Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Democrats let Bush off the hook

You might think that with all the bad news the Bush presidency is having to deal with the opposition Democratic Party would be set to sweep the mid-term elections in November and take control of at least one of the houses of Congress. Yet the Democrats are so tainted with outright support for, or lukewarm opposition to, Bush’s policies that they are not gaining any real ground.

In fact, Bush has more problems with opponents inside his own Republican Party who are manoeuvring to try and distance themselves from the White House ahead of the elections. Thanks to the Democrats’ pusillanimous posturing, the polls are actually showing a return of support to Bush. The national average turn-out for the 2002 mid-term elections was only 35% so there aren’t that many votes to be fought over and analysts are now predicting a tight race.

On the face of it, the Bush camp ought to be in serious political trouble, especially over Iraq where the conflict has claimed 2,700 US soldiers killed and 20,000 seriously wounded. Only yesterday, the head of the US army said there was not enough money to fight the Iraq war while three retired generals denounced defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and said he should resign for his bungling since the 2003 invasion. US intelligence agencies have now officially acknowledged the obvious: The failed occupation in Iraq has stoked the global terrorist threat, generating recruits for increasing acts of terror across the globe.

Robert L. Borosage, director of the Campaign For America's Future, in a recent blog for TomPaine.Com, noted: "Likewise, the premiere of Robert Greenwald’s stunning documentary, "Iraq for Sale," along with the publication of books ripping the cover off the Iraq occupation — Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco, T. Christian Miller’s Blood Money, and Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City — expose the sordid reality behind the failure in Iraq—the mélange of conservative ideological idiocy, incompetence, cronyism and corruption that is the hallmark of this administration. In the midst of this is the abject failure of a supine conservative Congress to enforce any form of accountability on the administration, as so-called moderate Republicans marched in lockstep with their conservative leaders to deep-six every effort to investigate the pervasive corruption and profiteering."

Where are the Democrats? Well, America’s other capitalist party supported the invasion of Iraq as well as the so-called "war on terror" launched in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. They have nothing to say on the big issues facing Americans such as the slump in the housing market, rising unemployment or the loss of democratic rights.

What about their attitude to immigrants without papers, who marched in their millions earlier this year against Republican proposals to make them criminals? In Arizona, Democrat Jim Pederson’s campaign website declares that "illegal immigration is endangering out security, putting a huge burden on our communities' schools and hospitals". In Missouri, Democrat Claire McCaskill includes building border fences as part of her immigration strategy. In Montana, Matt McKenna, spokesman for Jon Tester, indicates the Democratic candidate "would not offer amnesty to illegal immigrants". Not much incentive there for registered Latinos to get out and vote Democrat in November!

The choice between the Republicans and Democrats now mirrors the "choice" between New Labour and the Conservative Party. Even forensic science might have some trouble detecting any essential difference between these parties.

Paul Feldman communications editor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spot the difference: Democrat, Republican, Labour, Conservative.
The world needs something new.