Now that a Democrat has won the presidency, calls for reason and bi-partisan cooperation are ringing out from every hill and dale. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low; the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain (To borrow language from another, more hopeful, messianic prospect.)
Isn't it interesting how calls for bi-partisanship always seem to emerge after a Democrat gains the White House? No more bickering and dissention. Let's all work together like one big, happy family to get the country "moving again".
When a Republican is in the White House, all bets are off, of course. Partisan war is declared, and Democrats go to the mattresses. If the economy or the safety of the country has to be sacrificed in order for Democrats to regain political power, so be it - it's the price that has to be paid to get things back to the natural way they're supposed to be.
In 2000, George W. Bush ran on a promise to work with Democrats. There was some credibility in this, as he had successfully done so as governor of Texas. He was very popular there, and he (perhaps naively) believed he could make the same strategy work at the national level.
When the 2000 election hinged on a small number of votes in Florida, Democrats thought they could turn the election to Al Gore by engineering selective recounts in a few heavily Democratic counties. They failed because Richard Daley and others forgot that an election has to be stolen in the dead of night, not in broad daylight. Citizen-protests stopped the recounts, and the Supreme Court ultimately ruled against selective recounts within a state. Mr. Bush won Florida by about 500 votes, and carried the Electoral College, 271-266.
From that time forward, Democrats vowed eternal enmity with the Bush administration. The result - spanning the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our soil, plus two foreign wars which should have brought unity and bipartisan cooperation - has been an unprecedented guerilla war of rancor, bitterness, and partisan bickering that came very close to the definition of sedition.  Democrats ignored important national problems to "stick it" to George W. Bush, who was reviled as the most hated president in history (actually, Harry S. Truman was even more hated) and the most hated man in America (Congress's public approval rating was even lower than Mr. Bush's). American voters were so sick of the whole, ugly mess that it's a wonder they elected anyone in 2008.
Fortunately, the Democrats found the perfect candidate to bring love, peace and brotherhood back to presidential politics: the cool, hip, absolutely unflappable, post-racial, post-partisan, post-confrontational, post-religious, post-greed, post-Constitutional Barak Hussein Obama. With a past shrouded in mystery, he is literally the man from nowhere. It's not even clear exactly where he was born. A lawsuit in Pennsylvania courts contends that he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. This would make him not "natural born", which the Constitution requires presidents to be. (Any wagers on the likelihood of that lawsuit succeeding?)
The media made absolutely nothing of Mr. Obama's admitted past as a user of hard drugs. By contrast, the national media obsessed, on the weekend before the 2000 election, over George W. Bush's youthful drunk-driving conviction. Also, Mr. Obama's twenty-year association with a racist minister, whose radical advocacy of "black liberation theology" and profane condemnations of America brings to mind a black Ku Klux Klan, was airily brushed aside as irrelevant to the "real issues" of the campaign. His wife's angry comments about never being "proud" of her country until her husband's candidacy were quickly hushed up. (Michelle Obama holds a $300,000-a-year public relations job with a Chicago hospital.)
Mr. Obama's controversial association with former Weatherman terrorist-bomber William Ayers was likewise ignored by a media that went absolutely crazy, two years earlier, over allegations that a Republican congressman sent toe-tapping signals to possible sexual deviants in a public restroom. The congressman resigned, but unrepentant Pentagon-bomber William Ayers has now emerged, post-election, as a kind of education "sage" - possibly positioning himself for a high-level post in the Obama Administration (or at least for a lucrative new book deal).
With the media's help, the Obama campaign surmounted these flaws in their candidate - which would have been fatal in a Republican - and postured their man as the "messiah of hope" for a new spirit in America, a new kind of politics, and a new way of working together for the good of the country. Young people who haven't yet learned how to fasten their belts so their pants don't fall down speak of Mr. Obama as the man the country needs, without being able to articulate exactly what they hope he might be able to "change" (other than everything in general).
Educated people say Mr. Obama will bring a new era of peace and understanding in the world by sitting down and talking with murderous thugs who behead humanitarian workers, stone women, fly planes into skyscrapers and blow up people in marketplaces. Never in American history has a single, virtually unknown man so captured the imagination of Americans. It is an amazing time.
As his first move toward working with Republicans in a bipartisan spirit, Mr. Obama has chosen for his new chief of staff Congressman Rahm Emanuel - possibly the most combative, partisan Democrat in history. Mr. Emanuel's performance at a dinner party - when he pronounced one political opponent after another "dead!" as he repeatedly stabbed the table with a knife - has been famously told and retold, not without media admiration. Another account claims he sent a dead fish wrapped in newspaper to a pollster who angered him.
Now, puff pieces have started appearing on the Internet about the cuddly Emanuel brothers: "Smart, sexy and combative" was the title of one fawning article, yesterday. A New Yorker piece ("Emanuel in Full") quoted Mr. Emanuel's rabbi saying how "loyal to the synagogue" and "engaged" he is. (Try to imagine something similar being written in the New Yorker about an evangelical Christian politician.) His background as a ballet dancer is also touted - possibly as a putative credential for his new job, as he dances through the complexities of bipartisanship. Soon the Mainstream Media, who hid Mr. Obama's past and air-brushed his radical associations, will have transmogrified Mr. Emanuel into the Ghandi of American politics. I have no doubt of it.
To give Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt - perhaps he is merely removing Mr. Emanuel from the House of Representatives so the two parties can work together in peace, free of his combative presence. But I wouldn't bet the farm on that. Combative Democrats, who might also shout "mort!" and stab the table as political opponents' names are mentioned, are like the heads of Hydra. There is no end to them. "Combative Democrat" is actually a redundancy.
If Mr. Obama really wants to change things up in Washington, he'll have to do better than Rahm Emanuel. This is a highly questionable appointment - unless he plans to use him as a political Luca Brazi. What Democrats usually mean by "bipartisanship", of course, is GOP capitulation to Democratic positions - i.e., an "offer they can't refuse". Maybe that will happen, but I hope not.
Voters who thought Mr. Obama would usher in bipartisanship and sweet reason are in for a rude shock. I wish Mr. Obama luck in his quest for partisan peace, but with Mr. Emanuel running the Oval office, he's going to need more than luck. He'll need a miracle.
 (According to Webster) sedition = incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.