Watching McCain/Palin rallies it seems as if Republican Party jihadists are praying for a bullet, a bimbo or a bomb. They know only a catastrophic event will prevent Senator Obama from becoming president while the Republican Party is poised for disintegration from coast to coast. In my home state of New York, Democrats finally outnumber Republicans in Nassau and Suffolk Counties! Nassau County was home to the vaunted political machine of Al D'Amato and bastion of GOP money and patronage. No more and Democrats are poised to capture the New York State Senate for the first time since 1965 as a result. I realize most regard New York as the bluest of states but that's a big deal and symptomatic of the political terrain nationwide.
Memo to Republicans: Obama's ascendancy does not mean the "end of days." However, the combination of George W. Bush's two mismanaged military occupations, crony capitalism and the resulting economic calamity mean even Jesus Christ will not save the GOP's rotting corpse. Republican salvation will only come from repentance of their failed corporate theocratic ideology and cultural contempt for intelligent secular people.
Republicans eminently deserve the pasting they're about to receive. More importantly, Republicans have thoroughly demonstrated how incapable they are of competent governance; especially during times of crisis. For the moment, America and the world can't afford to have the GOP anywhere close to the reigns of power beyond a few state and municipal governments. Republicans also need this beating as an impetus to reform themselves.
Ultimately, I hope judicious Republicans rise above the mob that their party has pandered to. Democrats do not have a monopoly on wisdom and will not be above hubris with one party domination. Progressive Netroots activists like myself will do our best to keep Democrats honest but what's really needed is the competition of strong adversarial parties (note I didn't write party singular) engaged in the intellectual marketplace of ideas.
The years ahead will be challenging and tumultuous. Americans will be tasked with creating a new economic social/paradigm on the fly that works in the 21st century while too many of us are struggling to survive and avoid destitution. Our country will be further challenged because we can no longer effectively sustain an empire and that will require a major adjustment as the world is experiencing both shortages of oil and water. Indeed, a large dose of humility will be needed after the hyperpower post Cold War presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Culturally, we Americans have never done well with humility so that too represents a challenge.
Senator Obama is far from perfect but he appears to have the right stuff for the challenges ahead. Initially, however, should Obama become president Democrats will largely be debating with themselves as the GOP is poised for irrelevancy after November 4th. In the short term that is necessary and good. In the long run that will be a recipe for disaster. Even Franklin Roosevelt had Republicans he could reach out to during World War Two such as Indiana Senator Arthur Vandenberg. As of now though virtually the entire Republican Party establishment is discredited.
It takes more than one party to govern a country especially during times as challenging as these. Hopefully, a landslide down the ticket on November 4th will facilitate the emergence of a new generation of Republicans who are part of the "reality based community" and ready to vigorously compete in the marketplace of ideas. Otherwise we'll all go down together.