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Paging Emily Post

Civility may be the prudent choice for conservatives at the moment.

“When is the right time to begin bashing Barack Obama? Everyone knows that within the next few months, the GOP must fight fiercely and effectively to derail major aspects of the new president’s disastrous left-wing agenda,” writes syndicated columnist Michael Medved.

“But conservatives will make a serious mistake if we begin the conflict before Obama even takes office. The most important factor to remember is that most Americans feel exhausted and weary from a seemingly endless two-year campaign and seriously crave a break from politics. Part of the general sense of relief and exultation on election night involved the shattering of an historic racial barrier, of course, but the public also felt gratitude because they sensed that a bitter partisan struggle had at long last lurched, coughed and sputtered to its climactic conclusion,” continued Mr. Medved, who also has a national talk-radio show.

“They not only welcomed the unifying, bipartisan tone of both Obama’s victory speech and John McCain’s singularly gracious concession, but embraced the idea that the nation might actually enjoy a needed respite from the daily attacks and ‘gotcha’ politics.”

“In that sense, the immediate insistence on demonizing the president-elect conveys precisely the wrong message. One of the reasons the GOP suffered major reverses across the country involved the perception that they practiced more divisive and angry politics than did the Obama-crats, with their fuzzy, feel-good message of hope and change.”

Epithet-ic

The characterization by Al Qaeda’s No. 2 guy, Ayman al-Zawahri, of President-elect Barack Obama as a “house negro” on Wednesday was heavy with portent, some say.

“First and foremost, Al Qaeda is an organization that thrives on propaganda,” writes Ilan Goldenberg, policy director of the National Security Network.

“But Al Qaeda’s narrative is now under siege, and it’s clearly uncertain about how to react. The election of the first African-American President, one with a Muslim father, flies in the face of this narrative. It shows America as an open and tolerant society — not the oppressive empire Al Qaeda would like to portray. In fact, the overwhelmingly positive international reaction to Obama’s election is proof of the threat Al Qaeda faces.”

Philip Klein of the American Spectator has that, and more.

“It could mean that al-Zawahri is concerned that the election of a black president who speaks in [conciliatory] tones could make it more difficult for Al Qaeda to demonize the U.S. among followers and potential recruits, and thus weaken the group’s standing in the Muslim world,” he writes. “Alternatively, it shows that no matter who is the president, Al Qaeda will see the U.S. as the enemy and is intent on continuing its war against Americans.”

Four years hence

Yes, yes. Perhaps the turks of the Republican Party will huddle in Iowa this weekend to ponder a new dream ticket that will wrest the White House from Democratic domination come 2012.

But from the you-never-know department, here’s this speculation from uber-political maven Lucianne Goldberg:

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