I wish people would understand that nothing has really changed. Different things are more obvious, yes, but the facts on the ground are the same. Journalists weren't amazed so much at what the current administration has done -- they were amazed it was done _openly_. They scratched their figurative heads, saying (and sometimes even to their readers), "can he get away that?" . . .
I've been reading a little of Hunter S. Thompson's coverage of 70's political campaigns. The press pool could use a touch of gonzo right now, I think.
What my freak friends are overlooking is that there's a tremendous opportunity being lost here. Against an incumbent who's run so far off the rails, there is less "need" for an "electable" candidate. You really could elect a Kucinich! or even a Nader! The cynics and the optimists could both come out winners here.
But instead, you're clamoring for candidates that don't and won't represent you. In this you are not just "choosing the lesser evil", you are actually creating it. There's a Machiavellian principle at work here, and we're on the short end of it. An "electable" democrat will erode your civil rights, but it will be far less obvious.
Welcome to America, here's your handbasket.
 I'll be interested to see the number of Republicans who vote for Nader, as well as Republican votes for other third parties.