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A YEAR FROM NOW | blog.deanland.com

A YEAR FROM NOW

A YEAR FROM NOW                      

 

In recent discussions
with friends, colleagues, and various others who share in a great
feeling of woe (loss, depression, sadness, fear) following the
election, there has been one constant theme: two year until the midterm
election, and then two years for the big one.  Part and parcel with that is a discussion of not taking defeat to heart as a loss, but as an opportunity.  Better yet, a mandate, to rebuild, rethink, and renew the Democratic (or, in  some cases, another) party.

 

Of course the ìhow did we lose itî post mortem is underway.  The
major newspapers, magazines, cable net programs and websites are all
abuzz with analysis, blame, and the fun-filled handicapping of whatís
to come.  Predictions abound ñ who will run
the Democratic Party, who will head the DNC, what will the field of
candidates look like as it becomes a race starting in 2006?  Who will be the Republican nominee?  Will Cheney step down (cue it up: oh, his achy, breaky heart), making way for Dubya to appoint a Veep, also the hand-picked successor?  Might that be Dr. Frist, the likely heir (or at least it seems so, at this moment)?  And might Jeb go for the veep position, to prepare himself for the eventual job that some red staters see as his birthright?

 

All of this is the sort of topical chatter one expects at this moment, right after the election.    Funny how the election is the first Tuesday in November.  So timely, so perfectly scheduled to fade away from public discussion and limelight shortly thereafter.  

 

By
Thanksgiving the populace can resume normalcy, having had a few weeks
to decompress from the election; the immediate fallout and
reaction.

 

Comes Thanksgiving, and then it is full-blast into the holiday season.  Then it is the New Year, the slow and painful first quarter when nobody has any money to spend and thereís snow on the ground.  And then the next thing you know  ñboom!ó
there it is: the Super Bowl, Valentineís Day, Presidentís Day, St
Patrickís Day, and the sweet rejuvenating promise of Springtime is
right around the corner.  Life just continues as it always has, and always does.

 

The big question regarding politics, the future of the Democrats, and where things are headed boils down to a simple question.  Where will the political mood be one year from now?

 

The mood may depend on some major world and domestic events.  What
will be the status of the quagmire known as Iraq?  What will
happen in the middle east following the death of the terrorist leader
Arafat?  How will the economy be in a year?  How much of Dubyaís agenda will have moved forward?  Will
Al Qaeda strike again on this or other soil, showing their might, their
resolve, and their ability to achieve carefully executed acts at will,
on their own schedule, and outside of the intelligence process.

 

Al Qaeda is the key player in these questions.  Look at the difference between the CNN and Al Jazeera translations of the video statement Osama released just before the election.  It is a revealing and upsetting document.  Our stateside news media all but dismissed it as the usual Osama blather. 
In and of itrself, that is frightening.  Dismissing Osama is a
dangerous move.  This is the mastermind, the leader of the group
that carried off a tremendously successful attack on the US.

 

Read the Al Jazeera translation.  It is an indictment; primarily of Bush the elder and then of Dubya, and finally of American policy.  It also threatens more actions of a grander nature than September 11th.  Further,
Osama points out that nations not perceived to be involved in fighting
the will of their movement need have no fear, Sweden being held as an
example of a country Al Qaeda need not attack.

 

What will the political mood of the Democrats be next November?  A
year from now will the energy and intent be as strong, to focus on the
mid-term races, to gather strength and lay a basis of recovery for the
party?  Will local and state issues and races be considered the first step toward making changes?  Or will life simply return to normal, politics mostly out of mind, left to the usual suspects ñ the party chiefs  and local politicos, the operatives who have been running things since forever and can be counted on to keep at it?  

 

At this moment there
is a great sense of energy and fire in the belly to make this loss turn
into a moment for change, a catalyst of sorts, the outcome that became
a call for action.  But this is the aftermath, akin to earthquakes.  Thereís the big shock, Richter Scale measurements, followed by reaction, recovery, and aftershocks.  Then comes the resuming of life, as close as possible to ìlife as we knew it.î

 

The big question is
how long will the reaction last, will it be more than just adjusting to
the outcome, and turn into a true initiative and campaign for change?  Lacking a designated leader it might be difficult.  Time will tell.  It is up to those who care to keep the faith, maintain the conversation, and to take appropriate action.