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Thursday, February 26, 2004

One more pro-Nader screed
From the World Socialist Web Site:

Democratic officials plan to do more than simply denounce Nader. Whatever their pro-forma statements acknowledging Nader's democratic right to run, they intend, according to the New York Times (February 23), to mount a bucket of court challenges to keep him off state ballots.

Why are these forces so incensed?

In the eyes of the US ruling elite, Nader's intervention threatens to raise disturbing questions that it had hoped to suppress with the quashing of Howard Dean's bid for the Democratic nomination--first and foremost, the war in Iraq. Nader is calling for the rapid withdrawal of US troops and their replacement by UN forces, and has accused Bush of impeachable offenses in connection with his lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and Iraq-Al Qaeda connections.

With the Democratic race narrowed down to two candidates, John Kerry and John Edwards, both of whom voted to give Bush authorization to invade Iraq, the political and corporate establishment, Democratic as well as Republican, are looking to engineer an election in which the massive popular opposition to the war will be all but ignored, and potentially explosive issues such as corporate corruption and the widening gap between the financial elite and the working masses will be pushed to the side. Thus the Wall Street Journal, in an editorial gloating over the Democrats' dismay at Nader's intervention, declared: "We agree with the Democrats on at least one point"--namely, that Nader should be excluded from the presidential debates.

For the Democratic Party establishment, the prospect of a Nader campaign, even if limited in terms of ballot status, cuts across a campaign strategy aimed at preempting any serious mobilization of popular outrage against Bush's foreign and domestic policies. The party leadership wants, once the nomination has been locked up, to shift the campaign further to the right. It would like to gain the presidency by winning the imprimatur of the ruling elite, and avoid needlessly raising expectations as to what a Democratic administration would do once in power.

My expectations right now are mighty low. I expect that a Kerry administration would be preferable to the Bushies in the following ways:
  • Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement on the Supreme Court would be a slightly more liberal pro-corporate judge
  • The EPA might actually go back to protecting the environment, at least when it wasn't stepping on too many corporate toes
  • The next couple of wars will be better managed
  • We'll have a different attorney general
  • The rate of loss of jobs overseas will decline imperceptibly.

Does the threat of four more years of Bush scare us so much we dare not ask for more? Aren't we better off to raise the issues that Nader raises, and make it clearer to everyone how truly corrupt Bush is in every way? There will be a lot more hope for all of us if it is clear that Kerry or whoever beat Bush because of significant differences. We need not only to beat Bush, but to thoroughly discredit him and those in Congress who supported him.