Democratic Underground

The Case For War In 2004
March 13, 2001
by Meg Gardner

George W. Bush's 14-minute inaugural address was interrupted 14 times for applause. Meanwhile, across the nation, millions of Americans screamed "He is not my president!" or worse, at their television sets. How did we get here? George W. Bush started off his campaign as "a new kind of Republican" liked by Hispanics, African-Americans and women. Pundits said all manner of pundit things about George W. Bush, but all agreed that no matter what, you just had to like him. Tens-of-thousands of protesters demonstrated their harsh disagreement with these same pundits on inauguration day.

George W. Bush declared he was a "uniter, not a divider" and held photo-ops with minority children in schools all across the nation. George W. Bush, bypassing every Log Cabin Republican overture, finally agreed to meet with pre-approved Gay Republicans, once. There might have been a photo-op.

The outcome was not clear in Florida. Older voters, Jewish voters, African-American voters had trouble with butterfly ballots, punch card machines, purged voter rolls, roadblocks and other irregularities. George W. Bush's spinners strongly implied these people were just too stupid to vote. Rich voters, Republican voters had good voting machines, registration-check laptops right at their polling places, short lines, and lots of help with their absentee ballots.

The Republican voting advantage wasn't enough. George W. Bush sent his Daddy's consigliere James Baker and a slew of Tom DeLay's congressional aides to stop the counting before Al Gore could pull ahead. There were photo-ops. Bullies and brats threatened mayhem from Republicans in the US Congress to the Florida legislature. In a surprise move, the Republican Supreme Court turned the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, meant to protect African-American voting rights, on its head and gave the election to one of their own. The Republican Supreme Court refused photo-ops.

African-Americans who voted 9-1 against George W. Bush were incensed. To show he was a "uniter, not a divider" after the selection, George W. Bush met with pre-approved African-American ministers, once. There probably were photo-ops, but who really cares? The messages from George W. Bush's campaign are clear. You, too, can be included in the great Republican tent, if you are pre-approved. You, too, can have your vote counted, if you are pre-approved.

So, here we are with upwards of 40% of the electorate feeling somewhere between lack of trust and out-and-out hatred for George W. Bush. What will his administration bring? George W. Bush has started with an attorney-general nominee to the right of Jesse Helms, a secretary-of-the-interior nominee who is purportedly a bigger threat to the environment than James Watt and an initial secretary-of-labor nominee who mentioned employers but didn't mention workers in her acceptance speech.

George W. Bush's national security advisor and secretary of defense have indicated that they want to break off outreach to the North Koreans and the Russians. These moves provide a "reason" to transfer money from the US Treasury to the pockets of CEO defense contractors like Halliburton. The Bush team appears to prefer operating in a world with recognized enemies as they did in their previous terms of office.

Anyone can see that the new George W. Bush cabinet is diverse in color and gender with pre-approved viewpoints and religion. They make great photo-ops. The messages from George W. Bush's cabinet selections are clear. You, too, can have your interests represented if you are a member of the Christian Coalition or you are a CEO of the Fortune 1000.

The message from the people is equally clear: the more we know you, the less we like you, George W. Bush. Remember that it took years for the Vietnam protests to grow into the largest inaugural demonstration ever in 1973 at Richard M. Nixon's second inauguration. Look how large the George W. Bush demonstrations are at their start. By 2004, the center-left and the center-right will have joined the George W. Bush naysayers.

What will the team who stopped at nothing to take the 2000 election do in 2004? George W. Bush has repeatedly reached back into previous Republican administrations for his policies and his staff. He doesn't have to reach farther than his father's administration to find a suitable answer: another war like the Gulf war. Daddy Bush's ratings soared to over 90% and defense contractors got fat orders. We were so proud of our Patriot missiles, our bombs bursting in air. Remember the great Gulf war photo-ops on CNN? What could be better? The people who might be killed are too stupid to vote anyway.


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