[Marxism] A nickel's worth of difference?

Jose G. Perez elgusanorojo at bellsouth.net
Wed Aug 11 22:02:55 MDT 2004


>>It surprises me that so few people on Marxmail actually
say Bush should be defeated. Maybe that's because some
think it would be better if he WEREN'T defeated?<<

Maybe you were in Cuba, Walter, but a few weeks ago I posted here what I
consider was quite a cogent argument on why Bush should be considered
the lesser evil.

Basically, that his ideologically-driven administration had proven
completely incompetent, even when handed something like September 11,
whereas no one could expect to have such good luck with Kerry. 

Just look at the situation in Iraq. With a really ultra-hated dictator
like Saddam, how hard would it have been really to come up with some
sort of coalition puppet regime based on the real live social forces of
Iraqi society? Instead these clowns came up with puppet regimes based on
an Iraq that doesn't exist. I mean, look at this chump Allawi. He thinks
he can put down a massive popular resistance with 140K U.S. troops and
20,000 mercs (30,000 if you count the Brits, although judging from what
is going on in their zone, they have about as much stomach for fighting
the insurgents as the Poles do at this stage). 

Now, it is true, my post was half-facetious, but only half. I don't
actually give a flying fuck which one of these two the capitalists
decide to put in the White House. Whether it will make a difference and
if so what that difference will be if Kerry replaces Bush is something I
believe is unknowable by us this side of the invention of a time
machine. 

Despite the hysteria about warmongering and repression and all the rest
of it among the petty-bourgeoisie, the truth is the current outfit is
pretty bush league in actually carrying out reactionary policies.
Warmongering? Compared to JFK, who brought the world within hours of
nuclear annihilation, Bush is a boy scout. Repression? OK he has Padilla
incommunicado, but why hasn't Manzanar reopened? 

Just look at his "war on terror." He hasn't even had the cojones to
order up a military draft to put the quarter million boots on the ground
the U.S. needs to have any hope of beating the Iraqi insurgency. The
reason people give for hating him and his crew so much --his ideological
bloody-mindedness and petty political conniving-- is actually what makes
him spectacularly ineffective. 

Just look at the latest Code Orange fiasco. The Pakistanis and Brits
managed to capture and turn what by all accounts in supposedly an
important Al Qaeda operative. It would have been the beginning of a
long-term penetration of the organization, except that that moron Carl
Rove thought it could be used to shave a percent or two from Kerry's
"bounce" coming out of the Democrat convention. So they had themselves a
big press conference and DETAILED just what they had gotten and how.
They even gave the press the fucking NAME of the double agent. On
background, of course. So whether it was Condy Rice or Tom Ridge that
leaked the name is a secret closely guarded by a few thousand people on
the Washington cocktail circuit. But the name of that most precious of
all intelligence assets, a double agent, was in the New York Times the
next morning.

I can understand why all the LIBERALS who support the war on terror are
absolutely LIVID, and quite rightly so. But what do *we* care? THEIR
complaint against Bush is that he puts scoring petty factional points
over the imperative needs of bourgeois military and intelligence
operations, that he is *disloyal* to their class and their cause. But
that's THEIR problem really, that is none of our affair.

As for the ruling class's overall march to the right, John Kerry has
been entirely unambiguous, his program isn't "Bush lite" but rather
doing things seriously and competently. 

This election isn't like the Spanish election, there is neither the
programmatic counterposition on the war that we saw there nor is the
role of the U.S. in the world the same as Spain's. 

Nor is a "repudiation" of Bush something devoutly to be hoped for. The
"repudiation" of Goldwater was a famous people's victory but it gave LBJ
the political capital he needed to send half a million troops to
Vietnam. 

We should have no illusions about it being better if Kerry wins. There
is simply no basis for saying that. While I understand the historical
and political reasons why people will do it, voting for Kerry is in no
sense "better" than voting for Bush. 

But the history and politics does have everything to do with the
decidedly anti-Kerry tone of the left of this list. And that is quite
simply apart from me, I don't know of anyone on the left who has even
tried to make the perfectly reasonable case that, based on his track
record, the degree to which he is already discredited, etc., Bush is the
lesser evil. And there are about a million left liberals, progressives,
radicals, socialists, communists, syndicalists and anarchists all
arguing for voting for Kerry. And they are doing so in the context of
the beginnings of a *mass* break from the two-party-system led by Nader,
and of a ferocious anti-Nader lesser-evil campaign in the corporate
media. It is that ruling class campaign, with its hordes of "radical"
helpers, that needs to be fought.

José





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