Just a note to bring your attention to an article of mine, written this past May, which was posted today to SOLO HQ. "Bush Wins!" is my assessment of the President's good chances of being re-elected. Here's an excerpt from the essay:
... if there is anything the last year has shown, it is that events move rapidly, while Bush keeps pace. A parade of authors, whom the administration has labeled disgruntled former employees, has published one exposé after another, illustrating lapses in intelligence, homeland security, and war planning. The economy has not quite recovered from either a recession or the tragedy of 9/11. But Bush continues to give new meaning to the phrase “Teflon President.” ...
The Bush tax cuts have not been coupled with anything that might qualify as fiscal conservatism; the President has presided over an exploding federal budget deficit—the largest in U.S. history—and an expanding federal debt. In addition, Bush has signed into law the extension of Medicare prescription drug coverage for senior citizens, thus staking a claim to a traditional Democratic voting bloc. And the cost of the Iraq War alone will soon surpass the nearly $200 billion inflation-adjusted U.S. share of the costs of World War I.
That Iraqi campaign—absent the discovery of any weapons of mass destruction or any formal ties between the Hussein regime and Al Qaeda—may have hurt some of Bush’s credibility, but it has not shaken his resolve. This resolve was first punctuated with evangelical calls for a modern-day “crusade” against the “Evil Ones,” but it has since become a mission to make the world safe for “democracy” (or Halliburton and Bechtel, depending on your perspective). For a man who campaigned against the Clintonistas’ belief in the nation-building enterprise, Bush has picked up the Wilsonian mantle proudly, while extolling the virtues of a PATRIOT Act, which has been used as a weapon against privacy and in the “war on drugs.”...
Other things being equal, voters are not going to choose Kerry, when they’ve already got in Bush a Republican dedicated to all the conventional Democratic planks: an expanding welfare state, budget deficits, and a war abroad. A long and potentially nasty campaign beckons; the race may center on 17 battleground states that are not yet claimed by either candidate and so much can happen between now and Election Day. But, as of this moment, I still think Bush wins.
Read the rest of the piece here and follow the discussion thread here. I hope to post a link to my follow-up piece, "Caught Up in the Rapture," which has just been published by The Free Radical. That essay examines the troubling fundamentalist Christian cultural forces that are Bush's political base; it uses some relevant points made by Murray Rothbard years ago about the relationship between pietism and interventionism.