Well 2008 is officially over and was definitely one for the record books. Unfortunately the records were mostly negative especially for those with a conservative political bias.

What looked like a promising year began to unravel when brokerage firm Bear Stearns went bankrupt in March signaling that  the U.S. economic system was straining from the easy money policies of the last few years.

Since the Federal Reserve swept in and forced Bear Stearns into a shotgun wedding with J.P. Morgan and raped the shareholders in the process there was only minmal concern that this really was the beginning of a larger problem.

Besides we were in an election year and the media was fixated on the surprising strength of Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.  Obama managed to outraise and outmanuver fellow Sen. Hillary Clinton whom pundits only a few months prior to the start of the primary season thought had the nomination all but locked up.

By June she was finished and embarrassed.

For conservatives we were left with John McCain who like a  Phoenix rose from the ashes to claim the Republican presidential nomination and beat back Mitt Romney who spent  a lot of money early in the campaign only to fizzle out as Evangelicals raised doubts about both his faith and his conservative credentials and Mike Huckabee who was labeled early on as a tax raiser and never really gained much trust among conservative activists.

Despite the lack of a conservative standard bearer conservatives felt compelled to support McCain since the alternative was a liberal Barack Obama.

McCain gave conservatives some hope when he selected Alaska Gov. Sarah  Palin as his running mate.  Palin had solid conservative credentials and was seen as a counterweight to McCain’s more moderate to liberal thinking.

Palin looked like a shining light and  a future party superstar after her speech at the Republican National convention, but quickly stumbled once she was interviewed by the media and without her teleprompter. 

There are conservatives who place the bungled interviews on the liberal media’s agenda to bring her down and the McCain campaign’s attempt to keep her on a short leash.  That may be true to some degree, but it was painfully evident that she was just not ready for the rigors of the national stage as a candidate for office.

Despite the stumbles, McCain actually was leading Obama in early Sepetmber and then the other shoe dropped.  Since March the U.S. economy has been treading water at best but the free market was working and still in effect.  Then giant bond house and broker Lehman Brothers failed.  This failure along with other financial firms feeling the squeeze of a punk economy effectively put the brakes on the credit market.

It wasn’t a true crisis as we were led to believe but a lack of faith in the economy and our government stopped credit from flowing and disrupted the entire economic system.

For the Democrats they couldn’t have crafted a better scenario to capture the White House.  There they were less than two months away from the election and the economy now takes center stage among voters who had previously been worried about a lack of experience on Obama’s part.

This was an utter disaster for McCain as well who had been quoted often that he didn;t really know much about econmics.  And even though Palin had experience in running a state government it was far different than running the entire economy so she provided no reassurance that the GOP would solve the problem.

So in November Obama coasts to victory and the Democrats not only capture the White House for the first time since 1996, but they racked up large victories in the House and Senate and will govern will little opposition from the GOP.

Yes, 2008 was a lousy year in many respects, but with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid only days away from convening the new congress with large majorities you can bet that 2009 will be remembered as a year of record liberal legislation and increased federal government intervention that will astound even the most seasoned observer.

In some ways I am glad that Obama won, because McCain certainly wouldn’t have been able to fix the economy and Obama won’t be able to either.  The liberals won’t be able to blame their failures on the president as they have in the past because it is their man now at the controls.

Here’s to hoping that the Democrats don’t destroy our great nation, but I am not convinced they won’t.

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