Press roundup! Unh!
«During the 2000 elections, [Bush] listed his favourite judges as Justice Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, the arch rightwinger of the court. Both men opposed the court's decision last year to strike down anti-sodomy laws in Texas, with Justice Scalia warning of a "homosexual agenda" that could plunge America into a wave of incest and bestiality.
[...]Although somewhat bloodied in his battles over judicial nominations, Mr Bush has indicated he has no intention of yielding. In a speech to the Republican convention, he spoke out against "activist judges" and the legalisation of gay marriage. In his second debate against John Kerry, he said: "I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the pledge of allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words 'under God' in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process as opposed to a strict interpretation of the constitution." »
«Using the White House as a machine of centripetal force, Rove spread fear and fused its elements. Fear of the besieging terrorist, appearing in Bush TV ads as the shifty eyes of a swarthy man or a pack of wolves, was joined with fear of the besieging queer. Bush's support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage was underscored by referendums against it in 11 states - all of which won.
[...]This was linked to what is euphemistically called "moral values", which is social and sexual panic over the rights of women and gender roles. Only imposing manly authority against "girly men" and girls and lurking terrorists can save the nation. Above all, the exit polls showed that "strong leader" was the primary reason Bush was supported.
[...]Brought along with Bush is a gallery of grotesques in the Senate: more than one new senator advocates capital punishment for abortion; another urges that all gay teachers be fired; yet another is suffering from obvious symptoms of Alzheimer's. The new majority is more theocratic than Republican, as Republican was previously understood; the defeat of the old moderate Republican party is far more decisive than the loss by the Democrats. There are no checks and balances.»
«Bush can see he must try to reunite this divided nation, as he promised already at his first inauguration in 2000. Perhaps, like Margaret Thatcher after her election in 1979, we'll hear him quoting St Francis of Assisi: "Where there is discord, let me bring harmony
..." But it will be as hard for him as it was for her. It's not easy for the problem to be the solution.»
«Bush supporters should be wary of crowing too soon. This election result will do nothing to placate those Americans who cry out for health care, a living wage, and decent public services. It will not reverse the leftwing tide in Latin America. And it will do nothing to curb resistance in Iraq. As casualties mount, there is bound to be increasingly militant opposition to White House war policies among a widening spectrum of US citizens, including serving GIs.
My friend in Brooklyn fears for his children's future. He sees them growing up in a benighted, detested land, their liberties, living standards and security menaced by the triumphant neocons. »