On the way to work yesterday, a young (drunk) guy and his girlfriend got on the bus, after putting their bicycles on the bike rack next to mine.  When the young guy heard me discussing politics with the bus driver, he said, “Well, we oughta half the size of government, ’cause the politicians are screwing everything up.”

This guy seemed down-and-out, so I figure he must watch Fox News and listen to conservative AM talk radio.  The Right has so corrupted and mismanaged government, and so successfully spread their propaganda, that the People no longer trust in the possibility of good government.  They’ve managed to direct the anger of millions of Americans at the government and liberals.  Republicans win by deception and by failure, which they blame on Democrats and government workers.

The mood has changed in the country over the last year. Republicans are going in for the kill, because their 30 year plan to destroy government is coming to fruition.  Among more and more Democrats a real sense of fear and pending doom has taken hold, because the realization has struck that President Obama is a sell-out and the conservatives will have their way with us.

A year ago, it felt exciting and empowering to oppose Obama’s sellouts, because I felt like I was on the vanguard of progressive vision and because I still held out some hope that Obama could be swayed and moderated. The Democrats still controlled the House.

This year I feel there is little hope. Lots of Democrats are threatening to leave the party.  But most Democrats continue to refrain from openly criticizing the President,  because the Republicans are even worse — which is true.

Last fall I submitted a resolution critical of Obama to my local LD (41st). Only one other person supported me. Almost everyone else applauded when I withdrew the resolution.  This year the LD rejected my resolution to overturn I-1053 by challenging its constitutionality. They might as well elect Tim Eyman as their chair.   Anyway, I have little expectation that threats from Democrats would be effective at changing Obama’s policies.

People need to face the facts.  One can say: Obama suffers from a bad case of premature capitulation. But I’d say more:  Obama is a Benedict Arnold: a centrist actively working against Democratic principles. For example, see Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian:   Barack Obama is gutting the core principles of the Democratic party.

But people in the know also say that Obama is powerless to stop the juggernaut: that he has limited control.  It feels like the country is on the verge of a great collapse.  The situation is grim and there is no good option.

This seems credible:   New court filing reveals how the 2004 Ohio presidential election was hacked.

It will take decades to undo the Republicans’ damage to the electoral system, federal agencies, and the courts.   Can we wait that long? The Democratic Party is centrist, so it’s not clear that it will be able to counter the conservative juggernaut. Progressives either flee the Democratic Party or are outnumbered and unwilling to take it over.

Probably when the budget cuts kick in, and when the economy enters the double dip recession, there’ll be more social unrest.  Nonviolent civil disobedience is perhaps a viable option, but I’m not optimistic that that will lead to a good result, due to the power and funding behind right wing populism (Tea Party, etc).

We’re between a rock and a hard place. One hope is that the Republicans over-reach and destroy themselves, but they’ve been over-reaching for years and getting away with it. Already, they’ve probably destroyed the economy and the environment. They’ve destroyed trillions of dollars in wealth — transferring much of it to the super-rich. They’ve thoroughly corrupted D.C. and reversed many decades of precedent. They’re in the process of dismantling the New Deal and drowning state and federal government in the bathtub.

People say that we shouldn’t depend on leaders. People say we have to save ourselves. Bullshit! I don’t believe it if it’s intended to be an excuse for Obama’s fecklessness. We needed a strong president (and a strong governor) to fight conservatives, promote progressive ideas, and do what had to be done to change the system. Obama wasn’t the man. And Christine Gregoire wasn’t the woman. Apparently, (s)he barely cared. At best, (s)he wimped out.

And to the extent that the Democratic Party allows Obama Gregore to get away with their many compromises and sell-outs, the Party weakens itself. Millions of voters will and should demand better.