I appreciate all of the 'stiff upper lip' talk expressed by so many of you in these days following the Wisconsin debacle, but I'm afraid I can't join you this time. I am now feeling quite totally despondent re: Progressive electoral prospects in the near future.
The Republican Party has always held a $$ spending advantage over Democrats, but now the lid has been completely blown off, two years after the Citizens United decision. IMO, several factors are now working together to virtually guarantee a devastating defeat for the Democrats this fall...
How much money do the Bad Guys have to spend on this year's election?
Well, start with the extra $$ they have accumulated in recent years, thanks to the tax cuts The Republicans secured for them under Bush (and that Obama has preserved for them since he's been in office). That's a lot of money.
(Barack may not have thought that he was giving up that much on the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, but he actually gave them the money they needed to kick his ass in 2010 and 2012. And he didn't have to do anything to deny them that huge windfall.)
Now, add to that the extra billions that the TARP injected into the financial sector of the economy, much of it simply 'keystroked' into existence by The Fed. Almost all of those extra billions of $$ ended up in the hands of the Top 1% of income earners.
Yes, they ruined the economy, but then they used their financial control of the government to bail themselves out---not only avoiding loss, but actually enriching themselves further with the 'fix' they designed for themselves.
They did not let a good crisis go to waste.
Now add to this the aggressive willingness of the 1%-5% Republicans to use their many billions to buy themselves the kind of government they desire, as evidenced by the outcome in Wisconsin Tuesday.
They sense the opportunity they have, they have tons of money to play with, they are motivated to use their every advantage to use their control of our Democracy to reward themselves for all of their failures.
I wouldn't have believed it was possible in December 2008, after they had failed so spectacularly, but I can't deny what has happened since. In spite of all the political/economic sins the Republicans had committed, they still won the House in 2010.
And now we are reminded again by the Wisconsin result of just how important money is in state and local elections. The Republican financial elite is going to do their utmost to win control of the Senate and I don't see anything that is going to stop them from achieving that goal. Character assassination and negative campaigning will flood the airwaves.
Barack Obama may still be able to eke out a win over Romney, but I am now doubtful that there is any chance of that happening, and I'm not really even sure if that would be any kind of achievement for the Democratic Party if they have lost complete control over Congress.
Theoretically, it is always better to hold at least the WH, but if we lose the Senate, what would that say about Obama's ability to do anything with that office over the next four years that would actually provide any kind of benefit to the Democratic Party at the polls in 2012?
The ONLY hope I have for anything positive happening in the political world this year depends on what happens with the Occupy Movement.
If Progressives across the country realize that (1) bought-and-paid-for 'democracy' in America has failed them, and (2) that the ONLY political leverage they can wield any more will come from masses of bodies on the streets, then there is a chance that the $$ advantage of the 1% can be eventually overcome.
(I only hope that if the Occupy movement does blow up again this year, protesters will realize that it is a good idea to 'dress up in their Sunday best' for public demonstrations.)
Sorry for all the pessimism, but at some point you just have to face the facts of what you are dealing with...