HNN Poll: Could Iraq Cost Bush the Election?





Last week historian Allan Lichtman told USA Today that it's rare for a president to lose an election over an issue related to foreign policy. Lichtman, who's accurately predicted many presidential elections based on a careful analysis of the critical factors that shape American politics--factors he refers to as"keys"*--argued that Bush is favored to win re-election. He added, however,"it could become quicksand if anything happens to the economy. He has no cushion at this point."

What do you think? Could Iraq cost Bush the presidency? Can you think of any foreign policy issues that cost presidents re-election?

*Allan Lichtman, The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Guide to Predicting the Next President (Madison Books, 1996).


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Rick Tropper - 9/13/2003

My guess for 2004, for what it's worth, is that the Democrats stand an outside chance of symmetrically reversing 2000 by winning the electoral college and losing the popular vote. My reasoning goes like this: The Democrats will carry NY and CA, but due to Bush's popularity and incumbency by very slim margins. They will also make an unprecedented effort to win Florida. Oddly enough, Florida is the one state in which party effort could be determinative, since party effort succeeds in bringing out the vote and Florida is a closely balanced state with a large number of African Americans who characteristically do not vote in large numbers but who vote Democratic when they do. Give the Democrats three of the four largest states by very slim margins, and then toss in most of the north Atlantic and north Pacific states along with some of the upper midwest, and you have your 270 electoral votes, but you still lose the general election.

As for the question of how Iraq affects Bush's chances, I think the answer to that turns on whether or not we catch Hussein and/or Bin Laden. Bag 'em both, and Iraq becomes an insurmountable plus. Bag either one of them and Iraq is still a big plus. Miss 'em both and Bush will be facing the question of "Why Iraq?" until the day of the election.


Jerry West - 9/8/2003

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Pertinent to the problem of the Iraq war and Mr. Bush's future is this article in the Washington Post indicating that the military itself is not too pleased with the President and his conduct. One wonders where this will lead if the situation there deteriorates even more than it has.

General Zinni, a real military hero with a distinguished career, is not the only Marine to have stood up against this foolishness being organized and directed by a bunch of draft dodgers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27846-2003Sep4.html


Josh Greenland - 9/8/2003

Speaking of American ignorance on foreign matters, an article in the British Guardian said 70% of Americans now believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.


Jerry West - 9/7/2003

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NYG wrote:

Unemployment rate fell from 6.4 percent in June, the highest since 1994. Wow. And then it declined to 6.2 percent in July and 6.1 percent in August.

JW:

You skipped over the part that said why:

"....the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent as more discouraged workers dropped out of the labor force, government figures showed."

Declining unemployment due to increasing employment is one thing, declining unemployment dure to not counting people out of work because they have given up hope is another.

NYG:

What a guy, and he can also land on a heaving aircraft carrier. Is there anything he can't do?

JW:

He has proven that he can dodge the draft and service overseas when his country was at war, He has proven that he could not even serve honorably in the NG, going AWOL for months. He has proven that he can drink and drive and abuse who knows what drugs, and that his comprehension of the English language is humourous, to use a mild term.

He is proving very good at redistributing wealth from Americans to his backers at Haliburton and other companies.

As you say, time will tell about the rest of it. But one thing we do know for sure, he is not a man of honor.


NYGuy - 9/7/2003

Dear Jerry,

I will now have to address you as "Chairman of the Board". :)

Mr. Chairman, I am not a historian, I am a forecaster with an excellent record. You and I will just have to wait to see if I an right again.

Cheers and best wishes.


Jerry West - 9/7/2003

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NYG wrote:

Seems you got the answers.

JW:

Interesting comment since I was not providing answers, only identifying the problems. But then you read far more of what you want to hear into what is said rather than deal with it as it is said.

I am still waiting for convincing evidence that:

a) Iraq will not have a negative effect on Bush's re-election bid, and

b) The economy is so good that it will be a positive factor in said bid, particularly among the unemployed.



NYGuy - 9/7/2003


Interesting comments JW. So your point is that there is inequality in the world. Profound.

But you have not told us which method of governing people would change this situation. We had many attempts at Utopian societies that did not work. Communism was a failure, except for a privileged few, dictatorships killed more than they saved, monarchies did not distribute wealth equally and of course democracy is not the answer, at least as far as the U. S. goes since it has been a failure since its beginnings.

And the advances in technology has only contributed to the plight of the downtrodden. Pharmaceuticals are OK but people throw the cartons away and waste trees. And having people livelonger only creates its own problems. Without easy communications people around the world would be happier in ignorance. The need to feed the world’s growing population would not be possible, thereby simplifying the need for large government. And if we did not fly we would not have had 9/11.

Seems you got the answers. Cut back on science and technology, and reduce the standard of living for most of the world, including Americans and go back to living off the land.

Perhaps you are right.

Reminds me of a Chairman of the Board who told his staff:

I want us to build a new type of car that can travel up to 100 miles on land, can be converted into a boat that would be able to travel on the ocean and which could fly at over 100 mph and cost less than $1,000.

His staff was stunned, but one courageous staffer raised his hand and asked,

“But how will we do that?’

The Chairman replied, “That is your job, I am only a concept man.”



Jerry West - 9/7/2003

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NYG wrote:

I keep telling you we are talking about economics not political commentary. First comes the economic recovery, which is now well underway worldwide, then we see improvement in the lagging indicators such as labor.

JW:

I don't have the information in front of me at the moment, but I seem to recall that labor has been losing ground for at least 20 years or more and that mid range incomes today are worth less in real dollars than they were 30 years ago.

You may not think that politics is important, but I wonder how all of those laid off workers are liable to vote?

NYG:

If we were to elimate the increase in illegal aliens into the U. S. we would be at full employment by now.

JW:

Probably not without also increasing significantly the real value of the minimum wage, which means raising it while freezing other wages and salaries and closing the gap between the lowest and highest incomes. Of course along with this we would also have to either place sufficient tarrifs on imports to protect US goods, or force trade agreements that established uniform labor and environmental standards at least as high as ours, among all of our trading partners.

NYG:

....the "new voters", "terrorist", "criminals", etc. from oveseas to come to this country.

JW:

This would include everyone arriving here since 1492. I know a number of "real Americans" who would like to get their heritage back and see all of the illegal immigrants of the past 500 years and their descendants go back where they came from.

NYG:

Since you are so willing to help others, the influx of illegals should make you happy....

JW:

The real issue is not immigration, but world over population and a radical inequity in the distribution of wealth. When you have country which uses far more of the worlds resources per capita than most others and has so much waste laying around to be picked up it is no wonder that people would flock there to get a piece of the action. To grab at the bits flying out of the feeding frenzy, so to speak.

If you want to stop illegal immigration you can either shift wealth to the sources of that immigration, or set up death camps and impose the final solution.

Anything else proposed to fix this is a fairytale being spun to bide time until it is someone else's problem.

Personally I think that it is better to feed people than to kill them, and I don't mind higher taxes if it results in an increase in public benefits.




NYGuy - 9/7/2003


JW you cited Bloomberg which proves my point.

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy unexpectedly lost 93,000 jobs in August, the most since March, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent as more discouraged workers dropped out of the labor force, government figures showed.

Payrolls fell after a revised 49,000 drop in July, the Labor Department said in Washington. The jobless rate fell from 6.2 percent in July and 6.4 percent in June, the highest since 1994



Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy unexpectedly lost 93,000 jobs in August, the most since March, and the “unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent.”

The jobless rate fell from 6.2 percent in July and 6.4 percent in June, the highest since 1994

NYGuy

Unemployment rate fell from 6.4 percent in June, the highest since 1994. Wow. And then it declined to 6.2 percent in July and 6.1 percent in August.

And the tax cut is only beginning and the wealth effect continues to grow. Wow, what a leader who inherited a mess from the prior administration and is now setting things right. Meanwhile the world economy is also improving. What a guy, and he can also land on a heaving aircraft carrier. Is there anything he can't do?


nYGuy - 9/7/2003

Oh Ye of little faith.

I keep telling you we are talking about economics not political commentary. First comes the economic recovery, which is now well underway worldwide, then we see improvement in the lagging indicators such as labor.

If jobs are such a problem why is California inviting more aliens into the country and giving them citizenship. Does not sound like sound economic policies to me. And since we are in a high tech era, requiring more skills, encouraging such immigration by low skilled workers only means higer taxes to pay for the social services needed.

If we were to elimate the increase in illegal aliens into the U. S. we would be at full employment by now. But, the Democrats only want votes and the power to spend your money. That is why Clinton did nothing to resolve this issue and not only failed to stop the recession but encouraged the the "new voters", "terrorist", "criminals", etc. from oveseas to come to this country.

Since you are so willing to help others, the influx of illegals should make you happy since you can now help lift them up by paying higher taxes. Of course with high tech and other businesses leaving California it might become more costly for you but at least you, and the "political scientists" in Hollywood will have below minimum wage earners to cut the grass and take care of the children.



Jerry West - 9/7/2003

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And Bush is not engaging in political spin? Ha! And how do you know that they are spin if you don't read them? Hear no evil, see no evil, eh?


From one of your anti-capitalist New York papers:

Jobs Report Leads Bush to Defend Reliance on Tax Cuts
By RICHARD W. STEVENSON

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 5 — Today's unexpectedly bad employment report dashed the White House's hopes of going into the heat of the presidential campaign with clear evidence of an economic turnaround and forced President Bush to defend his reliance on tax cuts as a remedy....

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/06/politics/06BUSH.html?th

And from that New York bastion of anti-capitalism, Bloomberg:

U.S. Economy: August Job Losses Reach 93,000, Most Since March

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy unexpectedly lost 93,000 jobs in August, the most since March, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent as more discouraged workers dropped out of the labor force, government figures showed.

Payrolls fell after a revised 49,000 drop in July, the Labor Department said in Washington. The jobless rate fell from 6.2 percent in July and 6.4 percent in June, the highest since 1994.

The August declines hit service industries as well as manufacturers, who have now shed jobs for 37 straight months, and extend the number of positions lost since President George W. Bush took office to 2.7 million....

http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=avOW1AP8seqI&refer=top_world_news#


NYGuy - 9/7/2003

JW

Some pictures not so rosy about the state of the Union as you seem to believe:

NYGuy

Good try, but I was talking about the economic recovery that GW has engineered after inheriting a recession, with the consiquent lost of jobs, that he inherited from Bill.

The articles you sight are political spin. I don't have to read them, I heard the same mindless comments by the Democratic presidential candidates. Just a bunch of complainers with no constructive philosophy.

Of course now that Davis is making illegal aliens citizens you will be able to use three new spin topics:

1. The unemployment is going up.

2. California will have to raise taxes to support the new citizens.

3. Why can't GW and the rest of the U. S. follow our lead.


Jerry West - 9/6/2003

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Big ifs. More likely his re-election will hinge on how much money he spends and the effectiveness of his propaganda and whether or not his opponents can get sufficient exposure to make their case.

Some pictures not so rosy about the state of the Union as you seem to believe:

http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/09/04_sanders.html

http://www.ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=19604

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30663-2003Sep5.html

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=440335

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/05/politics/campaigns/05DEBA.html?th

http://cnews.canoe.ca/Columnists/margolis_aug24.html

http://www.cjd.org/paper/jp2war.html

http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2003-09-05/pols_capitol.html

http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2003/08/meyerson-h-08-28.html




NYGuy - 9/4/2003

If the economy continues its recovery, as it is now doing thanks to GW, if the rest of the world continues to understand we are in a new era of terrorism, if the technology revolution continues to speed up and increase the world's understanding of terrorism, if countries like Russia, China, Japan, Spain, the U. K, the eastern european nations, the middle East countries etc. continue to support the leadership that GW is providing in this war on terrorism, he will win in a landslide. What a leader.


William King - 9/4/2003

It may well. Oposition attacks are making Bush himself and the decisions he has made the real issues in the election. If people become convinced he made a number of major errors in judgement (failure to solicit the advice of the intelligence community, rejection of the UN inspectors reports, failure to declare victory when he had successfully used US military threats to make Hussain allow inspections to resume, failure to let State Dept take the lead in the reconstruction phase of Iraq, and the failure to insist on complete analysis of what would happen in the post war phase), he will be vulnerable. His bad decisions renew one of the issues of the 2000 campaign--does he have what it takes upstairs to be President.


Jerry West - 9/3/2003

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On another note I read a long piece in the Canadian press recently by a Brit who travelled the US and reported on what he found the feelings in the country to be. He had a number of positive things to say, but on foreign policy his summation was that many Americans were both ignorant and arrogant. I would say that assesment of my fellow citizens was not all that out of line.


Josh Greenland - 9/2/2003

Unfortunately, for a large number of lowbrow (not necessarily uneducated or unintelligent) Americans, Iraq IS revenge, against Moslems and Arabs. And for another, overlapping group of Americans, war is a serotonin-raising exercise that's like rooting for the winning local sports team (as long as we are believed to be winning), and for yet another group of Americans that overlaps these other two groups, "We must support our President" when he chooses war for us.

Voting blocs are often predictable, especially ones based on enduring national characteristics. The "Support our President" crowd will probably vote for him in `04 if the war is going on, unless it goes VERY badly. As this group isn't likely to trust a Democrat to fix a Republican war gone bad, they can be expected to vote for Bush.

The "revenge" crowd will eventually grow tired of this, since anger eventually dispels. An occupation where (in their view) those villainous 9/11-perpetrating Moslem Arabs aren't getting their butts kicked in full combat and where they are shooting back at us won't be as satisfying, and though they like Bush's "us vs. them" rhetoric, some of them may tire of the war by late `04 and vote Democratic or just not vote.

The "sports romp" crowd only thinks it's fun when we're whupping on a much weaker opponent who can't fight back at all. If the war is bad enough by late `04, some of them may vote Democratic but many of these slugs will probably not bother to vote at all.


Jerry West - 9/2/2003

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NYG wrote:

Your point is that the U. S. has always engaged in or supported terroisits activities.

JW:

That is close, although I would not use the word always and would indicate both past and present tenses.

You still owe me an apology for your unsupported and totally false statement that I said/implied that the blood of 3000 Americans was deserved.

NYG:

My position is that anyone who is part of a family that is covered by an investment in the stock market is covered as well as those who have an investment in real estate. Your arguement is that the "wealthy effect" does not exist, but you are unable to prove your point. Are illegal aliens part of your population statistics?

JW:

Now you have added real estate to the claim, but that is still not the point. Your original claim was the "most Americans" have retirement plans and investments. I questioned that pointing out that only about 84 million out of nearly 300 million holding stock hardly constituted "most Americans." Even if you extend this to families you may not hit 50% of the population given that mulitiple members of the same family may be holding stocks or other investments and that not all members of a retirement plan family will benefit from the plan.

You have failed to produce any data to prove your statement (which may be true or not). So, I ask you, where is the verifiable data showing what percentage of people living in the US have a retirement plan other than Social Sercurity and Welfare?

And why not include illegal aliens? For all practical purposes they are no different than other Americans. Their numbers certainly count in other economic indicators.

NYG:

In any case the U. S. economy is in a state of recovery and employment increases will be here over the next six month thanks to the leadership of GW.

JW:

Time will tell whether employment increases significantly, particularly in full time jobs well above the minimum wage level. And GWB may or may not have anything to do with it. Perhaps the current wars will increase demand for production of war materials which will be the real boost in the economy.

NYG:

Certainly Bill did not do anything to prevent the job loses,....

JW:

Why are you so afraid of Bill that you always have to refer to him when discussing G? I didn't vote for Bill either and don't see too much difference between them in some areas. Both were draft dodgers of a sort, though I don't think that Bill has a criminal record, unlike G, not that he may be deserving of one.

NYG:

Tried the website but nothing turned up.

JW:

Try these. Make sure the full, long address is used -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,1032958,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4744206-103677,00.html

Also amusing -

http://fbc.binghamton.edu/113en.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4745111-103390,00.html




Charlotte Power - 9/2/2003

Do you truly believe that revenge for 9/11 is the reason for the current conflict? Those of us who are more jaded/cynical generally believe that there is more to the reason than that. I think perhaps oil could be a reason. I realize that gas prices have shot up since this "righteous effort" began but also noted is a lack of the implications, or serious discussion for that matter, concerning drilling for oil in the Alaskan wilderness reserves. Call me crazy but when you "elect" two oil men to office what did we expect?

Any serious discussion of US foreign policy will note, and rightly so, the brutality of American efforts. One can look at Latin America, Native Americans, Vietnam, or any other number of examples of self-serving foreign policy and conclude that there must be more than revenge as a motive here.

As for Bush losing the election, well his father did in 1992. I just wish the Democrats had a candidate with the intestinal fortitude to step up and challange the validity of the war that we are lanquishing in at this point. It doesn't seem likely. As the coffins continue to roll in the chances for Bush's re-election get slimmer. It isn't revenge--duh!

Charlotte Power, Ph.D.


NYGuy - 9/2/2003

JW

You should be ashamed of yourself for this statement. I have never claimed that it was deserved nor have I condoned it. You can do better. Are you afraid to argue against my point by presenting evidence that the US has never engaged in or supported terrorist activities itself?

NYGuy

Your point is that the U. S. has always engaged in or supported terroisits activities. Many historians agree with you. So what is the point. Kill or be killed. Thus your conclusion has to be that GW, and the U. S. is no different than any prior Presidents and the leaders of the rest of the world. So your critizism of GW is not unique but part of your historical perspective. So your problem is not with GW but with both democratric and repuplican administrations. In other words the U. S. system of electing leaders.

JW

A claim that is hard to swallow given that more than two thirds do not have stock investments, by your own figures. Per chance you include social security and welfare in you retirement plan category?

NYGuy

You never gave the proof for your statement. My position is that anyone who is part of a family that is covered by an investment in the stock market is covered as well as those who have an investment in real estate. Your arguement is that the "wealthy effect" does not exist, but you are unable to prove your point. Are illegal aliens part of your population statistics?

In any case the U. S. economy is in a state of recovery and employment increases will be here over the next six month thanks to the leadership of GW. Do you believe that the Decmocratic wanabees could do better? Certainly Bill did not do anything to prevent the job loses, while he helped his rich friends to get pardons. So much for your concern about the poor and the rich.

JW

Speaking of an improving economy, thought that you might enjoy this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4744206-103677,00.

NYGuy

Tried the website but nothing turned up. The English are ok but you would do better to read the current newspapers on economics by U. S. forecasters.



Jerry West - 9/1/2003

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NYG wrote:

The statement was that the "wealth effect" helps stimulate the economy.

JW:

Actually to quote you: "Most Americans have retirements plans and investments." That is the statement in question, one that you subsequently backed up by using stock investments as the indicator.

A claim that is hard to swallow given that more than two thirds do not have stock investments, by your own figures. Per chance you include social security and welfare in you retirement plan category?

NYG:

Your comment that the blood of over 3,000 Americans was deserved,....

JW:

You should be ashamed of yourself for this statement. I have never claimed that it was deserved nor have I condoned it. You can do better. Are you afraid to argue against my point by presenting evidence that the US has never engaged in or supported terrorist activities itself?

NYG:

....but all I can say is we were here first.

JW:

Even that is debatable depending on who is "we" and the pattern of migration from the Bering Sea land bridge, if one accepts the theory, now under scrutiny, that the continent was populated by migrations across said bridge from Asia.

Speaking of an improving economy, thought that you might enjoy this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,4744206-103677,00.



NYGuy - 9/1/2003

JW

Less than a third of the people holding stock, no matter how you cut it, is not most people, and the original statement was about people, not families.

NYGuy

The statement was that the "wealth effect" helps stimulate the economy. If the market goes up and people feel better and consumer demand increases it stimulates the economy. That is what is happening and the economy under GW's leader is recovering. His tax cuts will add additional stimulus. What a genius.

JW

I can understand greed, and I can understand social justice.

NYGuy

What is your point. Is this something new that the rest of world does not have? Sorry you are right most of the world does not have social justice. But then you suggest the U. S. does not have social justice therefore this it is just a concept that does not exist.

JW

The first question to ask is protection of the US really why they are doing what they are doing, and if so, what parts are they protecting when they start reducing civil rights in the name of protection. The second question to ask is who is benefiting financially from this so called protection, and who is losing.

As far as hypocrisy goes, its not related to whether they are protecting the US or not. It is what they are when they claim to be fighting a war against terrorism while their own hands are dripping with the blood caused by their own sponsored terrorism.


JW

You raise questions only to promote your propaganda and use the suggestion that we are losing civil rights and suggestng the U. S. were taken to provide financial benefits, probably to only a few. I reject you answers, but each one has to make their judgements.

Your comment that the blood of over 3,000 Americans was deserved, and that their (American's) own hands are dripping with the blood caused by their own sponsored terrorism. This is only your political ideas and a cynical comment. Each American can make their own mind up on this comment.

JW

What I would do would require a much larger document than is going to be posted here, but to sum it up, remove the causes of terrorism and rebuild respect for the nation as one that stands by its founding ideals rather than only pays lip service to them.

NYGuy

Some people believe even the founding ideals are phony and were used to destroy other societies. So I guess we finally agree, you can't trust anyone and life is about greed and social injustice. So each one tries to survive and you can't change human nature. Kill or be killed.

JW

I wish that NY had 35 million people and California 20 million insted of the other way around.

How many New Yorkers does it take to change a light bulb?

One, to hold it while the rest of the world turns around him. :)

NYGuy

Well, this is not a good argument, but all I can say is we were here first.

Cheers :)


Dave Thomas - 9/1/2003

We are historically one of the most brutal military nations in the modern world. Just ask the Native Americans, the Spanish, and the Mexicans. Iraq won't cost Bush the election. Americans are overjoyed that the fighting is now taking place in the Middle East instead of their own back yards. Historically Americans want to take the fight "TOO" the enemy and that is what Bush is doing.

I'm sorry if this does not fit nicely in your ideas of the United States as a righteous Democracy that recognizes the validity of the Arab-Islamic worlds complaints against us.

Islamic Arabs attacked us and Americans see Iraq as an Islamic Arab country that was an enemy of the United States. Bush sent in troops and defeated them. In the real politik world that still exists, despite post modernists ideas that we are beyond those dated ideas, Bush is seen as a man of action and Americans like action. Good, bad, or indifferent, action is what Americans like.


Jerry West - 9/1/2003

NYG wrote:

JW, you may not be aware of this but we have families in the U. S. If we assume a family of 4 and divide the U. S. population of 290 million you get a different answer and a higher proporation of families that have investments.

JW:

Yes, but on the other hand more than one person in a family may be the owner of stock, so dividing by four may not be too accurate either. Some families may have three or more members holding stock. On the other hand there may be families of five or six or more with no stock. One wonders if large families have a greater or lesser incidence of stock holding by a single individual?

Less than a third of the people holding stock, no matter how you cut it, is not most people, and the original statement was about people, not families.

NYG:

Another statement that shows you don't understand economics.

JW:

I can understand greed, and I can understand social justice.

NYG:

That was the point of our discussion. California has the largest number of individuals in poverty.

JW:

No, California wasn't remotely the point of the discussion, not that the discussion has stayed close to the original thread. You tossed in California for some reason.

NYG:

You say you understand what happened on 9/11, but then say that those who react to protect the U. S. are "hypocritical". Again no solutions.

JW:

The first question to ask is protection of the US really why they are doing what they are doing, and if so, what parts are they protecting when they start reducing civil rights in the name of protection. The second question to ask is who is benefiting financially from this so called protection, and who is losing.

As far as hypocrisy goes, its not related to whether they are protecting the US or not. It is what they are when they claim to be fighting a war against terrorism while their own hands are dripping with the blood caused by their own sponsored terrorism.

NYG:

Funny I have the same contacts and get just the opposite conclusion.

JW:

Obviously either not the same contacts or a quite different reading of the tea leafs. Of course I never said that he had no support, or even less than majority support, but his support level is not as overwhelming as you seem to keep emplying, which is my point. But, perhaps I misread you and you are not saying that he has overwhelming support.

NYG:

Since you say we all are threatened by terrorism what would you do to protect the U. S. that is not being done now. You are right that we have been threatened for years but Clinton was too busy taking bows to be concerned. Thus we all suffer.

JW:

You can't blame only Clinton, the problem stretches clear back to Eisenhower and before. Terrorism did not spring from a vacuum.

What I would do would require a much larger document than is going to be posted here, but to sum it up, remove the causes of terrorism and rebuild respect for the nation as one that stands by its founding ideals rather than only pays lip service to them.

NYG:

I have a map on my wall, "A New Yorker's view of the U. S." and it shows that NYC is the major area in the country. Where have I gone wrong.

JW:

I wish that NY had 35 million people and California 20 million insted of the other way around.

How many New Yorkers does it take to change a light bulb?

One, to hold it while the rest of the world turns around him. :)






Elia Markell - 8/31/2003

He will stop the killing of American soldiers.

Yes, I will take bets on WMD -- await Kay's report in Sept.

And of course Saddam will be got, if he has not already been ID's Id be very surprised.

The economy is already growing at 3% and will be by 4-5% by year's end, plenty fast enough to re-employ many after the productivity efficiencies now operating reach their limits and new workers are needed.

There are my picks. You can take 'em to the bank.


NYGuy - 8/31/2003

JW
Given that the estimated population of the US is around 290 million one is hard pressed to equate 84 million with most Americans. If holding stock is your criteria for a retirement plan, it appears that quite a number do not have one.

NYGuy

JW, you may not be aware of this but we have families in the U. S. If we assume a family of 4 and divide the U. S. population of 290 million you get a different answer and a higher proporation of families that have investments.


JW

In other words jobs are not as important as paper? Strange values when one can claim prosperity while people can not find enough work to support themselves.

NYGuy

Another statement that shows you don't understand economics. I corrected you once on debt but am not going to give you a complete course on the subject of economic forecasting. Figure out what I said by yourself or ask someone who knows. Good luck.

JW

I wasn't referring to California, not that it matters.

NYGuy

That was the point of our discussion. California has the largest number of individuals in poverty.

JW

But the best way for these people to solve the problem is to pay a much larger share of income tax with the money going to increase public works and services like public healthcare, public education and even to improved security if you like. Public sector jobs are just as good for society as private ones, they both support families. The only problem is that rich people resent paying their share to do this, and public services return profits to the public rather than to private investors.

NYGuy

I have no problem with California adopting a socialist society and emphasising public services. Perhaps you can convince the taxpayers so they can reduce their debt. Hollywood certainly has the money not only to pay higher taxes but many there have said they would like to give their tax reduction back to the state so they could accomplish your objectives. I just don't know what the equilibrium point is where public services and taxes increase and businesses leave. But according to your thinking it makes no difference so go for it.

JW

Public sector jobs are just as good for society as private ones, they both support families. The only problem is that rich people resent paying their share to do this, and public services return profits to the public rather than to private investors.

NYGuy

I have to disagree with you. Seems to me the rich Hollywood types I see on TV want to have more of their money taxed to achieve your objective. So what is the problem. This certainly would get California out of debt and higher taxes on the rich would reduce poverty. Remember "Charity begins at home." So I would hope you and California would set an example with your theoretical theories for the rest of the country like they are doing in the legal field.

JW

Would you say that you don't know what happened outside of NYC? This is a pretty silly statement. One may not have been a direct participant in the events, but that certainly does not foreclose the possibility of having any knowledge of them.

It is also a lame excuse for not objectively looking at things.

NYGuy

As a former combat veteran you should know how silly your comments sounds.

JW

I didn't say that, you did, and there is no evidence for your claim. What I said is there hasn't been an extraordinary leader in decades, which does not imply that I might not have liked some of them. People don't have to be extraordinary to be likable.

NYGuy

I am happy you like some of our leaders but we are now talking about leadership under extraordinary circumstances. It is good to see you like something about our system of government.

JW

I am saying that before the administration can take a stand against terrorism, particularly the holier than thou stand that they take, they must first confront and deal with the terrorism engaged in by the US and its past history of instigating and supporting terrorist acts around the world. Currently the best term for the war on terrorism is "hypocritical".

and

There are actions I would agree with, and there is no "any president" at this point, only one so far that has to deal with post 911. I don't agree with him, but could if he changed his ways.


NYGuy

You say you understand what happened on 9/11, but then say that those who react to protect the U. S. are "hypocritical". Again no solutions. Perhaps you are not familiar with "Chamberlain. But that aside you again have no solutions, only complaints. Of course as an American you are entitled to your opinion even if you can't prove your reasons.

JW

Lots of criticism in a range of foreign and domestic press, both mainstream and alternative, personal contact with people from a number of states, mostly middle class, who hold him in low regard, and the fact that over 40% of those polled do not approve of him show that he is not as universally popular as you would have us believe, and yes many are laughing at him for his manner and intellectual stumblings.

NYGuy

Funny I have the same contacts and get just the opposite conclusion. The polls I read say over 56% of the U. S. populaiton support our Presidents and his foray into Iraq and world leaders such as Russia, Enland and China, plus the coalitioin support his actions and policiies.

JW

In case you overlooked it, there is more to the US than NYC, and more to the world than the US. Many cities have mass transit, even in California, particularly the Bay Area. But terrorism targets more than mass transit, and it affects and threatens all of us, and has for years.


NYGuy

Since you say we all are threatened by terrorism what would you do to protect the U. S. that is not being done now. You are right that we have been threatened for years but Clinton was too busy taking bows to be concerned. Thus we all suffer. The Bay Area my have Mass Transportation but the selfishness of the California consumers and their SUV'w and cars chews up most of or oil and gas supplies and they are doing nothing about it. Perhaps Bustamonte is right, give it back to the Mexicans so we could reduce our debt levels and energy consumption. Not sure if the Mexicans want it without our State and Federal welfare payments.

PS: I have a map on my wall, "A New Yorker's view of the U. S." and it shows that NYC is the major area in the country. Where have I gone wrong.



Jerry West - 8/31/2003

-
Regarding the statement that most Americans have retirement plans and investments NYG wrote:

....a total of 84 million shareowners hold stock through at least one of these channels,....

JW:

Given that the estimated population of the US is around 290 million one is hard pressed to equate 84 million with most Americans. If holding stock is your criteria for a retirement plan, it appears that quite a number do not have one.

NYG:

....employment is a lagging indicator.

JW:

In other words jobs are not as important as paper? Strange values when one can claim prosperity while people can not find enough work to support themselves.

I wonder why jobs are lagging?

NYG:

This would mean greater wealth for the California multimillionaire’s.

JW:

I wasn't referring to California, not that it matters.

NYG:

Since California has the largest number of people in poverty, these people could solve California’s poverty problems with their new riches. After all an actress making $40 million a year could probably get by on half that amount and why does Barbara and others need all those extra rooms.

JW:

We actually agree on this. But the best way for these people to solve the problem is to pay a much larger share of income tax with the money going to increase public works and services like public healthcare, public education and even to improved security if you like. Public sector jobs are just as good for society as private ones, they both support families. The only problem is that rich people resent paying their share to do this, and public services return profits to the public rather than to private investors.

NYG:

Seems you believe the only people who can carry on humanitarian activities are the middle class.

JW:

I don't know how you managed to arrive at this supposition. It certainly doesn't hold water.

NYG:

....you live in California and don’t know what happened in NYC and Washington.

JW:

Would you say that you don't know what happened outside of NYC? This is a pretty silly statement. One may not have been a direct participant in the events, but that certainly does not foreclose the possibility of having any knowledge of them.

It is also a lame excuse for not objectively looking at things.

NYG:

Are you saying he (GWB) should not deal with terrorism or he should do more to deal with terrorism?

JW:

I am saying that before the administration can take a stand against terrorism, particularly the holier than thou stand that they take, they must first confront and deal with the terrorism engaged in by the US and its past history of instigating and supporting terrorist acts around the world. Currently the best term for the war on terrorism is "hypocritical".

NYG:

Since you don’t like any of the U. S. leaders for the past 50 years,....

JW:

I didn't say that, you did, and there is no evidence for your claim. What I said is there hasn't been an extraordinary leader in decades, which does not imply that I might not have liked some of them. People don't have to be extraordinary to be likable.

NYG:

I can understand why you would not agree with any action, by any U. S. President in dealing with the 9/11 attacks on our country. Doing nothing....

JW:

I don't think that you do. There are actions I would agree with, and there is no "any president" at this point, only one so far that has to deal with post 911. I don't agree with him, but could if he changed his ways.

NYG:

....you don’t have to worry about terrorist attacks like we do in the East.

JW:

You don't know that either. And, probably none of us would have to worry so much if we would have had better and more humanitarian foreign policies over the past 50 years. Policies more in line with our ideals and what we profess to believe in rather than policis aimed at maintaining economic advantages, often at the expense of human rights and democratic institutions.

911 did not happen in a vacuum and it solutions will not be found in reacting to it without getting serious about researching the causes. I believe even the CIA has said as much.

NYG:

....how about giving me the source of you comments on GW being the “laughing stock……

JW:

Lots of criticism in a range of foreign and domestic press, both mainstream and alternative, personal contact with people from a number of states, mostly middle class, who hold him in low regard, and the fact that over 40% of those polled do not approve of him show that he is not as universally popular as you would have us believe, and yes many are laughing at him for his manner and intellectual stumblings.

NYG:

Those who live outside of NYC do not understand these threats to our mass transportation and the millions who use it, and therefore some can dismiss terrorism as not a serious threat to our country.

JW:

In case you overlooked it, there is more to the US than NYC, and more to the world than the US. Many cities have mass transit, even in California, particularly the Bay Area. But terrorism targets more than mass transit, and it affects and threatens all of us, and has for years.


NYGuy - 8/30/2003

I left out one comment in the above reply.

Unlike California, we don't waste energy driving single occupancy SUV's and cars to get to work and most of us rely on subways and mass transportation. This means that about 7 million people face terror attacks each working day they go to and from work on the subways. If you add in the millions from NJ who use the path you see the problems we face from terrorisms. Those who live outside of NYC do not understand these threats to our mass transportation and the millions who use it, and therefore some can dismiss terrorism as not a serious threat to our country.


NYGuy - 8/30/2003

NYGuy wrote;

Most Americans have retirements plans and investments.

JW

What constitutes "most"? Do you have the figures on what percentage of people living in the US (almost everyone from Tiera del Fuego to the Arctic Circle is an American) have retirement plans other than Social Security,

NYGuy

According to a NY Stock Exchange report:

There are four primary means by which individuals may own stock. Thirty-four million directly own shares in publicly traded companies. Twenty seven million own shares in equity mutual funds outside of retirement saving plans and pension accounts; some of these individuals also own stock directly. Nearly 34 million own equity through self-directed retirement plans such as Individual Retirement Accounts, Keogh plans or 401(k) plans, and 48 million own equity through defined contribution pension plans. There is substantial overlap among these four methods of shareownership. When this overlap is accounted for, a total of 84 million shareowners hold stock through at least one of these channels, and three million hold stock through all four channels.

So you see the confidence that the public has in GW produced the sharp increase in the stock market this year which creates the stimulus of the “Wealth effect”. Add in the tax cut and away we go. Leading economist now agree the economic recovery is well underway. As I said employment is a lagging indicator.

JW

Where I live a massive income tax roll back went primarily to the rich while increases in the cost of public programs and increases in the sales tax more than ate up the tax cut that middle and lower income earners received. In effect a typical neo-conservative wealth transfer from the poor to the rich.

NYGuy

This would mean greater wealth for the California multimillionaire’s. Since California has the largest number of people in poverty, these people could solve California’s poverty problems with their new riches. After all an actress making $40 million a year could probably get by on half that amount and why does Barbara and others need all those extra rooms. They could house those who live in poor housing conditions. Seems you believe the only people who can carry on humanitarian activities are the middle class.

JW

In the end that viewpoint may lead to violence an destruction of the rich, and it is something that many of us will not live with. If you are looking for the seeds of terrorism, look in that philosophy. Such greed is not a good foundation to build a social system on.

NYGuy

So you object to the rich getting richer, but in a choice between the rich and those in poverty you prefer the rich. Seems you believe the only people who can carry on humanitarian activities are the middle class. Hmm. Interesting philosophy, and one that liberals have always believed in.

JW

Terrorism of course is his best hope to win re-election. Another 911 next year might do wonders for his ratings.

NYGuy

I won’t comment on such a cynical accusation, but then you live in California and don’t know what happened in NYC and Washington.

JW

Still he is not dealing with all terrorism, only that which it is convenient to deal with.

NYGuy

You agree that GW is dealing with terrorism. Are you saying he should not deal with terrorism or he should do more to deal with terrorism? What terrorism is acceptable by your standards that we should deal with? It is unclear what your position is on the 9/11 experiences for the U. S. Again, no solutions, only complaints

JW

To effectively end terrorism we also have to look at the US role in terrorist’s activities over the past 50 years and bring justice to those that were adversely affected.

And this:

The US has not seen an extraordinary leader in a number of decades, and the last two have been less than honorable.

NYGuy

Since you don’t like any of the U. S. leaders for the past 50 years, I can understand why you would not agree with any action, by any U. S. President in dealing with the 9/11 attacks on our country. Doing nothing and waiting for France, Germany or the UN, (they turned tail in Iraq and are still talking about what to do in Liberia), to solve the problems doesn’t make me feel any safer. But you don’t have to worry about terrorist attacks like we do in the East.

JW

Being the laughing stock of nearly half of his own country and much more of the world is not the mark of a trusted and respected leader.

NYGuy

I gave a source for my comments on the wealth impact, how about giving me the source of you comments on GW being the “laughing stock………..” or is it just that you don’t have respect for any Presidents of the U. S.


Jerry West - 8/30/2003

NYG Wrote:

Most Americans have retirements plans and investments.

JW:

What constitutes "most"? Do you have the figures on what percentage of people living in the US (almost everyone from Tiera del Fuego to the Arctic Circle is an American) have retirement plans other than Social Security, and what percentage of them have a plan sufficient to maintain them without either government subsidy or continued employment? Or are you just assuming this?

NYG:

....the addition tax refunds give them even more confidence and they will spend more.

JW:

In some cases, maybe most, the more spending might be to make up the difference in public services that are lost as the government trims back expenses to cover the tax losses.

Where I live a massive income tax roll back went primarily to the rich while increases in the cost of public programs and increases in the sales tax more than ate up the tax cut that middle and lower income earners received. In effect a typical neo-conservative wealth transfer from the poor to the rich. On top of that it added 4 billion in debt to the books, books that were balanced under the previous progressive government.

NYG:

California has the largest number of people in poverty althought they have those living there who make millions of dollars per years. If these people in California don't want to spend their money to get people out of poverty then maybe it is something that we have to live with.

JW:

In the end that viewpoint may lead to violence an destruction of the rich, and it is something that many of us will not live with. If you are looking for the seeds of terrorism, look in that philosophy. Such greed is not a good foundation to build a social system on.

NYG:

France and Germany are not important.

JW:

Seems that I have read that the European Union will soon be a stronger economic power than the US. France and Germany will dominate this Union. I would not write them off as not important.

And, it would be a serious mistake to think that China will follow anyone's lead but their own.

JW wrote:

If we are going to effectively deal with terrorism we need to be honest and deal with all of it.

NYGuy replied:

GW is doing that. That is why the world is behind him.

JW:

I am not sure which world you are referring to. I see a lot more criticism of GWB than support outside of the US, and the polls are showing that even nearly 50% of the US population no longer supports him. Granted polls are not precise, and there are more things than terrorism that affect them.

Terrorism of course is his best hope to win re-election. Another 911 next year might do wonders for his ratings.

Still he is not dealing with all terrorism, only that which it is convenient to deal with. To effectively end terrorism we also have to look at the US role in terrorists activities over the past 50 years and bring justice to those that were adversely affected. Clinton, of whom I am no fan, at least started making some apologies for past misdeeds, as I recall.

NYG:

Strong leaders come about because of extraordinary conditions and take extraorindary actions. They also have vision. That is why GW is so trusted and respected as a leader.

JW:

Being the laughing stock of nearly half of his own country and much more of the world is not the mark of a trusted and respected leader.

Dodging the draft and then going AWOL in a cushy Natinal Guard billet when his contemporaries were showing real leadership on the battlefields of Vietnam is the mark of a coward. In the end he is no better than Clinton in many respects. The US has not seen an extraordinary leader in a number of decades, and the last two have been less than honorable.



NYGuy - 8/29/2003

JW

This only matters if it increases employment, raises lower incomes relative to higher ones, and reduces poverty.

NYGuy:

Employment lags the recovery. The recovery is now well underway and employment will rebound. Beside the unemployment problems is something GW inherited from Clinton who failed to listen to Greenspan. As usual Clinton was so busy taking bows that he did nothing to prevent the depression.

Jw

Higher stock prices and "wealth effect" by themselves do not necessarily indicate the social and economic health of a society. One has to ask what is more important, the figures on graphs and charts tracking financial exchanges, or the number of people with a decent place to live and enough food to eat?

You conveniently skipped over my remarks about employment and such. (NYGuy: See above)

NYGuy

The "wealth effect" makes people feel better and more confident. Most Americans have retirements plans and investments. And the wealth effect enables them to spend and stimulate the economy. In addition, the addition tax refunds give them even more confidence and they will spend more. This will put people to work, particularly with inventories so low.

California has the largest number of people in poverty althought they have those living there who make millions of dollars per years. If these people in California don't want to spend their money to get people out of poverty then maybe it is something that we have to live with.

JW

Russia, France, Germany, Canada and more might be only some small countries I guess. It depends on how you look at things.

NYGuy

France and Germany are not important. Russia is seeing the light as is China. And there are a great many countries who understand the importance of the U. S. leadership of GW.

JW

If we are going to effectively deal with terrorism we need to be honest and deal with all of it.

NYGuy

GW is doing that. That is why the world is behind him.

JW

I will spare you the list of strong leaders one might want to compare GWB to.

NYGuy

Strong leaders come about because of extraordinary conditions and take extraorindary actions. They also have vision. That is why GW is so trusted and respected as a leader.


James Jones - 8/29/2003

If he can't stop the killing of American soldiers and if he does not find WMDs (want to take bets?)and if he can't find and/or kill Saddam H. and the economy goes under, he's smoked meat. But, if Arnold wins in California, look out.


James Jones - 8/29/2003

If he can't stop the killing of American soldiers and if he does not find WMDs (want to take bets?)and if he can't find and/or kill Saddam H. and the economy goes under, he's smoked meat. But, if Arnold wins in California, look out.


Elia Markell - 8/29/2003

Just follow up on my remark to Alice, here is the complete picture. Despair ye all lusting after quagmire.

The latest Gallup Poll results, released today, are encouraging. President Bush's approval rating is holding steady at 59%, and by a 63%-35% margin, respondents say Iraq was "worth going to war over." Significantly, that margin hasn't budged through a summer of bad headlines.


Rorysm - 8/29/2003

Sometimes I wonder what planet you people live on. Then I remember, it's planet Academia (where common sense was outlawed years ago). First of all... it's still WAY too early to be talking about the next election in terms of predicting. Remember that at this point in 1995 Dole was neck and neck with Clinton.

Next of all, I think there is such a HUGE bias against Bush on the hnn that you completely have lost touch with the common man. The vast majority of Americans outside of NY and California SUPPORT the war. The war will supposedly cost Bush votes in liberal California and the Ultra-liberal Northeast. Of course that doesn't matter because he isn't going to win in those places anyway!


Jerry West - 8/29/2003

-
Elia Markell wrote:

True, the ARVN was plagued to the end with corrupt and ineffective leadership. But it did some very credible fighting post-Tet.

JW:

Could be, but I know that the ARVN that I had contact with were not fighters, and there were occasion when they actually refused to fight or provide assitance to US forces. They were pretty good at selling their equipment though, among other things.

EM:

In those final years, also, the indigenous NLF forces were largely wiped out. There was little evidence of widespread support for the communists in the South.

JW:

Might be one way to read some of the data. In pre-Tet I Corps much of the battle was against the NVA for one, and I never got the impression from all of the villagers that I had contact with that they were very friendly to the government either.

I would not equate lack of support for the communists as an indicator of support for the government or love of Americans.

EM:

In addition, the outcome in Vietnam, whether inevitable or not, was a monumental DISASTER for the Vietnamese people.

JW:

The whole war was a disaster for them. One could argue that had we held and honored the election in the 50's they would have not suffered nearly as much. Of course one could also argue that the outcome would have been even less disasterous for them had we stood by our ally Ho Chi Minh at the end of WWII instead of selling him out to the French.

To get back to the original topic of this thread, however, thinking that Iraq is another Vietnam is a mistake, even though one might find some areas of comparison. Making predictions about the outcome of this conquest or its effects on Bush at this point is merely engaging in pipe dreams. It may well be that all of the cards are not even on the table yet.




ELia Markell - 8/29/2003

No anthony, YOUR'E history, right here on the History News Network. He's MAKING history.


Elia Markell - 8/29/2003

Wesley Clark, oh yes, now THERE's an alternative to lying for sure. I am still waiting to learn who Wes's little friend is. You know, the one who, on 9/12 told him to link Iraq to al Qaeda. At first, he said it was someone in the White House. Now it's someone at a think tank in Canada. Oh well, Canada, the White House, why quibble. Do you want to bet the little friend does not exist. I bet we NEVER learn who it is. Then there is the little matter of where Wes was the day Waco burned. Now that will be batted around a bit more, you can bet, one WC starts down the trail after W. I can't wait.


Elia Markell - 8/29/2003

"he will go down further in the polls than the 41 % where he now is."

Are you smoking something? Sorry, Alice, I didn't mean that. But at least, unlike you regarding W, I did not accuse you of lying. (He didn't lie either.) You are merely endulging in wishful thinking.

Actually, though, you have may a weird form of dyslexia, one that inverts precentages. In the latest Gallup (today)W's approval rating is 59%.

Face it, Alice, Americans WANT to win the war on terrorism. You think W's percentages are high now. Wait till the campaign gets going and the public gets a load of the alternative.



Elia Markell - 8/29/2003

"if the Iraqi resistance keeps getting more effective,"

Josh, if you would stop reading the NYTs and listening to the CBS-BBC-CNN Axis, you might find out that the Iraqi resistance is in fact getting LESS effective. It does not appear to have sunk in on you, for example, that the UN attack was an act of incredible desperation, risking as it has alienating Iraqis who sort of hoped the UN might fix a road or two. This desperate act was a result of the fact that the other attacks on Americans were exactly NOT having the Mogadishu-Vietnam cut-and-run impact these pathetic fools had been led to expect by the very self-same media Axis referred to above. And the GIs shoot back, also, which makes things hard.

In any case, in most of Iraq absolutely NOTHING is taking place of the sort blasted out by the Axis daily from a few spots like Falludjah. How does one know this, given that no real reporting on it is being done? Here's how: NO REAL REPORTING ON IT IS BEING DONE. If ANYthing bad at were happening from about 20 miles south of Baghdad south and fifty miles north of Baghdad north, you KNOW we would be hearing about it over and over and over. We are not. Hence, I conclude things are coming together at a reasonable pace (that is, one that will require our heavy hand a year or so.)

Memory, memory. How quickly we forget. The same folks (you know, BBC, etc.) today telling us things are going badly in Iraq now are the ones who told us on week 1 of the war that the army was bogged down. The same ones who told us the Arab street would rise up. The same ones who told us Baghdad would be Stalingrad. Or, my favorite BBCism, that we were not at the (formerly) Saddam Airport at the very moment when other TV cameras were showing the tanks rolling down the runways (this one from the fine chap we now are supposed to believe about Kelly instead of Tony Blair).The same ones who said the sandstorm would swallow us up. The same ones who said, alternatively, Israel would be gassed, or that Israel would repopulate the entire West Bank with Kosher Delis under the cloak of our invasion. And on and on.

Give it up, Josh. We won. We are winning. We will win. Be happy!


Jerry West - 8/28/2003

-
NYG wrote:

The economy is improving particularly with the higher stock market which increases the wealth effect.

JW:

This only matters if it increases employment, raises lower incomes relative to higher ones, and reduces poverty.

Higher stock prices and "wealth effect" by themselves do not necessarily indicate the social and economic health of a society. One has to ask what is more important, the figures on graphs and charts tracking financial exchanges, or the number of people with a decent place to live and enough food to eat?

You conveniently skipped over my remarks about employment and such.

NYG:

Are the "lot" world leaders or some small countries who are members of the UN and want to play politics. It is difficult to hear the news and not believe their is a "terrorist threat".

JW:

Russia, France, Germany, Canada and more might be only some small countries I guess. It depends on how you look at things.

As for a terrorist threat, who is denying that? There has been terrrorist threats around the world for years, and the US is just as guilty as anyone else of participating in making these threats. I would argue that neither Al Qaeda nor the US have been justified in much of what they have done in the past. I do find it a bit hypocritical on the part of the US and others to get sanctimonious about terrorism after 911 given their past track record. If we are going to effectively deal with terrorism we need to be honest and deal with all of it.

NYG:

We are also leading the world in bringing about peace for all. Your comments of empire building are unfounded and neglects the recent history of the past two years. Isolatiion never helped anyone. Lack of leadership causes chaos.

JW:

First, peace without justice will not last. Second, the world did not start two years ago and if you do not think that the US isn't and hasn't been empire building, fine, but many will disagree with you on that. Third, I do not favour isolation so if you think that you are misreading what I say. And fourth, I agree on the lack of leadership, but not all leadership is good, as a study of history will show. I will spare you the list of strong leaders one might want to compare GWB to.



Jerry West - 8/28/2003

-
NYG wrote:

The economy is improving particularly with the higher stock market which increases the wealth effect.

JW:

This only matters if it increases employment, raises lower incomes relative to higher ones, and reduces poverty.

Higher stock prices and "wealth effect" by themselves do not necessarily indicate the social and economic health of a society. One has to ask what is more important, the figures on graphs and charts tracking financial exchanges, or the number of people with a decent place to live and enough food to eat?

You conveniently skipped over my remarks about employment and such.

NYG:

Are the "lot" world leaders or some small countries who are members of the UN and want to play politics. It is difficult to hear the news and not believe their is a "terrorist threat".

JW:

Russia, France, Germany, Canada and more might be only some small countries I guess. It depends on how you look at things.

As for a terrorist threat, who is denying that? There has been terrrorist threats around the world for years, and the US is just as guilty as anyone else of participating in making these threats. I would argue that neither Al Qaeda nor the US have been justified in much of what they have done in the past. I do find it a bit hypocritical on the part of the US and others to get sanctimonious about terrorism after 911 given their past track record. If we are going to effectively deal with terrorism we need to be honest and deal with all of it.

NYG:

We are also leading the world in bringing about peace for all. Your comments of empire building are unfounded and neglects the recent history of the past two years. Isolatiion never helped anyone. Lack of leadership causes chaos.

JW:

First, peace without justice will not last. Second, the world did not start two years ago and if you do not think that the US isn't and hasn't been empire building, fine, but many will disagree with you on that. Third, I do not favour isolation so if you think that you are misreading what I say. And fourth, I agree on the lack of leadership, but not all leadership is good, as a study of history will show. I will spare you the list of strong leaders one might want to compare GWB to.



Elia Markell - 8/28/2003


My point here was to stress the fact that there was nothing inevitable about the final collapse in Vietnam even up to 1972. The fact is that the U.S. pulled the plug, and it was the Democrats in Congress who pulled hardest. Whether the end could have been different is impossible to decide in any final way.

But when Jerry says the ARVN was not effective, he is, it should be noted, not in agreement with the assessments at least some hisorians have made of the post-Westmoreland, Abrahms-era efforts to Vietnamize the fighting. True, the ARVN was plagued to the end with corrupt and ineffective leadership. But it did some very credible fighting post-Tet. In those final years, also, the indigenous NLF forces were largely wiped out. There was little evidence of widespread support for the communists in the South. The end came after all hope of U.S. aid was gone and in a final outright invasion by the Soviet-backed North Vietnamese army.

Could it have ended differently? I think so, but neither I nor anyone else knows. So those who fling around the Vietnam analogy with a tone of contempt regarding anyone with "naive" faith about Iraq only get to do this by engaging in the oldest historians' disease of all, the illusion of inevitability fostered by hindsight.

In addition, the outcome in Vietnam, whether inevitable or not, was a monumental DISASTER for the Vietnamese people. That, of course, is the obvious truth the left NEVER wants to own (when even Joan Biaz hinted at it in 1979, all the radical chic took out a full page ad in the NYTs to denounce her). Likewise, whether you supported the Iraq war or not, it is self-indulgent arrogance to gleefully anticipate a similar outcome for Iraq (as some here are clearly doing, though with the usual clearing of the throat about being glad Saddam is gone, etc.), an outcome that would be an equally horrifying disaster.


NYGuy - 8/28/2003

Chris said:
If the supply of oil to the West is destabilised -- a very real and growing possibility -- oil prices will also rise. In which case we will almost certainly see a return to the stagflation of the 1970s.

NYGuy

Chris you are entitled to your "what if" projections. I gave mine.

Chris;

Now we have another ignorant man in the world's most powerful position. Just two years after this man took office the situation is extremely dangerous.

Chris:

At least you know about 9/11. That is a good start.

Chris:

The question is whether this reality will dawn on the masses before next year's election. So far, the signs that the American population can read much more than the number on a footballer's back are not good.

NYGuy:

Thanks Chris. It is always helpful to hear from the "elite intellectuals" who have no solutions. I am sure you feel very secure in your little world. Good luck. Just close your eyes and make believe it is a safe world, no nukes, no terrorists, etc. Aside from anti war spin you add nothing new.



Chris Murphy - 8/28/2003

An outside view:

Last month, the White House Office of Management and Budget projected that the deficit would peak at $475 billion next year and decline to just $62 billion in 2008.

In stark contrast, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced yesterday that the deficit would be $480 billion next year but could reach a cumulative total of $5.8 trillion by 2013. (See note *)

Why does that matter?

Well, that's a mighty lot of money to find. The last time an American government cleaned out the world's coffers to fund its massive deficit was during the reign of Ronald Reagan. World interest rates skyrocketed. Remember those 18 percent mortgage rates? It took 10 years of fiscally responsible government to return the world to normal.

Now we have another ignorant man in the world's most powerful position. Just two years after this man took office the situation is extremely dangerous. Not only has George Bush massively cut taxes for the rich but he's embarked on a series of open-ended wars across the globe. Iraq alone is costing $4 billion a month, just for military operations.

Those two factors alone would be enough to push the cost of money up around the globe (which means we could easily see 18 percent interest rates again).

But the Bush administration has virtually destroyed any semblance of stability in the Middle East. If the supply of oil to the West is destabilised -- a very real and growing possibility -- oil prices will also rise. In which case we will almost certainly see a return to the stagflation of the 1970s.

Perhaps then the world might see the link between "strong leadership", gross ignorance, and the hip pocket.

The question is whether this reality will dawn on the masses before next year's election. So far, the signs that the American population can read much more than the number on a footballer's back are not good.

* http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/27/politics/27BUDG.html


Chris Osborne - 8/28/2003

I concede that I cannot think of any U.S. President being turned out of office or not being renominated by his party over foreign affairs. However, there are three instances I can think of within the last 80 plus years where foreign affairs have resulted in a changing of the guard in the White House:
Although Woodrow Wilson was obviously in too terrible physical shape to even contemplate running for a third term in 1920, American voters nonetheless rejected a pro-League of Nations, interventionist foreign policy favored by the Democrat James M. Cox and went after Warren Harding's return to "normalcy" instead. Although Cox was the victim of the backlash against Wilson, Harding's election of course resulted in the return of the Republicans to the White House.
Public disillusionment over the Vietnam War was in part responsible for Lyndon Johnson opting against a second full term in 1968 as his unpopularity at that point was enormous, although LBJ took hits both from the doves and from ultra-hawks who wanted him to use nuclear weapons on North Vietnam. As was the case with Cox in 1920, Hubert Humphrey was the victim of the unpopularity of the incumbent President's foreign policy; and the Democrats were thus turned out of the White House again.
Finally, perhaps the salient event in Jimmy Carter getting booted from the White House in 1980 was the extended Iranian hostage crisis and perceived administration impotence in handling this--although the broader backdrop was a series of domestic and foreign affairs failures in the Carter Administration. Carter was either profoundly unlucky or inept, depending on one's opinion.
If Dubya is tossed next year over Iraq, this would be the first time a Republican President would be turned out of office over foreign affairs. Much of this would depend on whether Iraq proved a continuing drain on the lives of American servicemen and American money with no end in sight. If Bush was turned out, the situation would likely be somewhat akin to Carter's, as the bust cycle in the economy would also factor heavily.


NYGuy - 8/28/2003

JW:

I watch this situation in my home state with much amusement. Chances are Mr. Bustamonte will be the next governor. A real American success story if so.

NYGuy:

I hope he does. Giving California back to the Mexicans, which Bustamonte agrees with would be fine with me. True justice for those in that state that stole it from them.

NYG wrote:

If the economy continues to recover as it is now doing and gets stronger throughout 2004.

My Response to your comment: The economy is improving particularly with the higher stock market which increases the wealth effect. Perhaps reading the newspapers would help to understand the recovery that is underway. I forecast this three months ago.


JW:

I think a lot of the world is realizing that US policy is a part of this increasing threat, and not a solution.

NYGuy,

You are welcome to your opinions. But not sure who you are talking about. Are the "lot" world leaders or some small countries who are members of the UN and want to play politics. It is difficult to hear the news and not believe their is a "terrorist threat".

JW:

There is a difference between peace keeping and validating agression and empire building. Much more of the world would be cooperative if what we were facing were the former and not the latter. Perhaps GWB and company could learn a lot from Canada and some of the other more civilized nations who do believe in peace keeping.

NYGuy:

Perhaps you have a point, but as I predicted Liberia would continue to be a mess waiting for the "non-empire building" nations and the UN to stop the killing. Good Luck.

JW:

Really? How are they stimulating it and whose are they stimulating? Is the debt lower now? Are both low end wages and overall employment rising significantly? I can cite other jurisdictions where tax cuts caused huge increases in the debt and the resulting cuts in public works and services jacked up the unemployment rolls. Some stimulation.

NYGuy:

Good try JW. Tax increases and higher debt levels are both stimulating effects.

JW:

Also one must question how economic growth is measured. The mere tracking of the volume of money changing hands does not indicate a fair and equitable economy, or even a sustainable one. Even growth is not necessarily a good thing, it depends on the context. How do you measure economic health?

NYGuy:

Interesting comment: But we are talking about economics. If you want to make moral judgements that is fine.

NYGuy:

I have been correct in what I say and we are in a recovery phase. We are also leading the world in bringing about peace for all. Your comments of empire building are unfounded and neglects the recent history of the past two years. Isolatiion never helped anyone. Lack of leadership causes chaos.

Perhaps you have better answers.






Jerry West - 8/27/2003

-
Doug Bissell wrote:

I am responding to the earlier post that blamed what happened in Vietnam in 1975 on "McGovernized Democrats in Congress." According to my recollection, it was Pres. Ford who made no effort to follow up on Nixon's secret pledges of assistance to South Vietnam in the event of an actual invasion.

JW:

And it was Nixon who started pulling troops out, I believe as early as 1969, and who had completed most of the withdrawal before resigning. Hard to blame the McG Demos for that. Also, I suspect that any promises of future support made to the South Vietnamese by the Nixon/Kissinger bunch were bald face lies from the start. I doubt if anyone in government other than blind ideologues would have favored a resumption of the war on a scale necessary to stop the NVA.


Doug Bissell - 8/27/2003

I am responding to the earlier post that blamed what happened in Vietnam in 1975 on "McGovernized Democrats in Congress." According to my recollection, it was Pres. Ford who made no effort to follow up on Nixon's secret pledges of assistance to South Vietnam in the event of an actual invasion.
Now, don't get me wrong - I don't think Ford would have had much success with Congress, which had recently passed the War Powers Act. I also don't think there would have been much popular support for re-starting the war. So what's the point of blaming one political party, other than partisan politics as applied to historical events?


Jerry West - 8/27/2003

-
I have also heard that Bush I also struct a deal with the Iranians not to release the hostages under after the election to damage Carter's chances. One wonders what kind of promises were made and how it relates to the Contra scandal that followed.


Jerry West - 8/27/2003

-
A lot of ifs here NYG.

NYG wrote:

If the economy continues to recover as it is now doing and gets stronger throughout 2004.

JW:

I would like to see some references that support this statement. I would also like to see documentation that there are more people employed now than there were in the past few years, and that all of those tens of thousands of layoffs we keep hearing about are not really happening.

I would also like to see figures proving that the US deficit is smaller than it was a few years ago and that consumer debt is falling.

NYG:

If the world's realization increases that we have a "terroist threat" that would effect everyone, as they are now realizing.

JW:

I think a lot of the world is realizing that US policy is a part of this increasing threat, and not a solution.

NYG:

If other countries respond by supplying peace keeping troops.

JW:

There is a difference between peace keeping and validating agression and empire building. Much more of the world would be cooperative if what we were facing were the former and not the latter. Perhaps GWB and company could learn a lot from Canada and some of the other more civilized nations who do believe in peace keeping.

NYG:

If California becomes a Republican state.

JW:

I watch this situation in my home state with much amusement. Chances are Mr. Bustamonte will be the next governor. A real American success story if so.

On the other hand should Arnold become the Governator the Bush Leaguers will have a quandry. Pro gay, pro abortion, etc. Arnie could prove to be more a Democrat than Republican. Perhaps he is the new face of the Republican Party, or perhaps he is a Trojan Horse.

NYG:

If the Bush tax cut continues to stimulate the economy as it is doing now, then we could have a mutiyear period of economic growth lasting through his next term.

JW:

Really? How are they stimulating it and whose are they stimulating? Is the debt lower now? Are both low end wages and overall employment rising significantly? I can cite other jurisdictions where tax cuts caused huge increases in the debt and the resulting cuts in public works and services jacked up the unemployment rolls. Some stimulation.

Also one must question how economic growth is measured. The mere tracking of the volume of money changing hands does not indicate a fair and equitable economy, or even a sustainable one. Even growth is not necessarily a good thing, it depends on the context. How do you measure economic health?

Interesting note that the arch-conservative god Ronald Reagan actually raised taxes when governor of California. Maybe GWB should take a page from that book. Might help reduce the debt.




Kay of Washougal - 8/27/2003

With the loss of the election and President-Elect Reagan's statement that he would release Iranian assets frozen by Carter (I believe Reagan made this promise during his campaign), Carter wisely released the funds to ensure the earliest return of the hostages. The Iranians decided to delay the release until Reagan's inauguration day to further embarrass not only Carter but the US. As President, Carter could have chosen to delay and allow the new administration to release the funds. All in all, a great example of foreign policy's impact on an election and an administration that began before its inauguration. Also, a great example of a nation's moral cowardice.


Jerry West - 8/27/2003

-
Elia Markell wrote:

"By 1968," the nation was not only NOT ready to pull out of Vietnam, it was in fact ready to elect Richard Nixon,....

JW:

Maybe after 35 years my memory in not too good, but I recall that Nixon's campaign stressed a "secret" plan to get us out of the war, so one could reasonably claim that Nixon ran against the war. To say that the nation was not ready to get out of Vietnam is too say that Nixon's campaign strategy was going against the popular tide. Granted people may have been more interested in getting out "with honor" than just getting out, but they were ready to get out just the same.

I wonder if Nixon would have gotten elected if he had promised total victory in Vietnam, no matter how long it took?

I also wonder if he would have won in '72 had there been more troops in VN then than in 68 instead of an almost completed withdrawal. A withdrawal without much "honor" to boot, not that there was ever anything honorable about the VN fiasco.

EM:

....the McGovernized Democrats in Congress pulled the plug and allowed the ARVN to collapse and North Vietnam to sweep in.

JW:

Nixon had no part in that? Nixon who made deals with the Communist Chinese?

Lucky for us that we pulled out. We could have lost another 50,000 before reaching the same result. The ARVN were collapsed from the start, at least everywhere in that country that I served.

Is Iraq another Vietnam? Maybe in some ways, but then we could pose comparison questions ad infinitum. Is it the American Palestine? Or Poland? In the end it is Iraq.

Will it bring down Bush in '04? Who knows, money, vested interests and the ability to manipulate the system will probably be the main factors in that election.


anthony mahon - 8/27/2003

there is only one way he can win the election a blackout on voting day. hes lost military vote,aged vote,cuban vote,youth vote,spanish vote...he s history.


Anthony State - 8/27/2003

GeeW will suffer from a very short sighted and ill considered foriegn policy along with disastorous domestic policies. The lies and misrepresentations will be huge campaign fodder for either Howard Dean or Wesley Clark (my prediction) to exploit. Without much provocation, American's are already indicating "any of the above" to GeeW, and the continued morass of Iraq and the Middle East will be what drives the electorate away.


Alice Hoffman - 8/27/2003

Certainly there have been events which cost the election either of an incumbant or a candidate: Adlai stevenson and eisenhouer " I will go to Korea" 2) Hubert Humphrey over Vietnam and Johnson's resignation over the same issue. As the death toll mounts over a war, the rationale for which Bush lied, he will go down further in the polls than the 41 % where he now is.


Josh Greenland - 8/27/2003

One crucial difference between Vietnam and now is that Americans are much less tolerant of casualties now. In Vietnam, roughly 125-150 Americans a week were being killed and we put up with the conscripted part of the war for 8-9 years. Now Americans are concerned because we have (I'm guessing here) 2 Americans dying per day of all causes in Iraq. I can't predict what will happen, but if the Iraqi resistance keeps getting more effective, things will just get worse for the Bushies. If we're lucky, another Bush will be a one-term President.


debrastar - 8/27/2003

I think it could be argued that the foreign policy mess of the Vietnam war kept LBJ from re-election in 1968. He would have run if not for the mess in SE Asia and the consequent issues it raised in U.S.


Dave Livingston - 8/27/2003

Not only will Geo. W. be re-elected, he will be followed into the White House by his brother, Jeb.

Mind, I no Republican did not vote for Geo. W. the first time around. Granted, my pro-Life & pro-Second Amendment (Standard model)vote was cast against Gore.


Derek Catsam - 8/27/2003

Carter was responsible for bringing the hostages home? In a last slap in the face, the Iranians released the hostages moments after Reagan became President. Carter was ineffectual in his negotiations with the Iranians, and he certainly had not gotten them home by the election, which is the point of this whole conversation.


Elia Markell - 8/27/2003

"by 1968 American casualties were in the thousands. We're still not there yet, but we may be in 2008, and woe to the sorry sucker who runs after Mr. Bush."

Couple of things off base with this. "By 1968," the nation was not only NOT ready to pull out of Vietnam, it was in fact ready to elect Richard Nixon, whose promises were for an honorable settlement to the war. Obviously, he did not achieve it. But it took another FIVE years to get to where the McGovernized Democrats in Congress pulled the plug and allowed the ARVN to collapse and North Vietnam to sweep in. Secondly, when you say, "We're still not there yet," I assume you mean the 50,000 or so deaths of American soldiers. No, we are sure not. At about 185 or so combat deaths, we are still not there in fact for the death toll of the Beirut barracks in 1983. At these unbelievably low rates (even if you include car accidents, etc., and take the figure of, I belive, about 280), it would take a CENTURY to get to Vietnam levels. So yes, we are not there. Nor will we be. Even by 2008. Except, of course, for those who were already there on March 18. For them every day is Vietnam.


Jesse Lamovsky - 8/27/2003

I don't believe the Iraq situation is going to visibly deteriorate to the point where it's going to cost Bush the '04 election. Even if things are still as shaky as they are, it's too early: if Americans see the possibility of a successful end to a conflict, they aren't likely to, as Lincoln put it, "swap horses in mid-stream" (and Lincoln, along with FDR are perfect examples of this phenomenon). Even another terrorist attack on American soil may actually help Bush in the election. LBJ was brought down by Vietnam, but remember, the war had already been going on for three-and-a-half years, and by 1968 American casualties were in the thousands. We're still not there yet, but we may be in 2008, and woe to the sorry sucker who runs after Mr. Bush.

You heard this here first: the best way to topple Mr. Bush might be via the right wing of his own party- that latent "true conservative", America-First bloc in the Republican Party. They're disgusted with the neocons already. Whether a coup of this nature gets us out of Iraq is another matter. I have my doubts as to anyone's ability to get our military out of there anytime soon, and that includes any of the Democratic candidates, including Howard Dean.


Kay of Washougal - 8/26/2003

Please note your own historical error: Carter was responsible for bringing the hostages home. However, thanks for supporting my earlier message noting that foreign policy has been a significant factor, howbeit not the sole factor, in the removal of certain presidents from office. I personally believe that the Clinton presidency, the Bush2 presidency, and the California recall should have historians consider whether or not "elections" really end on the date of the election or even the date of the inauguaration.


Kay of Washougal - 8/26/2003

Truman chose to remove himself from consideration for re-election, but that choice had much to do with the country's irritation with the Korean conflict. Johnson forthrightly removed himself from consideration for re-election because of the Vietnamese conflict. Nixon chose to remove himself from the office because he had been impeached, but the factors leading to impeachment definitely included his protective tactics of his "plan" to end the Vietnamese conflict. Carter was removed by the electorate when it failed to re-elect him, primarily because the country blamed him for the Iran hostage situation, to the point that Carter rarely receives credit for bringing those hostages home.


Oscar Chamberlain - 8/25/2003

The end of the crisis with France allowed other issues to emerge. In particular, it removed much of the rationale for the Alien and Sedition acts and perhaps made them appear more odious.

Although I am glad Jefferson won--if for no other reason than the peaceful exchange of power--I've always felt that Adams deserved respect for getting rid of his best issue, war, because a peace with France was better for the US.


Jesse Lamovsky - 8/25/2003

True enough, but there is a flip side here. Wilson's diplomatic failures abroad, spurring disillusionment with his entangling the country in the Great War, helped to throw his party out of office in the 1920 Presidential election.


Jesse Lamovsky - 8/24/2003

I'd say that Adam's loss to Jefferson in 1800 had a lot more to do with backlash over the Alien and Sedition Acts than his failure to go to war with France.


Derek Catsam - 8/24/2003

In the best of situations it is difficult to isolate one area as thew source of an electoral victory or loss. One might also mention 1944 as evidence of FDR's ability to move from Dr. New Deal to Dr. Win the War. Clearly the 1968 election had the huge Vietnam question lingering over it, and was the cause of LBJ's dropping out. Foreign policy was not irrelevent to TR in 1904, certainly played a role for Wilson in 1916, who could campaign on a platform of "He kept us out of war," and had a major impact on Eisenhower's successes -- he was seen as a great world leader. Kennedy ran focused primarily on foreign affairs, but that election was so close that any of a number of factors can be seen as swaying it. Conversely, in 1964 the perception of Goldwater as a losse cannon who should not be anywhere near "the button" did not help, but he lost so badly it would be foolish to ascribe it to foreign policy more than anything else, ditto Nixon's 1972 victory. Foreign policy certainly did not help Carter, and had he been able to get the hostages home many observers think he may actually have managed to win reelection despite everything else. 1984 fits the 1964 and 1972 model, 1988 does not have much evidence for foreign policy as the major factor, ditto any election since. 2004 will be interesting, because foreign policy will play a larger role than any election in a generation, but even then, the economy will be just as much of a factor for the President, for good or for ill. Further, who the Democratic nominee is will also play a role. Some will be more vulnerable than others.
In any case, single causality arguments usually break down pretty quickly. It is clear that in several elections, foreign affairs played a large role. Elections turn on different issues at different times because most time periods produce their own concerns.


Derek Catsam - 8/24/2003

Er, some serious historical errors in this last post. Truman was not removed from office -- he was elected on his own in 1948 and then chose not to run in 1952. Nixon certainly was not removed because of foreign policy -- he had already won his reelection overwhelmingly when Watergate did him in. Bush I lost because it was the economy stupid, noty because of Iraq -- in the context of 1992 Bush's seeming victory over Iraq was his biggest selling point.


Kay of Washougal - 8/24/2003

Foreign policy has probably never been a sole factor in any president's loss, but certainly it has been a significant factor in the removal of Truman (Korean War), Johnson (Vietnam), Nixon (Vietnam "solution"), Carter (Iran hostages), George I (failure to remove Saddam).


Jonathan Dresner - 8/24/2003

I can't, offhand, think of a sure case where foreign policy lost an election (though Johnson-Nixon and Carter-Reagan are possibilities, there were domestic issues at work as well), I can think of one case where a foreign policy position was at the forefront of an electoral win.

Woodrow Wilson's 1916 election hinged on his anti-entanglement position, even though he reversed that (public) position as soon as the election was won.


Jim - 8/24/2003

John Adam's defeat in 1800 comes to mind as an election influenced by a foreign policy issue. His failure to go to war against France after spending so much on defense was a factor in his loss to Jefferson.


NYGuy - 8/24/2003

Alan Says:

"He added, however, "it could become quicksand(++} if anything happens to the economy. He has no cushion at this point.(+++)

NYGuy Forecast:

If the economy continues to recover as it is now doing and gets stronger throughout 2004.

If the world's realization increases that we have a "terroist threat" that would effect everyone, as they are now realizing.

If the world continues to increase their awareness of the threat of "nuclear horror, more seriously, as they are now doing.

If other countries respond by supplying peace keeping troops.


If California becomes a Republican state.

If the Bush tax cut continues to stimulate the economy as it is doing now, then we could have a mutiyear period of economic growth lasting through his next term.

Then it would be a shoo in for GW in 2004.


Suetonius - 8/23/2003

At this point, it's hard to tell what the effect of foreign policy matters will be on the election in the fall of 2004; this time around it will certainly be a larger factor than it has been in the past three elections. By the same token, however, the 1992 election initially seemed to be a foregone conclusion: many believed that Bush senior's relative success in Kuwait would sweep him into office for a second time. That proved not to be the case, as the electorate had largely ceased to care about that affair.

It's always fun to make guesses though.

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