Friday, November 9, 2007

Things are approaching their worst...and I finally feel as if there is hope.

By Atman

Search through my DU posts, now approaching the 17,000 mark, and you'll find that I've seldom been on the front lines of the the "OMG, we've finally got them!" crowd. I think the last time I felt compelled to write "We've nailed the bastards" was after the torturous Medicaid vote, held open for umpteen hours as Republicans metaphorically waterboarded their way to a "victory" for the pharmaceutical industry.

I was certain that this obvious rape of the constitutional process would not go unchallenged. When it did, with nary a discouraging word from the "liberal media," it began to dawn on me that we weren't in Kansas anymore. Or, perhaps, that was exactly where we were. Stuck smack in the middle of the reddest of the red states, lost as if in a corn maze of fascism growing high as an elephant's eye.

The ensuing weeks, then months, then years saw BushCo's march on democracy proceed unchallenged. We witnessed a smattering of symbolic Democratic push-back, which turned out to be more about appeasement of constituents than actual reigning in of a power-mad administration run amok. In the end, no matter what, these same Democrats caved and capitulated, over and over again.

In 2006 we finally achieved a mid-term rout which gave the Democratic leadership a mandate Bush could not ignore. That is, of course, unless Bush knew who he was working with -- a feckless, timid Congress who acted as if their victory was more of an accident than a call to action. At every turn, when challenged by a president who was making Richard Nixon look like the poster boy for Sunshine Politics and popularity, the Democratic leadership failed to bring it home. The new Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful woman in American political history, appeared to be reduced to nothing more than a housemaid cleaning up after Bush's dirty deeds.

We sunk into despair and gloom. But not all of us. The eternal optimists, the deniers, and the message board trolls, assured us that keeping our powder dry was more important than keeping our Constitution intact.

With each passing week it appeared as if the situation truly couldn't get much worse. And then the next week things got worse. War surged. More troops died for Bush's lies. The economy faltered -- the real economy, the one you and I and everyone we know lives in, not the economy of George's 1% Club. The One-Percenters kept doing boffo. Better and better each week, the interest derived from their tax cuts alone far out pacing the real earnings of the rest of "regular" Americans.

You know all the in-betweens. Brownie, Gonzo, Miers, Chertoff et al, Bush's tree house club, all profited handsomely from their failures. Bossman, of course, was never affected.

The failures continued to mount, Bush's cronies continued to get promoted. But not long ago something truly unusual began happening. After years and years of Republicans and Democrats alike rolling over for Bush like a happy puppy seeking a belly rub, movement actually began to go in our direction. Little defeats for Bush here, compromises there...each time it seemed as if we were making progress against The Regime. But thanks to Reid and Pelosi, who seem wholly incapable of wielding the power granted to them -- demanded of them by the American people -- the Democrats and America invariably came out on the losing end of any deal, even if was "merely" about providing health care for children. We just couldn't do anything right. Er, left.

But the frustration level really does seem to have peaked. Dennis Kucinich finally brings formal impeachment charges, even if only against Darth Cheney. Bush gets vetoed instead of rubber-stamped, and on Thursday one of his vetoes couldn't be sustained, a historical first for administration (okay, so it was only because the bill was a pork-laden gift to local districts, it was still a first). That would have been an astonishing occurrence any number of months ago. But it happened. It actually happened.

And it will happen again. Kucinich called everyone's bluff, right and left alike. Senators and Congressmen alike are scrambling, the allegiences and walls of bullshit they've maintained up until a week ago are suddenly crumbling before their eyes. It is a wonder to behold. And I hope it is an actual wonder.

We've all been let down again and again by the Republicratic BushCo enablers, but finally it appears the system has brought about that which it was designed to do -- a bit of checks and balances. Maybe. I'm not placing any bets yet. But I'm encouraged. I have a bit of hope, after years of outrage, incredulity, cynicism and a stunning level of disbelief that things were allowed to get this bad.

A glimmer of hope. I don't need a beacon at this point. Just a glimmer is nice.

Thanks, Dennis.

Posted in full with permission of author.

Originally posted on

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