Crystal Ball Time

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I got out my crystal ball this morning to take a look into the future.


I’m particularly interested today in how things will look after January 2009. I really didn’t need the crystal ball to figure out where we’ll be if John McCain is elected…pretty much same old slide into oblivion. Nothing new there, move along.

What really interests me is to think about how things will look if we have a Democratic president (right now signs look good for Obama, but who knows?) and a Democratic Congress. For some in the blogosphere, this would spell n-i-r-v-a-n-a. But I think most of us here are pretty sure that will not be the case. The analogy for me is that we might have accomplished triage, but the patient still needs major surgery. Given the stage of the wounds both we in this country and the world are experiencing now, triage is necessary but insufficient for healing.  

What concerns me is that I think this country needs a major structural change at almost every level. In far too many ways, the Presidency and Congress are just window dressing to make us believe we live in a democracy when the reality is that no matter who gets elected, The King Stay The King. As OPOL pointed out so eloquently a couple of months ago in Dispatches From the Land of Lying Bastards:

We’re up against something even more evil and insidious than the Bush administration. We’re up against the Military Industrial Congressional Media Complex, the outfit that pulls Bushco’s chain, and it’s a much more serious matter than the freak show they’ve turned our politics into.  It’s not a joke, it’s not a conspiracy theory, and it’s not a crackpot proposition.  It’s the gut-wrenching truth of our present circumstances.

I was intrigued this week by Buhdy’s essay in which he (snarkily) endorsed John McCain. While I think the election of McCain would be a disaster, I have also wondered how the election of a Democrat might affect this feeling of crisis that we’ve all been living with for the last 8 years. Would it dampen the urgency for a good hard look at those structural changes that need to happen?

There are two things that I think are likely to result from the election of a Democratic President and Congress that concern me: apathy and division. The crimes of Bushco have ignited our passions and unified us in our outrage. Staying engaged and united will become more difficult once that is gone.

But I believe those of us at Docudharma have a head start on all that. Most of us have recognized the limits of elections as a way to make the kinds of changes that are necessary and we’ve been working on getting to the underlying issues for awhile now. My hope is that after the triage is completed, others will join us in that process.

Oh, and one other forecast from my crystal ball…its finally going to be spring up here in the tundra. After 8 inches of snow on Monday, we’ve got sunshine and 50’s today. Guess I didn’t really need my crystal ball for that one. YIPEE!!!


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  1. say about what a democratic victory will bring us post 1/09?

  2. … YAY for spring coming to your neck of the woods!

    I agree with what you are saying here.  I think we saw some of this in the blogosphere after the 2006 election — we were much more united against Bush and his gang before the election and put so much of our hopes on “taking back Congress.”

    Aside from the horrible capitulations of the Democratic leadership, I think many in the blogosphere continued to use the same rhetoric and strategies after we regained the majority and against each other this time.  I found that to be ineffective.

    My crystal ball?  I think that if Dems regain Congress and the White House they’re going to be blamed a lot for the tsunami of bad news that was a consequence of this misAdministration.  I don’t think they will try to hold these thieves and murderers accountable, and the base will get even more angry and combative.

    So yes, division.

    And yes, I think folks here are well aware the battlefield is much wider than who gets a majority in Congress and who occupies the White House.

    It will be the people who will have to agitate for the real changes (surgery) that are necessary.

    (I do think there are Dems in Congress who we can talk to, who share our views.  It was the freshman contingent of the Dem Congress who pushed to hold back on immunity for the telco’s on FISA.  But not the leadership.)

  3. at so many levels.

    I hestitate to wonder where a Democratic president and a Congress dominated by Democrats will start.

    I hope they will make a very clear and decisive plan, and not let the mighty Wurlitzer of Republicans criticizing and complaining make them take pause. They need clear priorities – first, immediately cease the spying on Americans. Second, set the Iraq withdrawal plan into place. Third, work on true economic stimulus by canceling Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. I truly believe most Americans would support a slight increase in taxes to pay off our mounting debts IF you phrase it in such a way as “we have to make some small sacrifices for the good of our country, for our security, and for our future.” Finally, put more emphasis on investing in environmental issues that can create more jobs and save our planet simultaneously.

    I think that’s a great start, off the top of my head. Get a few major priorities underway, and simply ignore the Republican/media backlash of whining.

  4. A Dem president will inherit a terrible economy and create  a script of talking points for right wing radio. Think Carter.

  5. as much as restoration. i think the Constitution works, if we elect people who will actually uphold it.

    its key, i think, is distribution of power. among three branches, between state and federal, and to citizens in property and voting rights. i’m also beginning to see the second amendment as the gun people do. funny thing that.

    anyway… i say we call for a new constitutional convention and add these things to our venerable doc:::

    1. that all ALL government workers (from police to county clerks) take an oath to uphold the Constitution before they can take their jobs. this is especially important for those who work with and oversee contractors for our defense/intelligence outsourcing.

    2. that every state has a mechanism whereby citizens can RECALL their elected officials at all levels of government.

    3. that the gov’t of the united states is secular and that only through a secular gov’t can we guarantee the hallmark of freedom: freedom of religion

    i think it is v.v.v. wise to think about what will happen with a democratic party in charge. the impact of it… and most definitely, to not get lost in a sense of victory when, as you say, it’s only triage.

  6. … does your crystal ball have, NL?

    Maybe it’s 55 and sunny in Twin Cities, but the rain just changed to snow here in Des Moines.  Ain’t lookin’ like spring just yet.

    • Viet71 on April 4, 2008 at 02:52

    What should that future be?

    A sameness?  Everyone in accord?

    Suggest that the major problem for the progressive movement is to create a desirable vision of the future.

    • shpilk on April 4, 2008 at 05:15

    Democratic candidate has infected a lot of places.

    It’s not just one person that’s needed to effect real change. There’s going to be a hell of a lot of disappointed people in mid to late 2009.

    ‘just sayin’!

  7. Here in Minnesota.

    Jeff Blodgett who was Paul Wellstone’s (RIP) campaign manager all three runs and now heads Wellstone Action stressed post-election activism in his speech.

    And I think that is the key. Very few of our “leaders” are leaders. In the end everything is up to us. LBJ didn’t go from voting against the Civil Rights Act to signing it because of a personal change. He did it because the political climate had changed.

    It’s all up to us. How hard are we willing to fight? We’ve got to elect good listeners who will work with us and who we can push. Then we have to do some pushing.

    It’s all up to us.

    • Tigana on April 4, 2008 at 08:59

    I think Molly Ivins would drop her pots and pans on your crystal ball, NL.

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