Democratic Underground

The End
May 29, 2001
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 any more.

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 Republican rule.

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 and domestically.

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.

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