Thursday, November 4, 2010

NEXT - Thursday, November 4, 2010

As we move to pick up the pieces of the 2010 election, we must look at the situation more closely. Mr. Obama seems to remain the sole impediment to a restoration of the Bush policies, but that is too gloomy. He still has the vetoes and will have the votes to sustain them. Of course, if he remains wedded to his fantasy of making peace with the professional GOP by sweet-talking them, he will be left in the same pickle when he comes again to the electorate in 2012. Of course, he can pick up the standard he has let fall these past 2 years, in which case he would have a fight on his hands, which conflicts with his fantasy. Or he can succumb to McConnell’s program of disarming the troops in his left wing, which so many have said accords with his genuine middling strategy. In that case, he will follow Hoover into the history books as diddling while the economy of the US crumbles, and the second Great Depression afflicts the world for most of the rest of our lives. I do believe there is a Cause here worthy of fighting for, even if the outlook is as dismal as McConnell hopes it is. Democracy has always carried the risk that the People will be taken in by charlatans, which Plato thought was a disabling weakness, but Churchill accurately observed that its danger was less than for any other method of government. Perhaps its greatest benefit might be that as long as voting matters, the People can effect a revolution at the ballot box, regardless of the power of propaganda, without having to pick up their rifles. Stranger things have happened, even in regimes that seemed immune to that kind of democratic intervention. In the meantime, it will be a long and difficult period while the People struggle to find their way back to the dream that we called the Enlightenment, with the burden falling hardest on those least able to bear it, many of whom will have joined with others in bringing about their troubles.

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