Mark is under the illusion that the lack of prominent candidates he can personally support means democracy in this country is an illusion. All it really means is that he dislikes these candidates.
If indeed the "party bosses" (I believe top hats are involved) are gearing up to "Re-Rockefellerize" the party, this will work to the extent it is supported by most people calling themselves Republican. I hope that doesn't happen, but if it does, it doesn't mean democracy is an illusion--it means my side had fewer votes. That's kind of the point.
I concur. One of the fundamental issues of democracy that many people have problems with is that it includes the right of the people to make really, really bad decisions, such as the emerging consensus that we really should just abandon Iraq to al-Qaeda and Iran. I think that if you read through the Federalist Papers et al. it is fairly clear that this was understood from the very beginning. It was also deliberately designed as an imperfect system, which is why I believe that the early United States was able to escape the totalitarian fate of revolutionary France. If you sacralize politics to the point where you believe that people cannot be trusted to make bad decisions, you ultimately end up with a dictatorship. This view is explicitly rejected by the Catechism, which notes that the particulars of government are not laid out so long as justice and the common good are upheld.
This, at least to me, acknowledges the reality and limitations of humanity without falling into extreme despair.