But now all that seems to have settled down, and people are acting as if things are back to normal: as is usual, BushCo is up to no good, and Dems, ever optimistic, are looking forward to trouncing the Republicans in Congress in 2006.
The sense of unreality is staggering. A collective denial seems to have set in about the possibility that there are no real national elections in this country any more. There is absolutely no reason to think that the Republicans will not keep themselves in power in 2006 and 2008 as they have done recently -- through election fraud. But the Dem leadership is doing absolutely nothing to stop this, and virtually no progressive commentators are willing to even discuss the problem.
The means is the recording of 30% of votes cast by machines running secret software, leaving no paper trail, and the tabulation of 80% of votes cast by such machines, controlled by private companies allied with the Republican Party. The opportunity is provided by the corporate media which, with the exception of Keith Olbermann, has consistently refused to touch this story. And it is the motive that definitively made the 2004 election anything but a normal election: Bush officials have broken countless laws, and it is quite likely that if Democrats regained power, many Bush officials would go to jail (assuming the Democrats did their job).
Since the 2004 election cannot be audited (by design), those who believe it was not stolen have no way of proving that. The only argument available to them is that even though BushCo had means, motive, and opportunity, BushCo did not steal the election out of principle.
Given what anyone who gets his news from elsewhere than the corporate media can read any day about the true, utterly unprincipled nature of BushCo, this claim and belief are remarkable.
It does not require a degree in psychoanalysis to figure out why so many Democrats are in denial, confounding all common sense. Democrats are patriots, and like all Americans, they are raised to believe that America is the finest democracy on the face of the earth. It is simply too painful to consider the possibility that it is now no kind of democracy at all, but has become a despotism akin to the kind that one saw in Europe and Russia in the twentieth century, albeit with infinitely more sophisticated management of public opinion. But denial it is.
2004 is now behind us; 2006 and 2008 are ahead. What the denial is about now is that the Republicans will do it again. Recently, with the Terri Schiavo affair and the intent to go with the "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster, it has become clear to everyone -- not just left-liberals -- that the Republican Party is controlled by fanatics who will stop at nothing. And yet we are expected to believe that the Republicans will not work in 2006 and 2008 to steal the election, and will gracefully allow the democratic process to take its course, allowing the American public to vote them out of office if that is its wish.
Unless the American electoral system is fixed so that it can no longer be rigged, there is absolutely no point in Democrats working for the next election, since we will not be allowed to win, no matter how unpopular the Republicans may become with the voting public. And there is also no point to the activity of progressive bloggers: it is pointless to try to influence public opinion through the Internet if public opinion does not matter, since the public is not allowed to express its will in an election.
There has been a lot of talk about Dean, as the new chair of the DNC, doing this and that lately. Why does he not make his first priority forcing the Republicans to fix the election system? Without that, everything else he does, or we do, is futile. And blogging is just the American intelligentsia comforting itself by making use of the little public space it is still allowed, much as the Russian intelligentsia tried to maintain its dignity with its samizdat under the Soviets.