by digby

Apologies for the dearth of postings. I've been having some technical problems. Hopefully comments will stay up, too.

First of all, congratulations to Senator Obama. This is a truly historic moment for the Democratic party and for America. When I was a kid (yes, back in the stone age) and when he was born, Barack Obama wouldn't have been allowed to stay in the same hotels or get a drink in a bar or buy a house next to a large number of white Americans. Last night, America took another huge and necessary step in putting that awful history behind us. It was long overdue, and was made possible through the tremendous sacrifices and courage of many people who didn't live to see this day. I am grateful that I did live to see it. I will do everything in my meager power to help Obama win this campaign. The election of the first African American president will signal the end of the era of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. And nothing could be more fitting.

Also, congratulations to Senator Clinton, who in my view showed Democrats what a fighter looks like. This is the closest primary in history and despite what the bloviators and the gasbags have been saying for months, she had not only a right, but a duty, to fight on until the end for the half of the Democratic party that supported her. Clinton too was an historic candidate who inspired millions of people and she has my admiration.

If I might digress a bit and say one word about the Clintons, who to many are personas non grata in the Democratic Party now. Whatever happens, Bill Clinton will still be the 42nd president of the United States and the first two term Democrat since Roosevelt. That's never going to change. Democrats should ask themselves, once the smoke has cleared, if it's really a good idea to discredit his accomplishments. However you personally may feel about him, there is value in a popular ex-president remaining popular. Political value. (See: Reagan legacy project.) The question is what they are valued for.

I see the Clintons as warrior chiefs against the hardcore conservative movement machine that nearly crippled this country (but which may have just run its course after drifting into decadence and hubris.) But, at the time of the movement's greatest power and influence, no one took more crap or was more deft at beating them back. I, for one, am grateful to both of them for taking a nearly unbelievable amount of heat from both the media and the Republicans during that era --- and surviving.

Bill Clinton is in the pantheon of popular ex-presidents who continues to do important work on global initiatives. Hillary Clinton is a Senator and historic breakthrough presidential candidate who won more primary votes than any candidate in history aside from Barack Obama. Al Gore is a global leader and Nobel prize winner. On the other side of that epic battle, Newt Gingrich is a Fox News commentator, writing reviews of mystery thrillers on Amazon. Tom Delay is a private citizen facing indictment. Half of the social conservatives who unctuously criticized Clinton's behavior have been run out of town on morals charges. Fox News is sinking in the ratings faster than George W. Bush.

The Clintons didn't single handedly defeat the conservatives, but they fought them off valiantly when the movement was at its pinnacle and they deserve some credit for that. It's hard to believe that we could have been worse off if they hadn't, but believe me, we would have.

As to what happens next, you all know that I believe this is the Democrats' year and I think that as soon as everyone licks their wounds and takes a little rest and, more importantly, sees what the Republicans are going to unleash on Obama and the Democratic party, we will all make our way back together. As I wrote the other night, I think both of the leaders need to do their part to make that happen, and I expect they will, for both personal and political reasons.

Finally, whoever you supported in this race and however your feel about the candidates, there still remains the problem of our sick, sick political media and that's something that the blogosphere -- as alternative media --- need to sort through. I know that many of you have felt that this campaign's coverage wasn't as bad as I have painted it. But I think that when we look back on this we will see that it was yet another disgraceful performance on the part of our mainstream media (and, alas, our "liberal" media as well.) There is a lot to be written about that and I'm hopeful we can all look at this with clear eyes once we take a breather.

Clinton will officially end suspend the campaign on Friday, (which is perfectly in keeping with the usual timing of these things contrary to the gasbags' ahistorical and overwrought blathering of last night.) We will see what the Republicans have in store for us. And maybe we can start behaving like ourselves again. Family fights are always painful, but they are usually easily healed as well. Here's to the end of the Long March of 2008. It's been real.