I hope the Democrats are aware that 2008 is not only a crucial election year, but potentially a golden opportunity.
President Bush has about the lowest popularity rating of any standing president in history, and it must be a gratifying surprise to him--after all the talk about what a spoiled rich lad he is, the one thing in his life he's rigorously earned by the labour of his own hands. Bush couldn't win even a rigged election this year if he could legally run--you could never conceal the number of votes you'd have to disqualify, or graveyards you'd have to hunt in at midnight for eligible voters. A miltary coup is out--he's no more popular with the generals, maybe less so, than he is with the people. And any Republican running in the next race will be running in Bush's shadow.
So--do the Democrats this time around find a candidate who's a true Democrat--or do they nominate a moderate Republican as they did in '92? Whoever's elected the Republicans will go after tooth and nail, so there's no point throwing them sops in the hope of mellowing political discourse.
Eighty years on, what Chesterton said in the late '20s is just as true. Democracy hasn't failed except insofar as it's failed to be tried. And Plutocracy hasn't succeeded, except in ruining whatever's within its reach. A President without a drawer chock-a-block with stock options is very likely an impossibility at this point; what the Democrats--and more crucially, the people of the United States of America--need in the next election is a candidate whose soul isn't kept in the same drawer.
C 2007 Martin Heavisides