Answer - probably. Like progressives all over the web, I'm stopping myself from getting too happy. No one wants to jinx the overwhelming tide of good news for Obama by premature counting of chickens. Despite increasingly frequent use of words like "landslide," "bloodbath," and "earthquake election," the media are simultaneously scrambling to run how-McCain-could-still-win stories.
But deep down, no one - including conservatives - seems to really believe that there is any question left - barring the equivalent of the kind of cataclysm that almost never happens - except how big Obama's victory will be. It now appears that the only genuinely exciting question left in the national races is whether the Dems will achieve a 60-vote majority in the Senate (meaning that a party line vote can block a filibuster), a truly stunning feat which still seems unlikely.
The bigger question is how the why behind the landslide will affect the future. The Obama wave, possibly a tsunami, is not happening because all those folks who voted for Bush, the other Bush, and Reagan have suddenly adopted the mindset of from each according to his means, to each according to his needs. Conversion isn't the game here; Americans are looking for a way to express how fed up and even frightened they are from the Bush regime. Bush loved to posture as the "bring it on" president, but he now seems more aptly characterized as a multi-dimensional failure - from Iraq to Katrina to a desperate bail-out when the economy tanked. In other words, this is an anti-Bush, not a pro-Obama wave. The frat boy hour is over; we need an adult back in charge.
People vote for change for lots of reasons; it's important to remember how ideologically diverse a politics of change can be. Obama embodies an extraordinary combination of intelligence, skill and unbelievable luck. In this economic climate, virtually any Democratic nominee would be headed for the White House. Obama also has the gift of seeming to mean many things to many different groups of people. I don't think that he is any less principled than any other politicians, and he seems to be considerably more principled than most. At the least, he is less willing to pander.
I am, to put it mildly, excited at the prospect of an Obama presidency. But I also know that it's going to include more, not fewer, Republicans than were in the Clinton administration, and more, not less, of some things - like funding for faith-based social services - that I'm less than crazy about. Whatever hype the media come up with, the country is not undergoing an ideological transplant. If only.