...we’re watching another casualty here: Democracy. Or at least, the illusion that we live in a democratic society. The public, regardless of party, overwhelmingly opposes cuts to Social Security and Medicare. But elected officials of both parties are hell-bent on conspiring to bring the programs to an end. They seem to have come to grips with a fact that the public has not: their tenure in office depends on carrying out the wishes of oligarchical elites.
There is only one thing you can reasonably conclude as you watch the political theater that is transpiring: what the voting public thinks really isn’t all that important. And to the extent that it does matter, it can easily be channeled by those with sufficient money to pay the tab. Samuel Johnson said that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels, but in our modern era, that honor goes to tribalism. The list of horrors that people found intolerable when George Bush was in office, but are now blithely accepting because “Sarah Palin would be worse,” grows longer every day.
We’ll fight this, because it’s the right thing to do. We will probably lose. But we will make it as painful as possible for any politician from any party to participate in this wholesale looting of the public sphere, this “shock doctrine” for America. And maybe along the way we’ll get a vision of what comes next. Because what we believe in as Americans, and what we stand for, is not something the Democratic party represents any more.---Jane Hamsher, FireDogLake.com