Heavy pressure to back a Democrat

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Sep 24 13:39:06 MDT 2003

To:  Peace & social justice activists
Bush Can Be Stopped: A Letter to the Left

For the sake of peace, democracy, social justice and racial equality, 
George W. Bush must be defeated in 2004. We believe that he can be 
defeated and that the left, facing this unprecedented challenge, has a 
significant, even crucial role in achieving this objective.

The forthcoming election is unlike any other in recent memory. The Bush 
Administration, arguably the most right-wing in the nation’s history, 
has sought to effect a qualitative change of frightening proportions in 
the conduct of the nation’s foreign and domestic policies.


(This seems to be spearheaded by the Committees of Correspondence, a 
group that split from the CPUSA but that continues to share its 
orientation to the Democratic Party.)


Richard Goldstein
Left-Handed Compliments
Can Progressives Love a Military Man?
Village Voice, September 24 - 30, 2003

As pundits pounce on Wesley Clark, his presidential campaign is 
beginning to look like a bubble on the verge of bursting. It remains to 
be seen whether Clark can connect with anyone who isn't a political 
junkie. But one big surprise is how open progressives are to his 
candidacy. Not that they're keen on falling for a four-star general, 
even one who calls himself a liberal. But interviews with black 
activists, feminists, anti-war activists, and left-wing intellectuals 
yielded a loose consensus that if it takes a warrior to beat George 
Bush, bring him on.

Mind you, not every peacenik is ready to roll with a military man. "For 
me, being a general is a disqualification," says Leslie Cagan, national 
coordinator of United for Peace and Justice, which organized the recent 
round of anti-war marches. Rita Haley, president of the New York City 
chapter of the National Organization for Women, considers Clark's 
military background "a potential liability." But even Cagan concedes, 
"We have to do whatever we can to get rid of Bush." And Haley says, "I 
would vote for Zilla the Gorilla" in order to accomplish that.

What a difference from 2000, when Ralph Nader cut into Al Gore's support 
and, quite arguably, cost him the election. Today, few activists want to 
go there. "Repenticide" is what Michael Lerner, editor of the 
progressive Jewish journal Tikkun, calls the current mind-set on the 
left—and Nader seems to have read the signals. "The Greens and other 
indies are holding their breath to see what happens in the Democratic 
Party," says Stanley Aronowitz, who ran for New York governor last year 
on the Green Party line. For many leftists, only the nomination of 
Joseph Lieberman would push them toward a third-party candidate. As Glen 
Ford, co-publisher of the astute and often acerbic website 
blackcommentator.com, puts it, "Our position is: anybody but Lieberman."

For the first time since the '60s, radicals are willing to break bread 
with the Democratic mainstream. What accounts for this change? In a 
word, experience. The coalescing of free marketeers and fundamentalists 
into a potent right-wing political force has driven the left to 
reconsider its usual strategy of divide and be conquered. "Too often, 
progressives were unwilling to act together on anything until they 
agreed on everything," says Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation. 
"That is gone. We can hold two visions in our mind. There's the 
long-term building of a movement, but in the short term this is the 
worst government the country has ever had. Imagine what Bush would do 
with even a tiny mandate. We've seen what he can do with no mandate. 
We've got to move on that basis."

full: http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0339/goldstein.php


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