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Not Bad. Not Half-Bad.

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Message David Michael Green

American politics sucks, doesn’t it?

C’mon, face it – you know it does. You know ‘cause you’ve experienced it your whole life. You (and I) have made a career out of sitting there watching in helpless astonishment as dweebs like Mike Dukakis and John Kerry stood by hopelessly looking on in election after election, while crypto-fascist punks like Dick Nixon and Little Bush handed them their lunch. Only then to go on and rack up nearly as much damage in the world as imaginable, while using hate and divisiveness to maintain support at home. Right?

Your whole life teaches you that to be a progressive in America is to make Sisyphus look like a slacker. Hey, at least he got to the top of the mountain once in a while! Even if it was all for naught, that’s still a lot more than we’ve been getting across the better part of a lifetime. Right?

And yet...

Maybe – just maybe – the long regressive winter of American politics is coming to a close. And maybe – just maybe – it is doing so with the extra kicker of a righteous wrath bringing its fury down on those most deserving of a generation’s worth of rage and contempt.

If you think I’ve gone off my rocker into a naive Wonderland so absurd that it would make Neville Chamberlain squeamish, try on this little thought experiment to see what I mean. Cast yourself back to the dark days of 2003 or 2004. The country has gone off on some 9/11-induced mass hysteria making Salem look like a picnic. The dumbest and the meanest amongst us are in charge. They are telling palpable, demonstrable lies about imaginary enemies, and the public is rallying behind their insane plans for Armageddon (in some cases quite literally), even (s)electing them for a second term. Their job approval ratings have skyrocketed to 90 percent. They are demonizing as traitors anyone who even feebly disagrees with them, even as they shred every major provision of the Constitution all claim to revere. And very few do dare to disagree with them – certainly not leaders of the completely misnamed opposition party. They are on a roll, fueled by a religious-like (and religious) fervor, and it looks like there is no end in sight. Remember?

Cast yourself back to that time, and ask what you could have reasonably imagined – back then – for February of 2008? What could you have reasonably dreamed of for this moment, back in those dark days? What would have been fair to expect with all that as predicate?

Could you have imagined that George W. Bush would become a hated and reviled president, widely despised by the same public that once gave him 90 percent approval? Could you imagine that the Republican Party would be in tatters and that – with an irony more delicious than any gourmet meal – Bush himself would be the architect of his own party’s undoing? Could you imagine the principles of Bushism completely rejected by an angry and sobered (pun fully intended) American public?

Could you have imagined anything as perfect as the tale of Mitt Romney? A guy who told every lie imaginable to shamelessly and embarrassingly slobber all over the freaks who still control his party, only to lose anyhow? Could you have hoped to see this weenie would drop $40 million of his own hard-stolen cash in order to get stomped by what passes for a ‘liberal’ in the Republican Party? Could you have hoped for an irony as rich as watching the party of religious intolerance dump this smarmy turd because his Mormonism was too scary to even this lot of nutty zealots? Could anything be better than to see the door smack this guy in the ass on his way out, after saying in his surrender speech "We need to teach our children that before they have babies, they get married", and "I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror" by staying in and helping the Democrats to win? Do desserts come more just than that?

Could you have imagined a guy running for president of 9/11 actually getting unceremoniously dumped by his party, despite talking about that day incessantly? True, it would have been slightly better if Giuliani had hung around longer in order to more fully expose his serial divorces, his public extramarital sexual affairs, his marriage to his cousin, his children’s hatred for their dad, his record of arrogance and ugliness as mayor of New York and his legion of Bernie Kerik connections. But hey, most of that is fully out now, and Giuliani’s price on the lecture circuit has literally plummeted while he stands naked and utterly rejected, even by the scary monsters of the GOP. I can work with that.

Could you have imagined the once fearsome Republican Party machine being blasted to bits, with all the junior high kids running it turning in on each other and viciously attacking their brethren? Could you have hoped that they would nominate someone for president that they basically hate and don’t trust? Could you have dreamed that certifiables like Ann Coulter and James Dobson would say that they’d campaign for Hillary before they’d support John McCain, the very nominee they’re stuck with? And wouldn’t it really have been too much to ask for to have a guy named Huckabee stick around in the race, embarrassing the supposed heir apparent?

Could you have wished that to win the GOP nomination the successful candidate would have to tack way to the right of an American public that is moving rapidly the other way? And that – because having done so still fails miserably to placate his own base – he’ll be unable to tack toward the center after securing that nomination? And that McCain will very likely have to pick someone far more conservative than himself – and therefore less attractive to most voters – as a running mate in order just to get his own voters to drag themselves out to the polls in November?

Could you have dreamed that the petulant pissants of the religious right who have previously forced so many to bow and scrape before them and their agenda of sexual obsession would be left fulminating in irrelevance, vowing not to support the Republican candidate for president, leading legions of voters away from the party, and committing mutual political suicide in the process?

Could you have hoped that the Clinton Collaborators who expected to be shoe-ins for the corona... er, nomination, would not only be rejected by Democratic voters, but would additionally be humiliated in the process? Would you have not paid serious money to watch the Anointed One’s composure disintegrate before your very eyes as the ground receded from beneath her feet? Can you imagine her sheer fury at having sold-out everything and everyone to be president, only to be left holding the bag, her butt good and well kicked by a funny-named nobody from nowhere? Firing her campaign manager (which has only succeeded in alienating Hispanic voters), the rest of her staff going off the payroll (they’re just being thoughtful and dedicated!), spending $5 million of her own money, getting out-fundraised three-to-one, bringing out the big hubby gun for a crude shotgun blast of smear venom – all this and still getting absolutely obliterated by a guy who doesn’t even pander? Could you have hoped even in your wildest dreams that Bad Bill’s true colors would finally be exposed to his idiotic supporters who never saw him for the Republican he always was? Would you have dared write a script in which deploying Bubba to play hardball on the campaign trail instead had the effect of alienating his most supportive bloc of voters and actually driving votes away from Hillary?

Most delicious of all, would you have ever believed that the bloody-handed enablers of the Iraq war – Clinton, Edwards, Kerry – all of whom knew exactly what they were voting for, and all of whom did it to advance their personal ambitions over the dead bodies of Iraqis and Americans alike, that these disgusting opportunists would have been handed their walking papers, in no small part because of this vote? And that the guy who had the courage to oppose the war from the beginning would perhaps be rewarded with the presidency – over their dead political bodies – in part because of that stance? My goodness, it’s enough to make you believe there is a god, after all. And that she’s taking very careful notes.

And could you have hoped that those other bloody-handed enablers of Bush, Bushism and Iraq at the New York Times would be dumb enough to embarrass themselves by endorsing Clinton on the eve of her destruction, utterly missing what is possibly the most significant political wave of our time? (By the way, Memo to Paul Krugman: You are a great voice of sanity now massively tarnishing your reputation by using nasty smear tactics to try saving a ship that has already sunk anyhow. If you don’t know what I mean, go to you encyclopedia and see: "Clinton, Bill – New Hampshire and South Carolina". Then knock it off.)

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David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles (, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. His website is (more...)
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