by Corey A. Tyler
They'll say he was hopeless to stop it. That's the first
thing we'll hear from the pundits in a few years, that the
seeds of the landslide election of the Democratic candidate
were sown in the popular vote totals of the 2000 election
and in the Census report released that same year. They'll
say that the current President, faced with a slumping domestic
economy, added with the growing number of traditionally Democratic
voters in our nations cities and southern states, was handed
a most insurmountable charge to keep; secure re-election to
the highest office in the land having never been properly
elected in the first place.
And we'll suffer from the same post-pardum dementia those
on the right are going through now; violently genuflecting
whenever a question is put to us involving the words "responsible"
or "blame." Just as pathetically, we'll scream "Dubya!"
with the same venomous vigor they scream "Clinton!"
But at least we'll be done with them. There won't be any Cheney-for-President
minions to deal with. No more Howard Finemen penned valentines
to Karl Rove to read while grinding our teeth. Sooner rather
than later, we won't have Dick and Not-Too-Quick to kick around
And it will be because they forgot what happened last year;
that while some were immature enough to be seduced by the
over-caffineated hopelessness of one man's unfathomable revolution,
and others fell for the charms of the smug and cynical who
told them there was really no difference between the two candidates,
no one truly liked this President. Not the way they liked
the last guy, or at least felt as passionately about. The
guy they would have spent four years trying to be completely
unlike, becoming all the more undefined, uncommunicative,
and ultimately, unsuccessful.
It will be because W. never did what he promised he would
do post Florida. He never became the President of everyone.
Even those that voted against him, all fifty million and God
knows how many more we'll never know because his little brother
who just so happens to be the governor made damn sure we won't.
African Americans, the group that found him most reviling,
never warmed up to him. Neither did Hispanics, they'll say.
Or women. Or gays. Or anyone who wasn't somehow connected
to the oil and gas industries. And for some reason, some blazingly
foolish reason, he never gave them cause to.
Is it too soon to make such dire predictions about how the
latter half of the year 2003 will be for the current residents
of 1600 Pennsylvania avenue? Hardly. In fact, the writing
is already on the proverbial wall. The ink just hasn't dried
yet. In a little over one hundred days, our court appointed
Commander-in-Chief has given the American people a clear and
disturbing sense of the ideological direction of his presidency.
At any opportunity, the strict constructionists that churn
conservative dogma into being will be given free reign in
planning and purporting any policy of consequence; policies
that will benefit their rapidly shrinking constituency at
the expense of the growing majority.
The demonstrably lop-sided tax cut is best example of this.
It seems that no holds will be barred in this approach, even
if their groupthink runs headfirst into conventional beliefs
regarding social betterment (i.e. reversing the Clinton administration's
position on the "Mexico City policy" and reducing
the levels or acceptable Arsenic in public drinking water.)
When the high water mark is reached with this behavior will
be interesting to see.
Most disturbing is the apparent desire to antagonize the
rest of the global community. Thanks to the national defense
initiatives our President hungers to make happen, initiatives
taken straight from any number of Heritage Foundation position
papers, enough serious international animosity had been generated
in the short time of his tenure as to allow the slave trading
nation of Sudan to sit at the table of the United Nations
Human Rights commission in our absence. Only the most callous
intellectual dishonesty gives the current administration the
biggest slice of the blame pie for this gross miscarriage
of common sense.
However, well intentioned intellectual curiosity as to how
and why this administration callously allowed this to happen
is warranted. Given the blatant disregard that's been shown
for the value of such curiosity or any introspection past
what time of day it is, a detailed investigation or even a
balanced public debate seems highly unlikely. It's hard to
believe, given the calamity that ushered him into office,
that W. would want to rock the boat as much as he has. So
why is he doing it? Maybe he's less in command than is joked
about or feared. Maybe the ideologues driving the bus have
ignored the fact that their guy lost the popular vote by a
half million (or more). Or maybe, like his father before him,
he forgot to do something about the negative domestic impression
that existed of him before he even lifted his hand to take
oath of office, which only swelled with each official miscalculation.
George Herbert Walker Bush forgot that his then rival, Massachusetts
Governor Michael Dukakis, had a comfortable lead over him
for the better part of the 1988 presidential campaign, only
pulling it out in the end by smearing the American body politic
with the gross illegalities of some creep named Willie Horton.
But the relative closeness of that race showed Democrats across
the country, and one certain southern governor in particular,
that a better managed effort could end a decade's worth of
If nothing else is obvious from the first few hundred days
of junior's regime, it's that the son seems tragically bent
on repeating the sins of the father (right down to checking
his watch every five minutes). Certainly not by breaking his
tax cut pledge by raising them, but by forging ahead with
a platform that was once publicly rejected, and has since
been only tepidly accepted. Also, the willful ignorance with
which those same initiatives are pursued is a recipe for political
suicide, given that it was Bush's opponent and not him that
made off with the mandate that should have come with the keys
to the White House.
Bob Kerry knows this. So does John Edwards. So do Evan Bayh
and John Kerrey. I suspect the junior senator from New York
realizes this also. Along with, of course, Al Gore. They'll
say, in a few years from now, that we should have known W.
was a one-termer, that there was no way the country would
give him another go at making such a mess of things, internationally
Then, someone will point out that the political tides may
have turned in favor of the Democrats for a few generations,
and that a minority party of chest-beating moralists has nothing
more to sell to a body as diverse in both tolerance and hue
as the American public.
I can't wait to see how it all plays out in the end.