It seems like I ask this question every couple of years, at least. Let’s take stock: we still have 100,000 troops in Iraq. We are escalating in Afghanistan. The Palestinian Arabs are still officially worth less than pet food. The financial industry, fresh off nearly bankrupting the country (if not the world) and being given no-strings taxpayer-funded bailouts, has yet to be regulated; meanwhile, savaged homeowners and taxpayers are still being hung out to dry. The imminent health care ‘reform’ plan looks to line industry pockets and curtail women’s reproductive freedom.

But at least with Democrats in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, I can expect to see better appointees in the judicial branch, right? That is the last-ditch excuse I’m given by Democratic partisans who scoff at my Green Party vote. Well, let’s see how that’s working out:

‘Disappointed’ Siegelman: Obama Justice Dept. Virtually The Same As Bush DOJ

I didn’t even mention the continuation of Bush’s policies of international kidnapping, detainment, torture, and extrajudicial killings. Nor did I mention the continued metastasizing of police state structures and behaviors (which are, sadly, most notable against reasonable voices of dissent: you can expect to see a group of protesters against something real– like escalation in Afghanistan or insurance industry greed– be subjected to heavy-handed police action, but the teabaggers can spout all kinds of violent vitriol and go unmolested).

Yes, for all their well-founded complaints about Bush and the GOP, however, self-identified Democrats– progressives, liberals, and ‘centrists’ alike– are seeing that cabal’s vile behavior not only stand without official repudiation, but are seeing much of it continue. Obama and the Democrats are little better than a more polite and articulate bearer of the same substantive standard. What does this mean for us as voters and citizens? Should we all get together and march in the streets? The dupes of right-wing populism are willing to travel and assemble in service of, well, they know not what (and, in fairness, they are being organized and herded along by some very wealthy and powerful interests). Should we not see the same from Democratic voters, even without any well-funded institutional support or instigation? Frankly, I don’t expect it. For all the disillusionment with Obama that I’m seeing in the electronic community, I’m not impressed. None of what we see now should be a surprise to anyone who had been willing to look beyond Obama’s fluffy rhetoric and see that his choices– primarily his choices of advisers— could not have been predicting much different from his current actions, or even anything philosophically different from his predecessor’s actions.

So I don’t expect a groundswell of militant dissidence from a segment of the population that so refuses to seriously scrutinize its electoral choices. I never grow tired of saying this: until the putatively sane and decent people (be they Democrats or Republicans) stop voting against their own interests, this nation will continue its death spiral. I’ll leave it at that.

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