Liberals have noted with a fair degree of distress since January that the election results have yielded very few liberal policy implementations—the continuing wars abroad and on drugs, high defense spending, tax cuts, finance, environmental and national security stances, none of these are remotely liberal. Why not?
An answer from the most excellent Mahablog is not an inability of the Executive to perform, but the inherent intended structure of Congress allowing a minority to obstruct. A better answer from the excellent O’Brien is not the current Republican ability to obstruct real progress, but that Congress itself is busted.
For Californians facing that reality the news is particularly grim, for there’s no state government to save us here, not hardly. We watched the Supreme Court blow up the national Democracy in 2000 by stealing the election for Bush, and then just two years later had to watch in horror again as a perfectly valid election was trashed to install Arnie.
It should have been screamingly obvious that this blatant electoral failure posed extreme risks to the Democracy, if in fact the Democracy exists at all after that electoral failure. Not surprisingly the national Democracy has been smashed to shit, what a shock that Bush, stealer of the election, would be the worst of all time. We just can’t believe it here that Arnie, foul usurper to a perfectly good election, is a terrible monster doing everything he can to smash our parks, children, most vulnerable among us and our State workers. No one saw this coming, no way.
I seem to be very much in the minority in this stance, it seems. After Bush and Arnie I truly wonder if we even have a Democracy, while everyone else seems to insist of course we do, we horribly failed twice in a row even to hold elections but never mind! America is America, don’t you know that? We can’t hold valid elections but we’re a Democracy, I tell you, just look around, it is so. Okay.
Anyway, if in fact we’re a Democracy without the ability to hold elections consistently the current national results, as O’Brien says, are nothing but god damn failure anyway. We seem to be used to it, but for outsiders the sight of a Republican rep bought and paid for by the oil companies ranting on the floor of the House (it happened many times last week) that global warming was a hoax—to applause!—was a glaring, vivid example of total American political system failure, not just minority Republican power.
Another way to look at it comes from an excellent comment I saw recently at Hullabaloo: the United States is now a one-Party system. We have the Democrats, who are timid, right-leaning centrists who somehow forgot the horrors of war and military spending, and then we have the Republicans, who have gone stark raving mad and twisted themselves to oblivion. After watching the Republican performance on climate change last week, how is that not an accurate thesis?
We’re supposed to be a two-party system, but the Republicans aren’t protecting minority rights, they’re blowing the place up. Hmm.
I’d feel a lot better agreeing with the mountainous audacity of that statement if in fact I felt we had gotten out of the Bush woods, so to speak, on a road of real political, economic and environmental recovery out of the gross failure initiated by the Supreme Court in 2000. It’s scary how desperately some cling to the concept of “green shoots” in this utter flaming economic debacle that could easily get a lot worse if California and other states bring the ghost of Hoover alive—assuming everything else goes all right, like the GM bankruptcy, which is no given at all.
Have the Republicans—Arnie, Bush, Greenspan, Scalia, Cheney—really inflicted so much damage that for decades we’ll have to live in a sad political and economic shell of what we should have been, with much like the old sad pathetic political games and charades of the 20th century Soviets? Global warming is a hoax, tax cuts produce revenue, Sarah Palin is our leader. We’re certainly trying, aren’t we?
I’m reminded how ordinary things seemed in the very civilized, pretty Berlin in the 1930’s, the clean parks, brilliant operas, stately museums and orchestras. Seasons passed so normally as one year the books burned, the next year more Jews were hounded and gone. Total political failure seemed so ordinary, plain and slow, with much of everything else appearing exactly the same.
Is that what where going through now, watching some insane Republican rant global warming is a hoax while Arnie the Hoover god smashes California? I don’t know, of course not. It’s extremely upsetting and terrible for the country the question has to be asked at all.