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Re: Lieven on Bush strategy (fwd)
by Boris Stremlin
12 November 2002 15:20 UTC
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On Mon, 11 Nov 2002 Threehegemons@aol.com wrote:

> Excellent article.  I've believed for a while that Jews might defect to the 
>Republicans, with dramatic consequences for American politics, given the 
>reliance of the Democratic party on their money.  He paints a grim picture of 
>future politics--on the Republican side, Christian fundamentalists, Jews, as 
>well as the assorted capitalists and upper middle classes who support their 
>economic program.  On the other side, a divided, demoralized, and poorly 
>organized proletariat.  But what of the continuing widespread support for the 
>cultural program of the sixties?  For example, support for legalized abortion. 
> Or consider feelings about legalizing marijuana--I've been amazed, at fairly 
>conservative schools I've taught at, how few students (actually none) will 
>speak up in defense of the status quo of maintaining its illegality  (Jews, 
>ironically, simultaneously agree with the nationalists of the Republicans on 
>foreign policy while being more sold on counterculture values than any !
other group in the US).  Will the Democrats be able to recover by riding this 
cultural conflict? And what sort of effective strategies outside the US might 
emerge? This article, after all, is a little devoid on strategy..

It's going to be tough sledding for anyone who challenges the
administration on social issues like legalization (which took some knocks
during this election).  The outcome is not likely to be any more
successful than saying "it's the economy, stupid".  It seems that the
strategy outlined in this article is that the war preemts all other
issues, and succeeds in getting Republicans elected whenever they are not
explicitly challenged on their international policy, and whenever clear
alternatives are presented.  The purging of Gephardt is a necessary first
step, but there is a lot more that needs to be done before a clear
alternative is presented which actually gets the Democratic majority to
turn out and vote.

Incidentally, as has been mentioned previously, Bush is not the only one
to adopt this strategy.  In Israel, in Russia, and in South Asia, the
parties in power have adopted a similar tactic to remain in power in the
foreseeable future.  The only thing that will probably stop them at this
point is a catastrophic failure in war.

Boris Stremlin

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