The Dem Alternative
Watch and listen to the noxious Eric Alterman (the first speaker shown) in this ad for Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man. The mentality he exhibits here shows how and why his book about Springsteen, It Ain't No Sin to Be Glad You're Alive, managed to so perversely take one of my favorite artists and a lyric that changed my life and trivialize them.
But what really bothers me here is the mindset that blames the past six years on anyone who might be trying to build some real alternatives to our current political system. That's not just dumb; it's suicidal.
What do we know about what the Gore presidency would have been? Aside from aspects of the Gore track record that people love to overlook, like the way he took the helm steering the Democratic Party to the right with the DLC, launched the bi-partisan culture war to control popular music and urged Clinton to slash welfare in half, what can we point to as significant concrete evidence of what he would have done as president?
Maybe pick a Vice Presidential running mate? The man who would have taken his place? Pick a man who is such a staunch defender of the Iraq war that he broke with his own party over it in order to maintain his congressional seat? Joe Lieberman--this was Gore's decision, a fellow culture warrior and an unwavering supporter of the Iraq war.
Of course, until very recently, Hillary Clinton chose to support the war as well. What a team those two might make for President in '08! Both veteran culture warriors, they can silence the immorality (and the happy byproduct of protest) in popular music and take the fight to the Caspian Sea with the support of everyone who's just glad we don't have W around to embarrass us anymore.
This is what I'm dreading. 4 or 8 years of apology for policies that aren't that much different from those the Bush/Cheney Administration would have given us. I am certain there will be a facelift, and I am certain there will be some kinder, gentler efforts toward reform, but I am also certain that the country will continue to move its center to the right with little to no resistance once the Democrats are in office.
If I sound tired and angry today, it's because I am. With all the things going on in the world, particularly that daily death toll from Iraq, the news is full, hour after hour, with Anna Nicole Smith and before she died, astronauts gone wild and no new news but more lurid details of the Missouri kidnappings.
Meanwhile, on television, only the comedians are coming close to the truth. See the following link, under Stephen Colbert's The Word and "Silence" in particular for one of the better efforts to get at our current political condition.