Press Release  ·  September 15, 2004

In These Times examines critical election-related issues

With seven weeks to go until November 2, the latest In These Times examines critical election-related issues including President Bush’s controversial military record, the Bush administration’s decision to steer clear of facts and conservative tradition, and the Democrats’ chances of winning the Senate majority.

In “Deserter at the Helm!” contributor Ian Williams, author of Deserter: Bush’s War on Military Families, Veterans and His Past, addresses the truth behind Bush’s Vietnam service record. His detailed account examines Bush’s stint with the Texas Air National Guard, his use of class and nepotism to avoid service, and how his past reflects on his current policies. “The scion of East Coast WASP plutocrats who passes himself with some success as a Texan cowboy and self-made businessmen is a draft evader and deserter who parades as a veteran and commander in chief. And in this Bush benefited from the best affirmative action program there is: money,” Williams writes.

In “Fiction First, Spin Later,” contributor Hans Johnson questions the true values underpinning the Bush administration’s policy decisions. “In 1917, Sen. Hiram Johnson (R-Ca) warned a restless nation, ‘The first casualty when war comes is truth.’…Johnson would hardly recognize what his party has turned into, an eerie ship of statecraft setting the country on a perilous course. The crew at its helm would not welcome him on board for fear he would expose their deviation from honest government,” he writes. Using President Bush’s 2000 inaugural address and a historic look at traditional conservative values Johnson compares Bush’s policies to core Republican principles. Johnson covers the Bush administration’s actions regarding a wide range of key issues, including taxes, job outsourcing, abortion rights, health care and the environment.

With control for the Senate up for grabs, senior editor David Moberg conducts a state-by-state examination of the Democrat’s chances to win a majority of seats in, “Desperately Seeking the Senate: Centrist Democrats Vie for Open Seats.” Democrats are defending 19 seats, while Republicans only 15. In hotly contested races, voters face deeply flawed Republican candidates and centrist Democrats who could appeal to conservative or independent voters. Moberg questions if a Democratic-controlled Senate would create much political change. “Given the politics of the contenders, Democratic control would not bring a dramatic ideological shift, but it would give Democrats control of committees – providing a platform for legislative initiatives and investigations that could prove critical if Bush wins,” he states.