Saturday, October 07, 2006

Who Will Direct November Election: Frank Capra--Or David Lynch?

By MARC McDONALD

If you're a Democrat these days, life is good. At least it seems to be good.

The embattled GOP appears to be on the ropes. Even before the Foley story, the party had been reeling from an endless series of scandals and revelations. Things have gotten so bad that Republican congressmen are running away from their own president, as George W. Bush's own approval ratings sink further into the toilet.

How could the Democrats possibly not re-capture the Congress in November?

Well, before you pop that champagne cork, keep a few things in mind. The Republicans are still massively well-funded and they and their allies still control the nation's corporate media. Last, but not least, America's election system is still broken and subject to tampering (and the GOP has shown time and again that they will not hesitate to steal votes).

Nevertheless, Democrats remain jubilant these days. The past six hellish years of Bush and NeoCon control of this country appear to be nearing an end. And if the Democrats can re-capture the Congress, then we have a chance to make Bush finally answer for his crimes. The NeoCon corruption, crime and evil that soiled our nation's capital might finally come to an end.

It's a heartwarming scenario with a happy ending that might have come straight out of a Frank Capra movie.

There's only one problem.

The America that we all grew up with and admired as a nation no longer exists in the George W. Bush era. The nation that was once admired and emulated around the world no longer exists. Our present government has sullied America's good name in scores of ways, from embracing torture as official policy to illegal wiretaps, to brazenly stealing elections, to illegally invading sovereign nations.

Democrats are hoping that the November elections will have a happy ending, like something Capra would have directed. But I fear that it instead will resemble the work of another director: David Lynch, the cinematic master of the creepy, the surreal, and the horrible.

As good as things appear to be for the Democrats at the moment, it seems like a lot of us have forgotten that America's election system still has severe problems that have yet to be corrected. Although a number of investigators and writers have extensively documented the election system problems, I don't think we'll see them resolved until the mainstream media brings them to the attention of the American people.

Democrats already face huge obstacles to re-taking the Congress---and that's before we even start talking about stolen votes.

Incumbents in Congress already enjoy an enormous financial advantage over their challengers. Take the House for example. As Opensecrets.org has pointed out, House incumbents have raised a total of $376,250,753 (which works out to $887,384 per candidate). That dwarfs the $95,260,904 raised by challengers, who have only raised $170,413 per candidate.

No wonder incumbent re-election rates are so high these days. As Opensecrets.org notes, in 2004, an eye-popping 98 percent of House incumbents were re-elected (excluding incumbents facing incumbents), as were 96 percent of incumbent Senators.

It is indeed a bleak prospect to think that the Democrats won't prevail in the November elections. But I'd like to emphasize that I'm not suggesting that anyone not bother to vote in November. Not by any means. I still urge everyone to get out and vote. Are you registered to vote? Go to this site to find out.

As investigative journalist Greg Palast has written:

"How many times am I asked, "Why vote if they're going to steal the election?" That's the point: Make them STEAL it. Make them know they can't win UNLESS they steal it."

10 comments:

Lawson Copywrite & Co. said...

The problem of America's reputation abroad goes much deeper than just merely re-electing Democrats to positions of power, and the moving picture that is America will need more than a good director to re-make its name abroad. But, lets not forget that in fact, part of the great America we remember of the past still has part of the beauty that exists even in the darkest of Lynch's films. In fact, even in the darkest moments of EraserHead, Blue Velvet and Moholland Drive, there are moments of pure clarity and beauty. And for America, we can say the same thing. While in the last few years our international reputation has been mired by reckless (and feckless) wars, we still have some very admirable aspects, namely, part of our population that still believes in humanity, and still enjoys sharing the world with others. BUT, back to the first point, Dem or Repub, Americans need now to confront their blatantly obnoxious levels of natural resources, including not only oil and coal, but precious metals, woods, exotic foods and manufactured goods which require long distance shipping and are known to marginalize the populations from which they are derived. Without confronting the negative aspects of our consumerism, regardless of who leads our country, we will continue to be loathed by those that are abused by our excess. It is this excess in fact that paints some of the scariest of our global cinema pictures.

Lawson Copywrite & Co. said...

CORRECTION... "blatantly obnoxious levels of CONSUMPTION of natural resources..."

Oh... too much wine...

Leo Belldaere said...

You're so right on the election front; however, I suspect that in order for us to even begin to recover our reputation abroad and re-enter the family of nations, Junior's Junta will have to be at the very least investigated and indicted, and if there is any fairness still left in our system of justice, impeached, and incarcerated.

And some of the bigger criminals will have to be extradicted to stand trial in one of those cozy glass booths at The Hague, the ones that scream war criminal.

Maybe then we will begin to recover our standing...

Anonymous said...

I noticed that a number of non-MSM commentators and bloggers predicted months ago that shortly before the Nov. elections, gas prices would decline. This has indeed turned out to be the case. This blatant manipulation of gas prices to curry favor with voters is a major story (certainly one of the biggest stories of the year). Some people might not find it troubling that the Bush dynasty has influence with the Saudis and world oil markets. But I myself am much more concerned about the clout that the Saudis have over our nation as a result (surely no one believes that the Saudis do favors for Bush and expect nothing in return?) I find it deeply troubling that the MSM can't be bothered to report about this. I'll go ahead and make a prediction myself: after the Nov. elections, gas prices will once again go higher.

bluesborn said...

Even if Democrats manage to win the next presidential election I doubt they will reliquish the unprecedented powers that Bush has gathered to himself.At first glance that may not seem bad but its not as if the Dems are all that Liberal.Many are moderates at best and some belong in the Republican Party.They support globalization and free market ideology
which Clinton embraced.If the Dems do keep the "laws" the way they now are,in time an even more authoritarian conservative government will rise.There's not a lot to be all that thrilled about with ANY of them.

Lawson Copywrite & Co. said...

I suspect that if the Dems can take over the House that we will see impeachment hearings, which, hell, if nothing else will be wonderful entertainment for those of us that warned against GWB from the very beginning of his bid for Presidency.

Then, if we can somehow get Kissenger brought up for his past crimes against humanity, well, at least we could show the world that we too despise corruption, and that we are, as we claim to be, a beacon of hope and aspire for the perfection we claim. Perfection is unachievable, but the US has allowed its people freedoms unknown in many places in the world. (though we have seen this obviously and blatantly eroded with the likes of "Free Speech Zones" in which any card carrying Democrat is caged)

Anonymous said...

Bush supporters keep telling us that the Dow's recent new high is evidence that the Bush economy is a success. Don't believe it--it's a con. Go here for details:

http://www.freemarketnews.com/Analysis/96/6134/dow.asp?nid=6134&wid=96

Anonymous said...

Why does everyone think this year will be different? They already stole 2 presidential elections (wide scale fraud). You really think they cannot steal House elections (small scale fraud). This is the same group that managed to legalize warrantless wiretaps, suspend habeas corpus, ban books like "America Deceived" from Amazon, detain demonstrators and start 2 illegal wars based on lies. The Republicans will probably lose a few seats to make it look good but maintain a majority. Then they'll invade Iran on behalf of Israel.
Support indy media.
Final link (before Google Books bends to gov't will and drops the title):
America Deceived (book)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much
for putting into words what I was thinking and feeling.
So many times I had hope since 2000, only to be disappointed.

I have no hope.
In a lot of ways Hunter Thompson was a sleaze, however, his quote right after the 2000 election ( I am sure you can find it "prepare for cannibalism"
was one of the phrases.)
It expressed how what I thought and felt at the time and still have the same feelings.
The election next month will also be stolen.
I know people that seem intelligent, but they seem clueless as to the coup de ta.


A green party guy said the dems and repub
are like "Good Cop Bad Cop.

I know a very intelligent person that moved out of the country right after the 200 election.
I wish I could.
If you are healthy and educated move!

Anonymous said...

It would be easier for all of us if we simply moved to another nation, like Canada or one in Europe. But that wouldn't help America. The Republicans didn't get where they are by cowing down. We shouldn't bend to the will of self-righteous bigots and abandon all our values because "hope seems lost."

Bush isn't the first make-believe conservative to do commit such crimes of humanity. Woodrow Wilson illegally invaded numerous south/central american countries and even Russia for the purpose of removing the real government and replacing it with one he liked better. This included invading Haiti twice, and sending troops to Mexico during their civil war. Even the Mexicans on the side of the war he was trying to support didn't want him there.

How can any sane person believe anyone does these things "for the sake of preserving the good and true values we've learned in the past."

Unbeknownst to, apparently, a lot of people the current administration is doing all it can to create a police state while pretending they support a federal government that doesn't interfere with local ones.

Remember, when you see something like "Dick Cheney's approval rating is 19%" that still means about 50 million people (50 million!! that's enough to make their own damned country) think he's super awesome!