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Bear Left!

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Volume III, Number 220 January 2003

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Paul Corrigan

Thank you, Yogi Berra. Thank you, George W. Bush. It is "Déjà Vu All Over Again."

You can dress reactionary politics up, wrap it in the flag, and put a guy with MD after his name as the face of the party. Reactionary politics is still reactionary. That is a lesson that the GOP should have learned back in 1996 when the "Contract With America" flamed out after two short years. Back then, Newt Gingrich, an advocate of realpolitik with political savvy equal to his ego, stole control of Washington from an incredulous Democratic Party. Gingrich would soon overplay his hand and leave an impeached but popular Democratic president standing, while Newt and many of his minions checked out of the government they attempted to shut down.

It appears that two years is also the shelf life of the most recent reactionary turn in American politics. George W. Bush's star is falling. Herbert Hoover did less harm to our country than Bush and his fellow plutocrats have done in two short years. The current administration believed its own bullshit, as if there would be no political repercussions for robbing the middle class and threatening the powerless, including average Americans, with war. A draft dodger should not send the sons and daughters of working men and women to war for oil, especially in an area where the administration has more than the appearance of a financial conflict of interest. The son of an established Eastern elite family can play cowboy in Crawford, Texas, but he should not speak out against affirmative action when his daddy picked him up and put him on first, second, and third base. A president should not preach sacrifice to working Americans when he is robbing generations of Americans to give billions to the least needy.

The Bush presidencies will go down as black marks in United States history. Generations to come will read in amazement that a corrupt political system impeached President William Jefferson Clinton, but voted to give George W. Bush the power to make war and redistribute much of the country's wealth from the middle class to the plutocracy that put him in power. If the current groundswell is what I believe it to be, those future generations will also read about the triumph of American democracy. Reactionaries can come to power, but the American people have learned to quickly show them the door.