September 27, 2003


At the Democratic debate, Joe Leiberman
("D"-Sanctimonicut) attacked Wesley Clark (D-NATO) as
some kind of "Republican." Oh, that is rich. Clark's
run will at least do one very important thing -- it
will destroy the Senator from Sanctimonicut and drive
him out of the race. Only good can come from
that...And frankly, I think Clark's run will do a lot
more than just that. He is in the lead in a pack with
Howard Dean (D-Jeffords) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mekong
Delta). That's the way it should be...The nation will
respond to any of those three real men, or indeed any
combination of two of those three men....MEANWHILE...
"Bush is guilty of a single irredeemable act so heinous and anti-American that Nixon's corruption and Reagan's intellectual inferiority pale by comparison. No matter what he does, Democrats and Republicans who love their country more than their party will never forgive him for it. Bush stole the presidency."

Wed Sep 24, 8:01 PM ET Add Op/Ed - Ted Rall to My

By Ted Rall

It's the Stolen Election, Stupid

Ted Rall

NEW YORK--"Have the Democrats totally flipped their
lids?" asks David Brooks in The Weekly Standard,
quasi-official organ of the Bush Administration.
"Because every day some Democrat seems to make a manic
or totally over-the-top statement about George Bush,
the Republican party, and the state of the nation

True, Democrats loathe Dubya with greater intensity
than any Republican standard-bearer in modern
political history. Even the diabolical Richard
Nixon--who, after all, created the EPA, went to China
and imposed price controls to stop corporate
gouging--rates higher in liberal eyes. "It's
mystifying," writes Brooks.

Let me explain.

First but not foremost, Bush's detractors despise him
viscerally, as a man. Where working-class populists
see him as a smug, effeminate frat boy who wouldn't
recognize a hard day's work if it kicked him in his
self-satisfied ass, intellectuals see a simian-faced
idiot unqualified to mow his own lawn, much less lead
the free world. Another group, which includes me, is
more patronizing than spiteful. I feel sorry for the
dude; he looks so pathetic, so out of his depth, out
there under the klieg lights, squinting, searching for
nouns and verbs, looking like he's been snatched from
his bed and beamed in, and is still half asleep, not
sure where he is. Each speech looks as if Bush had
been beamed from his bed fast asleep. And he's
willfully ignorant. On Fox News, Bush admits that he
doesn't even read the newspaper: "I glance at the
headlines just to kind of [sic] a flavor for what's
moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by
people who are probably read [sic] the news
themselves." All these takes on Bush boil down to the
same thing: The guy who holds the launch codes isn't
smart enough to know that's he's stupid. And that's

Fear breeds hatred, and Bush's policies create a lot
of both. U.S. citizens like Jose Padilla and Yasser
Hamdi disappear into the night, never to be heard from
again. A concentration camp rises at Guantánamo.
Stasi-like spies tap our phones and read our mail;
thanks to the ironically-named Patriot Act, these
thugs don't even need a warrant. As individual rights
are trampled, corporate profits are sacrosanct. An
aggressive, expansionist military invades other
nations "preemptively" to eliminate the threat of
non-existent weapons, and American troops die to
enrich a company that buys off the Vice President.

Time to dust off the F word. "Whenever people start
locking up enemies because of national security
without much legal care, you are coming close [to
fascism]," warns Robert Paxton, emeritus professor of
history at Columbia University and author of the
upcoming book "Fascism in Action." We're supposed to
hate fascists--or has that changed because of 9/11?

Bush bashers hate Bush for his personal hypocrisy--the
draft-dodger who went AWOL during Vietnam yet sent
other young men to die in Afghanistan (news - web
sites) and Iraq (news - web sites), the philandering
cocaine addict who dares to call gays immoral--as well
as for his attacks on peace and prosperity. But even
that doesn't explain why we hate him so much.

Bush is guilty of a single irredeemable act so heinous
and anti-American that Nixon's corruption and Reagan's
intellectual inferiority pale by comparison. No matter
what he does, Democrats and Republicans who love their
country more than their party will never forgive him
for it. Bush stole the presidency.

The United States enjoyed two centuries of
uninterrupted democracy before George W. Bush came
along. The Brits burned the White House, civil war
slaughtered millions and depressions brought economic
chaos, yet presidential elections always took place on
schedule and the winners always took office. Bush
ended all that, suing to stop a ballot count that
subsequent newspaper recounts proved he had lost. He
had his GOP-run Supreme Court, a federal institution,
rule extrajurisdictionally on the disputed election, a
matter that under our system of laws falls to the
states. Bush's recount guru, James Baker, went on
national TV to threaten to use force to install him as
president if Gore didn't step aside: "If we keep being
put in the position of having to respond to recount
after recount after recount of the same ballots, then
we just can't sit on our hands, and we will be forced
to do what might be in our best personal interest--but
not--it would not be in the best interest of our
wonderful country."

Bush isn't president, but he plays one on TV. His
presence in the White House is an affront to
everything that this country stands for. His fake
presidency is treasonous; our passive tolerance for it
sad testimony to post-9/11 cowardice. As I wrote in
December 2000, "George W. Bush is not the President of
the United States of America." And millions of
Americans agree.

Two months after 9/11, when Bush's job approval rating
was soaring at 89 percent, 47 percent of Americans
told a Gallup poll that he had not won the presidency
legitimately. "The election controversy...could make a
comeback if Bush's approval ratings were to fall
significantly," predicted Byron York in The National
Review. Two years later, 3 million jobs are gone,
Bush's wars have gone sour, and just 50 percent of
voters approve of his performance. If York is correct,
most Americans now consider Bush to be no more
legitimate than Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), who
also came to power in a coup d'état.

And that's why we hate him.

(Ted Rall is the author of the graphic travelogue "To
Afghanistan and Back," an award-winning recounting of
his experiences covering the U.S. invasion of
Afghanistan. It is now available in a revised and
updated paperback edition containing new material.
Ordering information is available at

Posted by richard at September 27, 2003 10:09 AM