FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Can George Ever Really Be Elected President?

by C. G. ESTABROOK

So what did happen to Mad Doctor Dean and the Democrat joy-boys, Kerry and Edwards, in the wild Midwest? The media had anointed Dean, the rural governor from Wall Street, as the Democratic front-runner, but that’s not what the Iowa caucuses decided. Why not?

By the time Dean was delivering his “I have a scream” speech, a exit poll of caucus-goers had been compiled. It was conducted by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, a cooperative arrangement of the for-profit media — ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, Fox News and the AP. It showed that Democrats in Iowa didn’t disagree with Dean about Iraq — 75% of them opposed the Bush administration’s invasion of that country. But less than 15% said that the war was the most important issue. (And only 3% said that terrorism was the most important issue.) Far more of those who attended the caucuses said that the economy and health-care were their main concerns.

The situation in New Hampshire is much the same. A Los Angeles Times poll after the last debate before the primary there showed that although some (20%) saw the war as the most important issue, slightly more (22%) said the economy was, and many more (36%) chose health care.

These results (which they surely paid close attention to) can’t be encouraging to those who do George Bush’s thinking for him. If the voters vote in November on the basis of domestic policies — and can’t be scared with a Terrorists-gonna-get-ya-momma line, as they were from 9/11 through the 2002 elections — the Republicans are in trouble. (Compare ’92 and “It’s the economy, stupid.”) I think that that accounts for the curiously defensive State of the Union speech — and for the fact that Bush rushed off to Ohio immediately afterward to “tout his job proposals,” as the Wall Street Journal said. G. W. Bush is going to be the first president since Herbert Hoover to end his term with fewer jobs in the American economy than when he began; Ohio is one of the handful of states where the difference between Bush and Gore was less than 5% — and more Bush electoral votes came from that handful than Gore votes.

The Bush people are running scared, and that’s dangerous, because it turns their attention to what saved them during this presidential term — 9/11. They’re capable of the Mother of all October Surprises — bombing Iranian and/or North Korean reactors a la Osirik? invading Venezuela/Colombia/Bolivia in desperate defense against “terrorism in our own backyard”? There are various possibilities. Jane’s Intelligence Digest suggests that Rumsfeld is mulling attacks against targets in Somalia and Lebanon; Syria is high on the list of hate-objects for 2004, and our militarist client in the region, Israel, seems already to be implementing the plan.

It was said that the Reagan presidency proved (and Bush-2 confirmed) that in modern America, *anybody* can be president. We should keep that in mind when we say — as I think we probably should — that the mantra for this fall’s election is, “Anybody but Bush.” The crimes and pretensions of this unelected regime of course have to be rejected. In a more just world, Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest would be occupying adjacent cells in the Hague, awaiting trial on the Nuremberg principles, under which the German leadership was condemned for launching aggressive war more than two generations ago.

But here below it was not far wrong of the Bush administration to say, in response to former treasury secretary Paul O’Neill’s confirmation that the attack on Iraq had been planned from the beginning of G. W. Bush’s presidency, that they were just continuing the policy of the Democrats. The Clinton administration had bombed Baghdad and — by means of the sanctions, which they conducted under UN cover — killed even more than the thousands of Iraqis who died in the invasion. Al Gore admitted, even while attacking Bush’s handling of the invasion, that “regime-change” had been the Clinton policy, and that he supported it.

The policies of a new Democratic administration — that of Kerry, Dean, or someone else — will still be policies of imperialism abroad and exploitation at home, policies designed to benefit that small minority of the American population that presently controls wealth and power in the country. We must assume that as president, the Democrat who emerges from the uninspiring pack seeking to replace Bush will commit crimes not different in kind but only in degree from those of the Bush administration. But that difference in degree we can hope will — however slightly — lessen the sum of human misery to which the Bushies have contributed so much.

C.G. Estabrook teaches at the University of Illinois and writes the weekly News from Neptune column. He can be reached at: galliher@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu

 

More articles by:

C. G. Estabrook conducts “News from Neptune” on Urbana (IL) Public Television.  He can be reached at carl@newsfromneptune.com.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 22, 2017
Jason Hirthler
Invisible Empire Beneath the Radar, Above Suspicion
Ken Levy
Sorry, But It’s Entirely the Right’s Fault
John Laforge
Fukushima’s Radiation Will Poison Food “for Decades,” Study Finds
Ann Garrison
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, and the UK’s Socialist Surge
Phillip Doe
Big Oil in the Rocky Mountain State: the Overwhelming Tawdriness of Government in Colorado
Howard Lisnoff
The Spiritual Death of Ongoing War
Stephen Cooper
Civilized, Constitution-Loving Californians Will Continue Capital Punishment Fight
Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
Cuba Will Not Bow to Trump’s Threats
Ramzy Baroud
Israel vs. the United Nations: The Nikki Haley Doctrine
Tyler Wilch
The Political Theology of US Drone Warfare
Colin Todhunter
A Grain of Truth: RCEP and the Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture
Robert Koehler
When the Detainee is American…
Jeff Berg
Our No Trump Contract
Faiza Shaheen
London Fire Fuels Movement to Challenge Inequality in UK
Rob Seimetz
Sorry I Am Not Sorry: A Letter From Millennials to Baby Boomers
June 21, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
Resist This: the United States is at War With Syria
James Ridgeway
Good Agent, Bad Agent: Robert Mueller and 9-11
Diana Johnstone
The Single Party French State … as the Majority of Voters Abstain
Ted Rall
Democrats Want to Lose the 2020 Election
Kathy Kelly
“Would You Like a Drink of Water?” Please Ask a Yemeni Child
Russell Mokhiber
Sen. Joe Manchin Says “No” to Single-Payer, While Lindsay Graham Floats Single-Payer for Sick People
Ralph Nader
Closing Democracy’s Doors Until the People Open Them
Binoy Kampmark
Barclays in Hot Water: The Qatar Connection
Jesse Jackson
Trump Ratchets Up the Use of Guns, Bombs, Troops, and Insults
N.D. Jayaprakash
No More Con Games: Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now! (Part Four)
David Busch
The Kingdom of Pence–and His League of Flaming Demons–is Upon Us
Stephen Cooper
How John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle” Helps Us Navigate Social Discord
Madis Senner
The Roots of America’s Identity and Our Political Divide are Buried Deep in the Land
June 20, 2017
Ajamu Baraka
The Body Count Rises in the U.S. War Against Black People
Gary Leupp
Russia’s Calm, But Firm, Response to the US Shooting Down a Syrian Fighter Jet
Maxim Nikolenko
Beating Oliver Stone: the Media’s Spin on the Putin Interviews
Michael J. Sainato
Philando Castile and the Self Righteous Cloak of White Privilege
John W. Whitehead
The Militarized Police State Opens Fire
Peter Crowley
The Groundhog Days of Terrorism
Norman Solomon
Behind the Media Surge Against Bernie Sanders
Pauline Murphy
Friedrich Engels: a Tourist In Ireland
David Swanson
The Unifying Force of War Abolition
Louisa Willcox
Senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Tom Udall Back Tribes in Grizzly Fight
John Stanton
Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor in the United States
Robert Fisk
Did Trump Denounce Qatar Over Failed Business Deals?
Medea Benjamin
America Will Regret Helping Saudi Arabia Bomb Yemen
Brian Addison
Los Angeles County Data Shows Startling Surge in Youth, Latino Homelessness
Native News Online
Betraying Indian Country: How Grizzly Delisting Exposes Trump and Zinke’s Assault on Tribal Sovereignty and Treaty Rights
Stephen Martin
A Tragic Inferno in London Reflects the Terrorism of the Global Free Market
Debadityo Sinha
Think Like a River
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail