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An Ominous Complacency

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Ernest Partridge
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In "generic polls," the Democratic Party enjoys a commanding lead over the Republicans.

Small wonder. After six years of uncritically repeating the Bushevik lies, the mainstream news media is losing its credibility, as it is losing its audience. At last, Bushenomics is beginning to weigh heavily upon the 95-plus percent of the population that are its victims. The median family income is in its fifth year of retreat, millions of homes are being foreclosed, forty million of our citizens are without health care, and millions more are one serious family illness away from financial ruin. Meanwhile, the GOP Congress, (with the shameful support of many Democrats), has removed personal bankruptcy protection.

The public is awakening to the fact that the Iraq war is a catastrophe, launched and sustained by Bush's and Cheney's lies. That same public, a majority of which once bought the Bushevik lies that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks and had huge stocks of WMD's, is now solidly opposed to the Iraq war.

The conspiracy of silence regarding the theft of the last two presidential elections – a conspiracy sustained by the mainstream media, law enforcement, and even the victimized Democratic Party – is beginning to unravel.

And so, among the Democrats and their supporters, and even in the media, there is less talk of "if" the Democrats win the next election, and more talk of "when" they win. Confidence is breaking out among the progressives, followed by its bastard child, complacency, as a Democratic sweep in 2008 appears to be inevitable.

And it would be, if the usual twentieth century rules applied: honest and verifiable elections, a diverse and vigilant media, constitutional guarantees intact, and each contending party willing and prepared to concede defeat in the national election.

Under those conditions, my rough and intuitive guess would be that the Democrats would have a 90% chance of retaking the White House and gaining formidable majorities in both houses of Congress.

But twentieth century conditions do not apply. Because they don't, and because the Democrats refuse to recognize and adapt to this fact, choosing instead to play by the old, non-operative rules, the next President will likely be a Republican. If the Democrats persist in their folly, I'd set the odds of another Republican in the White House at about four-to-one. As for the Congress, it could go either way, but whichever party wins, the majorities will be close. And, as the current Democratic Congress is making all too clear today, if the Democrats maintain control of Congress, this should be of little consequence to the succeeding GOP "unitary executive." Acts of Congress deemed inconvenient to the President will either be vetoed, or, failing that, nullified by "signing statements," and laws that the President cannot persuade the Congress to pass will be issued as Executive Orders.

Just as they are today.

For if the Democratic Congress refuses now to act to reclaim its Constitutionally separate powers, what reason is there to believe that it will do so if the next President is a Republican?

The Republican advantages are well-known.  The GOP will draw upon a bottomless well of corporate financial support that will fund a well-oiled and proven propaganda machine, aided by a compliant corporate media. The campaign will, as before, be carried out without any scruple whatever regarding truth or fairness. Witness the successful smears of Al Gore ("inventing the internet" and "serial liar") and John Kerry ("Swift Boat Veterans for Truth").

The nationwide GOP disenfranchisement campaign continues, despite its recent under-reported disclosure in the media, and the obstructed attempts of the Congressional committees to investigate. Absent determined counter-measures, millions of Democratic voters – blacks, Hispanics, and poor whites – will lose their voting rights in the 2008 election. Who or what it to prevent this? The US Department of Justice? Fagetaboutit!  The DOJ, we have learned, is not the protector of citizen voting rights; it is an accomplice to their denial.

Despite the accumulating evidence of GOP election fraud in the preceding four national elections, and the determined resistance of a few state officials such as California's Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, most of the paperless, non-verifiable touch-screen voting machines (manufactured and secretly coded by Republican companies) will be in place in the voting precincts throughout the nation in November, 2008.

The Democratic opportunities are obvious, and neglected.  As noted at the outset, a war gone wrong and an economy turning sour are improving the prospects of the Democrats. And hard truths are finally outlasting the recorded and remembered Bushevik lies, to the advantage of the Democrats – "a reality-based community." Amazingly, despite a relentless, two decade media barrage, and a lurch to the right by the Democratic Party, the American public remains progressive.   As Eric Alterman reports, "the majority of Americans have actually moved slightly leftward – leaving the center of gravity of the political system [i.e., the major parties] well to the right of the public on issue after issue."

While vote suppression efforts of the GOP are unlikely to be curtailed by George Bush's Department of Justice, the administration of elections is primarily a state and local responsibility, and thus there is hope for remedy and even prosecution at these levels of government. With the public and local law enforcement alerted, the GOP might be somewhat less inclined to finagle the election returns.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.  The Democratic campaign strategy of the past few elections could scarcely have been more damaging if Karl Rove himself had designed it to assure Republican success. There is little evidence so far that the party intends to depart from this proven path of failure. For example:

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Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. Partridge has taught philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The (more...)

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