Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shall I Return?

My last post was over a year ago, below this one, reprinting Greg Palast's article Oaf of Office. Since then the oaf's cabal's increasingly successful attempt to overturn the core principles of American democracy as developed over the last 70 years or so, and turn the country into a money machine for the plutocrats, has silenced me. It was just too damn depressing.

Outrage after outrage was ignored by most of the public, barely fought against by the wimpiest Democratic leadership I've seen in my lifetime, and emboldened the thieves to the point of absurdity.

While the Democrats ate their young, the goose stepping Republicans seemed to support every insidious action of the neocons, who are about as far removed from traditional conservative/Republican values as they could get. How could the conservatives be so acquiescent in the face of a band of radicals marginalizing even them? Did they buy into the daily barrage of propaganda that claimed to even disagree with their president was treasonous, despite the fact that the actions of the president are all that's really treasonous? Apparently, since they're inclined towards that paradigm anyway. Was Britney Spears their true spokesperson?

But at last there's room for optimism. I don't know if the America that continued to address its faults and excesses and at least made perfunctory if not real attempts to live up to its mandate can ever be restored. The damage is almost irreversible.

Grover Norquist's "starve the beast" philosophy has prevailed, and the transfer of wealth, ownership, and even freedom from the masses to the elite 1% is almost complete. It's always been true that the rich got richer on the backs of the rest of us, but good lord, the past five years have been supermarket spree for these pricks. Even the military has been victimized.
And the greatest tragedy is they didn't even have to hide what they were doing. They were so convinced of their power that they were never the least bit embarrassed over the exposure of their constant doublespeak; they simpy carried on or redoubled their efforts, while stealing power from every governmental institution created to check that power.

But it appears even the Republican loonies in Congress have had enough. Maybe it's self preservation over the exposure of their corruption, but regardless they've recently publicly and at times vociferously opposed the Bush steamroller. Bipartisan or even partisan congressional inquiries or committees have blasted the administration over Katrina, NSA, the failure in Iraq turning that country into the much-predicted abbatoir(70% of the soldiers in Iraq think it's time to get out of there now), and now Oobye Doobye Doobye.

And the public appears to finally be seeing that not only does the emporor have no clothes, but he's stripping them naked too. The oaf's approval rating has hit 33%. The Democrats are now more trusted than the Republicans for national security--by only a few percentage points, but it's still a major shift. In fact, it's an earthquake.

(It's interesting to note that after years of unrelenting bashing of Clinton--the famed right wing conspiracy was indeed real--that man had a 70% approval rating during his impeachment!)

The public appears, too, to be tiring of the constant barrage of extremist and intolerant religious blather and chastising, the continued empowerment of the fundamentalist American talibanny, and the emptiness of the right wing rhetoric, the impossible-to-miss hypocracy of it all. Fox News is still a ratings champ, but the extreme of the extreme--O'Reilly, Hannity, and their ilk--are continually losing ratings on TV and on radio losing them to Air America. By no means has the power and influence of the right wing media--that it to say, most of the media--shifted to the left or even the center. But it's movement in that direction, and that's the first time in 5 years we've seen that.

The odds of the Democrats taking back one or even both houses of Congress in 2006--only recently still a pipe dream--now seem worth considering. After all this ignominy on the side of the Republicans, the odds of a Democrat winning the White House are also enhanced.

It's still going to be a tough battle. The cabal is not going to simply roll over. But it's not unreasonable anymore to envision them not only playing dead, but truly mortally wounded.

Hope is not just the place where 10,700 FEMA trailers remain mired in the mud of incompetence and corruption. It's a word that now can be uttered allowed, without irony.

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