Friday, November 05, 2004

Beware Bush's call for "Unity"

As soon as Kerry conceded the election, the Bush Team started right in with it's latest political ploy. In fact, Kerry appears to have handed it to them on a platter: this idea of "uniting" America.

Of course, I would love to see a "united" America, as opposed to the way things are now. But I think it's pretty obvious that this theme of wanting to unite the nation and heal its wounds is a political ploy: what is really meant is, "we want unity in America, but it's only going to happen on our terms." What's more, the beauty of it is that, like so many Republican lies, the Bush Team comes out ahead no matter what the Democrats do.

Here's a possible way it could play out. After Rehnquist resigns, Bush comes up with some obscure person to be the new Chief Justice. Just about any federal judge will probably do the trick, since the vast majority of the people out there pay little attention to federal judges. The GOP and their media allies will paint the nominee as a moderate, and will applaud the nomination as evidence of Bush's sincerity. But in reality, the nominee will most likely be some rightwing asshat--perhaps not a rightwing extremist, since that would be too difficult to cover up, but definitely someone much more conservative than he's made out to be. The Democrats will have two options at that point. 1) Go along with the nomination. In this case, America loses, although the Democrats manage to save face with the Right. 2) Oppose the nomination. In this case, the GOP can jeer and crow about how the Democrats are unwilling to go along with Bush's wonderful plan for national unity. Either way, the Left's political position is even more completely trashed than it is now.

It doesn't need to be a judgeship--just about any noticable, newsworthy domestic issue will do. And, as much as I hate this, I've really got to hand it to the Bush strategists--they really know what the fuck they are doing. Why can't the Democrats get their shit together this well? I realize, of course, that part of what enables the Bush Team to use this sort of strategy is that they already have a big political advantage. But that big political advantage didn't just appear overnight. This sort of political cleverness has been a big factor in how the Bush Team got where it is today.


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