[. . .]
Most Americans, with varying degrees of naivete, believe they live in a classless society. Class is a taboo theme in the US; that's why Republicans talk about "values": God, guns and gays are an essential part of the package. But once again class will be key in deciding this election. The Republicans' relentless cultural populism has been extremely effective: their own hard sell as the party that best represents "American values" has captivated a vast, lower-middle-class, not very educated, socially conservative base. Kerry may have no way of seducing this base in the vast spaces of Red (Republican) states, but he definitely has a shot with male, conservative, angry, lower-middle-class voters in swing states such as Ohio and Florida. Once again Clinton showed he knows how to connect to this part of Middle America: Kerry just has to learn how to swing accordingly, proving again and again to these voters how cultural populism is a myth and how the Bush administration promotes corporate interests, not their own.
The polls are saying that if Kerry goes over 50% in the next few days, he has every chance of holding and even increasing the lead until November. The Bushites will panic. Since this is a "war presidency", Democrats fear there would be three options left.
1) An Osama bin Laden October surprise (arrested, not "smoked out", with the help of Pakistani ally President General Pervez Musharraf).
2) The election is again stolen, this time in California, with the help of Gubernator Arnold Schwarzenegger and Republican-made electronic ballot boxes in a few states.
3) An al-Qaeda attack (Osama, lest we forget, votes Bush) leads to a de facto coup d'etat, with the "Bush-Cheney junta" (Gore Vidal) postponing the elections indefinitely.
Conspicuously absent from Clinton's roadmap for Kerry was the Iraq question. For a simple reason: neither the Democratic Party, nor Kerry, nor Bush for that matter, knows what to say and do about Iraq . . .
[. . .]
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
A non-American view
From Asia Times:
Posted by Fixer at 15:30