The Progressives were also anti-immigrant and anti-party, which meant "machine" to most of them, and was seen as corrupt. Although historians would acknowledge that, there's also been a lot of analysis of the "latent functions" of the machine, which included social services and a more inclusive democracy than the restricted electorate envisioned by Progressive reformers animated by anti-party views.
Given the STRONG correlation between income and health status, perhaps you could make a better contribution by supporting the one institution in this country that fights every day to improve the situation of ordinary Americans. I like doctors, but you don't save nearly as many lives as solid living standards and good public health would--both things that unions have historically fought for.
The problem is that Bartlett's White House is (or was, esp during its higher-rated seasons) such a paragon of sincerity and reality-based policymaking, that I'm sure it reassured independents that "this must be typical of all White Houses--even Bush's." I suspect that a Santos Presidency would be similar.
I'm wary about a Vinick administration, too. A reality-based conservativism is so far from the "mayberry machiavellis" we have there now, that it, too, is likely to reassure, rather than raise the alarm.
That being said, at least the campaign story line of this season has piqued a little interest compared to the woeful stories of last year.
I need a new laptop. I've become incresingly frustrated with windows98 and its frequent (several times daily) crashes. But I'm wary of learning a new OS and variations in apps. Is XP significantly better so as not to worry? Or should I geet a new iBook?