Column: 10 Days that Shook the Bush Presidency

News at Home

Dr. Spencer is an assistant professor of history at Northwest Missouri State University.

If you ever wondered what it would look like for the wheels to come off the Bush presidency, the last ten days have certainly been it. It has been a disastrous last few days for the Bush administration. Recently, some journalists have argued the current situation resembles the political corruption and crony capitalism of the Gilded Age. While this argument has some merit (and, as a Gilded Age historian, I plan to examine it in a future column), Bush's presidency appears to be reliving some very recent history -- that of his father's administration's struggles with the economic woes of the early 1990s. Bush I's administration ultimately seemed out of touch with the people during the difficult economic times of 1992. And Bush I's administration had none of the political liabilities that Bush II does. Bush I's administration certainly didn't seem to be closely related (even in bed) with those who appear to be to blame for the economic woes. For W, it's clearly a difficult situation.

What makes this situation even more ironic is that W has taken his father's administration as a cautionary tale. W believed fervently he could avoid his father's fate. In fact, Bush has seemed to work consciously trying to not repeat his father's mistakes. Strangely enough, his administration's solution to Bush I's perceived mistakes has been to govern from the right and try to keep the right-wing happy. I would argue that such a solution is a major mistake -- it was the economy and Bush I's seeming obedience to the right in 1992 (anyone remember Pat Buchanan's speech at the convention?) that ultimately cost him his re-election. Of course, it didn't help that Bush I was running against one of the best politicians of the century in Bill Clinton. Americans in 1992 didn't want conservatives to have greater sway within the administration.

From all accounts, the events of the last few days appear to have doomed congressional Republicans. I would suspect Dick Gephardt is probably measuring the speaker's office for curtains at the moment. And no matter how many times Republican leaders and pundits (Ann Coulter in particular) try ridiculously -- and desperately -- to blame Bill Clinton's penis for the Wall Street crisis, things look pretty grave.

What happened in the last ten days you ask? Well, let me give you a quick review. First, the obvious: Bush made speeches about corporate responsibility and shoring up public faith in the stock market. These speeches coincided with an incredible drop in the value of the market the likes of which hasn't been seen in quite a long time (since the last Bush no doubt). On July 22, as the market went from 60 points up to 235 points down after one of Bush's pronouncements, one business reporter on a cable news network even quipped "It appears the president has done it once again." Older Americans do not take kindly to having to put retirement off indefinitely because of economic problems that appear to be the result of Enron-style Bush II era corporate governance. To anger older Americans right before an election -- who vote in higher proportion than the rest of the public -- is to court disaster. If Bush pushes to privatize social security and invest it in the stock market in the next few months, the wrath of senior citizens across the land will descend upon him. If he pursues this course of action, he may very well get Herbert Hoover numbers in 2004.

Second, in the last week the president has been required to defend not only Vice President Dick Cheney's conduct as a CEO at Halliburton when the corporation allegedly cooked the books but his own conduct as a member of Harken's board. Bush's performance in the hastily-called press conference was embarrassing and certainly sent mixed public messages. At one point the president claimed that in corporate accounting "sometimes things aren't exactly black and white" -- a pretty slippery and Clintonesque response if I ever heard one.

Meanwhile, Dick Cheney has disappeared from public view (into the constitutionally-questionable bunker no doubt; see "Bush in the Bunker" 3-11-02) and rumors are floating about Washington that he will resign within the next few months. Many congressional Republicans probably wish he would hurry up and do so. Some wags in Washington are even wondering out loud if Cheney may be under indictment by this time next year. Cheney's case was not helped by Bush's statement of confidence that Cheney would be exonerated by the SEC. Given recent disclosures, one could not help but wonder if Cheney will be exonerated in the same suspicious fashion the SEC closed the investigation into the Bush matter in 1993 by sending a letter explaining that the closing of the investigation "must in no way be construed as indicating that [Bush] has been exonerated." Further complicating Bush's problems are that SEC documents uncovered this last week raise significant questions about Bush's own story explaining his unloading of the stock. Bush clearly knew a restatement of earnings was coming in the next couple of months. It doesn't matter how large Bush thought the restatement was going to be, it has the appearance of knowing something bad was coming. That appears to be insider trading in most people's book. Call me crazy but I can't help but think that if W were Bill Clinton, the Republican house would be drawing up impeachment articles about now. Insider-trading is not something that would be easily forgiven (at least if the transgressor was a Democrat) given the current political atmosphere in the country.

Third, one of the more interesting things that has come out in the press the last few days are that many Democrats in Congress (and some journalists) are beginning to ask questions about the identity of the anonymous buyer of Bush's Harken stock in 1990. At that time, many wealthy Saudis, including members of bin Laden's wealthy and influential family, were closely allied with the Bush family and involved financially with them. Some in Washington have wondered if the mystery buyer wasn't someone associated with bin Laden's family. It certainly would explain why Bush seems so reticent to release any details about the purchase and it would be awfully ironic given later events. How would he possibly explain to the satisfaction of the average American that he was in bed economically and politically with the family of his recently self-appointed devil? (For the record: the White House says that Bush himself does not know the name of the person or group which purchased his shares of Harken stock.)

Fourth, and most amazingly, it also appears that Bush is planning on taking another month-long vacation in August -- although the administration and the press are being strangely quiet about it. Seemingly unable to remember the public outcry and political malaise that accompanied his last such sojourn (not to mention the now-infamous August 6 security briefing about airline hijackings), Bush plans on repeating this public relations disaster once again.

Finally, in a week that seems to go nowhere but down for the administration, Bush has now gotten official confirmation that public support is slipping disastrously. On July 22, two different polls showed Bush's electability rating had dropped incredibly. According to one poll, only 47 percent of Americans now believe that Bush deserves a second term. Considering that Bush only received 48 percent of the vote in the general election, his support has now slipped below the 2000 level and is much below the level of public support he enjoyed in the days after September 11th.

It is safe to say at this point that Bush's administration has squandered the advantageous political position it held a few months ago in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September. Bush's latest policy initiatives aren't likely to help him -- especially the watered-down corporate responsibility bill in the House he currently favors.

However, in order to stay in office beyond 2004, Bush's administration has some tough decisions to make about the future. If the administration continues to govern from the right during an economic downturn, he is in big trouble. Ironically, many in the press are beginning to talk about another stock-market-driven double-dip recession like that which took Bush's father down in 1992.

As I told many of my colleagues at the time, I believed Bush was lying about his core political beliefs in 2000 -- and it's safe to say I have been proven right in the last 18 months. On all sorts of issues, his government has been significantly to the right of Ronald Reagan's. Bush is not likely to help his political cause until he truly behaves like the moderate he told Americans he was during the election in 2000. Many Americans voted for a moderate -- and they didn't get one. Like Bill Clinton, Bush is going to have to reinvent himself to win that all-important second term. This does not seem likely since Bush believes the solution to his problems is to please his party's conservative wing. Ironically, this decision to appease the right wing is clearly 1992 Bush I-era thinking at work.

There are even some in the media in Washington who are predicting a "wag the dog" or "October surprise" move before the election. Some are predicting that the administration will invade Iraq just in time to galvanize public support for the administration (and presumably Republicans) in the mid-term elections. Many in the European press are quite certain this will happen.

Unfortunately, the worst part about all of this is that this administration seems entirely capable of doing such a thing. This administration has shown it is not above using anything -- war included -- to advance the administration's political fortunes. As someone who ran one of the most misleading campaigns for the presidency in American history, Bush fatally miscalculated by talking like a moderate during the presidential campaign and, once in power, running the government from the right. As in 1992, Americans today don't want to give the corporately-connected right-wing what it wants -- especially during times of economic crisis. It's time for W to prove he is a reformer and a moderate. After all, even though I knew better, that's the man many Americans thought they were electing in 2000.


comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Jim Baldauf - 8/6/2002

I doubt there will be a 2004 election!

Rogelio F. Arteaga - 7/29/2002

Mr. Heuisler, please... Calm down... Take a deep breath... Relax.

Let's get this straight. Your ad hominem attacks aren't hateful, but my comments are? Any criticism of conservatives is hateful, but any criticism of liberals is not? Doesn't sound balanced to me.

Let's examine my reference to illegal votes. An illegal vote is an illegal vote, regardless of whether it was cast by a military person or even a self-righteous American such as yourself. My point is, that you and your conservative friends don't concern yourselves with illegalities whenever they support your side. In this instance, a larger share of those illegally cast votes favored your candidate so you couldn't care a whit about the legal aspects, just count the votes. All of you demanded this.

Same thing with the example I offered to illustrate my point. None of you on the right thought it improper that the Vice President, a Secretary, and a Marine captain broke the law by either committing perjury, destroying evidence, or both. Yet, when President Clinton lied about an affair, all of you trumpeted -- self-righteously, mind you -- that the rule of law must be upheld. This is why I said, "isn't it curious how conservatives have no qualms about illegalities committed by their guys, yet constantly harp about any illegality from the left?"

No, Mr. Heuisler, your characterization of my comments is typical of the tactics used by you and yours. If you were to employ logic, facts and reason, you would provide an argument that would show definitively that your stand on the law is not hypocritical. Since you can't do that, you try to deflect attention away from your hypocrisy regarding the rule of law, and then try to frame my comments in a "hateful" context. In effect, you are saying that you can't win on logic, so you must you resort to emotion.

In fact, emotion is a major factor in the arguments you use to support your points. I've already offered several examples of this in previous contributions here, but I'll provide another: "Al Gore's thugs".

Think about that. Anyone who watched the 2000 election dispute saw a horde of angry men striving mightily to break in to a Miami office where a recount was being held. That mob was brought in by guys like Tom DeLay and other Bush supporters specifically to break up a legal recount. (The rule of law, anyone?). There's a famous picture, widely circulated, of these men clamoring to get in. If you want to see real thugs, Mr. Heuisler, look at that photo.

Another contributor here offered you some good advice about winning people over. I offered you some good advice (part of which came from you, no less) on how to open your mind. You've chosen to ignore both. That's fine. I'll continue to counter any arguments you present which I feel are incorrect or misleading. In doing so I will employ reason, fact, and logic. If a little emotion breaks through, it will be prompted only by emotional outbursts devoid of any of these traits. You will either choose to reply or ignore my comments. It doesn't matter to me, one way or the other. I'll still be here.

Bill Heuisler - 7/29/2002

Mr. Arteaga,
After reading and rereading your self-righteous cant I decided you weren't worth my time, but my mind kept returning to your hateful reference to the military. My anger would not let me ignore the scornful reference. I am a former Marine, as was my father and his father; my great grandfather was wounded at Fredricksburg and his father was killed there. My son is in the Army. Like many Americans - Democrats included - I consider the military an honorable and necessary part of our common heritage.
You wrote: "...AND ignoring the inclusion of many military votes illegally cast...". Then you wrote how, "conservatives have no qualms about illegalities committed by their guys...". THEIR GUYS! Are you an American citizen? Is El Paso part of the U.S.? Do you not consider my son worthy of a vote? He puts his life on the line for you and Al Gore's thugs actively pursue a policy that would disenfranchise him and other brave young men and women on the basis of mail bags from the fleet not getting from the FPO to the State in time. Mr. Arteaga, you and your wing of the Democrat Party are beneath contempt. My comments in HNN madden you? Well, I'm pleased to perform the service.
Bill Heuisler

Bryant Saylors - 7/26/2002

Mr. Heuisler you have some wonderful vocabulary and your dance with words while not funny remind me of my favorite republican. Lincoln. We all know what happened to him for his dancing (his sword play, not the shooting )

Mr. Heuisler many many men use eloquent words and like yours, you use them to charm and discombobulate --- reminds me of a snake charmer. Why not try more simple common words for your hidden insults? Facts are facts and those that we can not produce sometimes have to be left as theories. We can take those theories and facts and we don’t ALWAYS have to have assumed insults and judgements attached to them do we? It just produces walls. Like our friend Lincoln, “first convince them you are their sincere friend”. I think you should try that. See if you can response in a nicer more sincere tone this this note. Should be easy for a master like yourself. (I mean that truly you are better at it then I.)

Head butting of the parties and wings are ageless not only here, but before the dark ages. Either you are fueling them or you are ignorant of some of the facts you talk about. I don’t mean ignorance as an insult, but leaving out some important facts or (from my view seeming) to “warp” them does no one any good except keep you pumped up and upset and those you might want to convince, it just keeps them up in arms.

Just my two cents. Speak like a normal man and your point will get across a bit better.

Bryant Saylors

Laurel Marshall - 7/26/2002

Will the present president exceed the former term limit by decree or default? Does this rumor hold water? Your comments are appreciated.

Rogelio F. Arteaga - 7/25/2002

I can certainly sympathize with those who find Mr. Heuisler's contributions here maddening. He loves to talk down to people and is somewhat disingenuous in his selection of facts.

Now -- having taken a deep breath and feeling quite relaxed, let me address some of his points.

The logic in the argument that Gore won by a half-a-million votes is sound insofar as the national count is concerned. Mr. Heuisler is, of course, correct in stating that the electoral college determines the winner of a presidential election.

But if we are to accept his "civics lesson" as it pertains to the 2000 election, we must first consider a brief history lesson. The final count of the popular vote in Florida was disputed in the courts. That dispute was never settled because the Supreme Court short-circuited a recount already in progress. Mr Heuisler blithely ignores that point and presumes an ignorance of civics in anyone who disputes the election's results.

So indefensible was that decision that the court felt compelled to limit it to the "present circumstances". It could not serve as precedent because it was so fundamentally flawed! Even the eloquent Richard Posner's primary argument was that it was necessary to save the country from being torn apart. Far more jurists, legal scholars, and judges decried that decision than defended it. (I am not discussing here the results of the media's vote count announced last fall. If Mr. Heuisler wishes me to, though, I'll be happy to do so.)

Mr Heuisler then moves on to the convictions of President Clinton's "friends". One he mentions is the governor of Arkansas -- a Clinton political rival! The attorney general referred to was convicted for nothing to do with Whitewater, nor with his conduct during his tenure. Others were convicted of activities which harmed the Clintons financially. Another conviction stemmed from testimony concerning the amount of money an official paid a mistress (if he admitted to paying her, what possible difference would the amount make?). Such was the animus of the right-wing prosecutors who threw away prosecutorial judgment simply for the sake of partisanship.

The entire Whitewater investigation was fueled by an "unseemly animus" by the right directed at the Clintons -- an animus unprecedented in its virulence. So virulent was it, that a convention of Christians displayed a banner which proclaimed "Where is Lee Harvey Oswald when we need him?" A convention of CHRISTIANS, mind you. Its proponents were so devoid of cogency in their arguments, so lacking in sobriety of judgment, so incoherent in their attempts at logic, that the enterprise fell flat on its face insofar as winning the support of the American people was concerned.

Mr. Heuisler's frequent contributions here often have those same qualities. For example, he continually refers to alleged lost Republican votes, while ignoring any possibility of alleged lost Democratic votes AND ignoring the inclusion of many military votes illegally cast (isn't it curious how conservatives have no qualms about illegalities committed by their guys, yet constantly harp about any illegality from the left? Alleged perjury by President Clinton? Impeach him! Alleged perjury by Vice President Bush? What's the problem?). Constantly he engages in ad hominems: "The unseemly animus of the left... induces wind, angsts, and benightedness, but little cogency" Or, "Buzzflash is a left-wing sinkhole." Then, he complains because he receives ad hominem attacks in return! If Mr. Heuisler wishes to be considered logical, cogent, and judicious in his arguments, he needs 1) to take a deep breath, 2) relax, and 3) look elsewhere besides his right-wing sources for information. With any luck, he may open his mind a little and strike a balance in his commentary.

Bill Heuisler - 7/25/2002

Dear Mr. Commaroto and Mr. Smith,
Take a deep breath and relax. Both of you remind HNN readers that Gore won by half a million popular votes. Most readers immediately realize your number, your logic and your knowledge of Civics are all unsound. The popular vote in Florida was within hundreds either way by all counts - even after the disenfranchisement of panhandle voters and soldiers and sailors. Now to Civics: We have something called the Electoral College in the U.S.; ring a bell? The winner of Florida's ELECTORAL votes won the Presidency, not some ephemeral popular vote. Rote repetition of large numbers does not gain you points, nor does it enhance your reputation among the better-informed.
Mr. Smith, Whitewater resulted in sixteen convictions of "Friends of Bill" including a Governor and an Attorney General. Your meeting of knuckle-dragging conspirators is laughably irrelevant and Buzzflash is a Left Wing sinkhole.
The unseemly animus of the Left is a paradoxical blessing for us "knownothings" and "toadies"; it induces wind, angst and benightedness, but little cogency. Do you also read the same tabloids and share talking points in dank coffee houses?
Best wishes, Bill Heuisler

J. Bartlett - 7/25/2002

Ineptitude in office is no more a constitutionally impeachable offense than is fibbing about sleaziness, despite what arrogant windbags on Capitol Hill tried to pretend 3-4 years ago. At this stage, we could more usefully "impeach" (in the sense of critize or accuse) the drivers of Spectacularly Unnecessary Vehicles (SUVs) for lining the coffers of rich and sometimes terroristic Saudi families, or illiterate voters in Florida for not being able to follow ballot instructions. When evidence of a "high crime" (which, despite the insults of "youthfully indiscrete" Henry Hyde, means a crime against the state) surfaces that will be the time to talk of impeaching the President, not before.

Dick Smith - 7/25/2002

Dear Bill,

So sorry to have hurt your feelings. It never occurred to me that a mouthpiece for federalist and republican liars would react with such bombast when cought. Oops! I forgot their history.

Lest you forget, Al Gore won the election by over a half a million votes. He was not awarded the presidency because the fix was in with the once honorable Supremes. But to suggest that Gore had a hand in denying the vote to "our men and women in arms"? HOW DARE YOU? Our men and women in arms were allowed to vote by absentee ballot DAYS AFTER the election in order to make sure Bush Junior "won" while tens of thousands of mostly black but equally valid citizens were denied the right to vote at all through an intentional campaign by Jeb Bush to disenfranchise them. HAVE YOU rEPUBLICANS NO SHAME?

Here's a little research for you by way of an interview by the recently famous BuzzFlash. It isn't about the theft of the 2000 election, but rather about the attempted theft of the Clinton presidency. Facts are useful:

BuzzFlash: We've talked with Gene Lyons and David Brock, and want to talk with you, about one of the little details that gets lost in the memory of the average person. There are probably only a few hundred people in the U.S. that can recall this, but it's in your book and David Brock's book. We're talking about the moment when former Senator Faircloth of North Carolina and Jesse Helms met with David Sentelle.

What happened? Why was this such a critical moment in the effort to bring down the President? To us, it symbolizes that the right-wing and the Republican Party would stop at nothing to unseat a duly elected president, including using their judiciary pals to try to achieve that effort.

Joe Conason: What happened was very interesting, because it shows how determined the Republicans can be, and how far-sighted they often are when they're protecting their partisan interest. David Sentelle was put in the position to run the Special Division, which is a special court empowered under the Independent Counsel Act to select independent counsels and to oversee their work. Sentelle was a relatively inexperienced federal judge from North Carolina with extreme right-wing views, brought to power by Jesse Helms. He had been a big fundraiser for Ronald Reagan, which was a principal reason why he was appointed to the bench in the first place. Then he was chosen to run the Special Division by William Rehnquist, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Under the guidelines of the Independent Counsel Act, Rehnquist was supposed to select somebody of senior status, a very experienced judge. But the Act did not require him to do that. And David Sentelle was reliably right-wing. That was the only reason that Rehnquist picked Judge Sentelle, and Judge Sentelle proceeded to behave exactly as I think Rehnquist must have expected him to.

But before the Independent Counsel Act was reinstated by Congress and President Clinton, Robert Fiske had been chosen by Janet Reno to serve as the Whitewater special counsel in January 1994.

BuzzFlash: He was a Republican from New York with integrity.

Joe Conason: He was a U.S. Attorney of spotless integrity, one praised by Republicans when he was chosen. Then he functioned for about six months as the special counsel examining Whitewater. Of course, he basically found very little -- if anything -- to prosecute. I think he was going to prosecute Webb Hubbell. Other than that, there was very little for him to do, and he was wrapping it up. He had wrapped up the Foster investigation and had found that Foster committed suicide. But the right-wing decided that they were very unhappy with this Republican prosecutor's results in the Whitewater investigation, and started a campaign in the newspapers to get rid of him, particularly in William Safire's column for the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal editorial columns. There were really vicious attacks on him.

BuzzFlash: So they demanded a special counsel and a special counsel was appointed. But they didn't like the fact that Fiske was about to close up shop and say there's nothing here.

Joe Conason: They didn't like the investigation of somebody they had endorsed, who was from their party, of total integrity -- he had prosecuted Democrats and Republicans as U.S. Attorney. They didn't like the results, so they started a press campaign to get rid of him and get a different prosecutor in there who would get better results -- from their point of view. So what happened? When the Independent Counsel Act was reinstated by Congress in the summer of '94 -- and the President made the mistake of signing it -- Sentelle was suddenly re-empowered. Instead of re-appointing Fiske, he fired Fiske. After meeting with Senators Helms and Faircloth, the two right-wing Republican senators from his home state of North Carolina, Sentelle appointed Ken Starr.

When they were asked about this inappropriate luncheon, the judge and two senators first claimed that all they had talked about was their prostates and cowboy boots. But later, Judge Sentelle admitted under oath that they might have talked a little bit about the independent counsel, though he wasn't sure exactly what had been said. Naturally this was considered an extremely suspicious set of circumstances by anybody who had the faintest powers of observation.

What happened after the meeting with Helms and Faircloth was that David Sentelle picked Ken Starr. This was a very curious choice because Ken Starr had no prosecutorial experience -- none whatsoever. He was an appellate attorney for big corporations. He had been Bush Sr.'s Solicitor General, but he had no experience in criminal prosecution at all.

What he did have going for him was that he was a politically reliable, right-wing Republican with a good reputation in the Washington press.

BuzzFlash: And a member of the Federalist Society.

Joe Conason: A leading member and supporter of the Federalist Society, a Bush loyalist, and a very partisan Republican. Not too long before that, Starr had thought of running for the Senate in Virginia as a Republican. He had also recently gotten himself involved in the Paula Jones cases as an informal advisor to Paula Jones' attorneys. Then he was asked to assist Jones by the Independent Women's Forum, which is a Scaife-funded political organization for conservative women. So we went from a professional prosecutor -- pobably one of the best in the country -- to a lawyer with no prosecutorial qualifications whatsoever, but a strong partisan who'll behave that way.

BuzzFlash: This symbolizes to BuzzFlash the intersection between the political objectives of the Republican Party and how they use the judiciary. The judiciary nominations are generally below the radar screen of the public and the press. Yet it's been so important to the Bush White House to get their people on the courts. That's because their people, with a wink of an eye, tend to be people that can be relied upon when it comes to decisions that can politically affect the interests of the Republican Party. It seems to BuzzFlash that the David Sentelle appointment of Ken Starr was a pivotal moment. The results consumed the nation for four years, including an impeachment trial -- the judiciary was used to secure someone who was willing to try to entrap the President of the United States and lead to an impeachment trial.

Joe Conason: Well, I think that's right. I think these judicial appointments can't be underestimated. The judiciary is supposed to protect freedoms from corrupt political leaders. The judiciary is supposed to be a bulwark of freedom, and, in this case, it proved to be the opposite of that. The judiciary was used from the very highest judicial position in the land, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, to make political attacks on the opposition or on the duly elected President. This was how the judiciary was misused. It's one of the grossest abuses of judicial authority we've ever seen. And Rehnquist got away with it.

BuzzFlash: How do you reflect upon the 5-4 decision of the Supreme Court to install Bush as President? Particularly that unbelievably frank injunction that Scalia issued to stop the recount, saying the recount might be harmful to the eventual winner of the election, George W. Bush -- that it might damage the reputation of his presidency?

Joe Conason: I think this was the end result of a long series of unchecked abuses by partisan conservative members of the Supreme Court. And we may not have seen the last of it. What's disturbing now is you look at a Court like that and you wonder about challenges to civil liberties -- whether the support will stand up for them or not. I have grave doubts.

Jeffery Commaroto - 7/25/2002

Try the fact that Gore won by half a million more votes chief not to mention the fact that overseas votes cast illegally WERE counted in the Florida election debacle most of which presumably went to Bush. If you want to talk about votes that wearn't counted or lost try the thousands of disenfranchised voters that were purged from the voter rolls weeks before the election. Most of these people had a right to vote that was taken away typically because of the fact that they were democrats (and mostly black).

Bill Heuisler - 7/25/2002

Dear Mr. Smith,
My deepest apologies. How meritless my arguments seem in the light of your overweening intellect. I am a "knownothing"; Perot is "seriously deluded"; Herbert Walker Bush is an "oligarchist wannabe"; W has a low IQ and Justice Thomas is a "toadie" - all of us sadly undeserving of your much esteemed favor.
Gore won the popular vote? Only if we disregard insignificant details: 10,000 Republican votes were lost from the Florida Panhandle when networks called for Gore hours before the polls closed. Democrat lawyers labored mightily to exclude thousands of Republican votes from our sons and daughters stationed overseas in the Armed Forces. Disenfranchise our fighting men and women and God forbid the damned Christians and Federalists!
Your points are eminently profound. Disputing with a vagabond seed of the great John Marshall is like giving Thor the finger, but my ignorance needs the air.
Your obedient servant, Bill Heuisler

Dick Smith - 7/24/2002

Hmm... Mr. Heuisler counters reasoned criticism with more one-sided know-nothing rightwing bull hockey. Let's see, he asserts that Bush Senior lost because Ross Perot siphoned away rightwing votes. If I'm not mistaken, Perot drew votes equally from Clinton and Bush. But if he wants to claim rightwing votes for the seriously deluded Perot, so be it. I think Bush Senior lost because the people figured out that he was an oligarchist wannabe--not as bad as his son, but only because his IQ was higher (in fact, average or better.)

And, by the way, has Mr. Heuisler forgotten that Ralph Nader AND Pat Buchanan drew many more votes from Gore (millions of them by Nader and critical thousands by Buchanan through voter error) than they did from from Bush Junior? And Gore STILL won the popular vote handily. Bush Junior had to be rescued by the activist rightwing Supreme Court that almost always sides with the rights of the States (though not in this case.)

I am a direct descendant of Chief Justice John Marshall and I my stomach still turns (must be the DNA) at what this court has become. If Rehnquist and Scalia and Toadie Thomas aren't activists (rightwing activists, that is) then I'm a jet pilot. Between the Federalist Society and the Christian Coalition, I don't know who to fear more. Since our Attorney General is both, I think I'll just go hide.

Yes, Mr. Heuisler, there are some of us who hate what has happened recently. We mark the beginning of the damage to the United States as December, 2000. And we don't think Bush Junior ordered September 11.

Thomas Tomello - 7/24/2002

Let's impeach this arrogant little jerk and all of his cronies. If I'm not mistaken, insider trading is illegal. Much more so than a blow job.

michael jordan - 7/24/2002

The inescapable defect in our government structure in the USA is having the Chief Executive control the cops through his selection and command of the Attorney General. If our Attorney General was instead under the control of the elected representatives we would have already had a trial and a conviction of all the major players of this bogus administration. The rubber stamp of the judiciary committee and the consent of the congress is not sufficient to prevent abuse by an oppressive government such as this. When coupled with a Supreme Court in complete collusion with this recent US
coup d'etat there is no legal avenue for redress of oppression. This leaves revolution the only option. That is the fatal flaw of our "representative" government. To counter peaceful revolution (the only means available is free and open communication and debate) the government only has to control the means of communication. This is what it is doing.

This is already having the effect of an enormous increase in crime in the US over the past year which really signals the increasing frustration of the citizenry in its inability to get the attention of the power brokers. The twin punitive government measures of incarceration and detention, coupled with an ever expanding prison population will bring more people into free labor private prison factories. This reinstitution of slave labor will be seen to alleviate the economic woes of the country, and will create a lazy aristocratic class in the entire country just as it did in the pre Civil War South. Through unjust drug laws they are bringing the slaves back and they are still black and brown and still needing to be free. This gulag is gaining increasing momentum and there seems to be no way to stop it after the 2002 elections. If we can't come up with a responsive government and a concious and responsible media, this dream is over baby, and the nightmare begins.

Annie Reasoner - 7/24/2002

I would like to remind Mr. Spencer that the majority of Americans DID NOT ELECT George W. Bush in 2000. Al Gore won the popular vote by a margin of 540,937 votes.

Col. Williams - 7/24/2002

For any one of a number of reasons
impeachment seems to be appropriate.
This administration is fraught with derelection,
much of it undemocratic and replete with treason.

Roger Drowne EC - 7/24/2002

IMPEACH the Bu$h Family Plutocracy & Gangster CEOs, Lie, Steal & KILL DEMOCRACY DEAD... http://www.RogerART.com

PLUTOCRACY & NEW... Re-Written DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ...U.S. Overwhelmed and Monopolized by Plutocratic Millionaires

Full text about U.S.A. PLUTOCRACY... continued BELOW & at... http://www.rogerart.com/RE_WRITTEN%20Dof%20I.htm

WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS, IT BECOMES NECESSARY for the PEOPLE of the United States TO ALTER or ABOLISH the United States Government as it exists in the year 2001 using the Authority, Law, and Intentions of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

And Now the People Step Forward and Charge High Treason, and Show that Democracy in its roots today, is Corrupt. And that the Constitution has been Altered and Betrayed in Favor of A Small Group of Millionaires, Over Another... the Governed, the People of the United States.

And that the Election Process is UN-fair and has been Overwhelmed and Monopolized by Millionaires and their millions of dollars, in a large part acquired while in office or with insider information after being in office. And the United States Government is Manipulated by Corporations and their CEOs, all led by the Bush Family, Millionaire Class, Conspiracy.

continued at... http://www.rogerart.com/RE_WRITTEN%20Dof%20I.htm

The Basic ( Plutocratic ) CRIME IS... ( They Give AID and COMFORT to the ENEMIES of DEMOCRACY, the CORRUPTION of the ELECTION PROCESS, the JUXTAPOSED Crime of NOT FIXING the ELECTION PROCESS... And with SECRECY and the EXCLUSION of the GOVERNED, the PEOPLE, with their combined WEALTH. )

Below...from... & more information @... http://www.RogerART.com

Barbara (Atlanta0 - 7/24/2002

When the Ken Lays in this country get to walk away with millions and 85 year old women have to get a job, we all know there's something wrong in the White House. It is despicable that senior citizens have lost their hard earned life-savings and the Ken Lays are awash in luxury. Then to top it off the Repugs don't want to give any real help in acquiring life saving medication for the elderly in our country. It stinks and no amount of spin, rhetoric, or false patriotism will excuse those who govern to protect the richest Americans while ignoring the hard workers. Barbara

Bill Heuisler - 7/23/2002

Hatred steaming from ignorance is ugly and embarassing. Spencer says, "This administration has shown it is not above using anything - war included - to advance...political fortunes." Huh? Where was Mr. Spencer during the Clinton years? Applauding loudly I'm sure. Clinton ignored terrorism while rocketing tents and Aspirin factories to distract from his lechery. Mr. Spencer, remember how Clinton Treasury Secretary, Rubin attempted credit manipulation on Enron's behalf and was refused by W's man, Fisher? Probably not. But most HNN readers recall how Clinton's boy, McAuliffe looted the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers pension fund of $2.45 million with an investment of $100.00 (Herman v. Moore, filed 5/99) Sound familiar? Cattle futures? Buddhist temple donations? Global Crossing contributions?
Look it all up, Mr. Spencer, and realize your pretensions to erudition are laughable...and petty. For you to imply W arranged the 9/11 attack through Saudi connections illuminates only naivete layered on mindless hatred.
Then, to add ignorance to malevolence, you argue W should move Left for his salvation. It is common knowledge H.W. Bush lost his second term because he raised taxes after promising not to and Ross Perot siphoned double digits from his conservative base. HW lost by alienating the Right. The missing wheels are yours, Mr. Spencer.
Bill Heuisler