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Hope May Spring Eternal, But It Also Has Its Dry Spells

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At a speaking appearance in Santa Fe last March, I described myself as having become an "Apostle of Hope." As this group had heard me previously in my full Jeremiah mode, they felt both reassured and amused by my transmutation into the bearer of a message of hope.

Well this week, I feel I must report, my level of hope is down. Whether this is, as we say in the stock market biz, just a correction in a bull market, or the beginning of a more enduring bearish turn downward, I can't yet judge. But my Hope Index is clearly now below its 120-day moving average.

Why this decline in hope?

Most immediately, it has been triggered by the decisions of the Supreme Court this week. These decisions provide a vivid reminder that, even if it is true that we've got these Bushite gangsters on the run, their judicial spawn will be with us for years to come. Of course, this isn't news. But what IS news is that Justice Kennedy has proved to be less of an O'Connoresque "Swing Vote" than a member of Scalia's Reactionary Pack. I have not given up all hope about Kennedy holding the line on judicial fascism, and then a president in 2009 who can appoint judges more interested in justice than in helping ratify the arrangements of injustice, but he's already disappointed some of my earlier hopes.

And then there is the way things are progressing on the political front-- with what the Democrats in Congress, the major news media, and the American people are (and are not) doing about this criminal enterprise that is called the Bush presidency.

The good news is that, because of the Democratic control of Congress, the exposure of this criminality is proceeding steadily and on many fronts.

The bad news is that this process seems to be so desultory, so anemic, so unimpassioned, so almost business-as-usual.

I am not one of those, as regular readers here know, who expected that the Democrats would be able to stop the war or otherwise accomplish all that much of an affirmative nature: between the political environment and the tenuous balance of powers in the Senate, the opposition party could not realistically be expected to do what many in the anti-Bushite movement have called for.

But there's nothing that prevents strong speech. Where are the prominent voices that are crying out to America to give a name for what is every day more clearly revealed before our eyes?

Just think about how much is already known about the lies and crimes of this administration, across so broad a swath of issues. Surely the pattern of criminality and deception has been established.

But the system proceeds as if there were nothing extraordinary, nothing urgent, nothing so offensive about this stench that calls for extrarodinary and urgent denunciation of an evil that stinks to high heaven. The Democrats do their job, but oh so slowly. The media cover the revelations, but find no cause to raise the alarm. The American people get this information, if they're paying attention, but do not rouse from their slumber.

All we have is an "unpopular" administration, but no groundswell to denounce utterly all the evils that have coalesced to give us this national nightmare. From the polls one would judge that there's almost a fifty-fifty chance that a full-fledged ally of these thugs could occupy the White House come 2009.

I still believe that the forces of evil --at least in their present incarnation-- are in retreat. But what I do not see is clear evidence that there are, in America today, powerful forces of goodness that are roused to drive these evils into oblivion and to re-establish some dominion for honesty and justice in the land.

I'd hoped for better.
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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
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