January 16, 2005, "Unsportsmanlike Conduct on the Red Team." Fifteen Yards, Enforceable on the Kickoff...
The President gave an interview on Air Force One to The Washington Post. (Hat tip for the heads up to Bruce the Veep and the Daou Report.) The President said his reelection constituted a complete and total endorsement by the American people of everything-- EVERYTHING, INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY THE MISTAKES-- associated with the Iraq war.
While this will constitute liberal apostasy, I agree with him. COMPLETELY. Indeed, Democrats supported the President on this-- why else would we have nominated someone who voted for the war if we didn't think the war was a good and noble thing? Especially when we had two better candidates (in every way) who opposed the war? Further, said nominee expressly refused to tell us his war vote was a mistake. He even told us that even knowing everything he knew as of mid 2004, he still did not consider the war a mistake... So, I submit to you, that something like 99% of the electorate voted for a candidate who favored the war (even I voted for such a candidate, though I protested the war in 2003, and railed against the nomination of the Democratic candidate until his nomination became mathematically locked... but I digress).
The President said a couple of other interesting things in the interview. He went along with the White House refusal to reimburse the always cash-strapped District of Columbia government for something like $12,000,000 for extra inaugural security (DC always votes Democratic, of course) while noting that the inauguration might make DC a terrorist magnet, with no evidence to support this. If I were the DC mayor, I would convene the City Council, and get a vote not to spend that money at all--- the White House can either pay for the security-- or not have it at all. That's just me, of course.
The President stated he would not be planning to cut benefits for the 40% or so of social security recipients receiving disability or survivor benefits. He just wants to f*** with the other 60%-- you know: old people. (Social security is, I surmise-- a spectacular cover for something else I haven't figured out; GOP House and Senate members DO NOT want to run for reelection "having voted to destroy social security"...) Frankly, the President tells us that the social security system is doomed some forty years hence. That takes some faith. After years of telling us about Saddam's WMDs (not even WMD program relatede activities even existed) and terrorist ties, to be taken on faith, there is no reason to believe the President on this. Not to worry: his own party will draw the line. As I said-- what I am wondering is what he intends to slip through under cover of the social security debate... We'll see, I suppose...
Finally, the President decided to kick sand in the face of his most loyal supporters-- the people who came out to the polls to support his gay-bashing agenda. He said he had no plans to actively work for the passage of the "sanctity of straight marriage amendment", or whatever the Newspeak term is for constitutional gay-bashing. The question, of course, will be whether Democrats will be smart enough (for once, maybe) to get the message out there that the President's "moral values" rhetoric (God hates gays, God hates women-who-don't-want-to-stay-at-home-and-pump-out-WHITE-children-for-their-abusive-husbands, God hates the poor, infirm and elderly) is just talk-- he REALLY is using that as cover for his corporatist agenda that IN REALITY punishes rural White males as much as urban Black females. While I'm not optimistic, the fact that the President has made this so simple with this interview (he's a simple kind of guy) should help get this out there.
It's going to be a fun four years, and it hasn't even started. Welcome to Dodge. Stay alert. Stay alive.
"Democrats supported the President on this-- why else would we have nominated someone who voted for the war if we didn't think the war was a good and noble thing? Especially when we had two better candidates (in every way) who opposed the war? Further, said nominee expressly refused to tell us his war vote was a mistake. He even told us that even knowing everything he knew as of mid 2004, he still did not consider the war a mistake..."
Well I didn't like Kerry much (though I voted for him) but to his credit, he was trying to run to the right of Bush. Didn't do him one fucking bit of good since the chicken-hawks were all busy sniffing W's ass and wagging their tails (as they still are) but he did try.
The whole War-hero shtick was part of that, but me badly miscalculated. Everybody (the Right especially) hates Vietnam vets, no matter what they say to the contrary.
Posted by Michael Farris at January 16, 2005 1:14 PM
Nailed it in one, Michael. No Democrat save MAYBE Wesley Clark (WHO OPPOSED THE WAR) could run to the right of a Republican on a national security issue (or on anything, frankly). TRYING to do it was a mistake. A catastrophic, election-costing mistake.
BUT-- Bush has now left us with something: the ability to pitch to HIS BASE. Not that they should come with us, necessarily (though, my guess is, we can score a lot of points on this), but we have some common ground now. We can start WITH FACTS.
For example, the "gay marriage abomination" in Massachusetts, according to this: http://22.214.171.124/search?q=cache:VCsMvlpY27kJ:www.masslive.com/news/gay_marriage/index.ssf%3F/base/news-2/1100767552282490.xml+total+number+of+same+sex+marriages+performed+in+Massachusetts+in+2004&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
represents around 4,200 gay marriages in Mass. out of over 31,000 performed last year. Society seems to have gone on, the Bay State's Mormon governor's outrage notwithstanding.
Should we sell-out and go even MORE fire and brimstone on abortion, women's rights, gay rights, etc.? Of course not. BUT-- there is PLENTY of common ground. For example,SINCERE people are interested in reducing unwanted pregnancies, or promoting adoption (as opposed to simply punishing women).
What we can do is simply say: LOOK-- nothing is going to change much on these social issues-- Bush TALKS a good game-- to get you to the polls-- but he's not even in his second term and ALREADY he is selling you out. What MATTERS is the economic squeeze: cuts in social security, medicare/medicaid money shifted from patient care to drug profits, deficits that will have dire consequences, higher state and local taxes and government fees (from public college tuitions to park admissions).
While we don't have to AGREE on the social issues (though Howard Dean was right to point out Dems should reach out to guys with stars and bars on their pickups-- because they have economic interests too; the Dem establishment duly attacked him-- look what we achieved by doing that), we should look for common ground.
Let's see Bush go back to "his people" on this one. He promised his base something (a gay bashing amendment)-- he got them off their rears and to the polls. Let's see how they like being sold out (so the corporatist agenda of dismantling social security, tort laws, medicare and fiscal solvency can be advanced). We damned well better make sure THEY KNOW they have been sold out.
Posted by the talking dog at January 16, 2005 2:35 PM
Well W's gay-bashing, ID-loving relatively hardcore base would either a) vote for him or b) stay home. Adopting a political stance not based in 19th century fire and brimstone is not an option for them (anytime soon).
This time, I think the swing voters were the chicken hawks, and a lot depends on how gracious we want to be when they come rue voting for W (and many, many will, probably sooner rather than later). My inclination is to let the stupid fuckers stew in their own juices, but in many ways, I'm a small, petty man, and you may be of a more generous nature.
Posted by Michael Farrism at January 16, 2005 4:34 PM
You write: "Social security is, I surmise-- a spectacular cover for something else I haven't figured out".
World War IV and a draft. The regular military and the Guard are overextended, and Dubya wants to expand the war,
Posted by Anonymous at January 16, 2005 6:47 PM
No. Follow the money. The Social Security scam is a chance for his friends to rip off hundreds of billions.
It is the point.
Posted by Social Scientist at January 17, 2005 11:33 AM