Monday, December 10, 2007

War, Depression, and Turning-Point Elections

Excellent 'must read' Tomgram by Steve Fraser. Disquieting and heartening at the same time.

Will the presidential election of 2008 mark a turning point in American political history? Will it terminate with extreme prejudice the conservative ascendancy that has dominated the country for the last generation? No matter the haplessness of the Democratic opposition, the answer is yes.

Mr. Fraser describes a few teeny-tiny problems we are going to be living with for a while, thank you George and the Repugs. Iraq, the abtogation of the Constitution, the coming Depression, stuff like that.

All signs are ominous. The credibility and legitimacy of the old order operate now at a steep discount. Most telling and fatal perhaps is the paralysis spreading into the inner councils at the top. Faced with dire predicaments both at home and abroad, they essentially do nothing except rattle those sabers, captives of their own now-bankrupt ideology. Anything, many will decide, is better than this.

Or will they? What if the opposition is vacillating, incoherent, and weak-willed -- labels critics have reasonably pinned on the Democrats? Bad as that undoubtedly is, I don't think it will matter, not in the short run at least.

There's an old blues song about "been down so long, it looks like up to me". Up is the Dems. Scary, but anything is better than what's been going on under the Repugs. File that last sentence under "Famous Last Words" or "Watch This!".

Yet the New Deal followed. And not only the New Deal, but an era of social protest, including labor, racial, and farmer insurgencies, without which there would have been no New Deal or Great Society. May something analogous happen in the years ahead? No one can know. But a door is about to open.

If I could predict what is going to happen tomorrow I would be down at the Race & Sports book with my life savings. I can't, but I welcome whatever comes as long as the door slams shut on the criminal regime currently in power and its enablers.

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