Magazine article The Nation

Prince Al

Magazine article The Nation

Prince Al

Article excerpt

After this, four Gore years? Is the Democratic Party stuck with Prince Al until the next election? Did Campaign 2004: Bush versus Gore II begin the moment the Supreme Court issued its 5-to-4 decision? The bad blood created by the disposition of this election will not disappear quickly. The bitterness of this round's losers could even dwarf the profound disappointment of pro-impeachment Americans. In fact, the balance of emotions in US politics may well shift. Those who were upset that Clinton escaped impeachment conviction and who craved revenge are now able to claim George W. Bush's win as vindication and wallow in satisfaction; those who welcomed Bill Clinton's acquittal and who saw Republican losses in 1998 as just deserts for the impeachment crusade are now the aggrieved and outraged. And perhaps they'll feel it is time to seek retribution and justice. As Republicans and conservatives were furiously motivated by Monicagate and impeachment, so the Democrats and their liberal allies could be moved by Bush's Supreme Court-assisted victory--though it's hard to envision Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt bearing a grudge as fiercely as Tom DeLay and Trent Lott. In fact, several conservative Democrats--Senator John Breaux and the Blue Dogs of the House--have already stuck out their hands, realizing that with Bush in the White House and Congress split, their deal-making influence can be enhanced.

The Democratic Party as a whole may not forge a unified (and passionate) anti-Bush front, and that could sharpen the pre-existing tensions between the party's progressives and conservatives. It's unlikely that African-American voters in Florida (and perhaps elsewhere) will forget what many consider to be a Bush-led Republican effort to disfranchise their community. Certainly, any Republican official in Florida not in a safe seat should worry--especially if he or she represents an area with a large African-American population. …

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