Monday, July 19, 2004

The Ruling Class Dumps Bush

The ruling class has dumped George W. Bush, judging by the reversal of trends in campaign contributions beginning in March 2004:
George W. Bush
John Kerry

$3,151,898.00 (Includes $2,650,000 transferred from Senate committee)
First quarter: None
Second quarter: $35,148,846.97 (Includes $671,000 transferred from 2000 campaign accounts)
Third quarter: $50,062,511.83
Fourth quarter: $47,524,372.57
First quarter: $7,010,242.97
Second quarter: $5,866,126.95
Third quarter: $4,015,365.36
Fourth quarter: $5,239,862.60 (includes $2,887,965.80 in loans to himself)
January: $12,886,579.55
February: $13,787,244.52
March: $26,265,939.23
April: $15,740,427.57
May: $13,349,397.13
January: $7,662,800.74 (includes $3.5 million in loans to himself)
February: $8,376,610.86
March: $44,155,752.60
April: $31,302,921.21
May: $30,777,512.01

Source: CNN, "The Money: George W. Bush" and "The Money: John Kerry"
Bush is still ahead of Kerry in the hard money total, but that is deceptive, for the gap is more than compensated by money spent on behalf of Kerry by organized labor and 527s:
Over the past four months, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) has raised more money than the Bush campaign and substantially eroded the president's once-huge cash advantage.

Now, President Bush and his GOP allies have suffered another serious setback: Independent pro-Republican groups that recently vowed to challenge pro-Democratic organizations for supremacy in spending unregulated or "soft" money on campaign ads and voter mobilization are getting their clocks cleaned by their rivals.

One of the most heavily publicized pro-GOP groups, Progress for America, raised $2.3 million in the second quarter of this year, most of it from three of Bush's major fundraisers, according to new filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Another, the Leadership Forum, backed by some of Washington's most prominent Republican lobbyists and the GOP congressional leadership, raised $15,719.

The two top pro-Democratic groups, the Media Fund and America Coming Together, raised nearly nine times as much in the past quarter, or a combined $20 million, according to IRS filings. (Thomas B. Edsall, "Pro-GOP Groups Outpaced In Funds: Pro-Democratic '527s' Far Ahead," Washington Post, July 16, 2004, p. A9)
Here's an amusing and yet telling anecdote (via Shane Mage):
Word of the latest fiasco comes from a friend who went to Andover with him and recently attended their 40th reunion. George wasn't there, but 40 of his classmates were, nearly all upper-income bracketed—natural Bush voters, in other words. My friend says that a straw poll was taken to see how many would be voting for their fellow alum in November.

Wanna know how many Dubya got?

Six. (emphasis added, Robert Sam Anson, "A Kerry Christmas!: Candidate’s Big Week Stokes Up Confidence," New York Observer, July 19, 2004, p. 1)
Taking the ruling class's decision into account, how shall leftists respond? Do all we can so that the two dominant parties' pro-war and anti-working-class presidential candidates will receive the lowest possible overall shares of the popular vote, unable to claim a huge mandate to continue the wars at home and abroad. The weaker the Next President of the United States, the better chance we'll have fighting against him.


Anonymous said...

Dumped? Come on. The article itself says Kerry has closed the gap based on contributions from labor and the 527 orgs. Last time I checked, labor wasn't considered part of the ruling class.

As interesting as the latest monthly numbers are, they do not tell the whole or even one story about the ruling class, for the overwhelming bulk of money for Kerry comes from the entertainment industry and lawyer/lobbyist organizations.

In the hard industries of transportation, finance, pharmaceutical, etc. contributions to Bush are approximately twice those made to Kerry.

The ruling class has hardly dumped George.

Commodore Luke Perry said...

Well, yes, US labor is largely part of the ruling class and establishment. However, this pattern doesn't show the ruling class has dumped the dumb boy president from Texas. It just means there is a real rivalry going on. Those who are going to support the Bushboy to the end already gave money late last year. So the conclusions here are premature.

Yoshie said...

What's really striking is the rapid and steep decline in ruling-class support for Bush, despite the surge in campaign donations for Kerry. From March ($26,265,939.23) to May ($13,349,397.13), the hard money support for Bush registered a nearly 50% decrease!

Commodore Luke Perry said...

Perhaps what I wrote earlier at my own blog is relevant:

Regime removal for Iraq was the establishment consensus issue and Bush's premature claim to historical importance, but Bush and his gang didn't really rise above the interests of the groups that financed their electoral tear into office. Military spending and parasitic federal government contracting were always their main priorities. As far as the interests of the camp followers of military, security and intelligence budgets are concerned, Bush has been a very effective president.

However, the invasion, occupation and 'reconstruction' of Iraq required somewhat more than that. It required that Bush go ahead with regime removal while somehow reviving 'multilateralism' with 'old' Europe. This is a contradiction, but any establishment Repug-Demon who could do it would prove himself to be a very 'strong and effective' leader in the eyes of the entire establishment.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting stats, & especially that bit about Bush's classmates. To add to it, I recently heard a story from a friend whose relative works at a stock broker company, they said most of the people there are of opinion that Kerry is better, from point of view that Bush is basically wrecking world opinion (i.e. other reactionary govts') of US imperialism so it's actually bad for business. So you can that there is certainly some different ideas, thus struggle, amongst the ruling class itself over what is the best course for US imperialism.

One note on "labor". Of course "labor" as in the proletariat or working-class is not part of ruling class. However as it's used here it means the labour movement, the unions, the overwhelming overwhelming majority (not a typo, said it twice on purpose) of which is a bunch of patriotic hacks whose entire social purpose is to sell-out & MISlead the proletariat. (There are some very few exceptions, & of course this sad situation doesn't negate any potential of non-sellout unions' existance, but does makes that potential harder to attain.)

In any case the ruling class has not dumped Dubya yet. However these money stats & other info (not the least of which being Kerry's positions on war etc) does show that large sections of the ruling class are quite happy with prospect of Kerry as their representative.

The main point to learn from this is that whoever wins, the main "Bush Agenda" (which has been the consensus of the US bourgeoisie as a whole) will continue. And, thus, all votes will be counted as a mandate for war, & portrayed as such by the capitalist media (despite whatever intentions of the "lesser evil"-ist voters).

To end this unintentionally long post, 2 examples:

1) Some months ago there were elections in Iran. Only 10% of the population voted at all; in addition to boycott there were also many actions on the streets against the regime. This showed to the world, unmistakably, that the people of Iran rejected the "choices" presented them by the ruling class there. In other words, not the common excuse of "not voting equals apathy".

2) Back in the 60s the VietNamese people threw the French imperialists out so the US tried to come in. Kennedy the wonderful liberal started this murder spree. Johnson the wonderful liberal, campaigning in the same way as Kerry (critical of some ways the war was fought, but supporting the war of conquest itself), intensified it to a whole new genocidal level with more troops, more bombing, etc. And who remembers how the war ended? It ended by the people of VietNam kicking the US out militarily (helped significantly by protests in the US & worldwide, & GI resistance within the war machine itself) -- despite the commander-in-chief being the warmonger republican Nixon.

So this election is up for grabs since the ruling class is OK with either one (as always!). But (1) this does not indicate any strategy shift by the bourgeoisie; & (2) the differences that are there are not yet at the level of a "split in the ruling class" which is when they're really at each others' throats thus weakening their system at the time.

Oh & one last thing (this time it really is...): significant sections of the officer corps in the military now are not just imperialist reactionaries, but straight-up Christian Fascists (so if there is a full-on split, they could militarily back up the side represented by Bush, Ashcroft, Falwell, etc.). Also Ridge & Homeland Security Dept recently announced possibility of postponing or cancelling elections with excuse of "terrorist attacks", this possibility was received as acceptable by the bourgeoisie & their media, & not condemned by the Democrats.

So there's some stuff I thought people might like to think about in relation to this issue of differences within the ruling class...

Anonymous said...

Actually, what the pundits commonly refer to as "labor" is really the sold-out class of labor bureaucrats who run the major labor unions, especially those in the AFL/CIO. These well-paid functionaries are the arm of the US ruling class inside the labor movement, and they use their influence to deliver the votes of the rank-and -file workers mainly to the Democtratic Party. The rank-and-file worker, along with much of the rest of the voting population, are mere "voting cattle" to be herded to the polls every two years to vote as the ruling class tells them to - hardly part of the ruling class.