Water Man Spouts

Friday, February 01, 2008

Guns & Butter

"I knew from the start that I was bound to be crucified either way I moved. If I left the woman I really loved – the Great Society – in order to get involved with that bitch of a war on the other side of the world, then I would lose everything at home. ….And I knew that if we let Communist aggression succeed in taking over South Vietnam ….that would shatter my Presidency, kill my administration, and damage our democracy." --LBJ
--Doris Kearns; Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream; New York; 1976; pages 251-252.

The democratic debate last night was outstanding. Supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have good reason to be pleased with their candidate’s performance. I do not think that any objective person could say that either candidate made anything less than a good impression, showing that they are fully qualified to be President of the United States of America.

In my opinion, Senator Clinton seemed slightly stronger on the domestic economic questions, and Senator Obama appeared slightly stronger on the international issues involving war.

It is important that both Clinton and Obama begin to speak more forcefully on the connection between the damage done to our economy, and the Bush-Cheney war of occupation in Iraq. Just as LBJ told Doris Kearns that the war in Vietnam destroyed his economic policies, because he could not afford "guns and butter," the current administration’s Iraq policy is the cause of the economic depression we are experiencing.

More, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama must focus the public’s attention on the fact that there are business interests which are lining their pockets off the suffering of others. These business interests are, of course, closely connected to the family friends of the Bush and Cheney families. It is not just that they are getting huge tax breaks, but far more importantly, that these untaxed profits are "blood money."

Their investment in human suffering is what is causing the most severe damage to our Constitutional democracy. It is time for both candidates to bring this message home.


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