Is George Bush in political trouble? And if so, why?
Noam Chomsky: George Bush would be in severe political trouble if there were an opposition political party in the country. Just about every day, they’re shooting themselves in the foot. The striking fact about contemporary American politics is that the Democrats are making almost no gain from this. The only gain that they’re getting is that the Republicans are losing support. Now, again, an opposition party would be making hay, but the Democrats are so close in policy to the Republicans that they can’t do anything about it. When they try to say something about Iraq, George Bush turns back to them, or Karl Rove turns back to them, and says, "How can you criticize it? You all voted for it." And, yeah, they’re basically correct.
How could the Democrats distinguish themselves at this point, given that they’ve already played into that trap?
Democrats read the polls way more than I do, their leadership. They know what public opinion is. They could take a stand that’s supported by public opinion instead of opposed to it. Then they could become an opposition party, and a majority party. But then they’re going to have to change their position on just about everything.
Kerry in the last election, the last debate in the election, the debate was supposed to be on domestic issues. And the New York Times had a good report of it the next day. They pointed out, correctly, that Kerry never brought up any possible government involvement in the health system because it "lacks political support." It’s their way of saying, and Kerry’s way of understanding, that political support means support from the wealthy and the powerful.
Well, that doesn’t have to be what the Democrats are. You can imagine an opposition party that’s based on popular interests and concerns.