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Anybody but Bush - and then let's get back to work
July 30, 2004 4:20 AM   Subscribe

This madness has to stop, and the fastest way of doing that is to elect John Kerry, not because he will be different but because in most key areas - Iraq, the "war on drugs", Israel/Palestine, free trade, corporate taxes - he will be just as bad. An opinion piece by Naomi Klein in today's Guardian.
posted by acrobat (28 comments total)

 
The lesser of two evils is still evil.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:21 AM on July 30, 2004


An opinion piece? Perfect. There are far too few opinions on mefi, we did need a refill.
posted by adampsyche at 5:23 AM on July 30, 2004


And this is why the Democrats might be in trouble even with a Kerry victory. Subsequent to Kerry getting elected a good chunk of his support will all but disappear.
posted by PenDevil at 5:46 AM on July 30, 2004


She talks about the "odd" personalities in the White House, and I think she's on to something. Condi and W and Ashcroft really are odd, and that's what I like about them. They're kind of an Addams Family of quirky types, whereas Kerry and and that guy he's running with are just like "us" -- they're in our comfort zones. We can imagine ourselves being friends with them. So who needs that? Someday, we'll look back on the days when we had a reformed cokehead for president, a guy who falls on his knees at any time and breaks out in prayer (when he's not suddenly singing spirituals) as attorney general, a prim African-American lady who speaks fluent Russian as national security advisor -- and we'll say "Those were REAL people, with strange, interesting personalities. They don't make them like THAT any more." But Kerry and Edwards? They're a couple of bland, NPR-listening, evolution-believing members of the mooshey masses. They're just like me. I'm voting for Bush.
posted by Faze at 5:55 AM on July 30, 2004


I wonder if the Guardian will grow a pair, defy its corrupt Labour Party masters and call for a vote of no confidence for Blair.

If you want to send the master out, you're best sending his favorite lap dog with him.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:59 AM on July 30, 2004


Anyone who thinks that Kerry/Edwards will be no different from Bush/Cheney hasn't been paying attention.
posted by bshort at 6:15 AM on July 30, 2004


Kerry and and that guy he's running with are just like "us"

Faze: I hope you're being facetious. Are you a billionaire trial lawyer?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:22 AM on July 30, 2004


Faze, If I was casting a movie or writing a novel, I agree, the Bush cabinet would make for more interesting characters. But I don't want my government to entertain me, I want it to govern. If it can do both, a la Bill Clinton, than so much the better.

Yeah, Kerry/Edwards ain't perfect, but we've never had the perfect guy in the White House. They're sure as shit better than what we got now.
posted by jonmc at 6:30 AM on July 30, 2004


They're kind of an Addams Family of quirky types

Funny you should put it that way. Others see it differently.
posted by biffa at 6:30 AM on July 30, 2004


Zendude: Kwerry is not a billionaire. As for Klein: her book was a good one but she now sounds increasingly like Ralph Nader.
posted by Postroad at 6:31 AM on July 30, 2004


Zendude: Kwerry is not a billionaire.

Edwards, a successful trial lawyer, has a net worth between $12 million and $60 million, according to his financial disclosure forms as a U.S. senator. Meanwhile, Kerry, if elected, would be the third-richest U.S. president, if his wife's $500 million-plus fortune were counted as belonging to him as well.

I stand corrected.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:39 AM on July 30, 2004


Klein writes that

"... the zealots in Bush's White House are neither insane nor stupid nor particularly shady. Rather, they openly serve the interests of the corporations that put them in office with bloody-minded efficiency. Their boldness stems not from the fact that they are a new breed of zealot but that the old breed finds itself in a newly unconstrained political climate".

and

"With Kerry in power, European leaders will no longer be able to hide their imperial designs behind easy Bush-bashing, a development already forecast in Kerry's odious Iraq policy. "

and this part is also nasty but sadly true:

The other day, I was ranting to a friend about Kerry's vicious support for the apartheid wall in Israel, his gratuitous attacks on Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and his abysmal record on free trade. "Yeah," he agreed sadly. "But at least he believes in evolution."

$$$$$$

Klein puts a finger on something very true -- how much of a distraction, finally, somebody not very presentable like Bush and many on his team finally are, for those who are involved with actual progressive issues, instead of that watered-down, DLC, Third Way lukewarm variety of progressivism so much in vogue during the Nineties
________

/meta

Faze is cool -- he/she manages to be interesting most of the time, which is a quality sorely needed on MetaFilter
posted by matteo at 6:46 AM on July 30, 2004


Big Money Partisan Football Kills

The major message I heard from the DNC was no more politics of division. All other policy matters are take a back seat to this.

If this is not or can not be accomplished by Kerry, then the US is fux0r3d and nothing else legislated matters in the near and mid term.

Lee Atwater (former Bush Henchman) called it what it is, and attoned for his sins, but whats really amazing is how everyone tried hard to forget his message ASAP.
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:50 AM on July 30, 2004


"...free trade..."

Yeah, Kerry isn't protectionist like Bush is. What's her beef with Bush?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:35 AM on July 30, 2004


Apparently Klein and I disagree on what the major issues are.
posted by drezdn at 7:40 AM on July 30, 2004


Single-link op-ed front page post? You know what to do!
posted by hama7 at 7:44 AM on July 30, 2004


Faze: I hope you're being facetious. Are you a billionaire trial lawyer?

Putting aside dollar amounts, I think I, and most Americans, have more in common with the guy who grew up in a blue collar household, worked hard, and became a success than a drunk, affirmative action benefiting C-student Yalie helped out of several failed businesses by family and friends.

(except for the drunk college part, in my case)
posted by jalexei at 7:57 AM on July 30, 2004


"You know what to do!"

Bitch? Whine? Snark? Beat acrobat and Klein about the torso with a sock full of nickels? How about posting a thread to MeTa asking, "What was your best NewsFilter post? Your worst? Is it hot in here, or what?"
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:59 AM on July 30, 2004


>What's her beef with Bush?

Excactly. I just heard the most progressive speech from a powerful office holder last night and the left is already tearing him a new one? Healthcare for all, more than a few jabs at big business especially in regards to outsourcing, etc. Blah, you guys heard the speech.
posted by skallas at 8:02 AM on July 30, 2004


First she says something kinda smart: "not because he [Kerry] will be different but because in most key areas ... he will be just as bad" (this is true if for no other reason than that Kerry will probably be facing a Republican Congress, or at least a split Congress) and then says "only with a bore such as Kerry at the helm will we finally be able to put an end to the presidential pathologising and focus on the issues again."

Well, maybe she will be able to put an end to it, but assuming Kerry is elected, the right will instantly treat him a placeholder for Clinton, their favorite whipping boy. So there'll still be plenty of presidential pathologizing, just from the other side of the aisle.

Then she goes on her little corporate-globalism rant and loses me.
posted by adamrice at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2004


Kerry's approach to the war on drugs: Starve a peasant, feed a terrorist?
posted by homunculus at 1:12 PM on July 30, 2004


I just heard the most progressive speech from a powerful office holder last night

speeches are cool. but frankly, if stuff like fighting against exploitation of workers (here and in the Third World) and against the general corporate ownership of the universe (see megamergers, the rape and pillage of anti-trust laws, of Glass-Steagall etc) is somehow high on your list, well it's very unlikely President Kerry will do much about that (let's not talk about that little Israel/Palestinians situation, of course).

Clinton's record on deep welfare cuts, telecommunications deregulation, etc, does not give someone with Klein's politics much hope in the Democrats. Clinton was definitely the post-WWII most successful Republican President, that's why the GOP hates him so.
but yeah, if elected Kerry -- a New Democrat if there ever was one, "liberal New Englander" FoxNews squeals notwithstanding -- won't nominate another Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, won't piss on stem-cell research, won't scrawl America Hates Fags on his copy of the Constitution. oh, he won't attack the environment as harshly as Bush is doing, stuff like that.

Clinton/Kerry Democrats (ie Democrats who don't want to look like Dukakis, they'd rather get elected) are hardly progressives, sorry. they're secular Tories with a penchant for throwing the occasional crumb to women, minorities, even gays and lesbians sometimes.
which is of course the most a country that takes FoxNews seriously can possibly hope for, in terms of progressives in power. as that smart, smart Clinton boy (God, what a sweet motherfucker of a speech he gave in Boston, he still makes everyone else, Rep or Dem, look like an amateur) once remarked (bitterly, the story goes) to his aides, "we're all Eisenhower Republicans now" (.pdf file)

all. Eisenhower. Republicans.
I'm not surprised many liberals fail to get excited by that thought
posted by matteo at 1:23 PM on July 30, 2004


Matteo and adamrice hit the nail on the head. If Kerry wins, he's going to have to face a hostile congress for at least (!) two years. Setting an agenda, gaining allies and repairing what damage he can would be a daunting task even without the threat of another attack.
However, after his speech last night I do see the man actually has some steel in there. Interesting times, indeed.
posted by black8 at 1:26 PM on July 30, 2004


>well it's very unlikely President Kerry will do much about that

Granted, fine. But right now there's just as much of a chance of four more years of Bush than four years of Kerry. Why is Klein pressuring Kerry now? Kerry is in full campaign mode and sure is hell is not going to bring up Israel, nor would any American politician. Hell, it may be a generation until we can talk about Israel in the mainstream media without instant accusations of "anti-semitism," if the media even allows an open debate on why and how Israel gets more funding from us than anyone else, regardless of their human rights violations.

Let the guy win the office before we can order him around and tell him what to do. Her argument is practically Nader-esque. How can anyone achieve a high office without some kind of corporate backing? How can anyone address hot button issues without being slayed at the polls? You need campaign finance reform before you can get honest politicins. You need informed citizens, not partisan reactionary mobs, before you can address hot button issues.

It all sounds like a classic case of putting the cart before the horse to me. It took decades for big business and big religion to merge with the state. This cannot be undone with one presidential vote. I wished I lived in Nader's and Klein's fantasy world, but I don't.
posted by skallas at 2:50 PM on July 30, 2004


Faze's reasons for voting for bush get lamer and lamer.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:37 PM on July 30, 2004


This is your convention on drugs.
posted by homunculus at 12:51 AM on July 31, 2004


'it may be a generation until we can talk about Israel in the mainstream media without instant accusations of "anti-semitism," '

which is interesting because it'll take much less than that to completely ethnic-cleanse the West Bank from those unruly Palestinians who, blissfully unaware of Book of Genesis fine print, are under the illusion they should, like, live there
posted by matteo at 1:02 AM on July 31, 2004


An injection of stem cells could be what Bush needs
posted by homunculus at 3:36 PM on July 31, 2004


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