GRAND THEFT 2000 by Douglas Kellner


Media Spectacle and a Stolen Election
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A sometimes shrill but well-taken polemic on what Kellner (Philosophy/UCLA) characterizes as the Supreme Court–led coup d’êtat that gave us Dubya.

An unholy alliance made it possible for George W. Bush to be named president, writes Kellner, even though a majority of American voters did not cast their ballots for him. One player was the team of Florida Governor (and sibling) Jeb Bush and Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who, among other things, shortly before the election “ordered local election officials to purge over 64,000 voters from voter-registration lists on the grounds that they were felons,” though this turned out often not to be the case. Another was the media, which focused on the results of polls and passing soundbites rather than on the issues—and which, Kellner maintains, was generally pro-Bush to begin with, uncritically passing on the message that he was “a different kind of Republican.” Still another, and most important of all, was the Supreme Court, which awarded Bush the election in a blatant example of judicial partisanship, and whose dissenting members rightly condemned the politicized process that led to this result. The outcome: the installation to chief executive office of “a dim-witted dummy, ventriloquized by representatives of the most powerful corporate interests.” At the end of this indifferently written and poorly edited book, though, Kellner offers reason for hope: he believes that Election 2000 will emerge as a bigger scandal than Watergate, galvanize a left-oppositional politics, and make it harder for Republicans to gain office in the future. And for the time being, he adds, “the presidency of George W. Bush provides an excellent occasion for research into the history and crimes of the Bush dynasty.”

Not likely to make it onto Larry King, but worthy of attention all the same.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7425-2103-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001


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