Angry readers write

As I promised …

From Chicago

bq.. Andrew,
I don’t need to wait 2 years to tell you you’re wrong. I can, with
complete confidence, tell you right now that you’re wrong. We should
NOT re-elect Bush. We cannot afford to reelect him. Quite apart
from the dire position he has led us into in Iraq, we Americans (I’m
in Chicago) have so much going on internally that simply can’t
withstand another four years of a Bush White House.
I’ll just mention the Supreme Court. There are at least
three judges who have stayed on for this term of Bush’s so that he
wouldn’t have the opportunity to stack the court with right-wingers.
They’re old and want to retire, but have held on to keep Bush and his
right-wing fundamentalists at bay.
If a newly-elected Bush has an opportunity to get at the
Supreme Court, I predict that we will lose abortion rights entirely;
our essential freedoms, already markedly abused by the so-called
‘Patriot Act’, will continue to be chipped away; anti-gay legislation
will go forth. This is quite apart from the budget, already in
considerable disarray.
Maybe in a strange way another 4 years of Bush will serve the
world well, in that it will bring about a quick end to the supremacy
of the American state. There are many countries in the world who
would welcome that. Is that what you’re hoping for? Because I
believe with all my heart that we cannot survive another four years
with these scoundrels at the helm.
The most recent polls show that the more educated Americans
don’t think that a quick withdrawal from Iraq is the answer. They see
the shades of grey and the potential for disaster. I myself feel
very conflicted: it was a mistake to go in in the first place, so why
should we dig that hole deeper by staying in. On the other hand, we
went in and ‘broke’ the country…can we now in good conscience leave
it, broken?
You’re wrong in urging support for Bush. The world is too
fragile to withstand 4 more Bush years. It would be calamitous.
Please, no.
Mary Sinker

p. From a parallel universe …

bq.. Andrew Brown’s piece is as usual clever and ironic – has he not missed an
obvious possible alternative course of action though? If Kerry is elected
in November, might he not re-enlist UN help with Iraq and Afghanistan,
start the difficult job of repairing diplomatic relations with Europe,
readdress the role of NATO, and begin some initiatives for calming and
reclaiming the moderate Islamic world’s faith in America? That to my mind
would be much more helpful than having Bush in power and colliding
inevitably with this Nemesis he refers to.

I’d be interested to hear what he says, if you get the chance to pass this
on. Thanks
Gordon Carver

p. I think it is too late for all that stuff. The time to do it would have been when we invaded Afghanistan. I still think that this was the great missed neo-colonial opportunity. To restore Afghanistan as a functioning state would have done all the Friedman-type things that toppling Saddam was supposed to do. there would also have been a certain logic and elegance to it, since it was our arming and encouragement of the people’s mujahedin which did so much to destroy the country in the first place.

From Annapolis, the first appearance of Godwin’s law:

bq.. Sort of like “nach Hitler uns”, which didn’t work out very well for anyone.
Surprisingly facile for Brown.
I voted for Dick Gregory in 1968. The popular vote for Dick Gregory
exceeded the number of votes by which Nixon defeated Humphrey. In 2000
there were those who followed the same course with Nader, and we got Bush.

Steven A. Bookshester
Annapolis, Maryland

p. Even in Stockholm comes a kindly phrased reproach.

bq.. Andrew Brown, I don’t need two years to find out whether you’re wrong.
You’re wrong now. Your position is a dilettante’s. Iraq is a ghastly
mess, but it’s only one of Bushes many. Kyoto and terrorism are two
other areas where he is jeopardising the world. And surely, tactical
voting is the last resort of the cynic. Or the cynical liberal. Talk
about what you conscience tells you, then tell us. Anything else is
just journalism for titillation.
All the best from sunny Sweden (you’d miss it now — remember ‘mellan

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4 Responses to Angry readers write

  1. quinn says:

    ok, two things: we didn’t vote for the war. we supported our president in a jingoistic utterly trusting stary-eyed submission to unquestionable paternalism, but that’s just someone hacking root on a cultural buffer overflow. in america, people *really believe* that you get power and riches by being more hard working and smarter, and, in a hard to decribe way, *closer to god* than anyone else. this is the largest disconnect i see with british culture, which inherently distrusts authority- american was set up with the myth of meritocracy, britain wasn’t. so polling data emphatically doesn’t equal votes. it does equal undying support in many quarters. remember, bush lost the popular election, in which half the eligible voters voted. that means 25% voted for him in the first place, and they didn’t know what he was going to do. 75-80% supported him after he was elected. that’s pateralism for you- more people actively supporting the president than voting.

    the second point concerns the nemisis thing. i keep badgering danny to move when i hear more and more news of how america is headed towards implosion. he keeps saying there’s no point, because if america implodes and goes mad, where in the world is safe, in terms of economics or nutty american foreign policy? i wander away dazed at this point, and have suggested iceland and various micronesia islands, but he generally shoots me down. apparently we can only be safe from a fast meltdown of what passes for the pax americana off-planet.

  2. Rupert says:

    That’s a very Heinleinesque view – if you don’t like what’s going on, stop whinging and leap on the nearest spaceship. Or, in a related approach, build a log cabin in the Montana hills and larn how to make yer own bullits.

    Were it not for the lack of spaceships and the non-lack of toothache, I’d be very tempted by this. But I want to stick near to dentistry, and whatever happens in the near to mid-future the best resourced, best motivated and historically most stable societies capable of supplying quality analgesics and reconstructive mouth surgery are those we find ourselves in now, oh post-colonial Westerners.

    There are any number of potential disasters awaiting us, and no shortage of major league fuckwittery seemingly determined to precipitate one or more of these. But we survived the 20th century – when my best friend at school kept his digital wristwatch countdown timer set to four minutes, just in case — so faut de mieux, I’ll take that as a good sign.


  3. el Patron says:

    I spent the 10th of September 2001 going round the genome centre in Hinxton, thinking “all this is doomed, and it is wonderful.” I have seriously considered flight to Slovenia and Sweden. But, having lived once in rural Sweden, I am not that keen to repeat the experience. Depends how rich I feel eventually, amongst other things. But it is not an easy choice between the collapse of Western civilisation, and another _våvinter_ — the season between February and April — in the Swedish countryside.

    The more serious point is this: Quinn, where have you hidden Danny? I Need to talk to him, and he’s not answering email.

  4. quinn says:

    Heinleinesque is a good word. i mean, to describe my cowardly but moot desire to pack up and run, and in general. i am the first to say that we’re better off now than through most of the 20th century, on just about every front. but i don’t know if that will stay true it the republican right get more time at the helm. i don’t know what threat could match total nuclear destruction but i have a terrible feeling bush and co could come up with something.

    damnit, where have the eisenhower republicans gone?

    as to danny, he is at this moment asleep with the child upstairs, full of jet-lag, and getting on another plane tomorrow. nevertheless, consider the spousal backchannel activated. i will poke him tomorrow morning.

    ps rupert brings up a good point- if ever i build a compound in montana, i’ll have to bring a good dentist.

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