November 09, 2006

Let us hope that Chris Floyd is wrong:
The Democratic leadership is a deeply embedded part of the Establishment; multimillionaires like our soon-to-be Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (who is probably richer than Bush) aren't going to seriously challenge the near-total domination of American politics and society by Big Business and wealthy elites. They may re-arrange the display a little, but they are not going to upset the golden applecart. So while we may see a slight goosing of the minimum wage, we will almost certainly not see a major rollback of the relentless rightwing assault on the rights, protections and well-being of working people and the poor. We can hope for some modifications of the bizarre and punitive prescription drug "reforms" imposed by the Bush Party; but we won't see anything resembling a national health insurance system, despite the majority of Americans in favor of one. We won't see a reinstatement of the safety net that was gutted, pre-Bush, by Democrat Bill Clinton. We won't see major reductions – or indeed, any reductions – in military spending from a party that has faithfully approved every cent of every "special spending bill" that Bush has submitted to finance his off-the-books wars. We won't see a lessening of international tensions from a crew that has spent most of the past year bashing the Bush Administration for not being bellicose enough in threatening Iran, and for not larding Israel with even more deadly weaponry to carry out its aggression in Lebanon and its increasingly frenzied decimation in Gaza. We will not see an immediate withdrawal from Iraq; at best, we will see a few tentative timetables based on unreal and unrealizable "benchmarks" produced by some grandly gassy "bipartisan agreement" based on the face-saving formulas of the "Baker Commission."

There is going to be no impeachment of Bush, even if the Democrats get hold of the Senate. There is going to be no criminal prosecution for the principal architects of the war crime in Iraq (and probably none of small fry either). There will be little or no rollback of the draconian strictures of the Patriot Act, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Democrats, or the many other measures – "national security letters," warrantless surveillance, etc. – introduced hugger-mugger by the "Unitary Executive." Indeed, we will be very lucky if the new Democratic leadership even revisits the Military Commissions Act.


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