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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US Presidential elections « Previous | |Next »
January 21, 2004

So the Presidential election has begun with the early pre-selection process for the Democrat candidate underway.

I cannot really understand the Democratic selections of the Presidential contender through the primary caucuses because I do not know what the candidates stand for. Who is Edwards? Who is Kerry? Democratic mainstream? I know about Wesley Clarke---he's an ex-military person. A former Vermont Governor Dean raised a lot of money on the Internet and firmly opposes Bush (eg., Iraq & tax cuts). Gephardt was a political machine man. Lieberman was pro-the Iraq war. As were Mr. Gephardt, Kerry & Edwards. I would have thought that a left liberal Dean was unelectable largely because of his anti-war stance.

Not much knowledge there, is there? And the Australian media has rather poor on informing us about the Democrat pre-selection process.

"Bush wins in Iowa" is some of the commentary I've come across. Honestly, I've no what that means. This?

Basically I'm too far away from the action to have much of a feel for what is going on or how the conflict over the issues raised play with the US mainstream. I saw of clip of Dean raging in a post-caucus press conference on television, and I was a bit taken back by the emotional intensity and stridency. But I had little context to make sense of the anger. Not presidential?

It is also difficult for me to understand the significance of the US press coverage of the Iowa caucus results, which saw Howard Dean relegated to third place behind John Kerry and Gephardt withdraw from the contest. Iowa seems to be minor league in the primaries, yet the US corporate media created an enormous fuss about Dean.

Why? Is it the US corporate machine (Fox News) trying to kill off Dean? Is its politics that naked?

What I do understand is that the Republican hegemony in the US is backed by the enormous financial resources and corporate patronage, which has helped make the conservative renaissance possible. They now control Congress. And the Democrats appear to be going through a prolonged, bitter contest that produces a financially weakened, exhausted victor who then has to face an armed Republican machine with a huge war chest.

What I also understand is that a lot of Social Democratic hopes seem to rest with Howard Dean to help roll back the hegemony of Republican America. Dean is the bearer of liberal progressive politics. Yet people say that he is on the ropes, severely damaged For instance, Tony Walker, writing for the Australian Financial Review (subscription required) says that the next stop--New Hampshire-- is Dean's last chance. Why is New Hampshire so critical?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:07 PM | | Comments (0)
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