I mostly took that at the time to be a sour grapes kind of thinking, some kind of false hope that we Democrats were to hold onto, in order to temper our sadness at an election that we expected to lose, or have stolen. (right on both counts). After the election I looked at the political landscape that we were left, and truly felt that what we were seeing at the time was a Transformation of the American political landscape into one of permenant single-party rule. I saw a well oiled machine in the Republican party of those days and was nearly convinced that we would not be seeing sanity return to our nation anytime soon.
As they said, "911 Changed Everything. "
But we have learned, "Katrina Changed it back. "
Americans tend to be intellectualy lazy about politics, not stupid as some say, but overly trusting to those who ill deserve it, the media, their local politicians, people who tell them what they want to hear, etc. But one things tends to ring true, Americans really, really don’t like being lied to, especially when that lie crosses their personal pet issue. And largely these pet issues define when we, as a group, cross that level of outrage needed to want to change our actions. Fortunately, for those in the political arena, not everyone has the same pet issue, and it is almost impossible to actually cross them all, or so I thought.
Start with the big issue, security at home. Katrina shattered that. That was the big watershed event that noone expected to see. The impact of having the government totally stumped on its most critical, signature issue was astonishing. Those on the left, already critical of bush expected this, but it shattered the belief of those who thought that by giving that unfetttered trust to Bush, they were buying themselves security at home.
Take Iraq and security abroad, the constant fatalities and losses and mismanagement have taken their toll on the Military Minded who need a strong military to comfort themselves. The withering support in congress for Veterans programs and benefits, and the high-ranking military men coming forward stating clearly how their wishes have fallen on deaf ears has ground down their trust.
Take the economy, the Old School Conservative deficit hawks have been upset at the rampant spending and massive expansion of government. The total lack of fiscal disipline has been a staple of their political discourse, and it has proven for naught.
Take personal liberties, the slow but steady invasion into our homes and lkives, the imprisonment of people and the abandonment of Habeus Corpus, the use of torture in our names curdles the stomaches of the Libertarians in our midst. (big and little "L")
Take the high moral standing so valued by the Social Conservatives. We now see a sordid sex scandal that is inexcusable on it’s face, of an adult preying on the youth in his charge, and a clumsy floundering coverup by those who are charged to "Watch the Watchmen".
In isolation, each of these scandals is horrid, but salvageable. Each of the groups could look out and see that, "Well, *my* issue may not be met, but the majority of the movement is going forward." Republicans have been good at that, putting the movement ahead of their personal issue. But now, what should they look to in order to see that great leap forward that they so hoped for?
Absolute power *has* corrupted absolutely.
Only the truly blind can state that they are still doing justice for the country by supporting this admininstration. Only the truly ignorant can continue to ignore these issues. And only the truly corrupt can state that this is the right direction.
I no longer fear that this is a permenant state of being for our country, or that there is no way for the sane and rational to restore their hand at the keel, For the first time in years, I have hope. Even if we do not gain control of the government this round, we are not out of the fight. We can win through good and just action, and those that choose injustice and corruption will eventually go too far, such that none can ignore.
I used fear to have such hope, but now I feel it is time to let that fear go.