"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

November 01, 2006

Question for voters, from Talking Points Memo:

"Beyond the incompetence, the bungled policies and the lies (which are plenty bad enough), where the country finds itself is a situation in which the leadership of the country either can't see, or won't see, or most likely wants to pretend not to see what a growing majority of the country clearly can see.

"It's most clear, most visible in Iraq. Though there's a bit less consensus on whether it was a mistake from the outset, there's an overwhelming consensus among Americans today that Iraq has become a disaster for the United States and that it's not going to get better on the course we're now on.

"But the president just says, No. Sure, there are a few bumps along the way. But fundamentally it was a good idea, we're doing the right thing and we're on the right track. No matter what however many people tell him, that's what his gut tells him so it's full speed ahead. He's going to stay the course right over the cliff.

"In America, political action in Washington usually tracks fairly closely with public opinion, even though the voters only get a real bite at the apple every two years. But it doesn't have to be that way. The people in charge can pretty much ignore what people think and say. For the two years between elections, they're close to invulnerable.

"And that's the closer in this election. How do you think Iraq has gone? How do you think Congress is doing its job? How did you think Katrina was handled? Different people are going to have different hot button issues. But across the board I think what we're seeing in the country is that sense of disconnect -- things are seriously off course but the folks in charge won't admit it and don't know what to do about it.

"So to voters I think the pitch is, think back over the last two years. You only have one chance to go on record with your verdict. Thumbs up or thumbs down. One chance before you have to go back and sit in the stands again for another two years.

"Are you on board with what's happening? Or do you want to go on record saying things have to change? One chance.

"And if you give the thumbs up, how will you feel when you wake up on November 8th?"

--- Josh Marshall

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