in 2013.
11.5.2008 11:19am
Randy R. (mail):
"I'd just be 100K$ better off and in position to "right size" my capitalization and mitigate risk by choosing the time to re-enter. "\

Actually, I am an entrepreneur, having started up two businesses. And after sitting through many interminable lectures on tax avoidance and advice to small businesses, one lesson is always drummed into me (among many others): Never make a business decision based solely upon tax issues. In other words, if you need to open an office in a high tax area because that's where the clients are, then do it. It makes much more sense then to open the office in a low tax area where the clients are not.

You are closing up shop just to save $100,000? Sheesh -- I know a lot of people who lost way more than that in the current financial crisis. Did they close up shop? Nope.

And it would be one thing if you actually waited until you found out the actual tax issues, and how you could minimize your tax burden, but you didn't. So that tells me there are other issues than merely the fear of a capital gains tax. (Which even under Obama, will still lower than most any other industrialized country).

You remind me of the guy here in Washington DC who ran a successful bar. When the council proposed a law that would ban smoking in bars, he opposed it vehemently. It said it would put bars and restaurants out of business. When the law passed, it wasn't scheduled to take effect for another six months, but he jumped the gun and said that there is no way he could be successful with a smoking ban. So he closed up.

That was two years ago. Bars and restaurants are doing fine. Last I heard, he is looking for a place to open up a bar. Everyone is laughing at the guy for his foolishness.
11.5.2008 11:41am
josh:
Im Finished:

Since you've made yourself sort of the VC version of Joe the Whosamacallit, can you provide a detailed explanation of the fortunes of your company (workers added or lost, returned to the rolls of the uninsured, payroll, social security and income taxes, etc.) fared from 1992 to 2000, when your company was taxed at the levels Obama proposes to return them to?

Appreciate it.
11.5.2008 12:05pm
josh:
Im Finished:

Since you've made yourself sort of the VC version of Joe the Whosamacallit, can you provide a detailed explanation of the fortunes of your company (workers added or lost, returned to the rolls of the uninsured, payroll, social security and income taxes, etc.) fared from 1992 to 2000, when your company was taxed at the levels Obama proposes to return them to?

Appreciate it.
11.5.2008 12:05pm
josh:
sorry for the multiple posts
11.5.2008 12:06pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I've now read several threads worth of posts her on Obama's victory, and I have to say I find this scary.

Yes, I understand some of us liberals have said very nasty things about George W. Bush. But that doesn't make this sort of heated rhetoric right.

We have a great country. It was a great country with Bush leading it, it will be one with Obama leading it. Obama will also surely do some things that people passionately disagree with, just like Bush did.

But the comments on this thread and the other 2 threads-- rooting for Obama to fail, claiming that he overcame nothing and achieved the office only through black "racism" (the theory apparently being that black voters who voted for white candidates all their lives before voting for one black man for President are racists while people who harp over and over again on Obama's middle name are not), etc.

Come on guys! I don't expect you folks to love Obama. I expect passionate and appropriate disagreement and protest from conservatives. But for people who swear that white racism in America is a thing of the past, you guys are sure doing everything you can to undermine your argument.

Just be gracious, congratulate him and the historic nature of his accomplishment, and then passionately oppose everything he stands for that you don't agree with, OK?
11.5.2008 12:54pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'That source of funds is entirely inadequate to fund Obama's plans.'

Yeah, right, like Treasury income was entirely adequate to fund Bush's international adventurism. At least LBJ imposed a surtax (entirely inadequate) to try to fund his stupid war. Bush is putting all his on the never-never.

What's to prevent Pres. O from just cranking up the presses, Mugabenomics-style, the way Pres. B has done?

Mind you, I'm not advocating that, but if it's an option for Bush, it's an option for Obama.
11.5.2008 1:08pm
David Warner:
Dilan,

I think you're biased in your sampling. Compare to, say, Kos on 11/5/04 and I'll think you'll find the VC remarkably gracious and positive.
11.5.2008 1:44pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
David:

Whatever Daily Kos did is not a free pass for conservatives to say offensive, vitriolic, defamatory, and sometimes racist things about Obama.

Seriously, "hypocrisy" charges, 99 percent of the time, are just an excuse for people to do something bad that they want to do anyway. They don't actually justify anything.
11.5.2008 1:47pm
Hoosier:
Dilan Esper


Yes, I understand some of us liberals have said very nasty things about George W. Bush. But that doesn't make this sort of heated rhetoric right.


Totally correct.

Reagan didn't win by scorched-earth assault.

And having said that, I can't pretend that I'm going to drop my primary criticisim of what the pro-Obama side has done, which is to elect an nknown with no meaningful qualifications for the office he is about to enter. And have done so because they like him. This was stunningly irresponsible.

I hope that the right will not be dragged down into Kos-like insanity. I also hope that we won't find our own Aethelred the Unready to hoist upon our shoulders when the time comes.
11.5.2008 4:15pm
LM (mail):
David Warner:

I think you're biased in your sampling. Compare to, say, Kos on 11/5/04 and I'll think you'll find the VC remarkably gracious and positive.

David, I'm very surprised you'd suggest that anything on Kos is a meaningful standard here. At least extremist echo chambers like Little Green Footballs and Free Republic are Kos' ideological, and I'd argue symbiotic counterparts. They're like sports teams that count on their opponents insults to stoke their own competitive juices. Some obvious similarities aside, this place is essentially different and better. I expect more of anyone who understands that well enough to want to be here.
11.5.2008 6:04pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'Reagan didn't win by scorched-earth assault.'

Coulda fooled me. I heard the welfare Cadillac speeches.
11.5.2008 8:12pm
David Warner:
LM,

"I expect more of anyone who understands that well enough to want to be here."

Well, frankly, I couldn't come up with an appropriate alternative for comparison purposes. The comparison I wished to draw was with virtually any left-leaning blogger himself (Kevin Drum?) vs the Conspirators. The contrast is indeed stark in my estimation.

I have some reason to think that things will continue to be better for Obama than they've been for Bush, and hope that credit will be given where due for that. Its too easy to dismiss the difficulty involved for someone of a different ideological background to express support for someone one has such affinity to.
11.6.2008 1:26am
LM (mail):
David Warner:

The comparison I wished to draw was with virtually any left-leaning blogger himself (Kevin Drum?) vs the Conspirators.

My mistake. I did misunderstand you. I thought you were referring to the respective commentariates since that was the thrust of Dilan's comment.

The contrast is indeed stark in my estimation.

You may be right. I don't know. I didn't look for the saner alternatives in 2004 or since. Whether they exist at the blogger level I can't say, but I'd suggest looking at some left-leaning blogs in VC's category, i.e., legal. Balkinization, for example, is a lot saner and classier than the Kos' and Huffposts of the world, though I haven't read enough of it to say it's as admirable as VC. Anyway, I've voted with my mouse, which confirms only that I share your positive assessment of these bloggers.

Its too easy to dismiss the difficulty involved for someone of a different ideological background to express support for someone one has such affinity to.

Tell me about it. Paraphrasing Hillary, I've got the scars to prove it.
11.6.2008 3:08pm
David Warner:
LM,

"My mistake. I did misunderstand you. I thought you were referring to the respective commentariates since that was the thrust of Dilan's comment."

Dilan evidently chose to restrict his sampling to the comment sections. I remarked that this was selective (given what had transpired up top). BTW, Dilan's been amazingly good the last couple months, although I did catch one typo...

"I'd suggest looking at some left-leaning blogs in VC's category, i.e., legal"

There I immediately think of Leiter: same problem. I'll have to check out Balkinization more. Guess I have a pretty low threshold for either sophomoric pettiness or dehumanization (yes, I'm guilty here with JukeBox, not always entirely unseriously*, either). Comment sections are pretty bad everywhere that way, but if the blogger him/herself sinks to that level consistently, I'm gone pretty fast.

* - job done, unplugged?
11.6.2008 8:07pm
LM (mail):
In one of today's posts Orin endorsed the rumored choice of Marty Lederman (who blogs at Balkinization) as head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. I'd be very surprised if he'd do likewise, at least without qualification, for Brian Leiter. Neither would I, by the way.
11.6.2008 9:21pm
LM (mail):
DW,

* - job done, unplugged?

(I missed this.)

I'd guess no such luck -- for you that is. As you know, I'm a fan. Anyway, I'm guessing it's just periodic repose.
11.7.2008 7:30pm