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Friday, April 11, 2003
As labor historian David Roediger concludes in his "Wages of Whiteness," even with massive unemployment, poor sanitation, horrific workplace conditions, and frequent panics and poverty, these new whites still dominated and terrorized poor people of color and non-Christians. Wolfowitz and the rest realize that they can get the US to support their weird Christian jihad purely for their own psychological self-satisfaction. It is an old story and an old weapon and these guys know how to use it.

Yeah, and then they elected FDR, who is certainly the closest thing to a socialist we've ever seen in this country. I think psychological self-satisfaction is a pretty slim motive for conducting electoral politics, and it wears off pretty quickly. People were complaining about the American people being racist and small-minded and sheep etc. during the Reagan years, and then they elected Clinton, who, again, is a far sight better than Reagan. They know how to use xenophobic, divisive politics for short-term gain, but if Bush I saw fit to ignore the neo-cons' "wisdom," I have a hard time seeing how their current policy orgy will win them any kind of long-term power. The American people just don't care enough about foreign policy to elect a President on it, especially if said President is ignoring domestic policy as much as Bush is. Clinton himself pointed out in his recent Atlantic interview that W was basically elected on his domestic policy.

I think one weird assumption people are making is that as much as we piss the world off they can do nothing against us except export suicide bombers. Au contraire, goddamn it. I think we are spoiling relations with the EU for years to come, and they're no slouch. There's a lot they can do to us economically if we keep this foreign policy up. It's conceivable that we could reach the point of a low-level cold war with them. Hell, we almost have one now, with Russia seemingly happy to sell to anyone we won't. This can reverberate on domestic politics if it starts hitting people's pocketbooks--we blamed the Japanese good in the early 90's for the recession, but we still voted in a Democrat, you know?