Why is it, at a time when the Bush regime has lost all its credibility, that the Democrats have failed to make any progress, and in fact are wallowing in exactly the same mistakes that the Republicans have made? There has been a constant stream of criticism from the left, and recent specific complaints from Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair (or here), Ralph Nader (or here or here), Juan Cole, and Dave Lindorff (or here, or scroll down here to September 29). Here's Lindorff:
"The media tell us that the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 are Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and maybe John Kerry.
What all these people have in common is their deafening silence on all the issues of importance facing Americans and America.
Not one dared show her or his face at the record demonstration against the Iraq War held in front of the White House last weekend.
None has spoken out on the Republican corruption scandals.
None has called for a public program to hire all the displaced of New Orleans to put them to work rebuilding the destroyed city. Instead, they are allowing Bush and the Republican Congress, with the acquiescence of Louisiana's corrupt local Democratic Party, to bring in speculators and the same profiteers who have been sucking up the reconstruction money in Iraq.
None has offered a plan to attack the U.S. deficit and the hollowing out of the American economy.
None of these 'leading opposition candidates' has even taken any kind of strong stand on global warming - for example calling for a tax surcharge on low-mileage cars and trucks and strict limits on carbon emissions by power plants plus a crash program to develop alternative energy sources.
The truth is that when it comes to the Democratic Party, the purported opposition party, there is no there there. It no longer exists."
The Democrats appear to have slam-dunk wins in elections for years and years if they just stand up for a few glaringly obvious policy points, but they won't do it. Why is this?
Politicians, a group of people so low they are not worth spitting on, have to make a constant balance in their lives between a desire for power and a desire for money (it's funny that the scummiest group of people in society are the subject of such adulation). In a democracy, if you are too obviously corrupt, you won't get reelected, so you have to curb your overwhelming desire for graft from time to time in order to make it through the elections. As I have already mentioned, the crooked computer voting machines mean that it is impossible for the Democrats to ever gain power, no matter what policies they hold. Two fixed Presidential elections, the first by a crooked Supreme Court and the second by Diebold, have knocked the entire balance between power and money out of kilter. In Washington, the two monetary forms of corruption are political donations while you are in power, and a cushy lobbying job after you are out of power. Since the Democrats know they have no chance of ever gaining real political power, they are now playing only to the military-industrial complex lobbyists. If you're never going to have a chance at power, why rock the boat? Why jeopardize your chance to make millions as a lobbyist by taking uncomfortable positions against war and global warming? If you can't have power, take the money and run.
Why do Americans put up with crooked voting machines? It is amusing to watch the various 'reforms' which are being suggested, none of which tackles the real problem of computer voting, and most of which make the injustice of the American electoral system even worse, by pandering to Republican suggestions that the real problem is vote fraud by minorities (with suggestions that the political system can be fixed by making it even more difficult for minorities to vote!). With a few notable exceptions (John Conyers, and a few blogs like this), no one even mentions the issue.
The dirty secret of American politics is that most Americans, including those who like to think of themselves as progressive or leftist or liberal, actually like the policies of the Republican Party. They will swear up and down that it is not true, but you can see it with your own eyes. They like using American power to murder a few rag-heads to save a few dollars on filling the tank of their SUVs (even if the attack on Iraq has actually resulted in an increase in the cost of gas!). They fear reduction in their property values if the American Empire, fueled by control of cheap energy, starts to crumble. They enjoy paying less taxes, and don't mind the injustices of the accompanying reduction in social welfare (they secretly resent their hard-earned money going to 'welfare queens'). They still fear Willie Horton, even if they can't quite remember who he is (the traditional Republican pandering to racism now takes the form of the 'war on terror', another secret love of liberals). Crooked computer voting machines allow them to maintain their political illusions of being progressive. They can continue to vote Democrat or even Green, happy in the knowledge that some Diebold technician is working diligently to ensure that the Republicans are reelected regardless of how the votes are cast. You can be a racist, selfish, stupid, war-mongering pig, just like the red-neck crackers that you so despise, and still maintain the illusion that your politics is as pure as the driven snow. The Right likes a corrupt voting system because it keeps the Republicans in power; the Left likes a corrupt voting system because it allows them to feel good about themselves and their virtuous voting, while ensuring that such virtuous voting doesn't put a stop to the worst of the Republican policies. The reason Americans use crooked computer voting machines is that everybody likes them. And that's why the Democrats are so dumb.