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Thread: Why We Hate Bush

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    Post Why We Hate Bush

    Why We Hate Bush

    Wed Sep 24, 8:01 PM ET

    By Ted Rall

    It's the Stolen Election, Stupid

    NEW YORK--"Have the Democrats totally flipped their lids?" asks David Brooks in The Weekly Standard, quasi-official organ of the Bush Administration. "Because every day some Democrat seems to make a manic or totally over-the-top statement about George Bush, the Republican party, and the state of the nation today."

    True, Democrats loathe Dubya with greater intensity than any Republican standard-bearer in modern political history. Even the diabolical Richard Nixon--who, after all, created the EPA, went to China and imposed price controls to stop corporate gouging--rates higher in liberal eyes. "It's mystifying," writes Brooks.

    Let me explain.

    First but not foremost, Bush's detractors despise him viscerally, as a man. Where working-class populists see him as a smug, effeminate frat boy who wouldn't recognize a hard day's work if it kicked him in his self-satisfied ass, intellectuals see a simian-faced idiot unqualified to mow his own lawn, much less lead the free world. Another group, which includes me, is more patronizing than spiteful. I feel sorry for the dude; he looks so pathetic, so out of his depth, out there under the klieg lights, squinting, searching for nouns and verbs, looking like he's been snatched from his bed and beamed in, and is still half asleep, not sure where he is. Each speech looks as if Bush had been beamed from his bed fast asleep. And he's willfully ignorant. On Fox News, Bush admits that he doesn't even read the newspaper: "I glance at the headlines just to kind of [sic] a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are probably read [sic] the news themselves." All these takes on Bush boil down to the same thing: The guy who holds the launch codes isn't smart enough to know that's he's stupid. And that's scary.

    Fear breeds hatred, and Bush's policies create a lot of both. U.S. citizens like Jose Padilla and Yasser Hamdi disappear into the night, never to be heard from again. A concentration camp rises at Guantánamo. Stasi-like spies tap our phones and read our mail; thanks to the ironically-named Patriot Act, these thugs don't even need a warrant. As individual rights are trampled, corporate profits are sacrosanct. An aggressive, expansionist military invades other nations "preemptively" to eliminate the threat of non-existent weapons, and American troops die to enrich a company that buys off the Vice President.

    Time to dust off the F word. "Whenever people start locking up enemies because of national security without much legal care, you are coming close [to fascism]," warns Robert Paxton, emeritus professor of history at Columbia University and author of the upcoming book "Fascism in Action." We're supposed to hate fascists--or has that changed because of 9/11?

    Bush bashers hate Bush for his personal hypocrisy--the draft-dodger who went AWOL during Vietnam yet sent other young men to die in Afghanistan and Iraq, the philandering cocaine addict who dares to call gays immoral--as well as for his attacks on peace and prosperity. But even that doesn't explain why we hate him so much.

    Bush is guilty of a single irredeemable act so heinous and anti-American that Nixon's corruption and Reagan's intellectual inferiority pale by comparison. No matter what he does, Democrats and Republicans who love their country more than their party will never forgive him for it.

    Bush stole the presidency.

    The United States enjoyed two centuries of uninterrupted democracy before George W. Bush came along. The Brits burned the White House, civil war slaughtered millions and depressions brought economic chaos, yet presidential elections always took place on schedule and the winners always took office. Bush ended all that, suing to stop a ballot count that subsequent newspaper recounts proved he had lost. He had his GOP-run Supreme Court, a federal institution, rule extrajurisdictionally on the disputed election, a matter that under our system of laws falls to the states. Bush's recount guru, James Baker, went on national TV to threaten to use force to install him as president if Gore didn't step aside: "If we keep being put in the position of having to respond to recount after recount after recount of the same ballots, then we just can't sit on our hands, and we will be forced to do what might be in our best personal interest--but not--it would not be in the best interest of our wonderful country."

    Bush isn't president, but he plays one on TV. His presence in the White House is an affront to everything that this country stands for. His fake presidency is treasonous; our passive tolerance for it sad testimony to post-9/11 cowardice. As I wrote in December 2000, "George W. Bush is not the President of the United States of America." And millions of Americans agree.

    Two months after 9/11, when Bush's job approval rating was soaring at 89 percent, 47 percent of Americans told a Gallup poll that he had not won the presidency legitimately. "The election controversy...could make a comeback if Bush's approval ratings were to fall significantly," predicted Byron York in The National Review. Two years later, 3 million jobs are gone, Bush's wars have gone sour, and just 50 percent of voters approve of his performance. If York is correct, most Americans now consider Bush to be no more legitimate than Saddam Hussein, who also came to power in a coup d'état.

    And that's why we hate him.

    (Ted Rall is the author of the graphic travelogue "To Afghanistan and Back," an award-winning recounting of his experiences covering the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. It is now available in a revised and updated paperback edition containing new material. Ordering information is available at
    And all my youth passed by sad-hearted,
    the joy of Spring was never mine;
    Autumn blows through me dread of parting,
    and my heart dreams and longs to die.

    - Nikolaus Lenau (1802-1850)

    Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind.

    - Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837)

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    The idea that Bush stole the election (and being why they hate him) is a bit rich coming from the party whose major icon John Kennedy stole the election of '60 with the Mafia's assistance in Illinois and then was followed up by the democrat LBJ who was well known in Texas for winning elections with dead peoples votes.

    As for the 2000 contest, the very same allegations of attempting to steal the election were leveled at dems and had they won it (by hook or by crook, or even, surprise, legally perhaps) we would now be hearing the Republicans perpetually whining about the loss and explaining sanctimoniuosly that that is why they hate Gore and it all having nothing to do with policy differences. Yeah, right.

    Either way, both major parties and their leaderships proved long ago they were not morally fit to rule the nation, it's just that many, such as this writer, have not yet woken up.
    Last edited by Gladstone; Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003 at 07:11 PM.
    Turman found a copy of The Graduate, and thought highly enough of the story that he made a movie he considered to be 90-percent faithful to the book.

    But Turman and director Mike Nichols made one key adaptation, changing the Braddocks from WASP-y blonde characters into a dark-haired, more ethnic-looking family.

    From NPR's Present at the Creation

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    Post How Bush gets away with it

    How They Get Away With It

    Three reasons Washington’s empire-builders don’t have to worry about ’60s-style dissent—not including the volunteer Army

    by Scott McConnell

    It was surprising how many people seemed to take genuine pleasure in British MP George Galloway’s contentious appearance before the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. He was, after all, only a former left-Labor Party backbencher, a bit pink in his associations. And notwithstanding the vigor of his denials, the nature of his financial relationship to Saddam’s Oil for Food program was not entirely cleared up.

    But it wasn’t Galloway’s protestations of innocence or his political character that made his turn noteworthy. What was striking was the sight of a man inside the Senate chamber using the full force of the English language to denounce the pack of lies behind President Bush’s Iraq policy. Galloway didn’t submit to the Democratic Party script and pretend that the war was due to a “massive intelligence failure,” that President Bush was somehow misinformed about Saddam’s weapons (or lack of them). He went instead for the jugular of the whole enterprise, reiterating what he had said well before the war—that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, no connection to 9/11, no ties to al-Qaeda—and on these crucial points he was right and Sen. Norm Coleman and the other Republicans hoping to milk his testimony for electoral gain were dead wrong. The fruit of their error, Galloway continued, was 100,000 dead, including 1,600 Americans, and another 15,000 U.S. soldiers wounded, many of them permanently maimed—not to mention that the United States now has the worst international image in its history or that the volunteer army can no longer meet its recruiting goals and may have its back broken by the burdens of an extended Iraq occupation.

    One never hears words like this spoken in the Senate. A search for successors to William Fulbright or Wayne Morse or Eugene McCarthy or Bobby Kennedy yields only empty chairs. Big-name Democrats scramble for microphone time to denounce as “extremist” judges who are pro-life, but about the fomenters of a foreign policy that is manifestly extremist, they fall into timid silence. Howard Dean, the reputed mad dog of last year’s primaries, has turned toy poodle as head of Democratic National Committee, full of fighting barbs about Tom DeLay’s ethics but silent about a war that is hardly despised by his party’s big donors. It took a Brit to remind Americans turning on the evening news what it might be like to have an opposition party.

    The failure of Americans to generate a politically significant domestic opposition to the war is now one of the most important developments in world politics. It means that the Bush administration can contemplate, without any fear of adverse domestic political consequences, expansion of its war to Syria or a large-scale bombing of Iran. The only constraints on its behavior are international.

    In the year and a half after September 2001, observant outsiders could intuit much about the administration’s plans. It was clear that the neoconservatives around Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted war not only against Iraq but against six or seven countries in the Middle East. Details were filled in by memoirs such as Richard Clarke’s and the reporting of Bob Woodward. The recent publication of the so-called Downing Street memorandum, recording the minutes of a meeting of Tony Blair’s top advisors in July 2002, confirms that Bush had already decided upon war and that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” The British document indicates that Bush was lying outright when he told the Congress, in the fall of 2002, “I hope the use of force will not become necessary,” that “if Iraq is to avoid military action … it has the obligation to prove compliance with all the world’s demands,” and further, that the United States would go to war only “as a last resort.” The Iraqis at that point had no way to avoid Bush’s invasion, despite the fact that, in denying that they had any WMD, they were, in the words of U.S. weapons inspector David Kay, “telling the truth.”

    Not only was the administration silent about the Blair memorandum, a silence that confirmed its contents, but the rest of the political class ignored it as well—save for Congressman John Conyers and a rump group in the House. There were no major antiwar demonstrations this spring, no campuses shut down by protest, no marches on Washington big enough to notice. In the capital itself, a journalist can go to cocktail parties full of foreign-policy establishment types, all prudently opposed to the war, their talk spiked by witticisms about the failings and hypocrisy of the Bushites. But none are public about it, and the realists now say that an American assault on Iran is a virtual certainty.

    For someone who grew up in the 1960s, when protests against the Vietnam War dominated the culture, the question that raises its head almost every day is, “How do they get away with it?” Of course, the wars are different: Vietnam, however much Kennedy and Johnson erred in terms of overestimating what U.S. Armed Forces could accomplish in Southeast Asia, at least corresponded to a general strategy of containment and of maintaining the existing East-West boundaries. On the borders of the Cold War, divided states like Germany and Korea had become a kind of norm, and the United States was protecting in South Vietnam a weak and unstable status quo. Iraq was clearly something completely different: a war initiated under the falsehood that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11 and clearly in violation of international law.

    In terms of the domestic climate, one key difference is the absence of a draft: we fight in Iraq with a volunteer Army, working-class in origin—men and women who may have signed up originally for good pay and benefits or the possibility of a college education they couldn’t otherwise afford. The professional class is hardly represented, the political class not at all. Unlike the 1960s, the children of the establishment don’t have to calculate how they will avoid service or maneuver to find safe spots in the National Guard. This changes the political atmosphere on campus considerably, where there is now as much a likelihood of unrest about something to do with gays and lesbians or the wages of janitors as an aggressive war.

    But three other developments, of impact perhaps even greater than the absence of a draft, make a culture of protest harder to sustain than it was in the 1960s.

    The first is a different, less industrial, more service-oriented and more globalized American economy, which produces as great a change in the way citizens think about economic life as it does in the goods they consume. The United States of the 1960s was “The Affluent Society” in the John Kenneth Galbraith phrase, and it was a secure affluence. Tens of millions of relatively well-compensated manufacturing jobs were available, it seemed, for anyone willing to take them. You were supposed to finish high school, and a diploma was necessary to get a secure job, but a college diploma was not yet what it is now—the required admission ticket for any kind of upward mobility. So there was no burden on parents to worry about how they were going to afford college for their children—at least in comparison to today. Similarly, no one seemed to worry about health insurance; medicine could obviously accomplish less, but the United States was in that interlude between the time when a family could get wiped out by the costs of a child’s long-term illness and the present, when the cost of health insurance and the fear of losing it weighs on the calculations of nearly everyone in the middle and lower classes.

    In the 1960s, therefore, a huge proportion of Americans felt little fear of losing their jobs. In affluent America, one could “drop out” of the regular career train—many did for reasons more cultural than political—and then rejoin the rat race at the time and place of one’s choosing. Those who dropped out didn’t fear slipping into poverty. For those with reasonable modern-economy skills, lower-middle-class jobs were there for the asking—and there was no reserve army of desperate Latin Americans ready to work for almost any price. This was a political economy that not only allowed dissent, but indeed one that seemed to make it, in economic terms, nearly cost-free. The contrast with the present day—where one hears continually from those with a stake in the middle-class that dissent is something only the wealthy (or very poor) can afford—could not be more striking.

    A second reason for the low ebb of dissent is an attitudinal shift in the American Jewish community, particularly among those active politically, a shift exemplified by the rise of neoconservatism. It is clear to anyone remotely interested in the question that the Old Left (the American Communist Party and its related organizations) was in great part Jewish, the New Left in great part the direct offspring of the Old. Without the radical Jewish children of radical parents, there would have been no early SDS, no Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, no New York kids going South for Freedom Rides to turn the civil-rights movement into a matter of national conscience. By the late 1960s, the Left was more ethnically diverse, but young Jewish radicals had been its leavening agent.

    The Jewish turn from the New Left, marked by such signposts as the collapse of the black-Jewish alliance in the late 1960s and the recognition that the Pentagon and an airlift ordered by Richard Nixon might have been necessary to Israel’s survival in October 1973, may have been a turnabout in the mentality of no more than a few hundred activists and polemicists, but the effect on the political tone of the country shouldn’t be underestimated. The political biographies of Marty Peretz and David Horowitz, two emblematic figures of this sea change, with a corresponding shift in the mentality of thousands of politically astute and engaged people in their cohort, had a huge impact on the country’s political culture.

    Of course, it is true that most American Jews are still politically liberal and a majority now tell pollsters they oppose the Iraq War. But this is beside the point. Nowadays, political passion, engagement, and activism are as likely to be found on the Jewish Right—at least a Right favoring a pro-war, pro-imperialist (and very pro-Israel) foreign policy—as they are on the Left. Nothing could be more different from 1968.

    A third way in which the America is a very different country today can be traced to the political transformation of American Protestantism. In his outstanding book The New American Militarism, Andrew Bacevich describes how evangelicals—who once were both politically quiescent and skeptical of the culture that surrounded military life—came, in the wake of Vietnam, to embrace the military as a sort of bulwark against national moral decay. With the corresponding decline in political numbers and influence of the mainline Protestant churches, this increased energy on the evangelical Right changed dramatically the way most American Christians regard war. In the hands of evangelicals, Just War principles became, in Bacevich’s words, “not a series of stringent tests but a signal: not a red light, not even a flashing yellow, but a bright green that relieved the Bush administration of any obligation to weigh seriously the moral implications of when and where it employed coercion.”

    And thus, in the developed world’s most devout country, Christian witness against war “became less effective than in countries thoroughly and probably irreversibly secularized.” Evangelicals have in great part transformed the Christian view of Just War into a crusade theory in which the United States is believed to embody God’s will and its enemies are “God’s enemies.”

    For those yearning for a revival of a peace movement that might slow down this administration, there is nothing reassuring about this analysis. It is far from clear that even the revival of the draft could ignite the kind of campus protest that would make an impression on Congress and the administration. Where would the leaders of campus protest come from? For if they are less likely, given the rise of neoconservatism, to come from ranks of activist Jews, it is even more implausible to imagine them emerging from the remains of the WASP establishment, whose children are not the academic and social leaders on the nation’s elite campuses. It is perhaps only slightly more likely to come from the new Asian immigrant groups, who are generally still focused on professional advancement or purely ethnic concerns. And only the wooliest of neo-Marxist romantics can see it emerging from the poor or working classes.

    In the absence of an antiwar movement or serious domestic political opposition, only the outside world can put the brakes on American policy—only when Bush’s war plans come up against foreign obstacles that produce a dramatic defeat or humiliation or generate a financial crisis that the administration can’t overcome. Barring that, the American future may be war for as long as anyone can foresee.

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    Post Re: How Bush gets away with it

    Scott McConnell stops within an inch of the true reason. He says the Jews aren't there to lead the protests on campus. Almost there, Scott, almost there.

    The reason is the Jews control the media. That's why whenever a Jew leads a protest, the cameras gather like salivating dogs. When the Jews start a movement to destroy American culture, the media collectively wail in delight.

    (Example: news cameras showing a "massive protest" outside some city hall. You see the usual shouting communists. But in the footage the television viewers didn't get to see, when the camera zoomed out, it is revealed that there's only five (5) protesters standing on the steps shouting, while people are walking up and down the stairs ignoring them. Pretty pathetic, isn't it? But when Jews cover a Jewish production, every piece of reality is twisted to fit the agenda.)

    And because of that, the ranks led by Jews swell. That's the cool side, the side that gets air time, the side that is never wrong, the side that has all the backup.

    Scott McConnell should ask himself: are there no other protest leaders than Jews around? Of course there are - in his essay you get the impression only Jews can lead, but he's wrong. But these leaders are not part of the tribe. E.g., there was the racialist National Youth Alliance in the 60s and 70s - if it had gotten air time, its ranks would have swelled.

    (Btw, speaking of anti-war movements - why do we never hear of the Mothers-of-America movement that protested U.S. entrance in WWII? They had seven million members! That's some movement, even when the media worked heavily against it. But it wasn't, shall we say, the "right" kind of anti-war movement.)

    Today the media Jews are split on the Iraq War. Some care about it, others are not all too interested, but they won't go out of their way to support protests against a Jewish production either. Though liberals, they won't do anything that would make the Jewish neocons lose control of the Republican Party. Race comes first.

    Why didn't Scott McConnell include the media aspect? A taboo subject? He's already going taboo with that kind of essay. Well, he's on the right track.

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