My Grandma used to say, "If wishes were horses than beggars would ride." With the advent of cars that slogan became dated, but even so, her point was evident. Obama's words shone with promise last night, a good start, but unfortunately given the nature of capitalism they are no more than words.
I was pleased to see him mobilizing the 99% and holding the line on continued tax cuts for the wealthy. He mentioned scapegoating with a list that included immigrants and even gays and I love the way many speakers have quoted Romney's brilliant statement about if you need money to start a business, just ask your parents.
But what can the Democrats do, besides play a good verbal game, that can actually change working people's lives for the better. Obama could have instituted a single-payer health care system instead of making deals with big pharma to fund the insurance companies. He could have sent corporate criminals to jail and closed Guantanamo. Not issuing death warrants for Americans abroad to be assassinated without trial would have been a nice touch. And forcing banks to modify home loans instead of going full speed ahead with foreclosures could have saved a lot of heartache.
Yes, it matters who is selected for the Supreme Court. It matters that people of color are not deterred from voting, immigrants be treated fairly and queer folks be accepted as full citizens. But as long as the destruction of unions and middle-class jobs is allowed to proceed unimpeded, as long as corporations are people and our country is committed to endless and ever-increasing warfare, the unobstructed economic down-slide of the US into a third world economy will continue.