Our best days are behind us? I don't think so. Part of the reason is, as in Europe, the "Silent Majority" that put Nixon, Reagan, and Bush the Younger into office is stirring again. They don't much like the way socialism has been radically expanded, and rather nakedly exposed as a "who-whom" transaction in which the politically favored Ins get to profit at the expense of the unconnected Outs. That may be the Chicago Way, but it's not the American Way, and come 2010 I think we're going to see a political counterrevolution that looks like 1994 all over again.
I hope the Stupid Party has learned its lessons. They could start proving they have by implementing market-driven medical reform, and decimating the Department of Health & Human Services appropriately. Better yet, they should abolish that department entirely and devolve its functions to the several states, but one step at a time.