It is difficult not to notice that the United States is a country of optimists, and optimists hate to be told that there is no hope even if, or especially if, there is no hope. In my long posting on the Downing Street Memo I was guilty of focusing on the Senate and vote fraud, and I understated the case for pessimism. The sorry fact is that even if we ignore vote fraud, there is no plausible case that the Democrats will be able to regain control of either the Senate or the House in the foreseeable future. If you add vote fraud into the mix, optimism is impossible. What is even worse is that even if the Democrats were to regain control, they have shown no sign that they can reliably be counted on to act any differently than the Republicans (as witnessed by the baffling support of some Democrats for the bankruptcy bill).
I've been reading articles for at least four years now that the neocons are on the way out, and I've seen absolutely nothing to support it. They appear to be succeeding in destroying the United Nations and appear to have undermined the moderates in the Iranian elections. Their campaign to break up Iraq by creating a civil war continues as planned. I've been reading that Bush has gone too far over and over again, that he is a lame duck President, or that he has lost this issue or that issue, but I see no evidence for any of these things. In fact, the Republican agenda at he beginning of Bush's first term is, if anything, ahead of schedule. The Wolfowitz doctrine of world domination based on large-scale wars and the creation of Baseworld is coming along swimmingly, huge tax cuts are digging the fiscal hole that will lead to the necessity for further cuts in social welfare, the environment is a plutocrat playground, Bush still has lots of time to deal with social security, and there is absolutely no chance for any sensible health care reforms. The only thing stopping another big war is that the Pentagon is understaffed, but a draft will fix that problem. Another bombing raid on another innocent country is just another faked terrorist attack away (and as long as the Labour Party dithers about removing Tony Blair, British support for the American action is guaranteed). You really have to give the Republicans credit. They never give up, and they are always at least one scam ahead of everyone else.
The Germans could have done many things to stop the rise of Hitler, but they didn't. The Cambodians didn't need to support the killing fields, and the Rwandans didn't have to support their holocaust, but they did. Sometimes people make ridiculous political decisions. Sometimes, no matter what your good intentions may be, things are going to go badly. In the short run, for at least the next ten or twenty years, the United States is fucked.
I don't mean to say that people should give up trying. I do mean to say that pretending that things are better than they are just falls into the hands of the plutocrats (and I can't help but notice that a small infelicitous bit of wording in my Downing Street Memo posting gave people a window to say the whole thing is nonsense, which is just typical of kind of debating technique used by head-in-the-sand Americans these days). Remember how much was said to be riding on Bush's first election? Remember how much more was said to be riding on his second election? In each case, progressives allowed themselves to believe that everything could be cured by an election result, and we now know that the results of both elections were fixed, the first by acts of violence by the Republican goons backed up by a crooked Supreme Court, and the second by systematic vote fraud. Not only has nothing been done to fix these problems, but 'reforms' in voting procedures have actually made things worse! Matters have gotten so bad that even people who call themselves conservative have started to advocate what the anarchists like to call 'direct action'. When the people are denied a voice, whether it be in Iraq or the United States, violence will eventually follow. Unfortunately, violence plays right into the hands of the plutocrats, who are just waiting for an excuse to defame their political enemies and increase police presence in the modern security state.
I don't have answers for any of this, but pretending that things can be fixed by going through the normal political procedures is simply delusional. I don't blame the plutocrats, as they are just acting as plutocrats always do. I blame lazy and stupid and comfortable 'progressives', who have been getting their butts kicked for so long they appear to like it. After all, if you lose every time, and are always a victim, you never have to take responsibility for anything.