Sobran's -- The Real News of the Month

 Election-Year Forecast 

January 15, 2004

Secretary of State Colin Powell now admits, or acknowledges, or however you want to put it, that he hasn’t seen a “smoking gun” proving that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction or terrorist connections, though he says it was nonetheless “prudent” to suppose so “at the time.”

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has concluded that the Bush administration misrepresented the “threat” from Saddam Hussein.

Paul O’Neill, President Bush’s former secretary of the Treasury, says Bush was determined to depose Saddam Hussein as soon as he took office, long before the 9/11 attacks, and that he himself “never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction.” His new quasi memoir isn’t flattering to Bush’s judgment in general.

Before, during, and after the Iraq war, Bush assured us that those weapons would soon be found. Nearly a year after the war began, they haven’t been found.

Are you starting to see a pattern?

I never believed Bush, said so, and all last year found myself accused of hating him and even of hating America. I don’t really find Bush hateful. I do get annoyed at being ruled by him, but it’s not a matter of personal animosity; I merely think we all ought to be outraged at being ruled by a series of mediocre men who have far more power than any man should ever have. They usually lie, too. It comes with the territory.

[Breaker quote: Whoever wins, the Constitution loses.]Does any honest man really want that kind of power over millions of other people? Yes, it can happen, I suppose. I think Jimmy Carter was a fairly honest man, as men go. But once he has that kind of power, can he keep it if he stays honest? I doubt it.

Every president finds himself hated with startling intensity. As a political ruler he commands a vast system of coercion, which means he is bound to make countless enemies. Nobody seems to realize that this is inevitable; but to many citizens the incumbent president always appears as a monster, just because, in the nature of things, he has more power than any man should be trusted with, and far more than the U.S. Constitution authorizes.

When Bush was a private citizen, nobody thought he was either unusually good or unusually wicked. Only when he got into politics, as governor of Texas, did people start talking about him very severely. And even when he ran for president, nobody made extravagant claims for him.

His amazingly thin victory in the 2000 race made him seem diabolical to many Democrats, who accused him of stealing the election. But before 9/11, nobody mistook him for a great man. It was only when he suddenly became a “war president” that many Americans, mostly Republicans, discovered that he stood in the tradition of supposedly great leaders like Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. His speeches calling for “war on terror” against the “axis of evil” were acclaimed for restoring “moral clarity” to the presidency, in inspiring contrast to Bill Clinton and even his own father. Never mind that those speeches were the work of, well, his speechwriters.

In the eyes of the Democrats, all this only made Bush more evil himself. Both parties still agree that the U.S. Government and American power are excellent things, and that everything depends on having a great man in the presidency, but they differ sharply on whether Bush is that man. The Democrats are united in the conviction that he isn’t and that a Democrat must replace him next year; they differ among themselves only on which of their current candidates is “electable.” But as soon as one of them locks up the nomination, they will all agree that he is the obviously Anointed One.

Even if that candidate is Howard Dean, the Democrats will forget and forgive what they are now calling his “gaffes.” Of course if he loses the November election in a landslide, they will blame him for their party’s defeat and for ensuring Bush’s second term.

Should such a landslide occur, the Republicans will hail it as further proof of Bush’s greatness. If their dominance of Congress is increased, they will continue to blame deficits, fiscal crises, high taxes, and difficulties in the occupation of Iraq on the Democrats.

And anyone who keeps muttering about the U.S. Constitution will still be dismissed as an unpatriotic Bush-hating extremist.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2004 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
a division of Griffin Communications
This column may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of Griffin Internet Syndicate

small Griffin logo
Send this article to a friend.

Recipient’s e-mail address:
(You may have multiple e-mail addresses; separate them by spaces.)

Your e-mail address:

Enter a subject for your e-mail:

Mailarticle © 2001 by Gavin Spomer
Archive Table of Contents

Current Column

Return to the SOBRANS home page.

FGF E-Package columns by Joe Sobran, Sam Francis, Paul Gottfried, and others are available in a special e-mail subscription provided by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. Click here for more information.

Search This Site

Search the Web     Search SOBRANS

What’s New?

Articles and Columns by Joe Sobran
 FGF E-Package “Reactionary Utopian” Columns 
  Wanderer column (“Washington Watch”) 
 Essays and Articles | Biography of Joe Sobran | Sobran’s Cynosure 
 The Shakespeare Library | The Hive
 WebLinks | Books by Joe 
 Subscribe to Joe Sobran’s Columns 

Other FGF E-Package Columns and Articles
 Sam Francis Classics | Paul Gottfried, “The Ornery Observer” 
 Mark Wegierski, “View from the North” 
 Chilton Williamson Jr., “At a Distance” 
 Kevin Lamb, “Lamb amongst Wolves” 
 Subscribe to the FGF E-Package 

Products and Gift Ideas
Back to the home page 


SOBRANS and Joe Sobran’s columns are available by subscription. Details are available on-line; or call 800-513-5053; or write Fran Griffin.

Reprinted with permission
This page is copyright © 2004 by The Vere Company
and may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of The Vere Company.