Looking for a Bright Side in a Gloomy Election

With days to go before the mid-term elections, America is in dire danger of falling into the hands of extremists who could wreak havoc on the economy and the social fabric of this once-prosperous nation.

The polls paint a gloomy picture.

The bright-eyed hope-and-change voters who swept President Obama into power just two years ago are turned off. They are expected to stay home in droves on Tuesday.

Among the Republicans poised to grab control of both houses of Congress are nitwits and fanatics. They include climate-change skeptics, anti-abortion zealots, free-market fundamentalists, economic Darwinists and mindless puppets controlled my Machiavellian corporate profiteers.

A scary time could be ahead for the middle class and the working poor in America – and a reign of terror for the disadvantaged.

It does no good to point out that it would be their own damn fault, that if the Republicans win control of Congress it will be because so many working-class Americans lost faith in the party that is trying to help them and bought a pack of lies slickly presented by professional con artists.

It looks as if the only recourse progressive like me have left is to seek solace in defeat – to hope that out of this palpable evil might come some glimmer of good.

And I do see a sliver of light at the end of the tunnel.

The Democrats most in danger of defeat include a slew of “Blue Dogs” – deceptively described as “moderates” by the media.

Blue Dogs sabotaged President Obama’s health care reform battle, resisting attempts to include a ‘public option,’ and splitting hairs over federal funds that they (spuriously) claimed would insure abortion. Many Blue Dogs also bucked their party’s leadership on the ‘cap-and-trade’ energy legislation that passed the House in 2009 but stalled in the Senate.

So, I have mixed emotions about the news that these Democrats are in danger of defeat.

In a recent analysis, 42 of the 54 seats held by self-identified Blue Dogs are among the closest House races. That’s almost half the 90-plus Democrats pundits say are in danger.

I won’t shed too many tears if the Blue Dogs – Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, for example – are kicked out of Congress.

To me, Lincoln is a Democrat in name only. She refused to support a public option in health care reform legislation and opposed a union check-off bill.  And as chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she championed free trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea, despite strong resistance from American trade unions.

This woman is obviously no friend of the American worker. And she has lots of company among so-called Democrats.

So, looking into the gray sea of despondency that looms ahead, I seek solace in the fact that if the Blue Dogs lose their seats, true Democrats might be nominated to succeed them in future elections. They might not all be elected, of course. Parts of this country are dismally unenlightened. But those who do get elected could be counted on to support legislation that would benefit the working people of America, not the corporate fat cats and military-industrial mandarins who now pull the levers of power in Washington.