Please Step Up
The reports are that big-name Dems are keeping below-radar on the New Orleans cataclysm because the damage to Bush is so bad that criticism might only link said populist criticism with "unpopular" political sniping. This may be true. The turning of even the mainstream media against Bush on this issue, however, indicates a moment when serious carpe-ing of the diem is needed. The geo-spatial differences between Iraq and Nola are clear -- by creating a Third World situation within the continental U.S., the Bush administration has introduced a form of authentic mourning and desire that is lethal to the Neo-Con-hyper-capitalist-Christian-right menagerie of fear of and hatred for the other. The other, even though poor and black, a classic bogey-man of the mainstream American politics of consolidated power, is too close to home in this case, too visible, and too innocent. The very promise of modern civilization as the victory of human rationality over the primal vortices of nature has dissipated, if only for an instant. This civilizational failure can only underline the perverse civilizing rhetoric that has shrouded the immorality of the war in Iraq. Since not only the Bush-regime, but certain basic tenets of modern American mythology have been challenged by this natural catastrophe, the flux of outrage and desire can have powerful long-term political consequences. While pre-hurricane, I already was of the opinion that, excluding actual computer fraud, a Democrat was going to win in 2008, I now think and hope that not only a Democrat, but an authentic leftist and economic populist can win. Russ Feingold, and any other potentially non-militaristic, anti-monopolist Democrats, need to get on the scene, and start milking the media's desire to channel an incredible national sadness by pointing toward a new and wholly other direction for a country that over the past five years has been shamed.