the main points these articles convey are as follows (and these points are also relevant for a discussion concerning the failure of the OR to ignite a process of real, progressive change in ukraine):
1) voters in the US have called for sweeping changes, or rather, sweeping reversals of what repulicans have done in the last 6 years; furthermore, a significant proportion of the electorate have passed judgment on years of deregulation, free-trade, the dismantling of the welfare state, and on the rightward drift of the democratic party and american society in general.
2) however, establishment or clintonite democrats (the majority of democrats in congress) are making every effort to reduce the significance of the elections to a referendum on republican conduct of the iraq war and perhaps on conservative stances on the rights of same-sex couples, and otherwise are eager to get back to business as usual.
3) the only way the democrats will even partially struggle for a wide range of grassroots demands is if they continue to feel real, grassroots pressure to do so.
now compare to ukraine:
there were important elections in 2004 in which people were promised a lot and expected a tremendous degree of change. the liberals that came to power, however, were not equal to the task and struggled to reduce the full significance of the elections to a few issues, mostly to the exclusion of truly popular demands. politics in ukraine for the most part returned to business as usual. and in ukraine--as i fear will be the case in the US--the grassroots was not up to the task of remaining organized, committed, and militant in effort to pressure the liberals to do more. significanlty, after the OR, the grassroots and most of its ngo-champions fell apart (in no small part because, at the time of the OR, there was not yet a real, sustainable and wide-spread level of grassroots organization and solidarity, and because the ngo sector did indeed depend greatly on US funds).
note: i don't mean to suggest that nothing has changed in ukraine under yushchenko and that nothing will change in the US under the democrats. however, where the Orange Revolution promised a full struggle of dekuchmization, what ukraine now has is kuchma-lite; and i think that the best one can hope for in the US at this point is a bush-lite that as bad as the beer by a similar (busch) name.
both ukrainian and american society today lack real alternatives to their respective ruling cliques and problematic forms of capitalism, and absent within both is anything resembling the level of grassroots organization and power that exist today in a number of latin american countries.
democrats, born to compromise. here
The Democrats will not deliver an end to the Iraq war without substantial pressure from below. And that requires large-scale, grass-roots struggle. This should be a wakeup call to everyone who wants an end to the Iraq war, a raise in the minimum wage, a step forward for immigrants' rights-and an end to politics-as-usual in Washington. The door for social change is opening, but we must take action to achieve it.you call this a sweep? here
democrats can be neocons, too. here
a socialist in the senate? here
election postmortem. here
count your blessings. here
blood on the tracks. here
the democrats and civil liberties. here
the repudiation of one-party rule. here
the return of tom lantos. here
rahm's loosers. here
the roots of corruption. here
other good stuff from the counterpunch site, a daily must-read:
in nicaragua, a chavez wave? here
GUILTY VERDICT FOR THE US AS WELL. here.
I'd also like to suggest the following, excellent book:
The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America
the authors, two british journalists who have resided in the US for many years, do an excellent job of explaining how and why the center of american politics has always been much to the right of the european consensus, and how it swung even further to the right in a process that lasted a number of decades. they make excellent clarifications, such as explaining that howard dean--considered today as one of the more "progressive" members of his party by establishment democrats--would have been considered an "eisenhower republican" in a different era in US history, and a conservative in many parts of europe today.