[Marxism] Counterpunch: Cockburn: Under Kerry's Tent He's the (Any) One

Mike Friedman mikedf at mail.amnh.org
Sat Jul 31 11:32:41 MDT 2004


Weekend Edition July 31 / August 1, 2004

Under Kerry's Tent He's the (Any) One By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Can someone win the presidency entirely on the basis of a negative asset? I 
wouldn't have thought so, but here's John Kerry, just about 90 days shy of 
election day, promoting himself as a man of presidential caliber entirely 
on the basis that he's the Anyone in "Anyone But Bush". Aside from the flag 
wagging , that's what it comes down to, unless you take the probably 
realistic view that when it comes to war-fighting in the service of Empire 
he's far more bloodthirsty. Come next January the Anyone behind the desk in 
the Oval Office may be a bit taller. There'll be medals on the book shelf 
showing he killed Vietnamese in the service of his country. Most everything 
else will stay the same. Kerry's been pretty clear about that, letting his 
core constituencies know that as President Anyone he's not going to cut 
them any favors.

The nation's hungry, its underemployed, its jobless? In April Kerry 
announced that his economic strategy will be to wage war on the deficit, 
which means he'll do nothing to alleviate problem number one in American 
today, which is the lack of jobs and the rotten pay for those lucky enough 
to have some form of work.

Women? Kerry, the man who voted for Bill Clinton's savage assault labeled 
"welfare reform", on poor women, said he might well appoint anti-abortion 
judges, adding magnanimously that he wouldn't want such appointments to 
lead to the overturning of Roe v Wade.

Kerry vows to put more cops on the streets and there'll be no intermission 
in the war on drugs which has played a large part in producing the 
memorable statistic issued by the Justice Department last week, to the 
effect that the number of people caught in the toils of the criminal 
justice system grew by 130,700 last year. The grand total is now nearly 6.9 
million, either in jail in prison, on probation and on parole, amounting to 
3.2 percent of the adult population in the United States. In many cities in 
the US a young black man faces a far better chance of getting locked up 
than of getting a job, since the lock-up is the definitive bipartisan 
response of both Democrats and Republicans to the theories of John Maynard 
Keynes. Blacks have got less than nothing from Kerry, aside from his wife's 
declaration that she too is an African American, yet the Congressionlal 
Black caucus cheers the man who voted for welfare reform and devotes its 
time to flaying Ralph Nader

The "Anyone But" strategy favored by most pwogs has meant that Kerry has 
never had his feet held to the fire by any faction of the Democratic Party. 
This has been the year of surrendering quietly.

War in Iraq? A majority of the country wants out, certainly most Democrats. 
Kerry wants in, even more than Bush. When the DNC told Kucinich to stuff 
his peace plank, Kucinich tugged his forelock and told his followers to 
shuffle back in under the Big Tent and help elect a man who pledges to 
fight the war in Iraq better and longer than Bush. Feminist leaders kept 
their mouths shut when Kerry flew his kite about nominating anti-choice 
judges. Gay leaders didn't open their lips to utter so much as a squeak 
when Kerry declared his opposition to same-sex marriages and to civil 
unions. Did we hear from Norman Lear and People for the American Way as 
Kerry, the man who voted for the Patriot Act, revived his Tipper Gore-ish 
posturing about the evils of popular culture? Of course we didn't, even 
though Kerry voted for the unconstitutional Communications Decency, a piece 
of legislation that even the prudish Joe Lieberman couldn't stomach.


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