Chomsky's Right, Bush Has to Go
Michael Leon, March 23, 2004
Madison, Wisconsin--The coalition against George W. Bush continues to grow.

In an interview published in The Guardian last weekend, Noam Chomsky added his voice to those advocating that Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) defeat Bush.

Noting that Kerry and Bush share much in common in representing two factions of the business party, Chomsky said that differences do exist: “…And in this system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes.”

Speaking of the Bush administration's policies, Chomsky said:

 “…The people around Bush are very deeply committed to dismantling the achievements of popular struggle through the past century. The prospect of a government which serves popular interests is being dismantled here. It's an administration that works, that is devoted, to a narrow sector of wealth and power, no matter what the cost to the general population. And that could be extremely dangerous in the not very long run.

“You could see it clearly in the way they dealt with, what is by common agreement, the major domestic economic problem coming along, namely the exploding health care costs. They're traceable to the fact that the US has a highly inefficient healthcare system - far higher expenditure than other comparable countries, and not particularly good outcomes. Rather poor, in fact. And it's because it's privatized.

“So they passed a huge prescription drug bill, which is primarily a gift to the pharmaceutical corporations and insurance companies. It's a huge taxpayer subsidy. They're already wealthy beyond dreams of avarice. And that's their constituency. And as that continues, with significant domestic problems ahead, for the general population it's extremely harmful.

“Again there isn't a great difference, so for maybe 90 percent of the population over the past 20 years, real income has either stagnated or declined, while for the top few percent, it's just exploded astronomically. But there are differences and the present group in power is particularly cruel and savage in this respect.”

Chomsky Is Right Again
Bush Must Go

I voted for a socialist for president in 1992 and for Ralph Nader in 1996 and 2000. But Bush simply needs to be gone. And much of the American left’s assertions that there are no significant differences between the policies of the Democrats and Republicans is a proposition that is simply unsustainable today with Bush's crew running things.

At a forum/rally entitled "Foreign Policy, Iraq & U.S. Hegemony" in Madison, Wisconsin last weekend, I asked a panel of activists and a journalist whether they agreed that Bush had to be defeated, and the response was not heartening.

The panel was composed of Alexander Cockburn, Jennifer Loewenstein, (Madison-Rafah Sister City Project), Steve Wagener (Military Families Speak Out - Eau Claire, Wisconsin) and Rae Vogeler (Madison Area Peace Coalition and the National Network to End the War Against Iraq).

Questioning the panel members on a neglected policy area -- judicial policy as practiced by Democratic and Republican administrations -- I asked whether Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg was preferable to Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. And, in light of the recently-released papers by the late Justice Harry Blackmum demonstrating that Roe v. Wade was almost overturned (the Democratic Senate’s and a large grass roots movement's 1987 defeat of Robert Bork resulted in the appointment of Anthony Kennedy that ultimately saved  Roe by one vote) should not protecting a woman’s right to choose, and on that basis alone, result in advocating to defeat Bush?

In short, no one on the panel agreed.

I don’t get it. Real people will suffer under another Bush term, real rights are in jeopardy. Bush will act to overturn Roe in a minute if a pro-Roe Supreme Court justice resigns or dies, and the right wingers whom Bush is appointing to the bench are appalling. One can piss on the Democrats all day and be right, but Bush is qualitatively worse in this respect, and in health care, education, civil rights, affirmative action and many other areas.

The case against opposing Bush is becoming sillier by the moment.

Consider Phil Gasper in CounterPunch (“Bush v. Bush-lite Chomsky's Lesser-Evilism,” March 20-21, 2004) reacting to Chomsky’s suggestion in the The Guardian that Bush be defeated.

“If we choose Kerry over Bush, we make it more difficult to do the only thing that ever makes a difference for our side--building real activism on the ground,” concludes Gasper.

C’mon, is advocating the defeat of this right-winger Bush really detracting from organizing? Bush is appointing activist, right-wing ideologues to the bench who will shape judicial policy for decades to come. Should we not stop this? Do you really think John Kerry will also appoint right-wing hacks to the bench?

Bush is dangerous, cruel and savage just as Chomsky contends, and must be defeated. Vote Kerry and organize!