I'm the last one to have anything positive to say about the incompetent and spineless Democrats. Those are just charges. That party has been woefully inadequate as the standard bearer for either liberals or progressives. If you were to equate the Democrats with a bad case of red-hot blistering Herpes, I would not argue.
But that doesn't mean that you can safely stay home on November 7th or cast a token vote for an admittedly better candidate from a better party who has much less chance of beating the Republican challenger, because, even though the Democrats are herpes, the Republicans are the political equivalent of AIDS, a far more lethal infection.
Ralph Nader convinced much of America of that false equivalency of the two major parties in 2000, probably enough to cost Gore the White House. Did that matter? It's not hard to see now that he could not have been more wrong. Notwithstanding all of the Democrats' flaws, America would have been infinitely better off with Gore in 2000 or even by 2004 with Kerry. I think that after you consider the following argument, you'll agree that it is not an exaggeration to equate the Republican Party to a lethal case of AIDS compared with the burning blisters of their political counterpart. Yeah, both are bad, but if you had to choose one, it would be easy.
Of course the following are only speculations, but I have no doubt that they are all or mostly correct:
Al Gore would NOT have invaded Iraq. He would not have ceased hunting Bin Laden nor diverted America's military away from that effort, NOR the National Guard from defending America's cities.
He would NOT have cut corporate taxes or the taxes of the wealthiest Americans, NOR would he likely have promoted cutting back the inheritance tax on huge fortunes. He would NOT have spoon-fed no-bid contracts to the corrupt Halliburton corporation and he would NOT have been lax in the pursuit of the Enron criminals who probably wouldn't have been so flagrant without family friends in the White House where they were invited to set energy policy with Cheney.
Gore would not have insulted America's allies and in so doing isolate the U.S. NOR would he likely have flouted the Geneva Convention. He would NOT have instituted a policy of torture for the military NOR set up gulags in Guantanamo. He would NOT have suspended habeas corpus nor would he likely authorize illegal wiretaps against American citizens. He would NOT have led an assault on the Constitution's separation of powers NOR of its separation of church and state. Gore would not have hired Rumsfeld or Rice, both abject failures at foreign affairs. He would NOT have authorized construction of that ridiculous, offensive and embarrassing wall along the Mexican border.
Gore's administration would NOT have outed Valerie Plame NOR endangered the lives of other CIA operatives thus compromising their ability to collect important intelligence. NOR would Gore have fabricated or cherry-picked intelligence. He would NOT have been nearly as secretive with the voters or the press corps, NOR made the government as opaque as it is now.
Gore would NOT have signed the USA PATRIOT Act. He would NOT have made men like John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales U.S. Attorneys General. He would NOT have nominated people like Priscilla Owens or William Pryor for lifetime seats on the US Courts of Appeals, and you would never have heard of the name of John Bolton. NOR would Gore have nominated women-unfriendly Supreme Court justices who now threaten to revoke women's reproductive rights.
Gore would NOT have politicized gay civil union or stem cell research, nor would he have intervened with Terry Schiavo's right to die. He would NOT have quietly condoned the implementation of Diebold's and its competitors' paperless electronic ballot boxes. NOR would he have turned a blind eye on Florida's and Ohio's voter intimidation and disenfranchisement shenanigans.
Gore would NOT have flouted the Kyoto accords. He would NOT have signed the Clean Air or Clear Skies acts. Nor drilled in Alaskan preserves for oil. And Gore would NOT have gutted FEMA and replaced its competent staff with incompetents. And he would not have let the people of New Orleans languish for most of a week before taking action.
There's more, especially if you're a 911 conspiracy advocate as many of us are. Maybe 911 would never have happened. Maybe its investigatory commission would not have been resisted nor its recommendations ignored. And I haven't even broached all of the likely differences in the national budget if Bush and the Neocons had been kept out of the White House, particularly with regard to the underfunding of human services and the bloated and wasteful defense and war expenditures.
Still think that there's not a dimes worth of difference?