By MARC MCDONALD
At first glance, it might appear that we on the left don't have much to celebrate this Thanksgiving. After all, the country is ruled by a criminal Republican administration. Young working-class Americans are dying daily in Iraq for an illegal and immoral war. And America seems to be going to hell in a hand basket (made, of course, in China--the same nation that is financing our nation's nightmarish trade and fiscal deficits).
But this Thanksgiving, it's important to remember that, despite all that is wrong in Bush's America, we progressives still have a number of things to be thankful for:
1. Cindy Sheehan. When you gather today with your family to celebrate Thanksgiving, give a word of thanks for this brave mother of a fallen soldier, who is once again returning to Crawford. Sheehan stood up to the forces of the right and demanded accountability from Bush over his immoral war when no one else would, including our gutless mainstream media.
2. U.S. Rep. John Murtha. He was a brave soldier who served in Vietnam and he continues to show his bravery as a politician, daring to speak the painful truth about the Iraq war. His wise words carry weight, too, (as indeed they should coming from a twice-wounded retired Marine Corps colonel).
3. BuzzFlash and the rest of the growing progressive online media. These might not be the best of times for the American left, but I'll say one thing: today, we are more networked and informed than ever, thanks to online alternative media. With the rise of the Internet, the media is splintering into thousands of independent voices, that corporate America (much to its horror) cannot control.
4. The prospect of impeachment. Granted, this one probably has a remote chance of ever happening, at least as long as the GOP controls Congress. But admit it, it's something that is at least fun to fantasize about, as we watch the ongoing TreasonGate investigation unfold.
5. Tom DeLay's indictment. Delay is the first House leader to be indicted while in office in at least a century and, man, has this case been entertaining to watch.
6. Bev Harris. The director of Black Box Voting (which refers to voting on electronic machines that do not print paper ballots) is still out there on the front lines, working to make America's elections fair.
7. Air America. A breath of fresh air on the nation's airwaves, this growing radio network is a slap in the face to right-wing commentators who previously had arrogantly assured us that liberal talk radio would never fly.
8. John Conyers. Back in June, the Democrats finally re-discovered their backbone when Conyers kicked off a lonely fight against long odds to investigate the Downing Street memo.
9. Bill Maher and Jon Stewart. Some of the smartest, and funniest, progressive discussions on the boob tube happen on Maher's HBO show. His only rival is the incredibly incisive and right-on-target political humor on Stewart's "The Daily Show."
10. Noam Chomsky. After all these years, this activist, author and national treasure is still telling the truths that America needs to hear. Chomsky's inspiring words of wisdom are more important than ever today.