2/25/2006

Cause for Hope

Glenn Greenwald reports on a news item that has given me more hope than anything I've read about current events in quite some time:
As Taylor Marsh notes, a new poll by Rasmussen Reports (the polling outfit most trusted by Bush followers) was released today, and it contains not bad news, but panic-inducing news, for Bush and his followers:

For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President.

The preference for the opposition party is small, but the fact that Democrats are even competitive on the national security front is startling. In Election 2002, the President guided his party to regain control of the Senate based almost exclusively on the national security issue.

If Republicans don't have an electoral advantage on national security, what do they have? (To witness a little spastic panic from Bush followers, see here). And after two months of endless attacks on the President's lawless eavesdropping -- after which his approval ratings are pitifully low and Americans now distrust him even with regard to national security -- can we at least have those genius Democratic consultants stop announcing to the world that pursuing the NSA scandal will destroy the Democrats' electoral chances by making them look weak on national security?
Can you believe it? Anyone with half a brain has long since realized that the GOP is not good on national security despite typicallly being favored on that point. It looks like Portgate finally brought this to the attention of most Americans.

It's just delightful! I know that a lot of what's fueling the port scandal is racist and xenophobic, but whose fault is it for stirring up such sentiment? It's poetic justice.

The Bush administration is a band of criminals who have been trying to steal as much money from the American people as possible to give to their corporate friends. (I am not exaggerating here; I literally believe this.) But it looks like one case of cronyism too many for Dubya & Co.

Despite the efforts of the corporate media, it seems that people are finally, finally starting to wake up, to the point where a critical mass is being established. But Glenn is absolutely right that the Democrats should not just sit by idly:
But now is not the time for passivity. Democrats need to step up the aggression now more than ever and take advantage of this wobbly, weakened President. Now is exactly when the Democrats need not fear anything. Americans have abandoned Bush. They no longer trust anything about him - not his integrity, his veracity or his competence. Not even his ability to protect them. And he will not even have Congressional Republicans to protect him, as they will be looking for ways to distance themselves as much as possible.

The absolute worst thing the Democrats could do now is follow the advice of the chronic loser Beltway consultants who excessively calculate every step and drain the life, principle and passion out of everything they touch. More than anything else, what accounted for Bush's popularity in the past (which is where his popularity lies) was the fact that he projected firm, resolute conviction about things that he espoused. It's time for Democrats to demonstrate that attribute as well. Taking an emphatic stand for the principle that the President does not have the right to break the law would be a good place to start.
If Democrats can win on national security, Bush and the GOP have nothing. Nothing. If they can't scare voters, they have no power over them. It will be difficult, to say the least, to sever the fortunes of Republican congresspersons from Bush.

My hope is tempered by only one worry: election fraud. The GOP has probably stolen a number of congressional victories in at least the last 3 elections. However, if the backlash is strong enough, they won't be able to get away with it--at least, that's the hope.

If we had an independent media that would be much more plausible. At least there are enough people angry about this (38% strongly disapprove of Bush) that maybe they'd be willing to do something about it. I'm not talking violence, because I don't really approve of measures like that except in the most extreme circumstances. Widespread civil disobedience could have a marked effect.

But the truth is that our electoral system is broken. We need paper trails with all electronic voting, elections that are not run by partisan secretaries of state, an end to the unjust disenfranchisement of poor minority voters, and--perhaps most important of all--completely publicly-financed campaigns. More radical changes, like an end to the Electoral College, proportional representation rather than a winner-takes-all system, more opportunities for minor (third) parties, and so on, wouldn't hurt either

In any case, my point is that there is a lot we could do to make our system more democratic and less susceptible to fraud. These should be our first priorities, because it is only after such reforms that it would be plausible to implement the kinds of widely-supported changes (e.g., universal healthcare) that corporate interests keep off the political agenda.

Nevertheless, this recent news is cause for celebration. Here's to the UAE!

1 comment:

thepoetryman said...

"Poetic Justice (Don't burn the flag. Wash it!)" has a new poem posted that may interest you... Persecution's Lament...
Kind regards,
Mark

http://apoeticjustice.blogspot.com/