[Marxism] RE: Who is David Cobb? (reply to Paul H. Dillon)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Jul 17 15:08:55 MDT 2004

On Paul Dillon's question about what a Kerry Administration would look
like on civil liberties compared to Bush.
If Kerry pursues the war on terrorism, he will need the basic weapons
including the Patriot Act (it will not be appealed, and remember, he
voted for it).  He will need special prisons.  He may even need
Guantanamo, though he might also want to junk the symbol as a cosmetic
Remember Wilson needed repressive laws and the witch-hunt of his
Attorney-General Mitchell Palmer.  Roosevelt, once he had decided on
war, prosecuted socialists and communists and Black opponents of the
war. Passed repressive legislation such as the Smith Act that is still
on the books today. Clinton attacked democratic rights in savage ways.
Kerry will build on the achievements of his predecessors in attacking
civil liberties, not retreat from them.
On birth control and abstinence, he may be less implacable than Bush,
but I think he will continue the abstinence campaigns.  Clinton, being
so publicly non-monastic, had more problems with this sort of thing. If
Kerry can keep his zipper in the up position more than Clinton did, he
may be able to pursue reactionary political goals in these areas more
successfully. He has  said he would have voted for the Partial-Birth
abortion law with a health modification, that is, he would have voted
against women's right to abortion.  He has said he is willing to appoint
anti-abortion judges if they do not overturn Roe v. Wade.  Such promises
are not binding, of course. He says he is personally against abortion.
He will continue the attacks on women's rights in this area.
Clinton, in contrast to Bush Sr., said he was for women's right to
abortion.  But at the end of his term, abortion was much less available
to women than it had been at the end of Bush Sr's term.  And the same
thing will be true at the end of a Kerry administration if he has his
Yes, there are always differences and they can be made more gigantic
than they are if you ignore the fact of the common course being
followed.  At the end of every administration since the great and
good-for-all-of-us collapses of Johnson and Nixon, the pattern has been
that we are worse off at the end of each presidential cycle than we were
at the end of the next one.  They do what they can against us.  When one
of them collapses as may be happening to Bush, the successors try to
pick up the pieces and resume the march toward war, repression, more
attacks on labor on social progress.
Of course, Kerry won't mean fascism  -- despite the alarms being run in
the Militant these days -- but then neither did Bush, nor will any of
them until some rather huge class battles that have not taken place have
ended in our defeat.
Fred Feldman

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