Item description for Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils (Counterpunch) by Alexander Cockburn...
You hear the drumbeats every day: Anybody But Bush, Anybody But Bush. The rampage of the President and his gang of neo-cons and corporadoes is presented by many liberal powerbrokers as a uniquely evil experience in the history of the American republic. Bush is cast as Hitler, and it becomes a moral imperative for progressives to rally behind any Democrat, because in comparison to an American Hitler, all challengers must be benign. Right?-Wrong.
Dime's Worth of Difference shatters these myths once and for all. A must-read in this election year, it's the new collection edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, editors of the hugely popular radical website CounterPunch.org and the investigative newsletter CounterPunch.
From judicial nominees to the environmental pillage, economic policy to health care, military aggression to civil liberties, the Democrats and Republicans have acted as a two-headed beast, pursuing the same policies, often underwritten by the same financial sponsors. Both parties insist that there are real differences that divide them. But after 12 years of Clinton/Bush, those differences are harder than ever to detect. Only the rhetoric, backed by scare tactics, remains. In Dime's Worth of Difference, Cockburn and St. Clair, and a team of CounterPunch writers, blow away the rhetorical smog that has polluted our politics for the last few decades.
Dime's Worth of Difference shows, for all who dare look, that the fake choice of the lesser of two evils still leaves you with evil. It doesn't matter which door you chose. This timely book calls on progressives to begin a new movement outside the death-embrace of the Democratic Party.
Nationally syndicated journalists Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair have co-authored numerous best--sellers, including Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and The Press, Washington Babylon and Al Gore: A User's Manual.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.32" Width: 4.96" Height: 0.79" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2004
Publisher AK Press
ISBN 1904859038 ISBN13 9781904859031
Availability 0 units.
More About Alexander Cockburn
Alexander Cockburn (1941-2012) was the coeditor of CounterPunch and the author of a number of titles, including Corruptions of Empire, The Golden Age Is in Us, Washington Babylon (with Ken Silverstein), and Imperial Crusades. One of three brothers, all journalists, he was the son of the journalist and author Claud Cockburn. Born in Ireland and educated in Scotland and England, he moved to America in 1972, soon establishing himself as a radical reporter and commentator, writing for the Village Voice, the New York Review of Books, Esquire and Harpers. He also wrote regular columns for the Nation, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New Statesman, and his influential newsletter CounterPunch. In 1991 he settled in Petrolia, a rural hamlet in Humboldt County, Northern California, where he remained until his death.
Reviews - What do customers think about Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils (Counterpunch)?
The perfect response to the smugness of right-wing Democrat neoliberal liberals Jan 15, 2007
Like the Tories and the Labour Party in England or the Meretz and Likud parties in Israel, the Democrats and the Republicans represent two sides of the same coin. It's an old cliche, I know, but ever so true. For anyone needing to be convinced of this arguement, just pick up this small and informative book. From gay rights to the environment, from free trade to the military industrial complex, both parties pursue identical agendas. The only difference is that the Republican party is at least upfront about its pro-corporate, homophobic, racist objectives, whereas the Democratic party tries to decieve its constituents with lip service about human rights and other lofty goals. For example, while the Democratic party is often marketed as the party for peace and economic justice, what did eight years of the Clinton regime give the world? They gave us the WTO, Plan Colombia, war in the Balkans, economic sanctions against Iraq, etc., etc., etc. Instead of wasting our time, money and energy on the Democratic party, Cockburn and the other brilliant authors in this excellent anthology wisely argue that progressive activists should concentrate on building grassroots, egalitarian, participatory movements from below. Though written as a response to the 2004 presidential elections, this is still a vital and relevant book.
Destroys Cynica, Liberal, & Anti-War varieties of "Lesser Evilism" Nov 15, 2006
Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils, edited Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn of CounterPunch, makes the case against the Anybody-But-Bush mania that dominated the 2004 election.
It deserves a place alongside Hal Draper's article "Who's Going to Be the Lesser Evil in 1968?" written almost 40 years ago, but a classic socialist statement about the politics of lesser evilism.
To consider alternative progressive directions its useful to read Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate, edited by Howie Hawkins, a collection of articles discussing the issue of how an independent alternative to the Democrats and Republicans needs to be built.
The Perfect Gift for Know-It-Alls May 30, 2006
If you have a friend who thinks there's a vast gulf between Democrats and Republicans, you need to hand him or her a copy of this book.
I received this as part of the Friends of AK Press deal (something everyone should take part in), and I couldn't be happier. It confirmed everything I always thought about the two parties. That being: Beyond basic stances that don't really amount to much at all, there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans. Both parties are money-hungry, status quo protectors who are as hypocritical as they are spoiled. The proof isn't in the pudding. It's on the page. Essay after essay of proof, actually.
So give your friend this book and then check back with him or her in a week or so. If they don't get it after reading it, they never will.
Instructive look at how both parties suck Sep 2, 2005
Jeff Taylor points out the mediocre record in the senate of Paul Wellstone, the senate's supposed leading raging liberal, and notes the rather surreal reaction of a Human Rights Campaign official after Wellstone voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Michael Donnely has a chapter on Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, the timber industry's biggest recipient of campaign cash besides President Bush, who helped push through destruction of thousands of acres of Old Growth forests (which are most resistant to forest fires) in Oregon with Clinton's so called Healthy Forest initiative. Josh Frank discusses Montana's Democratic Senator Max Baucus.
Jeffery St. Clair writes about the Democrats energy policy. Clinton opened the National Petroleum Reserve up in Alaska, an area much more significant than ANWAR. In 1996, he ordered that oil exploited on Alaska's North Slope could be exported. This reduction of supply for the U.S. helped drive up energy prices in the Midwest. Oil drilling was begun with Clinton's support all around the coast of Alaska. Under Secretary of Interior for Energy David Hayes bragged to Congress, about the vast increases Clinton supported in drilling for oil and gas on public lands. St. Clair notes that Bush's recently departed deputy Interior secretary Stephen Griles got into some trouble after he broke out in rage at an EPA report which stated that exploitation of Coal Methane deposits at the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Colorado, would greatly harm drinking water supplies.. The companies pushing for this project all formerly employed Griles as a lobbyist.
St. Clair notes that Ralph Cavanaugh of the National Resources Defense Council testified on behalf of Enron's effort to gain control of the public utility in Oregon, Portland GE. . Contrary to Cavanaugh's predictions, rates rose very high, the Enron execs bilked the ratepayers of tens of millions. Cavanaugh similarly lobbied for deregulation of utilities in California. In this new situation power grades deteriorated and of course, companies led by Enron, decided to turn off their readily available supply of electricity in order to gauge Californians. Ralph Cavanaugh was given an award by Teresa Heinz Kerry's foundation, on which Ken Lay sat, for his work in "free market environmentalism." Cheney used the resulting high energy prices to push for opening ANWAR to give his oil cronies even more short term profit but that would only have the effect of reducing gas prices by a few cents for a short period.
Cockburn and St. Clair note that at the height of the so-called Clinton boom, real wages were still ten percent below the level of the Nixon-Ford years. In 1996 the Congressional Budget office reported that there were three to five people needing work for each available job. Currently, in Bush's America, the ratio is about ten to one. In a University of Chicago study in 1998, at a McDonalds in Harlem, there was found an average of fourteen people applying for each available job. 73 percent of those seekers still had been unable to find even minimum wage work a year later. The official unemployment rate dosen't count people who have stopped looking for work, which makes the real rate at least twice as high. The minimum wage is well below the poverty level. The workforce is dominated by low paying temp and service jobs. The Democrats helped launch the deregulatory initiatives which led to such criminal activities as by Enron and stock speculators vastly over inflating the market. Cockburn quotes Robert Pollin that a way to dramatically reduce poverty would be to empower unions in this country and try to stop the U.S. from forcing neoliberalism on third world countries. The CEO to worker pay ratio rose from 113 to 1 in the early 90's to 449 to 1 in 2001.
Bruce Anderson writes about Mendocino County Northern California, long controlled by Democrats. The county is represented in Congress by Mike Thompson. The wine industry dominates the county and Thompson is a very reliable front for them. He has fought against efforts to ban the herbicide Ethyl Bromide. Many workers in the grape fields, mostly Chicano immigrants, in the county have died from the effects of such things. An effort by the county to ban aerial spraying at one point was overturned by Democrats in Sacramento
St. Clair has yet another essay, this one on Marc Racicot, who was governor of Montana and later chairman of the Bush re-election campaign and the RNC. As governor Racicot implemented electricity deregulation which caused Montana ratepayers to go from paying the lowest rates to the highest rates in the Nation. He privatized Montana's mental health system with 400 million dollars of the taxpayer's money but by two years later, many hospitals were failed and mentally ill people out on the streets. He gave out contracts to his corporate cronies including in the prison building industry in spite of Montana having a surplus of prison cells. He successfully pushed for an exemption for open pit mine operators to not have to clean up the toxic debris they let out. He sold off to his corporate cronies forest and parkland to build shopping centers.
Sean Donahue has an article about the aerial spraying program against cocoa plants in Colombia, which was overseen at the state department during the Clinton and most of the first Bush administration by Randy Beers. Beers left Bush to become a consultant to the Kerry campaign. The cocoa farmers are people who cannot making a living growing legal crops. They are taxed by the left wing guerillas, the FARC. These people don't make much money from producing cocoa but the processors and exporters do. The latter are supported by right wing death squads, supported by the U.S. funded Colombian military. These death squads play a useful role in driving peasants off the land so mining, ranching, oil exploration and other operations can take over, and killing peasant and union activists. The herbicide contains a chemical which kills all green plants, legal or illegal, that it touches and has wiped out the legal crops of many peasants. Peasants complain of many ailments like rashes, respiratory problems. and temporary problems Donohue quotes one woman who was living on a government subsidized Yucca growing co-op farm which was destroyed by the spraying.. This woman told Donahue that she had lost all her assets in the farm and only had the choice of going to the big city to beg, but death squads controlled the exit to the city and they had already killed her brothers.