Those four syllables are the only things that arise in my mind to counter my growing suspicion that I should maybe have ridden the Kucinich train all the way into the wall in 2008. I knew Dennis couldn’t win; in fact, his intransigence may have made him a poor and ineffective President. But casting a vote for him would at least have informed the world that I didn’t think anyone else in the candidate field was sufficiently progressive for me.
So instead I gritted my teeth and worked for Barack Obama, my second-to-last choice for the nomination. I grew to like him more and more, to foolishly start projecting my hopes upon him. He promised things. Not everything I might have wanted, but enough. I believed him. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” I told myself. In a very large room full of other Democrats, I watched him win. We were ecstatic. I was on a natural high for a week.
I had hoped for an FDR-style commitment to the people and the infrastructure of the nation. Here is our great chance to turn an impending disaster into a grand opportunity to put the nation to work building ourselves a modern infrastructure for the new millenium. High-speed rail, a new power grid charged with green energy, a fiber-optic network, universal internet, universal health care to lift that terrible burden from the poeple and revitalize our small businesses…
Now it’s 13 months later. The American Empire is doing well under the new management.
Maybe we have a few less troops and mercenaries in Iraq, but we’re building up and digging in for the long haul in Afghanistan. We have twice as many mercenaries of various stripes in our national defense system as we do government troops.
The criminals of the last administration are at large, doing their part for the new gang by raging and raving against them, helping to maintain the illusion that we now have something fundamentally different.
The banks are bailed out and doing nicely. They have successfully bought off any feeble attempts to re-regulate them. They are busily engaging in the same shady gambling schemes that brought the crisis down on our heads in the first place. Small local banks are folding, and people are losing their homes to foreclosure.
Foreign sweatshops continue to pour their plastic trash into our big-box stores, where we line up to buy that trash and drag it home. Our labor unions continue to fail.
Our privacy rights have evaporated virtually unnoticed.
We have become ever more deeply embedded in our role as serfs in the service of corporate America, and, ever increasingly, the corporations have life-and-death power over us. Whether you live or die will be decided, to a degree even greater than before the Health Care Deform debacle, by how much money you have to feed into the maw of the machine. The IRS will be there to exact the punishments for those who resist.
And who are the villains, the obstructionists, the social saboteurs in the view of la Regime Nouveau? None other than lunatic-fringe moonbats like Howard Dean, Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders. And St. Dennis, of course.