The United States of Audacity

Confetti has now been swept away by illegal migrant cleaners, balloons have deflated faster than the economy, and suicide pills in case the unthinkable happened have been flushed down the toilets by liberals around the country (except for those few who have kept theirs in case America emerges victorious from Iraq). The wheel has turned, history was made -- even if not particularly emphatically by historical standards -- and the cliché count among the commentating class has surpassed the number of foreclosures in California and Arizona combined.

Now is perhaps a good time for several quick predictions for the next four years (or more, if we're unlucky). None of them are in any sense brave predictions. They are animated by the sentiment often espoused by my late grandmother: "things are rarely as good or as bad as people think they are." It's a sentiment born out of years of war, occupations, oppression, economic hardship, and assorted political upheaval. It has served my grandmother and my family well in surviving through the ups and more numerous downs of Central European history, and I believe it will also serve us all well as we enter the uncharted territory of Barack Obama as the holder of the bully pulpit, commander in chief, and leader of the free world.

America will continue to be a terrorist target

As Osama bin Laden watched the election night returns on CNN in some mud hut in northwestern Pakistan, it is very unlikely that Barack Obama was the change that this wily jihadist could believe in.

You have to remember that the planning for the September 11 attacks took place while a loveable, charismatic, I-feel-your-pain Democrat occupied the White House. Clinton was an internationalist, multilateralist, militarily-ambiguous (at the best of times) Kyoto believer. None of his charm, popularity, and bleeding heartedness had made him any less satanic in the eyes of Osama and Co. Similarly, the Iranian hostage taking crisis of 1979 took place under the watch of a sincere, righteous, and devout believer in human rights, justice, and morality in international politics.