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HST210 – George W Bush.docx

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HST 210
Jenny Carson

HST210 – US History 1877 to Present Lecture #18 – George W Bush Bush vs Gore - Bush and Gore run on centrist platforms, but no one could figure out who won Florida (voting machines had malfunctioned). o polls showed a very tight race o florida has a lot of electoral votes so they really mattered o voting machines malfunctioned in heavily democratic areas (that had super old machines) - Bush was ever so slightly ahead. - But the Supreme Court refused the Gore teams’ request for a hand recount and declared Bush the winner (judges voted along partisan lines). o became a constitutional issue o supreme court says NOPE, election is over, Bush won o supreme court decided the election instead of the public  it wasn't constitutional to recount some regions but not other regions o constitutional law scholars were pissed by judges voting o if they didn't call the election, Bush wouldn't have legitimacy Bush - Wealthy Texas oil family - Attended Yale and Harvard - Returned to Texas and went into the oil business - Becomes a born again Christian around the time he enters politics - Governor of Texas - won by portraying himself as a down-to-earth ordinary guy - LOL chose Jesus has his favourite philosopher o gets the religious vote - gets the business vote o promises to reduce taxes Bush's Economic Policies - Massive tax cuts, especially for the wealthy o (supply-side economics) - Bush-Cheney continue deregulation of business and financial sectors. o Clinton did the same thing - Undercut long-standing environmental regulations. American Power: The Military - US military spending and firepower dwarfs that of any other nation. o US is the lone superpower o in 2010, a little over half of the world's military spending is in the US - Economic growth within the US depends in part on high levels of military spending (Military-Industrial Complex). o predicted by Eisenhower o potentially dangerous relationship between the military branch of government and US industry - Legislators compete for defense projects for their constituencies. o the process of allocating defense spending is hugely political American Power: Economic - US remains the world’s economic powerhouse (U.S. GDP in 2012 was 15.6 trillion). o china second largest with GDP of 7.3 trillion o US national debt: 16 trillion dollars (exceeding GDP) - Has influence over other economies through trade, investment, and its power within international financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank. o US gets lots of say 9/11 and the War on Terror - 2 commercial jets hijacked by terrorist, crash into world trade centre in new york - 3000 people died - third plane crashed into the pentagon - fourth plane, headed to white house was diverted and crashed into the ground by the passengers - they underscore the global reach on terrorism and america's vulnerability of secret attack - high outpouring of patriotism - United international community o support for the US Bush and 9/11 - Bush is compelled to make US foreign policy the centrepiece of his presidency. o Bush wasn't a foreign policy guy, but everything changed after 9/11 - Congress passes a Joint Resolution giving the president sweeping powers to use all necessary force against nations or persons involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 (Sept. 14, 2001) Hijackings are the work of Osama Bin Laden and his Terrorist Organization Al-Qaeda - since 98, bin laden had been calling for a holy war to expel the US from the Middle East - US had a permanent military residence to the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda had been training in Afghanistan, under the protection of the Islamic extremist regime, the Taliban Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan, October 2001 - US offers ultimatum o hand over Bin Laden and close terrorist camps or we will attack - American-led military campaign aimed at capturing Osama bin Laden and overthrowing the Taliban regime o Britain, Canada, other countries are alongside the US - By December, the Taliban regime had collapsed, but bin Laden eluded the Americans - A new republic was established under the leadership of President Hamid Karzai (little power outside of Kabul) Afghanistan Today - Taliban has re-emerged and warlords control large parts of the countryside. - Opium trade is flourishing. - NATO International Security Assistance Force and the US-led Operation Freedom is trying to bring stability to Afghanistan o trying to bring stability to afghanistan Axis of Evil - Bush expands vision of a global war on terrorism - Bush announces that America now faces a grave and unprecedented danger from
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