In a recent post, "My Father the Superdelegate, and Why There's Nothing to Fear," Donnie Fowler attempts to reassure us that when the superdelegates, most of whom "have spent the majority of their lives serving the Democratic Party," choose the Democratic nominee, they will choose, from their "perspective and wisdom," the very nominee we ought to have. "Not to worry," he says.
I'm not the only one, I expect, who will not be so easily reassured. I expect, in fact, that Fowler's post has had the unintended effect of increasing both the number of worriers and the intensity of their worry. Why?
The Democratic leadership has failed. The ratings for Congress are lower than Bush's and I've finally come, with great anger and sorrow, to agree that they ought to be. Bush is what he is: a criminal, a disaster. Many oppose him and his policies, his thuggish administration, and his venal, stupid rubber-stamp party. In fact, those in opposition (apparently a majority now) thought they were part of an opposition party. They voted for that party in the midterm elections in 2006 and they won! But despite the retaking of the House and the Senate by the opposition party, there is no real opposition, just a handful of heroes and increasingly anguished howling on the blogs. Impeachment is not only off the table, but the committee investigations that would almost certainly turn up so many smoking guns that we would be rid of this smirking pestilence have apparently all been stalled or stopped. Subpoena power! Remember when you thought that would matter? Senators Schumer and Feinstein voted to allow Mukasey's nomination out of the Judiciary Committee, so that he could be confirmed by a Democratically-controlled Senate, to theirs and its eternal shame. Mukasey had testified that Bush has the power to choose which laws he will follow and which laws he will ignore. If you had to define fascism in one sentence, you could hardly do better.
Many of us supported Kucinich, then Edwards, and now Obama in the hope not only that the greedy, mean-spirited corporatism of the right and center could be halted or reversed and that the illegal, ignorant, mismanaged war would be swiftly brought to an end, but also (and most important) that the American people, so ignorant of the Constitution and the meaning of democracy, so badly frightened by the chickenhawk demagogues and the collaborationist press, could be pulled back from the lazy, easy slide into fascism.
Mr. Fowler speaks of the lifelong commitment of these failed leaders to "the Democratic Party and its ideals." What ideals? Raising the minimum wage? Supporting public television? Voting to "authorize" George W. Bush to make war on Iraq whenever he, the unitary Decider, deemed it good strategery? Voting for the FISA extension? Voting to fund the war? Condemning the war for its botched execution ("too little, too late"), instead of denouncing it as morally and criminally wrong from the beginning? Voting for Telecom immunity? Refusing to impeach for high crimes and misdemeanors, or even to investigate them? Voting for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, so Bush and Cheney and shock-and-awe will be ready the next time Iranian speedboats threaten our warships?
Many of us were hoping, in these primaries, to make an end run around our party's failed leadership and vote for a nominee very different from whatever candidate might, for whatever reason, receive their collective imprimatur. We think it is essential to have a progressive nominee to contest the national election with the tax-cut endless-war Republican nominee. Essential. That's what we're voting for. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the establishment corporate centrist leaders have a different plan, a different candidate, and they are arrogantly certain that we will go along with their choice (what else can we do?), so that whatever else changes it will still be, one way or another, "business as usual" in Washington, and they will all get to move up to the really good places at the same old trough, while the Republican kine begin their 4 (or 8 or 16, hooray!) lean years. They are sure that the Democratic and independent voters now galvanized and having such a good old time in the long circus of the primaries, voting for this one and that one, caucusing, watching the debates, listening to the pundits, arguing at the water-cooler, wearing buttons and sporting bumper-stickers, all those happy warriors will follow the lead of the leaders, when they have to, when the choice is between the selected super-nominee, a nominal Democrat, and the nominal Republican.
Some of us won't.