It’s time someone admits it. The TeeVee won’t, it would be bad for ratings, and when it’s a choice between telling the truth and securing ratings the TeeVee lies through its teeth.
All this assumes, of course, that we’re allowed to have a free election. But the margins Democrats are piling up in opinion polls would be tough for even Robert Mugabe to steal away. And Americans don’t lie down like the Burmese do and just take it.
The plain fact is that the Republican brand is dead to us. They trotted it out twice in recent weeks, once around Baton Rouge, Louisiana and again yesterday in northeast Mississippi. Both Louisiana’s 6th and Mississippi’s 1st were deep red districts, the kind a Republican should take without thinking twice about it.
Both times the Republicans sought to nationalize the election. They trotted out Barack Obama as a bogeyman, and in case people didn’t get the connection, added Nancy Pelosi. Crickets. In Mississippi last night, Travis Childers won 54-46, a really enormous margin in a district which went for Bush 2-1 and was drawn especially to elect a Republican.
Those Republicans commenting to the state’s chief GOP political site, Y’All Politics, were, well, despondent last night. Wrote one who calls himself "Reagan Dem":
The party of Travis Childers and Don Cazayoux is not the party of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both are committed "Blue Dogs" — conservative on social issues, ready to break right at the drop of a hat. It will take enormous discipline to keep them in line, they’ll only stay in line so long as they’re cowed, and they will use their own vulnerability to get their way.
My guess is that in a few election cycles the Blue Dogs will formally align with what’s left of the rest of the Republicans to create a viable second party — political nature abhors a vacuum.
What this means is that the next Democratic President has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to completely remake our political system, and define our political assumptions for the next generation. By forging consensus rather than going for 51-49 wins, by using the Internet to create more transparency, by getting serious about the War Against Oil and by fully supporting scientific innovation we need, the world may truly turn upside-down. By nationalizing the election process through new standards, and enabling same-day registration and voting, the next Administration can guarantee itself a generation of political success.
But remember. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. The next Democratic Administration will define politics for my kids’ generation. Their successes, and their failures, will determine the course of my kids’ political lives.
So fingers crossed.