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The War of the Would-Be Presidents

Tuesday, November 14, 2000 by Dave Winer.

Polyanna on the Internet Permalink to Polyanna on the Internet

I've been a fool. That's something I'm loathe to admit. I believed that this was a time for integrity in US politics. It's not going to happen.

A pull-out-the-stops war Permalink to A pull-out-the-stops war

Yesterday I listened to NPR much of the day, heard the spin from every corner. I realized we're in a ruthless win-at-all-costs war between Bush and Gore, hosted by the news networks. It's the World Series of US politics. Alan Dershowitz and Laurence Tribe. The US House and Senate. Ex-presidents. It's what the conventions used to be, when they were smoke-filled rooms. It's a pull-out-the-stops war. There's nothing we can do about it.

The Microsoft of countries Permalink to The Microsoft of countries

It's a serious war because the US has nuclear weapons and produces 1/4 of the greenhouse gases. Our stock market is the capital of the world economy. Our military is deployed all over the world. We're brokering the peace process in the Middle East.

To some outside the US, we're the Microsoft of countries. Despised and feared, looked up to with resentment, pitied for our character flaws but blessed with a single language and currency and huge natural resources and other geographic advantages.

One-half a presidency Permalink to One-half a presidency

Gore and Bush are front-men for already-spent money, with investors who want a return on investment. It's nothing different from the dances that Michael Robertson of MP3.Com and Hank Barry of Napster have to do with the music companies. Money rules. Lawyers run the show. What else is new?

With so many resources and so much power, one-half a US presidency is worth a lot. The investors won't let their guy walk without a dirty nasty fight. Some say if one of them abdicates he'll be in perfect position for 2004. Wrong. The money people would never bet on the guy again.

Abdication is not an option Permalink to Abdication is not an option

Abdication would end the career of the man who conceded. Next time around, in private conversations at political fund-raisers, they'll talk about him as a loser, a guy without the guts to see it through.

Neither candidate will back down.

Dave Winer

© Copyright 1994-2004 Dave Winer. Last update: 2/5/07; 10:50:05 AM Pacific. "There's no time like now."