The God Squad

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

of our citizens, including atheistic Americans, should be made to feel outside of the electoral or political process.” B’nai B’rith, the parent group of the ADL, hastily dissociated itself from Berkowitz and Foxman.

Gore, himself Born Again some years ago along with Tipper, found no reason to chide Lieberman. Indeed the Democratic presidential candidate has a unappetizing streak of sermonizing religiosity in his own character. Gore strenuously supported Tipper’s repellent campaign in the mid-Eighties to censor music and to persuade the recording industry to blacklist certain groups. Once again liberal groups have remained mute on Gore’s record.

In Detroit this week Lieberman said to workers “If you see men and women as created in the image of God, then you will not treat them as extensions of machines, as pure things to take advantage of, and that is what the labor movement is about, justice to people, fairness to people.”

Note the senator’s vagueness. Why not a few words about labor and the WTO? Labor and the flight of jobs overseas? Politicians to talk about God and morality as a way to avoid confronting truly unmentionable topics in this election, like trade or who’s getting richer and who isn’t. To get details on these topics you have to listen to Ralph Nader, not only the first Arab American to run for the presidency but the first in many years to spare us sermons about morality and God.

Bush Campaign Finally Gets Serious

In a move likely to boost his sagging status in the polls George W. Bush gave a major policy address earlier this week on the communications industry. Just before a campaign speech in Illinois, Mr Bush whispered to his running mate Dick Cheney: “There’s Adam Clymer, major league asshole from the New York Times.” Mr Cheney responded, “Oh yeah, he is, big time.” Bush and Cheney supposedly were ignorant that the microphone in front of them was “open”, though some suspect that Bush knew perfectly well what he was doing.

Hopefully this is only the keynote for more extended criticisms of the Fourth Estate by the Texas governor. Clymer is a political correspondent for the New York Times, whose commentaries down the years have been unrelentingly drab and mediocre. The last Republican candidate to lay into the press at the national level was Spiro Agnew, Nixon’s running mate. However, his labored formulations (“Nattering nabobs of negativism”) lacked Bush’s pithy precision. CP

CounterPunch’s Top 100 Nonfiction Books

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

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