These are important things to remember. The utter horribleness of Bush makes us look to the Democratic Party as some kind of savior. Talk has begun in progressive circles about how we're going to end up turning to "electability" again to pick a candidate for 2008. We on the left must reconcile ourselves to this, because that's just how things are in US politics.
The Democratic leadership has sold itself to the highest corporate and military bidders, offering its furtive political support to facilitate the looting of any assets, American or otherwise, that can be had for the taking. It is Democrats who make possible the retailing of "globalization" which is nothing so much as a blank check for corporate capital to arbitrage one country against another in its relentless pursuit of the cheapest labor and the weakest environmental laws. It was the Democrats who championed and pushed through NAFTA and the WTO.
It is the Democrats who similarly caved on Medicare, Roberts, Alito, bankruptcy, torture gulags, wiretapping, the immigration wall, tax cuts, and so much more. It is the Democratic leadership that speaks exultantly, rapturously, of "the magic of the market," and of "liberating the competitive spirit," all the while knowing that it means abandoning the American worker to the ravages of a bottomless spiral of downward mobility and inevitable immiserization. But rather than cast their traitorous acts as the regrettable betrayal they are, they spin their perfidy into yarns of opportunity, bolts of inspiration. Far from a broken nation, a bankrupt people, a lurking Stalinist regime, theirs is the more effective empire, the more efficient global economy, the kinder, gentler police state.
They are Potempkin "leaders", hired and sired from the same bank accounts as their Republican "adversaries," empty suits propped up by their corporate masters for the sole purpose of sustaining the illusion of opposition, but without any real intent to actually exercise it. They are political entrepreneurs, hawking their ability to round up the constituents and deliver the votes that will cheerily sell their own people down the drain. Their function in the political food chain is to occlude the fact of corporate takeover of government, to pacify a restive public into quiescence that their democracy remains vital, that their interests are being looked out for, that their country remains their own.
That's utter bullshit. If Al Gore and John Kerry had not been so obsessed with seeming electable and actually took a fucking stand on something, we wouldn't be in quite so bad a situation as we are now.
I can understand voting for the candidate you like the most, or the one most likely to satisfy your selfish interests, or the one who you feel sympathizes with your situation the most, or--heaven forfend!--the one most likely to serve the common good. But voting for the guy who you think is least offensive, who most other people would probably vote for, is just idiotic and a surefire way to lose elections.
Let me reiterate: I will not vote for Hillary Clinton. I will not vote for Joseph Biden. I will not vote for unprincipled DINOs selling themselves out to appear "moderate".
Give me Al Gore, Russ Feingold, Howard Dean (if he hadn't agreed not to run in taking the DNC chairmanship). Hell, give me Gore/Feingold '08. I'd even consider Edwards (I like his Two Americas story; he's not afraid to talk about class differences) or that Paul Hackett guy who's already been dicked over by the leadership.
Otherwise, I'm done. I will not accept the "political reality." This is nothing but a lame talking point that leads to forfeited hope and unproductive cynicism. The Democratic Party is not by any means entitled to my vote--their attempts to blame Nader for 2000 are just bullshit, and I stand by anyone who made that choice, even if they lived in Florida.
There is a whole community of progressive minded people who have had enough. We've been unhappy w/ Bush from day 1, and even though our rage has sort of plateaued (I mean, after a while it's just impossible to maintain that level of anger, and you almost get used to it), we're still mad enough to do something about it. At least I am.