RALPH NADER: The Mid-Term Elections: Giving Bush a Free Ride Spelled Ruin

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Sat Nov 9 19:01:47 MST 2002


November 8, 2002

The Mid-Term Elections
Giving Bush a Free Ride Spelled Ruin

The mid-term elections are over. After spending hundreds of millions of
business dollars, the Republicans now control the Senate and hold on to the
House of Representatives. It is amazing that the Democrats did not do
worse. They had decided months ago on a strange strategy --that they were
going to defeat the Republicans by not criticizing their belligerent
leader, George W. Bush.

In their ads, literature and debates between Senatorial and Representative
candidates, mention of Mr. Bush by them was to praise not to challenge, or
to expose the hypocrisy, and the damage to American workers and consumers
by this corporation President.

Listening to the debate from around the country on C-Span radio, I was
astonished to see Democratic candidates in tight races eager to show their
support for Bush's 2001 tax cut for the wealthy, for the give-a-way war
resolution authority on Iraq, and for Bush's federal drive to take over the
historical role of the states in personal injury law by restricting
Americans' right to their full day in court.

And what did Senate Democrat candidates such as Jean Shaheen in New
Hampshire and Senator Max Cleland of Georgia get for their support of
President Bush? Why he roared into their states on Air Force One and
campaigned against them, as he did against other Democrats who voted with
him on these and other Republican litmus paper tests.

The morning after election day, reporters asked Senator majority leader,
Tom Daschle why the Democrats lost? He replied, because the Democrats were
"up against a very popular President." That's a self-fulfilling point.
Asked the same question, Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe
answered: "Because they [the Republicans] outspent us." But it was
Republican House speaker who gave the accurate response: "Because the
Democrats did not have a message."

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