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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What they said!

Probably like most people, I find that the opinions that I like the best are the ones that most accurately reflect my own. Here's an excerpt from today's WSWS on the stolen election of 2004:
To prove charges of a stolen election in 2004, however, requires more than combining references to 2000 with allegations of undetectable computer manipulation or vote-tampering. There must be a serious and independent investigation of the entire vote. The WSWS will report on whatever findings emerge from ongoing efforts in that direction. But to this point, we find the claims that the election has been stolen unpersuasive. At best, a case can be made that Bush actually lost Ohio—the vote tally there will not be even be finalized until December 6—leaving him an Electoral College loser but a winner of the popular vote, with a majority of over three million. Under those conditions, to declare that John Kerry should rightfully be installed in the White House would be a political travesty.

In our view, those who seek to center their political assessment of the 2004 elections on charges of fraud are clutching at straws. We have no reason to question the sincerity of their opposition to the Bush administration. But they are shying away from the bitter truth: a majority of those Americans who voted in the November 2 election cast ballots for George W. Bush. This included tens of millions of working people. The task of opponents of Bush’s policies of imperialist war and reaction is to conduct a serious political autopsy of this event, which represents, above all, a colossal political failure of the Democratic Party.
Bush won reelection, not because of a charismatic personality or mass support for his party and program, but because the so-called opposition party essentially defaulted. The Democratic Party campaign offered nothing that would rouse the masses of working people against the Bush administration. Kerry, married to a billionaire heiress, declared himself a capitalist and boasted of his opposition to wealth redistribution. His “jobs” program consisted of a few tax breaks to American corporations, and even this was to be subordinated to the preeminent Democratic Party demand: balancing the federal budget.

On the most critical issue in the election campaign, Kerry backed the continued US occupation of Iraq and criticized Bush more from the right—not sending enough troops, backing off from the initial assault on Fallujah last April—than from the left. Far from waging an intransigent struggle against a bankrupt and criminal administration, Kerry even banned most criticism of Bush at the Democratic National Convention which formally nominated him.
In the course of December 2003 and January 2004, the Democratic Party establishment, backed by the media, moved swiftly to derail the Dean campaign and shift the nomination to Kerry, viewed as the safest alternative among the candidates then trailing Dean in the polls. After Kerry’s victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, he became the frontrunner. From that point on, he dropped any flirtation with an antiwar posture—briefly adopted to combat Dean—and reverted to the position he had taken in the runup to the invasion, in which he backed the Bush administration’s drive to war while calling for more efforts to win international support. In other words, Kerry supported the crime, but sought additional accomplices to ensure success.

Those who focus exclusively on the events of November 2 lose sight of the far more important political fact: the presidential election was manipulated by the US ruling elite, not merely on Election Day, but throughout the whole period leading up to it.

Kerry was installed as the Democratic nominee for one principal purpose: to insure that the legitimacy of the Iraq war would not become an issue in the presidential election. This proved largely successful. Kerry tried his best to avoid any discussion of the war, only turning to the question in mid-September, when the Democratic campaign faced a collapse in the polls which would have utterly discredited both the party and the entire electoral process.

The Democratic and Republican parties are not merely collections of like-minded individuals or associations of politicians seeking public office. They are, in a real, practical and not merely rhetorical sense, institutions which serve as instruments of the American ruling class. This class, which comprises less than one percent of the American population, exercises an effective political monopoly.
For some of my previous rants along these lines, look here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.