"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."
- Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, on the occasion of his swearing in as President following the resignation of Richard M. Nixon, 37th President of the United States and godfather of the modern Republican movement's success.
In 1968, RFK said, "There's no question that in the next 30 or 40 years a Negro can also achieve the same position that my brother has as PResident of the United States." Prescient.
Today begins the next era of American history. The previous period, beginning in 1964 or 1968, was defined by a rising reactionary movement determined to wipe out the legacy of the New Dealers, and unafraid to resort to the most extreme political tactics to do it. As Krugman notes this morning, it was an era that culminated in Monsters --
Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.
Today we begin the ascent to a new and better world, one that presents some of the greatest challenges we have faced in many years, but also one that holds the promise of a world where progress is no longer the enemy ("hopelessly liberal"), but is the cherished and desired goal.