FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Someone Else for President

by DAVID VEST

 

2004 is still a few months away, but it promises to be a doozy. Already a good friend of mine has taped a home-made bumper sticker to her pickup truck: “Someone else for president,” it says.

Well, yes. Helen Thomas and others have already called Bush “the worst president we’ve ever had,” and there’s a growing sentiment that anyone, anyone at all, even someone randomly selected from a blind lottery, would be an improvement.

It’s a feeling that’s easy to share. It’s probably good for the country. But it could also be dangerous.

Unfortunately, the next president isn’t going to be selected randomly. Number 44 is going to be picked the same way Bush was picked, by people looking for “someone who can win.”

Exactly how we got into this mess in the first place.

When professional politicians and their corporate masters sniff the wind and determine that it’s time to throw Bush overboard with the bilge, they’re not going to say, “Who’s qualified?” And certainly not “Who’ll stand up to us?”

They’re going to need someone who knows his or her place. A new personality who won’t shake up the system too much.

That’s what they’ll be looking for: the same thing we’ve got now, but without the “negatives.” Someone who would do the same things Bush is doing, but do them “better.”

If I’m right, they won’t have far to look.

On one hand, we have the Democrats, a party that has drifted so far to the right that it regards Howard Dean, a mainstream conservative who supports the death penalty and opposes gun control, as a left-winger.

The corporate media have been debating who Dr. Dean is for months now. At first they thought he was Martin Sheen from The West Wing (governor from a New England State, a professional, short guy, etc.). Only when he raised big money and took the lead in both Iowa and New Hampshire polls did he turn into McGovern. Having seized momentum, Dean began moving aggressively rightward (or “toward the Center,” to use the prevailing euphemism) and suddenly he was no longer McGovern, he was the new McCain, a real “straight-shooter” whose only problem was that he liked to start shooting before even shaking hands.

The comparisons are instructive. Nixon, of course, beat McGovern like a staked goat. Bush murdered McCain’s good name along with his candidacy in South Carolina.

To the real Left, Dean resembles neither McGovern nor McCain. He looks more like the New Bush (fiesty, combative former governor, tends to speak before thinking, signed Civil Unions bill to show his compassionate conservatism, etc.).

And look how the party treats candidates who actually want to bring our troops home from Iraq right now. It can’t wait for them to drop out and leave the debate stage to candidates who “have a chance,” the ones who either voted for the war or think we just didn’t do it right — we didn’t “build a coalition.” (The tendency of some of these candidates to position themselves as the new George Bush the First would be alarming if it weren’t so predictable.)

Preferring a new Clinton to a new Bush One, the Dems may wind up with Wesley Clark, famous rejected Republican, who “thinks” he recalls voting for Nixon. If Clark wins the White House, will Karl Rove return his phone calls then? This assumes Rove will even be able to get phone service in a Clark administration.

What would be Clark’s campaign slogan as the Democratic nominee? “Elect a real Republican”?

Which brings us to the other hand, where we find not so much the Republicans as just George W. Bush and a big wad of money and a lot of real quiet people. They know Bush lied to them, they know we’re in trouble in Iraq, they know the economy’s going down the tubes, but what the hey, they got a tax cut, didn’t they?

Never mind who’s a new McGovern or a new Eisenhower. The more telling fact is that (given the president’s nose-dive in the polls) there is no one in the Republican party willing to be called a Eugene McCarthy. Money talks, yes, but it also silences.

Funny how both “hands” of this analogy are right hands.

The idea of Ralph Nader entering the primaries as a Republican looks better every day. Why not, if Clark’s a Democrat?

Thank God we have California to entertain us until the presidential primaries are underway.

“We have people from every planet on the earth in this state,” says embattled governor Gray Davis.

“I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman,” replies Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger is the embodiment of “someone else for governor.” Hell, so is the entire list of 135 candidates. And to think, this is what we want to bring to Iraq.

Republicans voted for “someone who can win” and wound up under fire in Tikrit. Never mind that Bush didn’t actually “win.” Now it’s the Democrats’ turn to find “someone who can win.” Where will that lead? North Korea? Iran? Some other country that would be glad to have “somebody else for dictator”?

You don’t like to see American troops used for target practice in Baghdad? Wait until you see them standing between Israeli tanks and Palestinian suicide bombers.

Someone else for president? You bet, but not if it means “I don’t care who.” Let the bookies pick winners. Let the people pick a president.

DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He and his band, The Willing Victims, just released a scorching new CD, Way Down Here.

He can be reached at: davidvest@springmail.com

Visit his website at http://www.rebelangel.com

 

 

More articles by:

DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He and his band, The Willing Victims, have just released a scorching new CD, Serve Me Right to Shuffle. His essay on Tammy Wynette is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on art, music and sex, Serpents in the Garden.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castille’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail