[Marxism] Re: post-election malaise

M. Junaid Alam mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Fri Nov 12 08:09:54 MST 2004

Bush's second term is the best possible outcome?  That's not a statement 
I'm going to allow to go unchallenged.  Not that I completely disagree, 
but you could clarify that one a bit for me.  Certainly, Bush in office 
four more years presents opportunities that would not exist were Kerry 
inaugerated, but a Kerry presidency would also present unique 
opportunities.  I've heard some people argue that it doesn't matter who 
is in office, but that is silly.  Neither Bush nor Kerry would change 
the course of history, but it should change our strategy for dealing 
with that course.  That said: what exactly about Bush's second term do 
you find so wonderfully advantageous?"

[I didn't write this but want to respond anyway]. First, I think the 
argument that it doesn't matter who is in office is not silly, but 
well-principled, because what it expresses the priority of movements 
from below and their orientation toward people, not Democratic leaders. 
I don't think anyone means it in the way you frame it - that specific 
strategies should not be different depending on who wins.

One scenario in which I had thought would be advantageous under Bush is 
that if we saw another major blowback from our ongoing 'liberation' 
efforts abroad, and a Democratic was in office, you know what kind of 
hell would break loose along the lines of 'the liberal softies and 
weakness allowed this to happen', after which the Democrats would have 
to show how tough they are, like some kind of smart kid with a manhood 
insecurity complex who busts out a shotgun in school to prove himself- 
or like Kennedy over Cuba. The thought underlying this premise is that 
the right-wing forces in this country are so much more powerful and 
better mobilized that inserting a left-wing candidate into office will 
merely make the left a huge target and scapegoat, particuarly because 
the 'left-wing' candidate does nothing to defend left-wing positions. 
This anti-ABB view on the topic, as with attack on the whole ABB case in 
general, was proved 'overright' by events, in that the right-wing is not 
only more powerful and organized but it is _so_ much more so that it can 
win office even after executing miserably failed and disastrous plans.

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