Bush is a symptom, the problems go much deeper than him. The US has been invading other countries, generally under made-up pretexts, for decades. It’s a war economy, and it’s been that way since WWII. It’s no mistake that a country where, what, 40% of the federal spending goes for military, defense, and the like, gets preoccupied with using all those shiny war toys. Best way to do that is invade other countries. Got to keep the economy pumping along.
Plus, all those wars for empire gives the US new markets for finished goods, new sources of raw materials, and whole new populaces to try to control.
At least that’s the theory. In practice, it’s not working too well, is it? Two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, are going badly, the economy is starting to sputter, the national debt is hitting intolerable heights. It’s not sustainable. Then there’s all the countries who used to like, or at least tolerate the US, who now are unfriendly at best, thanks to the neocons, who really are just extreme examples of a foreign policy that has been in place for years.
Liberals and progressives should not get pulled into the 2006 mid-term elections, because this just sucks energy out of the movement, rendering it harmless. The Democrats have clearly, repeatedly, and unmistakably shown they have few substantive differences with Republicans (except for a few social issues) so only the naive will think they’d do anything different if they controlled Congress. Oh, they’ll pretty it up a bit, sticking a kinder, gentler, Happy Face on top of the unprovoked invasions and the tortures, but the wars will continue.
Then’s there’s 2008. It might well be McCain vs.Hillary. Oh yeah, there’s some progressive people for you. Sounds like third and fourth party time coming, as the Religious Right rejects McCain and liberals/progressives reject Hillary.
But real change will not come through electoral politics, nor will it come by howling that Bush, noxious as he is, is the problem. The problem is an avaricious economic system that feeds on war. That’s what we need to change.