[Marxism] The Democrats Had Their Chance (by Howie Hawkins)
furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Tue Feb 24 06:51:02 MST 2004
****** Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 23:16:58 -0500
From: Howie Hawkins
Subject: Re Open Letter to Ralph Nader: The Democrats Had Their Chance
The Nation's "Open Letter to Ralph Nader" (Feb. 16) says "this is the
wrong year for [Nader] to run: 2004 is not 2000," as if The Nation
supported Nader in 2000, which it did not.
The Democrats had their chance to oppose Bush's repressive
militarism. But only one Democratic Senator opposed the PATRIOT Act.
Only one Democratic Representative opposed giving Bush unilateral war
powers after 9-11. Only 10 Democratic Representatives voted against
the March 2003 resolution of "unequivocal support" for Bush as he
launched the occupation of Iraq.
The Democrats had their chance to fight for electoral reforms that
would rectify the selection of Bush in 2000 with a minority of the
vote, such as Electoral College abolition, open presidential debates,
instant run-off voting, and proportional representation. Instead of
pushing for electoral reforms that would enable a multi-party
democracy and end the lesser-evil dilemma our current
single-member-district, winner-take-all system forces voters into,
the Democrats have tried to smash the Green Party from Maine to
California. Maine's Green state representative, John Eder, is
gerrymandered out of his district by Democrats. Democrats in San
Francisco enlist Republicans to unite behind a Democrat, Gavin
Newsome, who supported Bush in 2000, in order to prevent (narrowly)
the election of the Green mayoral candidate, Matt Gonzalez.
The Democrats had their chance to fight Bush's regressive budget
priorities. But no serious Democratic presidential contender opposes
Bush's $500+ billion military budget. The Democratís Senate leader,
Tom Daschle, declared the passage of Bushís first round of tax cuts
for the rich a "victory" because they were for $1.3 billion instead
of the $1.6 billion Bush first proposed. The logic of supporting the
lesser evil leads to such self-defeating "victories" as the
Bush/Daschle tax cuts.
You crow about the "passionate volunteerism at the grassroots of the
Democratic Party." The grassroots are passionately committing
political suicide. The grassroots oppose the war in Iraq. But they
have united behind a pro-war candidate, John Kerry, because he is
"electable." Thus, the logic of lesser-evilism leads them to support
the war they started out to oppose. A pathetic example of this is the
puzzled anti-war Kucinich supporters who came out of the Iowa
caucuses wondering why they had voted for the pro-war Edwards on the
instructions of the nominally anti-war Kucinich.
The Democrats might beat Bush, but they are not going to beat the
Bushism to which your Open Letter refers because they have supported
it. As the Democratic performance over the last three years shows,
Bushism is the current manifestation of the ongoing Bipartisan
Consensus around militaristic foreign policies and neoliberal
economic policies of welfare for the rich and austerity for workers
masquerading as the "free market."
The Democrats had their chance. And The Nation wants me to count on
the Democrats to fight Bushism now? No thanks. Run, Ralph, Run.
Syracuse NY *****
* Bring Them Home Now! <http://www.bringthemhomenow.org/>
* Calendars of Events in Columbus:
<http://www.freepress.org/calendar.php>, & <http://www.cpanews.org/>
* Student International Forum: <http://www.osu.edu/students/sif/>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <http://www.osudivest.org/>
* Al-Awda-Ohio: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Al-Awda-Ohio>
* Solidarity: <http://www.solidarity-us.org/>
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