- The Washington Times - Monday, November 10, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s change in the air. And hope smells like pumpkin pie fresh out of the oven.

A week after the Obama victory celebration in Grant Park, some exultant liberal victors are seeking to make Thanksgiving 2008 a joyful all-inclusive family experience for the first time since President Bush took office nearly eight years ago.

No, partisan wall builders Arianna Huffington and Markos Moulitsas are not preparing baked yams and apple pecan stuffing for an all-American buffet. Leftover “Rethuglican” rage will be served at the official Democrat table where Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will toast George Soros for underwriting a hate campaign against Pilgrim in Chief George W. Bush that successfully brought back Democratic Party rule.

Why change what works?

But in an online activist campaign entitled “52 to 48 with Love” some Obama supporters — without preconditions — are trying to reach out to their Republican foes as a “gesture of reconciliation.” In a series of photographs uploaded to the Internet, mostly young faces are seen holding up handwritten signs expressing a solemn “Yes, We Can” message to political enemies.

One 20-something Caucasian girl wearing a tattered tan cap holds up a representative message:

Dear 48,

I promise:

to listen to you

to fight for you

to respect you always.

Love, 52

“Perhaps it is naive. The differences are real, I know,” writes performance artist Ze Frank, whose Web site features the growing photo collection that has begun to go viral. “But we have to repair the damage done from this election cycle somehow.”

The verdict is out on whether Republicans will bite.

The best interpretation of this effort smacks of the behavior of children of divorce who go to extreme efforts to put back together their irreconcilable parents. The younger Obama supporters hope to see an appreciable move toward national unity yet don’t fully comprehend what happened behind closed doors that caused the breakup.

“There’s nothing easier than telling the guy you just beat that he should forget the depths you plumbed to do so,” wrote Jim Treacher at his blog.

For those Republicans who don’t have good memories, there’s always Google. The last time there was a U.S. election in which there was a turnover of power, world-class narcissist Al Gore contested the outcome throughout November creating unprecedented political tension over turkey and fixings.

This time Sen. John McCain offered what Democrats refused the last two times: Grace in defeat.

“I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.”

The smooth transition of power is a necessary component toward creating a successful presidency.

That’s why many of Obama’s supporters are seeking it from “the 48.”

Yet Mr. Bush never fully gained the necessary legitimacy to lead a nation as a result of the Democratic Party’s hardball tactics in Florida. And when he won his second term with a majority of the popular vote, there was no movement toward working together. The behavior was predictably disgusting.

Back then an Internet phenomenon that resembled Ze Frank’s emerging call to drop arms sent the exact opposite message. “Sorry Everybody” featured thousands of petulant Americans sending their photo regrets to those foreigners who became similarly stricken with their incandescent hatred of Mr. Bush.

Some examples:

“I’m so sorry next time we’ll get those [expletive] for real OK.”

“Here’s hoping I’m still alive in 4 years to apologize some more. But just in case: I’m sorry! I tried!”

“We are really sorry. Love, the non-millionaires of America,” in all capital letters.

So oppressed was this minority (actual adults, if their pictures are to be believed), and so restricted of their free speech and their right to dissent that the idea spawned a coffee-table book, “Sorry Everybody: An Apology to the World for the Re-election of George W. Bush.”

At the core of their criticism was a disrespect for the slight majority that won a fair election, and now they want a number less than two percentage points greater to represent a mandate for their rule.

No matter how valid their criticism of Mr. Bush, the unabated outward manifestation of it hurt the office of the presidency. As President-elect Obama now learns how difficult his new job is, hopefully he and the new first lady will give thanks at the Thanksgiving table to Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain and the Republican Party for doing everything in their control to grant his presidency legitimacy.

Andrew Breitbart is the founder of the news Web site breitbart.com and is co-author of “Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon — the Case Against Celebrity.”

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