A Bush win and its likely consequensces.
September 13, 2004 11:06 PM   Subscribe

What If Bush Wins? Sixteen writers ,right and left, predict the likely consequences of a second term for President Bush.
posted by thedailygrowl (42 comments total)
These are good pie-in-the-sky essays, though I don't really believe any of the pipe dreams a few liberals wrote (bush embracing global warming controls?!).

Someone should do a "What if Kerry was elected" thing at Slate or some place like that. I've joked with friends about all the pardons we'd hear about from Bush's last days in office (Kenny Boy would get to walk, as would Rummy, Ashcroft, and Cheney, among many, many others).
posted by mathowie at 11:12 PM on September 13, 2004

Can you pro-actively pardon yourself as you exit the oval office?
posted by Kwantsar at 12:02 AM on September 14, 2004

Nah, you have to have Gerald Ford do that for you.
posted by neckro23 at 12:04 AM on September 14, 2004

If Bush is re-elected, I can guarantee that there will not be a Republican presidential nominee in 2008.
posted by bitpart at 12:10 AM on September 14, 2004

Call me in November if you're willing to wager, bitpart.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:14 AM on September 14, 2004

You should read this one, then, Matt.

Nice post! The NRA guy's essay was hilarious. This is clearly a man who believes that angels, aliens, and trial lawyers are seeking to control him with brainwave emitters from radio towers, and mind-control gas emitted in con trails.
posted by scarabic at 12:20 AM on September 14, 2004

What do you mean, bitpart?
posted by drezdn at 12:21 AM on September 14, 2004

Scarabic, Norquist is practically the architect of radical "conservatism", and his essay did not so much amuse me as scare me to death. There are people in this world who agree with him, and the more power the modern republican party gets, the more likely his visions -- no estate tax, no protection of the poor from the rich, the end of public services -- become likely.

The man is dangerous. It's only too bad that there aren't more of his opponents who don't believe in the doctrine of a pre-emptive strike, because what to do with Norquist would be crystal clear.
posted by namespan at 12:35 AM on September 14, 2004

Dangerous? All radicals are toothless when it comes down to it. No one gives them real power, though they do inform and influence people with real power. Dennis Kucinich, a whacko from the other end of the spectrum, actually found a tiny wee bit of real traction in a primary. Woo! Now that's what I call dangerous.

Okay, I'm kidding a little. The NRA lobby is powerful. And this man is without a doubt more frightening than a bloody stool. But I was actually amused to see how blatantly ridiculous his rhetoric was. The evil trial lawyers! The vast Democratic conspiracy to keep getting rich off the laws that allow the evil trial lawyers to insert themselves into any and all transactions and relationships! Once everyone buys stock, they'll become Republicans! Laws that let people take guns across state lines bring down crime! Legalize concealed weapons and we'll be able to lay off 10% of the prison guards because there will be No! More! Crime!

What shit! Seriously, it reminded me of schizophrenic writings out of a psych textbook. I could practically hear the copy editors sniggering to themselves over how stupid the essay makes the guy sound.
posted by scarabic at 1:10 AM on September 14, 2004

especially if they manage to bloat the government so much that it'll just become too expensive to mantain as we know it, thus dismantling the remains of FDR's revolution. because of course in a time of war you can cut everything but funds for the military. hence, off with the heads of the few social programs that still remain in place after the Reagan-Bush I-Clinton gangbang. all in the name of National Security
posted by matteo at 1:45 AM on September 14, 2004

If President Bush is reelected, he may appoint as many as four Supreme Court justices. He is likely to appoint hundreds of judges to the lower courts.

posted by caddis at 3:27 AM on September 14, 2004

Chief Justice Scalia. Justices Hatch and DeLay.


Too bad the Dems handed them the election.
posted by RavinDave at 4:08 AM on September 14, 2004

ravindave, latest from electoral-vote.com has Kerry 269 Bush 233
posted by Space Coyote at 4:57 AM on September 14, 2004

The Euro was created to challenge power of the Dollar. If Bush gets in for a second term, I see "the world" opting to hit the US of A in the pocketbook over some incident and decide to sell oil in Euros.

Russia was looking to price its oil in Euros at one point. If the US grows some backbone over the rebels^H^H^H^H^H^Hterrorists in Russia, Russia may be the 1st to move to Euros.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:30 AM on September 14, 2004

What If Bush Wins?

I'm told there's a first time for everything.
posted by nofundy at 6:25 AM on September 14, 2004

Space Coyote : it says 'Electoral Vote Predictor 2004: Kerry 238 Bush 291' when I look at it.

Which makes me want to tear the fucking throats out of you stupid yank bastards. In a nice way, of course.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:30 AM on September 14, 2004

Too bad the Dems handed them the election.

Ahhh! This is what the media is saying this week, and it DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE. Stop believing that shit.
posted by Quartermass at 6:37 AM on September 14, 2004

Proof that politics don't have to be Newsfilter. Good post.
posted by norm at 6:43 AM on September 14, 2004

Too bad Kevin Drum's "The Scandals Finally Break" piece was written too soon to speculate on this one - that Bush didn't even bother to complete his National Guard service. Not that it would be such an issue in a Bush second term, but it would have been nice to include in the laundry list.
posted by soyjoy at 6:51 AM on September 14, 2004

"If Bush is re-elected [ sic ], I can guarantee that there will not be a Republican presidential nominee in 2008." - If that happens, I might place my bet with Krrrlson
posted by troutfishing at 6:58 AM on September 14, 2004

I remember reading these a week or so ago; they're all decent-to-good save for Norquist's piece, which is frankly the most absurd piece of ridiculous nonsense I've ever read. The delusion of the Democratic Party "scattering" and Bush eliminating a Federal government he spent the last two years expanding are up there with the people who still think Hillary's swooping in to take the nomination from Kerry.

I understand that this was about picking all points of the spectrum for this, but I don't understand how Norquist is taken seriously.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:04 AM on September 14, 2004

Tom DeLay's not a lawyer, so won't be nominated.

Bush's first appointee will be a Latino. If O'Connor is the first or the second retiree, as certainly seems likely, the second appointee will be a woman. Only after that could come Hatch -- and that's assuming that he won't be disqualified as too old.

There are two main wildcards. The Senate Democrats relied upon Bush being a minority President, and never having more than 51 Senators on his side of the aisle, in filibustering Circuit nominees. Nobody knows whether they'll feel emboldened to filibuster Supreme Court nominees, particularly if Bush gets a clean majority this time, or adds 2 or 3 seats to his Senate majority.

The other wild card is Justice Stevens' health and resolve. He watched as Brennan and Marshall held out through what could have been good years of retirement but still ended up having to quit under a Republican. Blackmun won the hold-out bet, and White did the opposite -- not holding out, and enjoy years of (relatively) youthful retirement.

A very interesting tactic (in my view) would be for Stevens to jump in and retire simultanously with Rehnquist. Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy would have a lot more political support in insisting that one of the two new appointees be moderates than in insisting that a re-elected Bush pick a moderate for a single slot.
posted by MattD at 7:23 AM on September 14, 2004

quartermass, I think they're going with the repeat-it-enough-and-its-just-as-good-as-true mentality or "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
-- Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945
posted by fenriq at 8:09 AM on September 14, 2004

and Bush just signed a law to allow all cops and retired cops to carry their guns across state lines

Huh?! So state carry laws don't apply to cops and retired cops from anywhere in the country? Is this true?
posted by nicwolff at 8:18 AM on September 14, 2004

nofundy's comment is great.

In all seriousness, I worry that if Bush wins there will be a civil war. Not joking. Cheney can joke about Terrorists attacks if Kerry wins, but we can almost dead-honestly talk about riots in the major cities if Bush does.
posted by Peter H at 9:06 AM on September 14, 2004

if bush is re-elected he'll be hounded from all directions. the streets of DC will fill with angry mobs, the press will persecute him without surcease, and his cabal will crumble as one by one the neocon crazies are prosecuted and jailed. ultimately not even partisanship will be able to shield him from the rage of a hoodwinked congress besieged by an apoplectic constituency.

hey, i can dream.
posted by quonsar at 9:06 AM on September 14, 2004

ha, does quonsar's and my comment count as a jinx?
posted by Peter H at 9:09 AM on September 14, 2004

posted by Peter H at 9:10 AM on September 14, 2004

the NRA dude is off his rocker. and he doesn't understand statistics. once again we see an imbecile falling into the trap of assuming that a statistical association (18% more republicans than democrats own stock) implies causality (owning stocks will turn democrats into republicans).

this is akin to noticing the association between income and lightbulbs (those with higher income tend to have more lightbulbs in their houses than those with lower incomes) and assuming that obtaining more lightbulbs will thus increase ones wages.

see, we all know that higher income gives one the ability to purchase a larger home, with more rooms that require lighting, and thus more lightbulbs. in a simple example this is obvious, but often misinterpreted in real life (intentionally or otherwise) due to one's personal desire to prove a point or push an agenda. sure, sometimes associations are causal factors, but other times they're like the lightbulbs - just a coincidence.

it's pretty clear in this case that republicans on average tend to have more money than democrats, and like many people with lots of cash they choose to invest it in the stock market. but that does not in any way mean that giving a poor black man $5000 in General Motors stock would turn him into a registered GOP member. if this was true, the GOP would be paying a whole hell of a lot more attention to the "lower classes" than they currently do. instead of a tax break bush would have handed out stock certificates, thus ensuring his re-election.

i won't go into the "was he really elected" thing. as far as our system of election is concerned, he lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote. granted, it did look damn fishy, but that's the way the courts interpreted it. whether or not this win was due to some shady things in florida remains to be seen - i refer you to the essay on second-term scandals linked in the FPP (as for me, i am hoping we can find out without the need for a second term).
posted by caution live frogs at 10:56 AM on September 14, 2004

If that happens, I might place my bet with Krrrlson

Are you saying you would vote for me as a presidential candidate? If so, my support among the American population has swelled to a massive two. Watch out, Nader!
posted by Krrrlson at 11:22 AM on September 14, 2004

Bush just signed a law to allow all cops and retired cops to carry their guns across state lines. Over the next four years, Congress will bring such sanity to Washington, D.C., and expand the number of Americans who can carry across state lines. Less crime means fewer prison guards and parole officers

That's the most bass-ackwards thinking I've heard in a long time.

Those essays were chilling and thought-provoking, as well. And depressing. God help us all and this country if Bush wins.
posted by aacheson at 1:54 PM on September 14, 2004

I don't understand what you mean that "If Bush is re-elected, I can guarantee that there will not be a Republican presidential nominee in 2008"
Please explain what you mean.
posted by aacheson at 2:00 PM on September 14, 2004

These essays were very thought-provoking. Good link.
posted by SisterHavana at 2:04 PM on September 14, 2004

I don't buy Norquist's suggestion that defeat will lead to Democrats withering on the vine.

Dean last year, and the 527s and Kerry this year, have unlocked the money-giving and -organizing capacity of the "civilian" left; plenty of rich people unaligned with the trial lawyers, and plenty more people with $50 to spare unaligned with public sector unions or other special interests, have seen fit to back Democratic victory. Even if all the traditional Democratic interest groups are put on a starvation diet vis-a-vis government support and enablement, that new financial and work base will persist. In fact, it'll be that much more angry.

Considering how stirred up Bush has got his opponents now, I can't even imagine the fire he'll face if he would actually settle down to accomplish a significant part of a Norquist agenda in his second term. It could be the one thing that could elect Hillary Clinton.
posted by MattD at 2:18 PM on September 14, 2004

Mark my words, Hillary Clinton will NEVER be elected. She's hated be even more people than her husband is. I adore the woman, but she is so widely hated and ridiculed, there's no WAY she would be elected. Ever.
posted by aacheson at 2:48 PM on September 14, 2004

MattD: what's so chilling is that Norquist, albiet insane, has ideas that people consider rationally in ways a left-wing counterpart would never be considered. While people allow him to suggest that an entire political party will dissolve and the end of the New Deal will arise from the coronation of Bush for four more years, a left-winger suggesting that a Democrat becomming president will begin a re-emergence of a Socialist state with the removal of all personal firearms and free abortions for all would be laughed out of the room.

As far as the "could elect Hillary" thing goes, I agree with you on that: the fact is that Bush staying president with the party he has control of is a much bigger danger to the Republicans than the Democrats. Bush is running towards overkill.

For Bush's mandate to work, it would require maintanance. So many people have this illusion of Bush getting re-elected, and then in 2008 the party saying "okay, we've got everything we wanted, let's let a moderate take the reins now." Nonsense. If Bush is re-elected, the replacements for Cheney, if any, will be in the form of Jeb Bush, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, or even John Ashcroft. Pataki, Giuliani, Ridge, and the like taking the mantle from the conservatives doesn't make any sense. Norquist envisions a dynasty- for Bush to have a dynasty would require a replacement that continues the work of Bush.

Regardless of any condescending "accept the inevitable" tones the occasional troll may throw around, there's no ignoring the natural left-of-center beliefs of the majority of the country. Most Americans support unions, increasing the minimum wage, and at least some form of abortion access, gun control, gay rights, and progressive taxation. Norquist, and many Bush Republicans, envision this election as some kind of video game, in which defeating Kerry will end everything, with no future changes ever to occur again.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:59 PM on September 14, 2004

The democrats haven't been able to field a solid candidate since Clinton. They won't be in power for awhile.

Bush/Cheney 04!!!!!

Giuliani / Bush 08 !!!!
posted by WLW at 4:48 PM on September 14, 2004

If Bush is re-elected, the US is toast. It's toast anyway, as China comes into play in a big, BIG way; and as Europe gets its shit together. It'll just happen faster under Bush.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:46 PM on September 14, 2004

Mark my words, Hillary Clinton will NEVER be elected.

You mean SENATOR Hillary Clinton, the person who was elected to the US Senate from one of the largest states in the country? I'm not saying she could win the nomination or the presidency in 2008 or 2012, but she is clearly one of the most formidable politicians of the current generation and I would suggest no one be quite that dismissive of her.

Grover Nordquist is one of the main sources of my mightmares, let me tell you. Most. powerful. nutcase. in. US. political. history. ever!
posted by billsaysthis at 7:36 PM on September 14, 2004

fff- Your assessment of trouble on the horizon for the US is probably spot-on, but if you think the Europe will do substantially better than the US in the years ahead, your head is buried deeply in the sand. Pension problems, brain drain, and not working enough are three enormous structural barriers that the continent is not likely to overcome in the near future.

And China will continue to have the same inflation problems that plague centrally-planned industrializing states, power outages that stunt growth, and a nascent real estate bubble.

Everybody's got problems, but if you think the Yanks have the worst of them, you're probably not reading the whole story.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:58 PM on September 14, 2004

FFF -- I don't disagree that we have huge problems vis-a-vis Asian competition, nor that Bush has yet to show he has a serious plan for dealing with it.

I'd also suggest that worse than Bush's lack of a plan for serious competition is Kerry's actively destructive agenda of new tax increases on businesses and the business class, a warm embrace of the tort bar in the form of Sen. Edwards, and a return to the wet embrace of the regulator.

I'm with Kwantsar to suggest that only thing worse than Kerry is the European approach. Reducing the work week for native borns, and an inability to integrate their immigrants into much more than the dole line, bode poorly indeed.
posted by MattD at 9:14 PM on September 14, 2004

"The democrats haven't been able to field a solid candidate since Clinton." - the republicans haven't been able to field a solid candidate since Eisenhower.

They might steal power for a bit though.
posted by troutfishing at 9:17 PM on September 14, 2004

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