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You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Reported by Eleanor - June 20, 2004 -

Robert Reich lays out the nightmare of a second Bush administration in an interview conducted by Buzzflash about Reich's book "Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America."

Robert B. Reich: I wish it were simply a nightmare, but I think that any reasonable person watching American politics would come to the conclusion that a second Bush administration would in fact incorporate a more radicalized version of what we've seen in the first administration. The reason is that the constraint would be removed. At least now, they know they have to face an electorate. That restricts their movement somewhat. But those constraints are off if they win a second term.

Their ideological extremism can have -- will have -- a field day. They will be less restrained in terms of going into Syria and Iran, for example -- perhaps even more bellicose with regard to North Korea, another member of the so-called Axis of Evil. Their attack on civil liberties through John Ashcroft's Justice Department and the Patriot Act will be followed by a Patriot II. They've already drafted it. They've already sought passage. It reduces civil liberties to an even greater extent. Their attack on the environment through their new source of emissions policies and the ridiculously entitled Healthy Forest Initiative will certainly be followed by a much broader-based attack on environmental protection in the name of corporate productivity and profitability.

They will seek Supreme Court justices who are intent on reversing Roe v. Wade. They already have in mind several of them. It's likely that Scalia and Thomas -- yes, Thomas -- will form the axis of the report from the center of the new court and will lead that Supreme Court further toward the right than we've seen a Supreme Court in living memory.

Meanwhile, on economic policy, the Bush administration is already planning more tax cuts for the rich. They want to phase out almost all taxes on capital gains. They want to get rid of the estate tax permanently. And they will continue to reduce marginal tax rates on the wealthy. This means that average working Americans will have to pay higher taxes, and it also means a continuation of wild budget deficits that imperil our economic future.

I think it's fair to say that the Evangelical Christian right-wing movement will demand that creationism be taught in our public schools, that stem-cell research be curtailed, that access to abortion counseling and contraceptives be restricted, and that prayer be reestablished as requirement in our public schools.

BuzzFlash: You also mention that the Federal Communications Commission will allow three or four giant media empires, all tightly connected to the Republican Party -- and I'm quoting here -- "to consolidate their ownership over all television and radio broadcasting."

Robert B. Reich: Yes, it's already begun under the Republican FCC, and we are seeing a degree of media concentration we've never seen in this country. The danger, of course, is that we lose our public -- the marketplace of ideas. Even now, that marketplace is dangerously constricted and skewed toward large corporations and the rich.
There is also going to be an effort, already begun by Karl Rove and Tom DeLay, to redistrict states in order to maximize Republican gains and marginalize Democrats. Their goal is no less than to install the Republicans as a permanent majority in the White House and in Congress. In other words, in sum, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America, on the Radcons

Comment: I can hardly wait. If we invite this nightmare through our votes, and not through a Supreme Court appointment, it speaks volumes about what kind of people we really are. Living in the America predicted by Reich, that is partially upon us already, would be very difficult indeed.