To the Edge and Maybe Over: An Alternate 21st Century

Part 1
  • So this is an idea I've had in my head for a while and posted parts of in the alternate wikibox thread. I suck at consistent posting schedules, but I'll try to keep updates pretty frequent

    Part 1
    “I want to finally get something done on Social Security. I want younger workers to be able to manage some of their own money, some of their own payroll taxes in the private sector under certain guidelines to get a better rate of return on your own money.”

    -Texas Governor George W. Bush in his closing statement during the October 4th Presidential Debate, 2000

    “One important way of looking at this is to ask, who are you going to fight for? Throughout my career in public service, I have fought for the working men and women of this country, middle-class families, senior citizens. Why? Because you are the ones who have the hardest time paying taxes, the hardest time making ends meet. You are the ones who are making car payments and mortgage payments and doing right by your kids. And a lot of times there are powerful forces arrayed against you. And make no mistake about it, they do have undue influence in Washington, D.C., and it makes a difference if you have a president who will fight for you. I am prepared to do that even when Governor Bush is not.”

    -Vice President Al Gore in his closing statement during the October 4th Presidential Debate, 2000

    “I have the utmost respect for Vice President Cheney’s service to the country, but I fundamentally disagree with a lot of what he has proposed we do.”

    -Senator Joe Lieberman in the Vice Presidential Debate, October 5th, 2000

    POLLS SHOW TIGHT RACE-GORE LEADS 46-44-2 IN FLORIDA

    -Headline of The Washington Post, October 12th, 2000

    NADER TAKES FALL AT RALLY IN MADISON SQUARE GARDEN-CAMPAIGN EVENTS PUT ON HIATUS

    -Headline in The New York Post, October 13th, 2000

    “I wish Nader a speedy recovery from his injuries. While we may be opponents, I do believe his heart is in the right place and we share quite a few major concerns surrounding global warming and environmental degradation.”

    -Vice President Al Gore in response to being asked about Green Party nominee Ralph Nader’s recent hospitalization, October 15th, 2000

    “Vice President Gore is a good man, but he is wrongheaded about much issues impacting the country. He doesn’t have a strateger-strategy, aha-to deal with the rise of China and that is going to be the biggest issue of the new millennium.”

    -Governor George W. Bush at a campaign event in Miami, October 20th, 2000

    “George needs to stop fumbling when he speaks so much. I’m not going to lie, I wish Jeb was the nominee instead.”

    -Leaked audio of former Secretary of Defense and 2000 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Dick Cheney, taken October 22nd, 2000

    “Exit polls in Florida appear to indicate that Vice President Al Gore will carry the state, with 25 electoral votes. However, as of this time, the state remains too close to call and, if the percentages are correct, will be within the margin needed to trigger a recount.”

    -CNN host Wolf Blitzer commenting on exit polls taken on Election Day, November 7th, 2000

    GORE TAKES THE LEAD IN FLORIDA, BUSH REFUSES TO CONCEDE

    -Headline of The New York Times, November 8th, 2000

    RECOUNT BEGINS IN FLORIDA-GORE HOLDS SLIM LEAD OF 238 VOTES

    -Headline of The Wall Street Journal, November 9th, 2000

    “You know, when we named our election coverage“Indecision 2000,” we didn’t plan on that being taken literally.”

    -The Daily Show host Jon Stewart in response to the ongoing Florida recount, November 9th, 2000

    RECOUNT UPHOLDS GORE’S VICTORY-MARGIN OF VICTORY INCREASES TO 442 VOTES.

    -Headline of The Washington Post, November 11th, 2000

    “I would like to congratulate Vice President Gore on his victory in the presidential election. While obviously not the outcome I preferred, I want us all to support the Vice President as he enters the White House. I know he wants what’s best for the country and hope he will pursue the kind of responsible policies that will keep it going strong.”

    -Governor George W. Bush’s concession speech, November 11th, 2000

    “I would like to thank Governor Bush for running a hard-fought race. I hope to build on the legacy of President Clinton and make an America that works for all of us. Rich or poor, black or white, man or woman, all should be able to enjoy the promise of America. That means working to pay off our national debt while defending Social Security and Medicare. That means investing in promising new technologies and programs to benefit our communities. That means taking meaningful action to prevent climate change from wreaking havoc on our planet. I thank you for your support and hope I can live up to these goals.”

    -President-Elect Al Gore in his victory speech, November 11th, 2000

    “Honestly, given the benefit of hindsight, my defeat was a blessing is disguise. I honestly don’t know how I would’ve handled the events that occurred afterwards. The 2000 election defeat allowed me to embark on a rather different journey that I can honestly say I have cherished greatly.”

    -Former Commissioner of Baseball George W. Bush, in an ESPN interview just after his retirement, 2016

    “The day Al Gore officially became the president-elect was one of the happiest days of my life. I was hopeful that Al and I could do great things for the country. He was committed to a strong foreign policy, fiscal responsibility, environmentalism and public service—all priorities I deeply shared. I think we made a good team—and of course in the back of my mind, I did consider the likelihood that if he was as successful as I thought he would be, I might one day make it to the Oval Office myself. And as it happens, I did—it just happened in the way I least wanted it to.


    But at the time, things for me were all smiles. Right after that speech, Al gave me a call. He told me “I want you to know that I couldn’t have won this without you. And you are going to play a big role in my administration.” He meant it too. John Nance Garner once described the Vice Presidency as worthless (albeit in more colorful language). Al made it very clear I wouldn’t be worthless in his administration. And I remain grateful for that to this day.”

    -Former President Joe Lieberman in his autobiography An Amazing Adventure, published in 2014

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    Part 2
  • Part 2
    “This administration is committed to maintaining the economic policies that have guaranteed national prosperity for the past eight years. We have shown it is possible to maintain fiscal discipline without sacrificing our security needs or the public welfare and we will continue to do so in the coming term.”

    -Economist Paul Krugman, designated Chief Economic Advisor, in an interview with CNN, November 20th, 2000

    “I am honored to be nominated for this position. It is of the utmost importance that we maintain a strong defense against all threats. As we enter the new millennium, we face new threats, up to and including nuclear terrorism. I intend to work closely with fellow members of this administration, as well as our friends and allies overseas, to be prepared to address and mitigate these threats.”

    -George Senator Sam Nunn in response to being nominated for the position of Secretary of Defense by President-Elect Gore, December 2nd, 2000

    “Al won a hard-fought election and has shown he has what it takes to lead the country. I look forward to assisting him during this transition period.”

    -President Bill Clinton, December 7th, 2000

    ELECTORAL COLLEGE CERTIFIES RESULTS-GOP ELECTOR IN ALABAMA CASTS VOTE FOR BUCHANAN

    -Headline of The New York Times, December 18th, 2000

    “Well, it’s early to think about, but I can’t rule anything out out.”

    -First Lady Hillary Clinton in response to rumors she is planning to run for Mayor of New York, December 19th, 2000

    “I don’t see myself running for higher office until I have finished fulfilling my duty to the people of Florida…then again, a lot can happen in four years. Ask me in 2003.”

    -Florida Governor Jeb Bush, responding to rumors that Bush campaign advisor Karl Rove has been urging him to begin planning a campaign, December 21st, 2000

    “Overall, what we are seeing from the incoming Gore administration is that they largely will be maintaining the Clinton administration’s policies. While Gore did not run promising a ‘third term’ of Clinton, largely owing to the controversies surrounding Clinton’s administration, based on the cabinet selection we can safely assume Gore intends to maintain the center-left policies of his predecessor.”

    -Dan Rather on CBS Evening News, December 26th, 2000

    GORE ANNOUNCES JESSE JACKSON JR. AS SECRETARY OF EDUCATION-FINAL CABINET PICKS ABOUT TO BE ANNOUNCED

    -Headline of The Washington Post, January 2nd, 2001

    “We urgently need to devise a strategy to combat the growing Al-Qaeda network. That should begin with a Principals Committee on the matter as soon as possible.”

    -Counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke in a memo to National Security Advisor designate Leon Furth, January 19th, 2001

    “The American people deserve opportunity as we embark into this new millennium. We owe it to our children to build a world where we can all succeed. A world where we meet our needs without causing environmental damage. A world where we have a balanced budget instead of amassing mountains of debt. I am grateful to have the country’s support as we get to work building this world.”

    -President Al Gore in his inaugural address, January 20th, 2001

    WHITE HOUSE PUSHES SENATE TO RATIFY KYOTO PROTOCOL DESPITE GOP OBJECTIONS

    -Headline of The Wall Street Journal, February 3rd, 2001

    “I think things are looking promising. I walked out of the White House feeling pretty good about the chances of reaching a mutually agreeable plan.”

    -House Speaker Dennis Hastert after coming out of a meeting with the President to discuss tax reform, February 19th, 2001

    “We have enjoyed tremendous economic growth under the Clinton administration and I fully anticipate such growth continuing under President Gore. With the surpluses we have gained from this growth, we can ensure the solvency of Medicare, Medicaid and other crucial programs for generations to come.”

    -Treasury Secretary Paul Krugman in an interview on MSNBC, March 19th, 2001

    FORMER FIRST LADY HILLARY CLINTON ANNOUNCES NYC MAYORAL BID

    -Headline of The New York Times, March 21st, 2001

    “We have reason to believe Al Qaeda is planning an attack on US soil sometime in the near future. For this reason it is imperative that all intelligence agencies coordinate as much as possible regarding potential attacks for at least the next year.”

    -Memo from the National Security Council to the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, sent March 1st, 2001

    GOP HOUSE NARROWLY APPROVE’S GORE’S ‘MEDICARE LOCKBOX’

    -Headline of The Washington Post, March 23rd, 2001

    “By implementing this policy, we are going to ensure future generations of retirees will have access to healthcare.”

    -President Al Gore in a signing statement, March 24th, 2001

    BIPARTISAN ‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND’ LEGISLATION PASSED BY US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    -Headline of The New York Times, April 16th, 2001

    “We will be supporting any legislation that will help our schools enter the 21st century as strong as possible. While there might be a few flaws in this legislation, as of this time, I would like to see it passed.”

    -Education Secretary Jesse Jackson, Jr. in an interview on CNN, April 19th, 2001

    “The early months of the Gore administration featured a heavy focus on domestic policy. The president’s main focuses were on his initiatives to combatting climate change, forming a deal on taxes with Republicans in Congress, passing overarching education reform and shoring up entitlement programs. He had mixed success on this front—he managed to barely ratify the Kyoto Protocol and was able to implement his lockbox plan for Medicare solvency, but the passage of No Child Left Behind proved to be far more difficult and the attempt at bipartisan tax reform quickly became mired in gridlock despite initial optimism. Nevertheless, the Gore administration would enter summer optimistic about the overall trajectory of the administration.


    Some critics argue that Gore, in these early months, largely ignored foreign policy. These claims are largely without merit. President Gore would go on a state visit to the United Kingdom in April of 2001, meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair. It was during this visit the Hainan Island incident would occur, prompting a temporary diplomatic rift with China that would take several weeks to resolve, but ultimately ended in a mutually satisfactory manner. And of course, US intelligence agencies first received hints of the activities of foreign terrorist networks in this time.

    Obviously, had they known what exactly was on the horizon, perhaps the Gore administration would have emphasized counterterrorism protocols to a greater extent, but from what signs were available at the time, the continued focus on a domestic agenda was a logical step given the presumption that US intelligence would be able to manage any impending threats. As it happens, this belief was tragically misplaced.”

    -Excerpt from Courage to Change: The Presidency of Al Gore written by Matthew Beckmann, 2017

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    Part 3
  • Part 3
    “Reflecting back on my tenure as Vice President is in many ways a surreal experience. Remembering the debates we were having at the time seems so small and insignificant compared to what was to come.


    Of course, at the time, they seemed to be all that mattered in the world. At this time, Al was beginning to get frustrated with the GOP as were many of the others in the administration. It got to the point where I basically had to act as a diplomatic envoy between the White House and the Congressional Republicans. And I do think I helped in some respects—we managed to get No Child Left Behind passed through both houses after all. But we still struggled on other fronts—Al wanted more technology and science investment, Dennis did not. The GOP was skeptical of the proposed NATO peacekeeping mission to Macedonia, we were all for it. The Republicans’ continued opposition to Al’s tax proposals was causing major gridlock.


    Incidentally, it was due to my role in attempting to shepherd this proposal through Congress that I ended up taking on the role history will remember me the most for. Al had a meeting with the NSC, Sam and Richard. However, since we were still trying to work out tax policy with the GOP, he asked that I go visit Dennis to discuss the issue. I of course agreed.


    As it happens, my meeting was cut short. Half an hour in, the Secret Service told me that we had to leave and be taken to a secure location. I didn’t find out why until later.”

    -Former President Joe Lieberman in his autobiography An Amazing Adventure, published 2014

    BREAKING: PLANE CRASHES IN ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA—NO WORD ON CASUALTIES

    -Headline in AP, September 11th, 2001

    “I thought it seemed to be flying low and the next thing I know is it smacked right into the center of the World Trade Center. There was a big flash of light and—it almost looks like it went right through it. It looks like s—hold on, people are running! It’s exploding right now! People are running up the street!”

    -Winston Mitchell, an eyewitness to the crash into the World Trade Center on CNN on September 11th, 2001

    “At this time, we are un—oh my God!”

    -NBC commentator Dan Rather reacts to the beginning of the collapse of the first tower of the World Trade Center, September 11th, 2001

    FIRST RESPONDERS STRUGGLE TO RESCUE CIVILIANS TRAPPED IN TWIN TOURS AMIDST AIRCRAFT CRASHES

    -AP headline, September 11th, 2001

    “To this day, people ask how it is possible that we could have let Flight 79 make it to its target. This has been a fixture in some conspiracy theories surrounding the attacks, arguing that we either organized the whole thing to oust Gore or allowed the plane to hit to justify wars overseas. These claims are of course false.

    The simple fact is we got unlucky. Once the hijackers had taken over the aircraft, they flew it below our available radar systems and it happened too soon after the first two planes hit their targets. We didn’t yet know the plane that had crashed earlier in Arlington had even been hijacked or that the plane that hit the first tower had hit it deliberately.

    Of course, we realized what was going on when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. But by then the President simply did not have enough time to make it to a secure location before Flight 79 hit the White House.”

    -Excerpt from an interview with former CIA Director George Tenet, conducted April 18th, 2009

    AIRPLANE HITS THE WHITE HOUSE—PRESIDENT FEARED DEAD

    -Headline of AP, September 11th, 2001

    “I am sure you have all heard of the tragedy that has occurred earlier today. Today, the United States was subject to a cruel, cowardly attack on our citizens and our government. It is my sad duty to inform you all that President Gore is among the many victims of this awful attack.


    As of today, I have assumed the office of President of the United States—I took the oath of office once the president’s remains were identified. As we mourn this tragedy, we must come together. To rebuild. To recover. To make sure nothing like this ever happens again.


    To those who perpetrated this attack of terror, know that our country’s resolve stands unshaken. We shall find those who did this and hold them to account. That is not a threat, merely a promise.


    As a unified nation, we shall hunt down these terrorists wherever they hide or whomever they may be and we shall make sure nobody else will ever be victimized by them again.

    God bless you all and God bless America.”

    -President Joe Lieberman in his first address to the nation as president from an undisclosed location near Washington DC, September 11th, 2001

    “The September 11th terrorist attacks were the deadliest such attacks carried out on US soil. Overall, approximately 3,102 individuals perished in these attacks. Among the victims were multiple high-ranking members of the US government including President Al Gore, Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke and Secretary of Defense Sam Nunn. The attacks left a scar on the nation greater than any event since the Kennedy assassination—perhaps even greater as it too took from us a leader whom had barely even had the chance to begin along with hundreds of other lives.

    There were also thousands of injuries related to the attacks, including individuals within the World Trade Center or White House when they were hit, first responders who exposed themselves to dangerous circumstances in an attempt to rescue civilians and, in the case of the attack on the White House, dozens of tourists and Secret Service agents visiting the building.

    Many are forced to wonder how the country can recover from the scars of these attacks—or perhaps if it even can.”

    -Opening narration from the documentary Remembering 9/11, released on September 11th, 2006


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    Part 4
  • Part 4
    “I know it can be tempting to give into despair in the aftermath of a tragedy like this. But we must not. Whatever barriers we have put up—they are gone. Even if it’s momentary, we have decided to come
    together against the monsters responsible for this attack. Any fool can blow things up. Any fool can kill people—even a lot of people. But you look at us—our police, our firefighters—people across the nation, all coming together to rebuild. That’s extraordinary. That’s light. And that’s proof that we’ve already won.”

    -Jon Stewart in his monologue on The Daily Show, September 20th, 2001

    RESTRICTIONS ON AIR TRAVEL IMPOSED AFTER SEPTEMBER 11TH ATTACKS RESCINDED

    -Headline of The Washington Post, September 22nd, 2001

    “I had been friends with Joe for a long time, but I was still rather surprised when he came to me offering a job. But once he made me that offer, I couldn’t say no. We were in the middle of a major crisis and I wanted to do my part to serve the country as I had before.”

    Interviewer: Given what eventually occurred, do you ever have any regrets about joining the Lieberman administration?

    “None at all. I’m proud of the service I did for this country, even if it’s no longer popular. I still believe, ultimately, we did the right thing.”

    -Interview with former Secretary of State John McCain, February 19th, 2010

    GENERAL WESLEY CLARK NOMINATED AS REPLACEMENT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

    -Headline of The Wall Street Journal, September 29th, 2001

    “The hunt for a vice president was one of the more difficult challenges for the nascent Lieberman administration. For a time, he even toyed with naming a Republican as his vice president—Senator John McCain and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani were both considered during this time. However, in the end, Lieberman consulted the shortlist that had been used by the late President Gore to determine his choice. He felt as though he owed it to his predecessor to respect his wishes on that front. He ultimately decided on appointing retired Senator Bob Kerrey as his Vice President. He believed Kerrey’s military experience would be important in the coming months.”

    -Excerpt from Phoenix Rising: The Making of the Lieberman Administration, published 2015

    “If killing those who kill our sons is terrorism, then we are terrorists. We shall continue this battle until victory or if we meet God should that occur.”

    -Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in an unaired interview with Al Jazeera, October 2001

    “Communications interceptions and investigations into the hijackers pointed us in the direction of Al Qaeda rather early on the investigation. While it would take several months to conclude definitively, we had a consensus that Al Qaeda was responsible for these attacks by the end of September.”

    -Excerpt from an interview with former CIA Director George Tenet, used in the documentary Remembering 9/11, 2006

    CONGRESS APPROVES RESOLUTION TO LAUNCH MILITARY INTERVENTION IN AFGHANISTAN FOLLOWING FAILURE OF TALIBAN REGIME TO HAND BIN LADEN OVER INTO US CUSTODY

    US MILITARY FORCES ARRIVE IN AFGHANISTAN, BEGIN CLASHING WITH TALIBAN FORCES

    MUHAMMED MOHAQIQ INSTALLED AS LEADER OF AFGHANI INTERIM GOVERNMENT PENDING NEW ELECTIONS

    UN AUTHORIZES FORMATION OF TASK FORCE TO TRAIN SOLDIERS FOR NEW US-BACKED GOVERNMENT IN KABUL

    -Headlines of The Washington Post, October-December 2001

    “We will support our allies across the Atlantic in this endeavor. Terror has no place in the modern world.”

    -British Prime Minister Tony Blair, October 12th, 2001

    “The initial US military invasion of Afghanistan cannot be described as anything other than a complete success. US forces successfully were able to capture the Afghani capital of Kabul and install a temporary government. While Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgents remained a problem and Osama Bin Laden remained uncaptured, this initial phase of the War on Terror went remarkably well. It is little wonder that President Lieberman’s approval ratings, going into 2002, were at a high of 87%, a record that is unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon even if President Bush did enjoy higher approval after the Gulf War.

    Unfortunately, this rosy picture would not last for long. The insurgency in Afghanistan would drag on far longer than anyone expected. While Lieberman would be the man to start the war, he would not be the one to end it—partially due to the obstacles of the act of occupying Afghanistan in and of themselves, partially as a result of his own missteps over the remainder of his presidency.”

    -Excerpt from Graveyard of Empires: A Military History of Afghanistan, published in 2012

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    Part 5
  • Part 5

    “I know the loss of Al had hit the country hard, but it hit Tipper even harder. She had happened to be doing a speech in Baltimore at the time of the attacks and she did not learn what had befallen her husband until several hours later. Something changed in her after that day—she was skeptical of the idea of becoming politically involved, she worried it’d look like she was following in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps a bit too nicely, but after Al died, she became a lot more open to the notion of running for Senate in Tennessee.”

    -Former President Joe Lieberman in his autobiography An Amazing Adventure, published 2014

    CONGRESS APPROVES $500 MILLION IN FUNDS TO REBUILD WHITE HOUSE

    US FORCES CAPTURE KABUL FROM TALIBAN FORCES

    BILL AUTHORIZING CREATION OF US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY PASSES HOUSE 401-4

    BIPARTISAN GROUP OF SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN INTRODUCE LEGISLATION BROADENING GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE POWERS

    HOUSE VOTES TO PASS PUBLIC SAFETY AND COMBATTING TERRORISM ACT BY OVERWHELMING 390-33 VOTE

    SENATE PASSES NEAR-COPY OF HOUSE LEGISLATION BY 98-2 MARGIN

    -Headlines of The Washington Post, October 2001-May 2002

    “We are facing an enemy unlike any we have dealt with before. The enemy is not a country. The enemy is terror. We must not give in to the threats of terror and, whatever it takes, we must ensure there never is another 9/11. We will wage a war on terrorism itself and we shall triumph over it.”

    -President Joe Lieberman in a speech before Congress, February 13, 2002

    “I could understand the reasoning behind voting for the PSCT and was tempted to do so myself. 9/11 was perhaps the greatest single tragedy to befall the United States in its entire history and we had the need to make sure nothing like it ever occurred again. Still, in the end, it was an unconstitutional piece of legislation and I could not in good conscience support it. It may have cost me my job, but I don’t regret it.”

    -Former US Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) in an interview shortly after leaving office, May 3, 2003

    SENATOR FEINSTEIN NOMINATED TO SERVE AS FIRST SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY

    DAVIS APPOINTS SF CONGRESSWOMAN NANCY PELOSI TO REPLACE FEINSTEIN IN SENATE

    -Headline in The Hill, June 2, 2002

    “Going into the midterms, I was rather concerned. Traditionally, the opposition party would see a boost in a president’s first midterm elections—but this was not normal circumstances. President Lieberman’s approval was just below Bush’s in the aftermath of the Gulf War and it’d stay high even after the initial peak had passed. Even though Speaker Hastert had fully cooperated with Lieberman’s White House and our party in the Senate essentially voted to hand the Democrats the majority again by confirming Kerrey as veep, we were still down by a good margin. Needless to say, we had to trim the fat to keep afloat, so when Steve King began spouting about how Gore’s immigration stances invited 9/11—obviously we cut him off. We did that for anyone who could make the party look bad in November and it prevented us from being obliterated.”

    -Former RNC Chairman Marc Racicot in an interview, January 2004

    “The US intelligence community has recently uncovered evidence indicating that the government of Iraq has been illegally attempting to create WMDs. Additionally, we have reason to believe that Iraq’s government is providing support to Al-Qaeda. While these findings are not yet conclusive, should we yield further evidence on this front, we shall seek Congressional approval to act against Iraq.”

    -Secretary of State John McCain in a press conference, June 4, 2002

    “Despite our differences, our party’s members stand firmly with the administration in issuing these warnings to Saddam Hussein.”

    -Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, June 5, 2002

    MCCAIN CLAIMS RE: WMDS COUNTERED BY IAEA

    POLLS SHOW 77% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IRAQ TO HAVE TIES TO 9/11 HIJACKERS, 69% FAVOR MILITARY ACTION

    CONGRESS PASSES AUTHORIZATION FOR MILITARY ACTION BY WIDE MARGIN

    -Headlines in The Wall Street Journal, June-September 2002

    “I just voted to lose in November.”

    “Well, we have that in common if nothing else. Let’s just hope we at least did the right thing even if it is unpopular.”

    -Exchange between Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone (D) and Tennessee Congressman John Duncan (R), September 8, 2002

    POLLS SHOW TIGHT RACE IN NUMEROUS STATES—CONTROL OF SENATE HANGS IN THE BALANCE

    APPROVAL RATINGS FOR PRESIDENT LIEBERMAN SETTLE AT 61%

    TRUCK BOMB IN KABUL KILLS 3 US TROOPS, 18 AFGHANS

    LIEBERMAN VOWS THAT ‘OSAMA’S DAYS ARE NUMBERED’

    -Headlines in the Washington Post, September-November 2002

    “And with 90% of precincts reporting, we can project that former First Lady Tipper Gore has emerged victorious in Tennessee. The widow of the late President Gore was neck-and-neck with her Republican opponent going into the election, but we can project she has overperformed polls by about two percentage points.”

    -Judy Woodruff on Election Night, 2002

    DESPITE RECOUNTS, COLEMAN DECLARED VICTOR OVER WELLSTONE

    DEFYING MIDTERM TRENDS, DEMOCRATS GAIN SEATS IN HOUSE AND SENATE AMIDST POPULAR SUPPORT FOR LIEBERMAN

    US MILITARY FORCES BEGINNING TRAINING EXERCISES FOR INVASION OF IRAQ, PENTAGON SOURCES SAY

    -Headlines in The Hill, November 2002

    “The period from September 2001 to January 2003 was undoubtedly the high-water mark of the Lieberman administration. During this time, his administration passed quite a bit of bipartisan counterterrorism legislation, got funding to rebuild the White House (though it would not be fully rebuilt until 2004) and began the Afghanistan War. It is little wonder that as of January 2003, Lieberman’s approval still topped 60% in some polls.

    However, it was the fixation on Iraq that would prove to spark the beginning of the challenges for the Lieberman administration. The evidence Lieberman, McCain and Tenet presented as indisputable proof was not as firm as they led the country to believe. The claim that the US leaders lied due to a preexisting desire to go to war with Iraq seems to be misplaced—records from the Lieberman White House indicate that the key figures on national security issues did believe Iraq was violating international agreements. Nevertheless, many other nations proved skeptical, which is why many US allies such as France did not support the drive to war.

    Additionally, the war opened up rifts domestically. Many of the ‘no’ votes on action in Iraq in Congress were from progressive members of the Democratic Party. Many left-wing individuals in the party base were skeptical of the grounds for war with Iraq. Meanwhile, on the right, the drive for war was opposed by libertarians and paleoconservatives, many of whom had been willing to accept the Afghanistan invasion as just retaliation for the attack. For now, however, this opposition was limited to the fringes of the political spectrum and most of the country was firmly behind Lieberman.”

    -Excerpt from the book The Road to Baghdad by Andrew Bacevich, published 2018

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    Part 6
  • Part 6

    “Today our forces have managed to capture the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. This is a tremendous victory for our forces, but we have not emerged victorious yet. For the time being, Saddam Hussein remains uncaptured and his lingering supporters continue to attack our troops. Nevertheless, rest assured we shall prevail.”

    -President Joe Lieberman, May 17, 2003

    HUSSEIN CAPTURED BY US FORCES NEAR BASRA

    MCCAIN WARNS IRAN TO ‘BACK OFF’ IN EASTERN IRAQ

    REPORTS INDICATE PRESCOTT, BLAIR FEUDING OVER BRITISH INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ

    CONGRESSMAN Walter JONES INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO RENAME FRENCH FRIES IN WAKE OF FRANCE’S REFUSAL TO SUPPORT WAR EFFORT

    -Headlines of The Washington Post, March-August 2003

    “We faced major difficulties in securing the country, but by 2004 we seemed to be on solid ground. The insurgency continued, regrettably, but we were developing the capabilities to counter them. The central government was in order and Hussein was captured. Looking back, there were warning signs of what was to come—but most of those signs weren’t my focus. My job was to oversee the occupation and I continued to do that to the best of my ability.”

    -General David Petraeus in his autobiography All In, published 2014

    “There is a profound temptation to ascribe the best possible motivations to the architects of the Iraq War, but the simple fact is the administration is rife with interventionists—indeed that is the most consistent element of the Lieberman White House’s staffing choices rather than any ideological symmetry. The men and women manning the apparatus of foreign relations are almost universally committed to a vision of America as world hegemon. They wanted Saddam Hussein out of power for years before 9/11, some as early as 1991. I will leave the generous interpretations to others. My personal sentiment is thus: Lieberman lied and people died.”

    -Antiwar.com editorial director Justin Raimondo, ‘Joe Lieberman: War Party Leader’ published February 3, 2004

    "Sure, there were some problems down the line, but in the end I think we made the right call. Hussein was a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people and through our efforts we managed to give Iraq a democratic government. I don't see how one can look at Iraq under Saddam and think that regime lasting longer would have made things better. If you are going to take umbrage with the war, be angry at the aftermath-not the conflict itself."
    -Former Secretary of Defense Wesley Clark in the 2016 Democratic primary debate held on September 2, 2015

    "My decision to enlist was motivated by patriotism. I wanted to do the most I could to serve my country well. Now, of course, I see that I had been taken in by misinformation. The war wasn't just and it only bred more misery for all involved in it. There are times where I look back and wish I had stuck with sports. Of course, in the end, had I done that my political awakening wouldn't have come about, but perhaps that might have been worthwhile."
    -Congressman Pat Tillman in an interview on 60 Minutes, March 3, 2017

    ATTACK BY INSURGENTS IN IRAQ KILLS 12 US SOLDIERS

    REPORTS FROM WHITE HOUSE INDICATE LIEBERMAN WEIGHING USE OF ‘ENHANCED INTERROGATION’ METHODS ON CAPTURED TERRORISTS

    PROTEST AGAINST IRAQ WAR IN NEW YORK CITY DRAWS 3,000

    BIN LADEN RELEASES VIDEO TAUNTING US FOR FAILURE TO CAPTURE HIM

    -Headlines of The Wall Street Journal, March-September 2003

    “The effort to take control of Iraq proved to be largely successful. Baghdad fell rather quickly and Hussein did not long evade US forces in the country. The problems began to arise in attempting to build a stable postwar Iraq. There were competing visions—for instance, Democratic Senator Joe Biden proposed splitting Iraq along sectarian lines while Secretary of State McCain favored maintaining the country as a single body. The future of Kurds in Iraq was also an open question, as they were supportive of toppling Hussein, but their desire for independence risked escalating tensions with Turkey and Syria.


    Things would only worsen over time. It would not be apparent for nearly three years, but the overthrow of the Ba’athis regime empowered insurgents. The postwar government the US tried to prop up proved to be unstable and corrupt and was viewed by many Iraqis as illegitimate especially given the proposals to split the country up went unchallenged publicly by the new government. And the already-strained relationship between the US and Iran would only worsen during the occupation of Iraq.


    Lieberman, for the time being, did not see the problems building up. For now, it looked as though his approach was working and he saw no reason to change course.”

    -Excerpt from Axis of Evil: How the War on Terror Escalated by Stephen Walt, published 2015


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    Part 7
  • Part 7

    “No, I will not be entering the presidential race. I intend to carry on my work in the administration and ensure our national security is upheld.”

    -Secretary of State John McCain in response to whether he would be seeking the Republican presidential nomination, January 3rd, 2003

    “The despicable, vicious, cowardly attacks against us on September 11th must never be forgotten. I was there on the frontlines of the immediate aftermath-I have seen what the kind of terror spread by the likes of Osama and Saddam looks like up close. We need someone who fully understands the barbarity we are facing now and it is for this reason I am seeking the Republican nomination for President of the United States.”

    -Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, March 30th, 2003

    GOVERNOR JEB BUSH ANNOUNCES HE WILL NOT BE ENTERING THE RACE, REFRAINS FROM FORMAL ENDORSEMENT

    REPRESENTATIVE KUCINICH CONDEMNS LIEBERMAN AS ‘NEOLIBERAL WARMONGER’ IN ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRIMARY CHALLENGE

    POLLING SHOWS MAYOR GIULIANI WITH SIGNIFICENT LEAD OVER MAJOR CHALLENGERS, GENERAL ELECTION POLLS SHOW DEAD HEAT.

    -Headlines in The Wall Street Journal, May-August 2003

    “The Lieberman administration’s invasion of Iraq is not defensible either legally or practically. Lieberman did not gain a Congressional declaration of war, which is required by the Constitution before launching a war. And in addition to that, the administration has not provided any shred of evidence that Saddam Hussein is connected to the activities of Al-Qaeda or the September 11th attack on our country. In addition to all of this, Lieberman has used the attacks to justify legislation that impedes our civil liberties domestically. I am running for president in order to push back against these attacks on freedom by the current administration.”

    -Congressman Ron Paul announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, April 5th, 2003

    “I respect Mayor Giuliani and agree his leadership earned him the title ‘America’s mayor.’ But looking at his stances on the issues—they aren’t Republican or conservative or Christian. I think we can do better than nominating a candidate with New York values.”

    -Senator Rick Santorum in the first Republican primary debate, August 19th, 2003

    “No, I don’t agree with Senator Santorum. Giuliani’s positions are not necessarily the ones I hold, but we are a big tent party.”

    “Do you feel the same way about Congressman Paul’s positions?”

    “…Well, yes, but I think there is a big difference between policy differences stemming from religious convictions and the kind that endanger the American public.”

    -Interview between Governor Tommy Thompson and CNN, August 22nd, 2003

    AMIDST DEM BACKLASH, LIEBERMAN AGREES TO DEBATE KUCINICH

    RON PAUL RALLY DRAWS CROWD OF 6,000 IN DES MOINES

    TERRORIST ATTACK KILLS 8 US SERVICE MEMBERS IN AFGHANISTAN

    IN THIRD REPUBLICAN DEBATE, GIULIANI HITS PAUL OVER NEWSLETTERS CONTROVERSY

    -Headlines of The Washington Post, August-November 2003

    “I’m worried about too many Muslims entering the US. Lieberman is liberalizing immigration laws for Iraq and that concerns me—what if there are infiltrators? It’s a threat.”

    “I understand your concern and agree with it. As president, I would pause immigration from Muslim-majority countries in order to make sure we have a strong vetting system in place.”

    -Exchange between unknown Iowa voter and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, November 19th, 2003

    “In between ‘New York values,’ Ron Paul’s newsletters and Giuliani’s Muslim ban, I think we can say: Congratulations Tommy Thompson! You are the most minority-friendly Republican candidate left in the race!”

    -Larry Wilmore on an episode of The Daily Show, November 21st, 2003

    “I’ve gotta say, I’m tired of smears directed at my friend Ron Paul. He and I disagree on a lot of things, but I know he is a good man and if I lose and he wins, I will strongly consider supporting him over the current president.”

    -Representative Dennis Kucinich at a campaign event, December 2nd, 2003

    PAUL WINS IOWA IN UPSET, GIULIANI IN THIRD

    KUCINICH, GIULIANI WIN NEW HAMPSHIRE

    GIULIANI, PAUL PULL AHEAD ON SUPER TUESDAY AS THOMPSON DROPS OUT

    KUCINICH VOWS TO FIGHT TO CONVENTION EVEN AMIDST DISAPPOINTING SHOW IN OHIO

    SANTORUM DROPS OUT, ENDORSING GIULIANI AS ‘LEADER WE NEED’

    FIGHT BREAKS OUT BETWEEN GIULIANI AND PAUL SUPPORTERS IN ALASKA CAUCUS

    PAUL ACKNOWLEDGES VICTORY ‘LIKELY IMPOSSIBLE,’ STILL REFUSES TO ENDORSE GIULIANI

    LIEBERMAN’S OFFER TO MEET WITH KUCINICH REBUFFED BY CANDIDATE

    GIULIANI ANNOUNCES PICK OF SANTORUM AS RUNNING MATE, CALLS FOR 'REPUBLICANS TO UNITE'

    -Headlines of The Washington Post, January-June 2004

    “I have long believed that there is no meaningful difference between our two major parties. Democrat, Republican, both of them are, in the end, chickenhawks who care more about their corporate cronies than the average American. I am running to provide voters with an alternative to the stale status quo of the two-party system—the chance to vote for peace, clean government and personal liberty.”

    -Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura announcing his independent bid for president on May 3rd, 2004. Ventura would jointly seek the nomination of both the Libertarian and Green Parties

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    Part 8
  • Part 8
    "As we have sought to embark on a new century, America has had to reckon with great difficulty. We went through one of the worst single catastrophes in our nation's history. But under our administration, we have managed to rise from the ashes stronger than before. We have taken the fight to those who would harm our people and our leaders. We have given the people of Iraq and Afghanistan the chance to build a stable, democratic future. We have taken action to combat the scourge of climate change and ensure every American can live in peace and safety. I believe we can continue to triumph if you will give me the honor of serving as your president for four more years."
    -President Joe Lieberman at the DNC, June 16, 2004

    "We cannot defeat the evil that has fallen on our nation without recognizing what it is. Radical Islam is our enemy-the enemy of America and the world at large. I have seen the evil it is willing to cause firsthand on 9/11 and I will do everything in my power to ensure that Islamic fundamentalism joins communism and fascism in the dustbin of history where it belongs."
    -Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the RNC, June 21, 2004

    "Jesse's efforts to secure ballot access was unorthodox to say the least. He couldn't follow in Perot's footsteps by relying on a big bank account to get on the ballot as an independent, so he needed to secure party bylines. Getting the support of state Reform Party affiliates was easy-they were eager to have him running under their name. But the strategy of simultaneously pursuing the Libertarian and Green nominations-that was an unusual one. He had backers in both corners-Nader was an early supporter, as was Chairman Neale at the LNC-but a lot of folks on both sides ware wary of Ventura. He got the national parties' support thanks to both sides finding Gravel acceptable, but several state Green and Libertarian Parties selected alternative candidates-L. Neil Smith got the Libertarian byline in Arizona, Alaska, California and a few other states. Meanwhile, David Cobb secured the nominations of several Midwestern and Northwestern Green Parties. But in the end, Ventura/Gravel was on the ballot in every state barring Oklahoma."
    -Excerpt from Just Cause: Inside Ventura/Gravel 2004 by Dean Barkley

    AGGREGATE POLLING AVERAGE, 2004
    LIEBERMAN/KERREY-43.2%
    GIULIANI/SANTORUM-42.4%
    VENTURA/GRAVEL-11.6%
    OTHER/UNDECIDED-4.4%
    -RCP Polling Average, August 2004

    VENTURA PROTESTS DEBATE EXCLUSION, CITING CPD 'RIGGING'

    GIULIANI DOUBLES-DOWN ON IMMIGRATION BAN, CALLING IT 'SECURITY MUST'

    PAUL AND KUCINICH STUMP FOR VENTURA AT RALLY IN MICHIGAN

    LIEBERMAN VOTED WINNER OF FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE BY FOCUS GROUPS

    DATA INDICATES EVANGELICAL SUPPORT FOR GOP AT LOWEST SINCE 1970'S

    CAIR ENDORSES LIEBERMAN, ACCUSES GIULIANI OF STOKING ISLAMAPHOBIA

    -Headlines of The Washington Post, August-September 2004

    "Sir, there's a problem. We can't let you leave this location until we know it's safe."

    "Safe? What do you mean?"
    -Exchange between a Secret Service agent and President Lieberman, October 3, 2004

    SHOOTING AT MARYSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL KILLS 19
    -Headline of the Columbus Dispatch, October 3, 2004

    "The perpetrator of the shooting was soon identified: Nathan Gale. He had been a student at Marysville in the late 1990's and at the time did not display any particularly dangerous traits. However, afterwards, he had developed a drug addiction, joined the military and gotten discharged after being discovered to have paranoid schizophrenia. In the months before the shooting, he had apparently developed a delusional belief that several of the faculty members at his old high school had brainwashed him into joining the military in the first place and he carried out the shooting as an act of revenge for this perceived wrongdoing.

    Gale's actions had wider-reaching consequences than cutting 19 lives short, 16 of them young lives. His massacre was a blow to the credibility of the antiwar movement-not fatal, by any means, but Gale's crude 'manifesto' was critical of the Iraq War and this was seized upon by the Giuliani campaign to denounce antiwar activists as dangerous threats. On the other hand, the fact Gale managed to gain access to a firearm despite being a known criminal with a history of mental illness helped validate the Lieberman administration's policy on gun control."
    -Excerpt from the article 'How Marysville Decided 2004', published in The Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2006

    "Of course I agree with Lieberman that this horrific tragedy demonstrates the need for gun control, but it is also important to note the shooter's background also includes an infatuation with heavy metal. This kind of music indulges in violent rhetoric and I don't doubt for a second that listening to it so regularly helped push Gale over the edge. This is not the first time this sort of media has driven people to commit atrocities-the murderers at Columbine were similarly infatuated with metal and violent video games. I think it's important for Lieberman not to overlook these factors in his push to prevent future mass shootings."
    -Senator Tipper Gore, October 8, 2004 as quoted in the One Nation, Under Censorship documentary released in 2008

    "Honestly, I'm not sure there is such a thing as 'moderate Islam.' You either want Sharia or you don't, there is no in-between."
    -Senator Rick Santorum in leaked audio released on October 28, 2004

    "It is fitting it is so close to Halloween, as what Santorum has said is deeply scary. As a proud American Jew, I understand the importance of preserving religious freedom in this country. It is a foundational principle of this country and I am deeply concerned by Santorum's apparent disregard for the principle."
    -President Joe Lieberman, October 28, 2004

    "In the end, the events of October turned the race from a tossup to a foregone conclusion. Giuliani never quite got a handle on how to respond to the Marysville shooting and the shooter's antiwar views harmed Ventura's efforts to disrupt the race. While he still performed well for a third-party candidate, his final percentage was a far cry from the double-digits he was hoping for. Coupled with Santorum's gaffe, Lieberman won by a hefty margin.

    Lieberman's reelection victory, unfortunately for him, was one of the last triumphs of his administration. The next four years would not be kind to him or his reputation."
    -Excerpt from The Accidental Presidents by Matthew Beckmann, published 2015

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    Part 9
  • This part is a bit more culturally focused
    Part 9
    "In addition to President Gore and several members of his cabinet, the September 11th attacks also claimed the life of Seth MacFarlane, an animator and voice actor responsible for developing the Fox animated series Family Guy. In the years since, Family Guy has enjoyed a cult following and many believe that had MacFarlane not died, the show could have reached similar status as The Simpsons, South Park or Gravity Falls and MacFarlane consequently would have joined Matt Groening, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Alex Hirsch and Justin Roilland as a leading voice in adult animation."
    -Excerpt from the Entertainment Weekly article 'A Brief History of Adult Animation', published on October 18, 2017

    24, STARRING KIEFER SUTHERLAND, WINS NIELSEN RATINGS DESPITE DELAY

    JELLO BIAFRA RELEASES 'CONNECTICUT UBER ALLES' TARGETTING LIEBERMAN ADMINISTRATION

    SOUTH PARK TAKES AIM AT 9/11 CONSPIRACY THEORIES IN 'WHEN IN DOUBT, BLAME THE JEW'

    JK ROWLING DENOUNCES EARLY READERS' LEAKING OF HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

    PRODUCTION BEGINS ON JURASSIC PARK IV, JOE JOHNSTON TO DIRECT

    -Headlines of Entertainment Weekly, 2001-2004

    "Did you always know you wanted to play the Doctor?"

    "Honestly? No. I can't say that I did. Not that I was particularly opposed to it or anything-and I had quite a lovely time on the show, really. But it was very spur-of-the-moment for me and for the BBC too. They thought they could make inroads with American audience by including an actor they were more familiar with. And, I gotta say, it worked."

    "There are rumors you'll be appearing in the 50th anniversary episode-"

    "Well, let's keep them rumors then. Why spoil the surprise?"
    -Interview between Graham Norton and Anthony Stuart Head, November 2, 2013

    "Noooo, not the Facts Desk!"

    "That's right, Carrell! I have triumphed! This show shall be Even Stevphens no more, now it is...The Colbert Report!"
    *thunder and lightning noises echoe*

    "That's not a great name."

    "Yeah, I know, it's a working title."
    -Excerpt from the Even Stevphens December 2004 finale, aired December 16, 2004. Even Stevphens, a spinoff of The Daily Show, featured Stephen Colbert (playing a conservative pastiche) and Steve Carrell (playing a stereotypical liberal) discussing and arguing about current affairs. The show mixed Daily Show style news coverage with sketches similar to Saturday Night Live depicting the caricatures Carrell and Colbert played engaging in various antics.

    "The recent bestseller status of the young adult novel Panem has already begun making an impact beyond the world of fiction. The symbol depicting a bird surrounded by a circle and holding an arrow that has cropped up at antiwar protests in recent months-it is especially popular among progressive antiwar activists owing to the conclusion of the book where Katharine Everdeen warns the new president of the country she won't let her continue tyranny just because she is on 'her side.' The book's author Suzanne Collins, when asked for comment on the use of the symbol in this context, simply said 'I'm not against it.'"
    -Excerpt from The Washington Post article 'What the deal is with the bird symbols at the March for Peace', published February 2, 2005

    "Casino Royale proved to be a surprising success following its release in the 2004 summer blockbuster season. Despite skepticism about casting Henry Cavill as a younger than usual Bond, the film received widespread critical acclaim and set the stage for Cavill to keep the role of Bond for as many films as Connery did. It's commonly cited as an example of studio risk-taking that paid off.

    But really, did anyone expect any less? Nobody really had solid grounds to object to such a young actor starring in a reboot of the Bond franchise-which keep in mind is such a beloved franchise it has been ongoing for over 50 years. Couple that with the War on Terror bolstering spy thrillers as a whole, any Bond film would've been hard-pressed not to earn millions."
    -Excerpt from the Cracked article '5 Cinematic Gambles That Weren't Really Gambles', published 2011

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    Part 10
  • Happy Halloween! Enjoy this spooky update.
    Part 10
    "I absolutely agree with Senator Gore on this issue. When you have young people exposed to this culture of death-that's not good for their minds. It desensitizes them and makes them think that these means are a valid one to deal with problems. Gale didn't just kill people because he had a gun, he had a deranged mindset that was encouraged by exposure to violent media. We won't solve violence without addressing these root causes."
    -President Joe Lieberman, on January 30, 2005 at the press conference unveiling the SAFETY Act

    "In essence, the core premise of the SAFETY Act is that young people who perpetrate violent actions are not responsible for their actions. Instead, Gore, Lieberman and fellow supporters of this legislation place the blame on media they regard as encouraging hostility to human life-namely death metal and violent video games. The legislation strengthens background checks and reinforces the assault weapons ban, while tying that with imposing criminal penalties for not strictly checking IDs of people buying M rated video games or music albums belonging to the heavy metal or death metal genres. The problem with these proposals is twofold: the enforcement of this proposal is highly tricky and these restrictions in my opinion violate First Amendment protections."
    -Eugene Volokh, writing for The Volokh Conspiracy, February 3, 2005

    "This legislation is in my book long overdue. My only issue with it is I worry it does not go far enough in keeping the kind of violent imagery we see too often in Hollywood and in these kind of games from the eyes of our children. People who are saying this is a threat to free speech-we're not banning these depictions, we're just enforcing already existing rules. If you can't shout fire in a crowded theatre, then kids shouldn't be able to go to a movie theatre and see someone fire into a crowd on the screen."
    -Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE), February 4, 2005, after becoming a cosponsor of the SAFETY Act

    "Look, I am all for taking measures to combat mass shootings-Lord knows I am no Second Amendment absolutist-but in the process we shouldn't erode basic constitutional freedoms. This legislation would push too far against the First Amendment for my liking and I don't see any path to me voting for it."
    -Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), February 4, 2005

    "I am absolutely prepared to work with the Lieberman administration to get the SAFETY Act through the House. It's a major piece of common-sense, common-ground legislation-both Speaker Bonior and I agree on it, for instance. We may not get everyone onboard, but we should get the non-crazies to back this legislation."
    -House Minority Leader Dennis Hastert, February 2, 2005

    FEINGOLD THREATENS FILIBUSTER OF SAFETY ACT AS BILL NEARS PASSAGE

    DCCC THREATENS TO WITHHOLD FUNDS FROM REPRESENTATIVES WHO BUCK LIEBERMAN LINE

    MARILYN MANSON CRITICIZES SAFETY ACT AS 'ANTI-FREEDOM AND USELESS'

    40 CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLARS SIGN LETTER EXPRESSING FIRST AMENDMENT CONCERNS ABOUT SAFETY ACT, URGE IT WITHDRAWN AND REVISED
    -Headlines of The Washington Post, February 2005

    "Based on my understanding of the issues the SAFETY Act seeks to address, I do think it provides decent remedies to these issues and I would favor the legislation if I believed it to be constitutional. However, the fact is, my understanding of the Constitution precludes supporting this legislation. The SAFETY Act's penalties for selling certain video games and music albums to young people would violate First Amendment protections for both video game companies and establishments selling such content. In addition, while I think the US infatuation with gun rights is an issue, the Second Amendment is absolutely clear. The gun control provisions are not permitted. On that basis, I would say that constitutional amendments would be a prerequisite to the passage of the SAFETY Act."
    -Professor Alan Dershowitz, February 15, 2005

    "Ron, of course, was deeply opposed to the legislation. A federal piece of legislation imposing strict criminal penalties for nonviolent activities was antithetical to everything he stood for. If he'd had the chance to filibuster it, I know he would've-hell, when Feingold was railing against it, I could tell he wished he was able to join him in doing that. And when Hutchison voted for the bill, I think that was when he made up his mind. If not then, maybe it was when Lew pointed out people got elected President from the Senate a lot more often than from the House."
    -Carol Paul, writing in Ron Paul's Revolution: Behind the Scenes, published 2018

    "The impact of the SAFETY Act on the video game industry was rather depressive. M-rated games were considerably more risky business decisions after the SAFETY Act passed. From 2006 to 2010, the number of major M-rated games created dropped about 33% compared to the period of 2001 to 2005. Developers more known for family-friendly video game content like Nintendo would perform better than those developers who produced less appropriate games. And even on family-friendly games, certain elements were scrapped to keep them as appropriate as possible-for instance, Blue Fang banned modders from adding gore to their Zoo Tycoon games up until 2009. In the end, of course, the legislation would be scrapped, but it would take a while before M-rated content became as common as it once had been."
    -Excerpt from the Kotaku article 'The SAFETY Act: A Decade One', published February 2015

    "In the end, of course, it didn't really matter that most constitutional scholars argued its provisions wouldn't be upheld. Lieberman wanted something done, Senator Gore wanted something done and many others in Congress wanted something done. Odds are, most people who voted to pass the SAFETY Act knew it would ultimately face court challenges. But they passed it anyway and attempted to keep it on the books as long as possible. Because doing something, however unconstitutional it might have been, was seen as better than potentially allowing another Marysville. The fact that it didn't prevent future incidents of that sort is obvious to us now, but we speak with the benefit of hindsight the people who voted SAFETY through had no way of having."
    -Glenn Greenwald, writing for the Jacobin, October 12, 2010

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    Part 11
  • Part 11
    US AIRCRAFT SHOT DOWN IN PERSIAN GULF
    -Headline of The Washington Post, March 2, 2005

    "Let me clear: I am 100% confident that Iran was the perpetrator of this attack. Our aircraft was en route to Iraq from a base in Qatar and was over international waters at the time of the attack. This act of aggression by Iraq is in my opinion an act of war by the Islamic Republic of Iran."
    -Secretary of State John McCain, March 6, 2005

    "The Americans should be careful about what they say on these matters. We are a proud country and we will not simply bow. Their aircraft was in violation of sovereign Iranian airspace-to us, this is an act of unprovoked aggression."
    -President Mahmoud Ahmedenijad, March 6, 2005

    "There is a struggle within the Lieberman administration over how to proceed in the wake of this attack. In an unusual reversal of expected dynamics, it is the State Department under McCain that is advocating for a military response to the incident. The Secretary of State is convinced that the Iranian regime is a paper tiger that will crumble quickly, paving the way for a democratic Iran that is favorable to the US. Meanwhile, the Defense Department is considerably more reluctant, expressing concern that a military action against Iran would take considerably manpower and face severe difficulties."
    -Excerpt from the Atlantic article 'How Iran is dividing the White House', published March 13, 2005

    "My fellow Americans, I do not make this decision lightly. However, the Iranian regime has consistently proven to be a threat to American interests and a booster of terrorist threats to our country. This recent attack on us cannot go unchallenged. As of today, I am launching military action against Iran, on the basis that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force we passed in 2002 granted military authorization to address 'any terrorist threats to the United States.' As of today, we consider the Iranian armed forces to be such a terrorist threat."
    -President Joe Lieberman, April 29, 2005

    US AIR FORCE BEGINS BOMBING IRANIAN MILITARY INSTALLATIONS

    LIEBERMAN ORDERS DRAWING UP OF RESERVISTS TO PREPARE FOR GROUND INVASION OF IRAN

    IRANIAN-ALIGNED MILITIAS IN IRAQ SEIZE IRAQI ARMY DEPOTS THANKS TO MASS DEFECTIONS

    ANTIWAR RALLY ON WASHINGTON MALL DRAWS 30,000 PEOPLE

    REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL INTRODUCES IMPEACHMENT RESOLUTION CLAIMING LIEBERMAN ADMINISTRATION IS OVERRIDING CONGRESSIONAL WAR AUTHORITY

    AMPHIBIOUS LANDING OF 10,00O TROOPS CARRIED OUT IN PERSIAN GULF
    -Headlines of The Washington Post, April-August 2005

    "At the time, I had no idea how Qom was supposed to look-I had seen few images of the city. Even so, while I walked through the streets of the ruined city, I could see how horribly we had destroyed it. The buildings were crumbling. We only used conventional munitions, but the thing it reminded me the most of was photos I had seen of Hiroshima after the bombings. We took the city-but in the process we killed it. I think that was the moment I decided we were doing the wrong thing."
    -Excerpt from An Appalachian Life by Governor Richard Ojeda, published April 16, 2019

    "Initially, I was supportive of this invasion. The Ayatollah's regime has inflicted mass suffering upon the people and imposed a totalitarian theocracy on the country. However, in the wake of the images coming out of Qom, I have come to reconsider my position. I will never support or condone the actions of the Ayatollahs-who even now order their people to die for a perverted version of Islam. But I am deeply concerned by the US's actions in my home country."
    -Reza Pahlavi after the 'Desolation of Qom', September 2, 2005

    "The Shiraz massacre was a mass murder carried out in the Iranian city of Shiraz by members of the US Army. On September 11, 2005, a group of 22 US soldiers rounded up dozens of civilians residing within the city of Shiraz and proceeded to gun them down in the streets. The massacre carried on for 23 minutes before it was interrupted by the intervention of a Navy SEAL team under the command of Dan Crenshaw, who forced the perpetrators to back down. The massacre was originally kept under wraps until details of it were leaked by Corporal Tulsi Gabbard in January of 2006.
    -Excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the Shiraz massacre

    "It was the revelation of the Shiraz massacre that finally ensured the Iran War would conclude. The grounds for the war were still under dispute and the president was unable to provide proof that the US narrative was correct. The insurgency in Iran remained as strong as ever and the core of the Iranian government retained control of Tehran and the bulk of the Iranian interior. Members of Congress-on both sides of the aisle-were arguing the war was illegal and threatened to impeach the president. While the impeachment failed thanks to the president's allies, public opinion shifted against the war far quicker than it had for Iraq or Afghanistan. For this reason, on March 2, 2006, Lieberman announced the US had negotiated a ceasefire with Iran's government. Unlike the other wars he had started, Lieberman would end this one, but it would be the first war that the country saw as a loss since Vietnam."
    -Excerpt from the epilogue of the book The Iran War: A Brief History by Edward Snowden, published April 2020



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    Part 12
  • Part 12
    "I was grateful for the support of the Republican leadership in our efforts against Iran. They stood up to pressure from some of the more radical elements of their party to pursue impeachment efforts against my administration-something I remain thoroughly grateful for. Speaker Hastert demonstrated the true meaning of 'loyal opposition' in those moments. Unfortunately, the time was fast approaching for them to act as the 'opposition' part."
    -Excerpt from President Joe Lieberman's autobiography An Amazing Journey, published 2014

    "Senator Hutchison can criticize the Lieberman administration all she wants, but when it comes down to it she has marked lockstep with this president on civil liberties, on foreign policy-I don't think that reflects what Texas wants from their Senator."
    -Congressman Ron Paul announcing his primary challenge for US Senate, November 2, 2005

    ANTIWAR PROTESTORS INTERRUPT PELOSI TOWNHALL IN SAN FRANCISCO

    REPRESENTATIVE BERNIE SANDERS ANNOUNCES BID TO SUCCEED JEFFORDS AS SENATOR

    BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, DCCC AND NRCC WORRY ABOUT ANTIWAR PRIMARY CHALLENGERS TO INCUMBENTS

    DEM CANDIDATES IN KEY SENATE RACES DISCOURAGE LIEBERMAN APPEARANCES AS PRESIDENTIAL APPROVAL DROPS TO 40%

    FORMER PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITER AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PAT BUCHANAN ANNOUNCES 'NEW AMERICA FIRST COMMITTEE' TO DRAFT ANTIWAR REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES
    -Headlines of The Washington Post, December 2005-February 2006

    "Kurt Bills is not the sort of man you would expect to be a major figure in this year's midterm elections. Bills, a 36-year-old teacher-turned-city councilor, is the sort of political novice you would suspect would be weeded out by the primaries. His libertarian viewpoints seem very much out of step with his native Minnesota. However, Bills' passionate antiwar stances and the growing turn of Republicans in the US towards anti-interventionism allowed him to pull off a massively unexpected victory in the Republican primaries for US Senate. The same antiwar energy that allowed Bills to claim the Republican nomination is additionally bolstering the Independence Party campaign of former Ventura staffer Dean Barkley, who is running to the left of Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton. Available polling data indicates the political novice Bills is within striking distance of Dayton, thanks in part to Barkley and in part due to Dayton's support for Lieberman alienating many supporters within Minnesota. Only time will tell if Bills can translate this momentum to victory, but at this point it would not be impossible."
    -Excerpt from a Reason article, published April 2006

    "Senator Allen can smear me all he wants. When I compare him to the Vietcong soldiers who tried to kill me-well, he can't quite compare."
    -Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb in an interview, April 2006. Webb would go on to successfully primary Senator George Allen and be elected Senator from Virginia

    "I find the growing tendency of some others in my party towards isolationism to be deeply troubling. I would have thought we realized that head-in-the-sand foreign policy only yields more problems than it solves-9/11 alone should prove that, let alone the likes of World War II. If the isolationists take over the party, I won't be sticking around."
    -Secretary of State John McCain, August 9, 2006

    "It is totally disgraceful that the Democratic Party has conceded the civil libertarian and antiwar argument almost in its totality to the Republican Party. Granted, it is not universal-but members of the Democratic Party who have sought to stand up against inappropriate governmental interference with our rights and a militaristic foreign policy have been marginalized systematically. I find the bulk of Republican candidates this cycle to be distasteful in one way or another, but we're in a situation where more Republican candidates are willing to stand against the militarists than Democrats."
    -Noam Chomsky in an interview, September 9, 2006

    "What we have seen in this past election is a stunning rebuke to Lieberman and the War Party. Dozens of Democratic incumbents lost their seats-often to antiwar Republicans. Just a few years ago, this would have been unthinkable-seeing Ron Paul elected Senator, a libertarian win Minnesota and over a dozen new Congressmen winning while promising to work to get the US out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But Lieberman's aggressive foreign policy stances have alienated progressives. Some of them have outright given up on the Democrats and have been backing libertarian or moderate antiwar Republicans like Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb. The starkest detail of what has happened, however, is the fact we cannot deny that the Old Right is back once again."
    -Justin Raimondo, writing for Antiwar.com, November 8, 2006

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    Part 13
  • Part 13
    "Oh-well, that is certainly not good."
    -CNBC host Larry Kudlow reacting the dip on the stock market, February 16, 2007

    "The seeds for the 2007 financial crisis had been brewing for years prior to the crisis beginning. The US federal government and its agencies had for decades been tacitly encouraging banks to make risky loans for subprime mortgages. When these loans couldn't be repaid, major losses were incurred. Much blame at the time was placed on the incumbent government of Joe Lieberman, but the fact was Lieberman was probably not in any position to reverse the buildup to recession."
    -Excerpt from the book How an Economy Crashes written by economist Tyler Cowen in 2012

    "For the past eight years, Lieberman has not governed the country as a progressive. Instead, he has embraced a foreign policy of undue aggression abroad and pro-corporate economics at home. For too long, we have been cowed away from support for the policies America needs in the name of 'centrism' and 'electability.' I am running to put a stop to this."
    -Former Senator Paul Wellstone announcing his bid for the presidency, April 2, 2007

    "We need stable leadership in these trying times-responsible conservative policies can fix what is wrong with this country. That's what I believe in and what I will provide to the country."
    -Florida Governor Jeb Bush announcing his bid for the presidency, April 14, 2007

    "We cannot claim to be a party that stands from freedom and limited government and fiscal responsibility if we go along with Lieberman's wars in the Middle East. As president, I would withdraw our forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and focus on repairing our economy. We can't afford to wage an endless war in the Middle East when we have severe problems at home and we can't support getting the government off our backs while maintaining a surveillance state."
    -Senator Ron Paul at a campaign rally in Las Vegas, August 10, 2007

    "Lieberman's policies are not perfect, but they have kept America safe from threats abroad. I would change some things, sure-but we need consistent leadership in Washington, not radical pie-in-the-sky promises from someone who lost a Democratic seat in Minnesota of all places."
    -Senator John Edwards in the Democratic primary debate hosted in September 2007

    "Senator Paul's approach in the 2008 primary cycle has shifted somewhat compared to his 2004 campaign. While the passionate railing against an overbearing government and overseas wars remains, Paul has shifted towards discussion of issues involving race and religion. He has carried out outreach to the Muslim-American community and condemned incidents of racial profiling by the federal government. In addition, he has not shied away from highlighting racial disparities in the criminal justice system. It seems likely that these moves are aimed at broadening his electability arguments and highlighting that he would be a break from the previous Republican candidates, as well as a means of distancing himself from the newsletters that dogged him in 2004."
    -Nick Gillespie writing in Reason Magazine, October 8, 2007

    PAUL & WELLSTONE WIN IOWA

    LIEBERMAN TEAM PRIVATELY URGES BIDEN TO DROP OUT BEFORE SUPER TUESDAY, FEARING VICTORY FOR WELLSTONE

    HUCKABEE DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM SANTORUM AFTER ENDORSEMENT RUMORS, SAYING 'I'M MY OWN MAN'

    FOLLOWING PAUL GAINING FRONTRUNNER STATUS, SECRETARY MCCAIN CHANGES FORMAL PARTY REGISTRATION TO INDEPENDENT

    BIDEN DROPS OUT FOLLOWING POOR SHOWING IN SUPER TUESDAY 2, ENDORSING EDWARDS AS HE DEPARTS THE RACE
    -Headlines in The Washington Post, January-June 2008

    "So, to be clear...your choice this cycle is a guy who has spent the entire campaign going 'I don't know why everyone's so angry, things are fine right now' and the guy who wants to solve every problem by doing nothing. And the lady who thinks Lieberman did 9/11. Well...f***. It's going to be a looong election."
    -Jon Stewart on an episode of The Daily Show aired on June 17, 2008
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    Part 14
  • Apologies for the delay-I got very into one of my newer projects! Just a warning there is a good chance following this update I will take even longer to post follow-ups (especially since I'm considering making a separate series/thread for what comes next...)
    Part 14
    "My critics like to run around calling me 'isolationist' or 'irresponsible.' Well, I disagree with that assessment. Look what us sticking our nose into every place under the sun has gotten us-how many of our sons and daughters died in Iraq? In Iran? And how does the world feel about us after the atrocities perpetrated in Iran? To me, it's the hawks who are irresponsible and are the true isolationists."
    -Senator Ron Paul at a rally in Florida, September 8, 2008

    "I stand by what I said at the DNC. I obviously have my disagreements with Senator Paul-I do not believe we fix the economy by shattering the welfare state or abolishing the Federal Reserve. But I don't think Edwards' pro-corporate economic policies are the answer either and he will get us into more wars. And the less I say about McKinney the better. In this election, all I can tell my supporters to do is vote their conscience and keep up the fight for positive change."
    -Former Senator Paul Wellstone, in an interview with NBC on September 10, 2008

    NEARLY 300 FORMER NAT'L SECURITY PROFESSIONALS SIGN A LETTER SUPPORTING EDWARDS OVER PAUL

    POLLS SHOW LIEBERMAN APPROVAL RATING AT 34% KEY FACTOR BEHIND EDWARDS DECLINING CAMPAIGN APPEARANCES, SOURCES SAY

    POLLS SHOW CRIST BOLSTERING PAUL IN FLORIDA, STATE STILL FAVORS EDWARDS OVERALL

    TRADITIONALLY LEFT-WING ANTIWAR GROUP CODE PINK ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR PAUL IN PRESS RELEASE

    MCKINNEY PROMISES TO 'LOOK INTO VACCINES' IF ELECTED PRESIDENT

    SENATOR NORM COLEMAN CROSSES PARTY LINES TO ENDORSE EDWARDS IN MINNEAPOLIS CAMPAIGN APPEARANCE

    WHILE PROMOTING UNITED FRONT PUBLICLY, RNC OFFICIALS REMAIN WARY OF PAUL CAMPAIGN'S PROSPECTS IN NOVEMBER
    -Headlines of The Washington Post, September-October 2008

    "I appreciate Senator Paul's convictions, but there comes a time where you have to concede ground to reality. We tried doing nothing to solve economic crises many times before-and it didn't work. We want to solve this new crisis-we take a page from the book of FDR, not Herbert Hoover."

    "Senator Paul, your rebuttal?"

    "Well, I would dispute Edwards' characterization. Hoover spent quite a bit of time trying to fix the Depression with stimulus and that didn't work. And the New Deal didn't end the Great Depression either-if anything, it prolonged it. These historical narratives are popular, Senator Edwards, but they are not born out by reality."
    -Exchange between John Edwards, Poppy Harlow and Ron Paul at the first presidential debate, October 7, 2008

    "There is no good reason for the presidential debates to exclude anyone with enough ballot access to win. That's why I intend to boycott the next presidential debate unless the Commission on Presidential Debates extends invitations to Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party."
    -Senator Ron Paul in a press conference also attended by McKinney and Baldwin, October 11, 2008

    "This is nothing but a cynical ploy to try and poach votes from my campaign and I refuse to dignify my campaign by appearing alongside known cranks."
    -Senator John Edwards in response to Paul's demands, October 12, 2008

    "The beginning of problems for Edwards' campaign was his response to Paul demanding the Green and Constitution Parties be included in the presidential debates. While in the end the CPD did as Edwards demanded, Paul followed through on his ultimatum. Furthermore, the claims of Edwards were seen as illegitimate by many as a result of the fact Paul demanded Chuck Baldwin, who was ideologically much closer to Paul than Edwards, be included. Paul's efforts to stand up for third-party candidates helped strengthen his image as a man of the people targetting a corrupt establishment. And of course, it also helped that the aftermath of the second debate (a de facto Edwards townhall that was televised) was the emergence of a scandal."
    -Chaos on the Campaign Trail: 2000-2020 by Nate Silver, published 2023

    "I want to be clear: the claims of Miss Hunter that I fathered a child with her are nothing more than a false, malicious smear. I will admit to the fact I carried on an affair with Miss Hunter-an act I deeply and sincerely regret. However, at this time, I do not intend to drop out from the presidential race as I believe it is imperative that we elect someone other than Senator Paul who I fear will lead the US into a new Great Depression."
    -Senator John Edwards in a press conference, October 21, 2008

    "Goddamn it, John, you're going to cost us everything!"
    -David Bonior in a phone call to John Edwards, October 21, 2008

    POLLING SHOWS MASSIVE DROP IN SUPPORT FOR EDWARDS FOLLOWING REVELATION OF AFFAIRS

    THIRD PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TO INCLUDE MCKINNEY AND BALDWIN

    THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATES, EDWARDS FLOUNDER IN THIRD DEBATE AS PAUL OUTPERFORMS EXPECTATIONS

    RON PAUL RALLY IN SAN FRANCISCO DRAWS 9,000 ATTENDEES

    GOING INTO ELECTION NIGHT, PAUL FAVORED TO WIN POPULAR VOTE, ELECTORAL COLLEGE REMAINS TOO CLOSE TO CALL
    -Headlines of The Hill, October-November 2008

    "Of course, the election was a major disappointment to me. Even though John was relatively cold to me personally (as understandable as it is regrettable), at the end of the day he was someone who appreciated the necessity of what we were doing. That I did not seek to wage wars for no reason, but I fought to protect American lives. That I was pushing for bailouts not because I was a corporate puppet, but because I knew we needed to stabilize the economy-and it's worth noting that for all the condemnation President Paul made towards me after the fact, he never did undo them once my signature was on them. To see someone like Senator Paul win the White House stung quite a bit-it was perhaps the biggest rebuke I could have been given short of electing a Nazi. Still, despite everything, I stand by what I did. My administration and the people in it did the right thing. I still believe that."
    -Former President Joe Lieberman in his autobiography An Amazing Adventure, published in 2014

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    Final Thoughts
  • I know it's been a bit. But I had a few infoboxes left, just didn't have the willpower to make more of them or come up with too many details.

    President Paul governs similar to how you might expect-he pulls troops out from overseas, audits the Fed and tries to cut the budget. "Tries" is the operative word here as Congress overrules him for the most part. The Republicans lose the Senate in 2010 and hold the House only by a narrow margin. OMB Director Sanford is forced to resign after his affair is exposed and Thiel goes the same way after some of his more reactionary writings resurface.

    Paul Cabinet.png

    However, the divide between progressives and the Democratic leadership widens. Former Senator Paul Wellstone serves as the main challenger to NYC Mayor Hillary Clinton in 2012's Democratic primaries. Clinton manages to clinch the nomination with superdelegates despite a popular vote loss. Clinton additionally further angers progressives by picking ex-Republican Norm Coleman as her running mate in a bid to woo neoconservatives and moderates alienated by Paul's hardline libertarianism. However, this pushes an angry Russ Feingold to demand #JusticeForWellstone and he defects to the Greens, who manage to do well enough to make Paul the victor (aided by the fact the recession does in fact begin to let up just before the election).
    2012 Election.png

    Paul's second term proceeds similarly to his first, albeit with better economic status and an approval rating of 45% to 41% disapproval instead of those numbers being flipped circa 2011. Paul has a major health scare in 2014 that, while the president survives, does bolster the Republicans in 2014's midterms. In 2015, Iraq implodes into sectarian violence and Paul declines to do anything besides approve an expansion of the US refugee program. 2016 sees a vicious fracas erupt between Vice President Crist, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Arizona Governor Jeff Flake and Senator Bob Conley. In the end, the Republicans nominate a Conley/Flake ticket. Meanwhile, the Democrats nominate young Texas Senator Julian Castro and former Senator Tipper Gore. Castro/Gore manages to beat Conley/Flake thanks to making inroads into the South.

    Castro launches a humanitarian intervention into Iraq during his term and pushes a healthcare plan through Congress (the plan in essence being Obamacare combined with universal catastrophic coverage and some additional Medicare and Medicaid expansion). Castro's election sparks a right-wing backlash that largely takes the form of nativist paleoconservatism. Republicans, thanks to this momentum, regain the House and Senate in 2018. The 2020 cycle sees Castro easily renominated (Having threaded the Lieberman vs. Feingold needle well enough to avoid serious challengers). The Republican side is considerably messier, with the libertarians, moderates and paleoconservatives all duking it out. In the end, a libertarian-moderate alliance manages to get a ticket consisting of Indiana Governor Rupert Boneham (the winner of two seasons of Survivor) and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. The enraged paleocons decide to nominate Senator Steve King of Iowa and former Representative Alex Jones of Texas on the Constitution Party byline. Initial hopes of Castro coasting to victory over a split opposition fade a bit when Boneham begins picking up steam as King proceeds to be troublesome, but in the end, Castro emerges triumphant.

    Castro's second term goes a bit more poorly as the economy dips, Secretary of State Bob Menendez gets indicted and an incident involving a Russian passenger plane makes everyone scared a nuclear war is about to happen for a hot minute. The 2024 election sees Vice President Gore, over 2 decades after her husband was killed, clinch the nomination and she selects Illinois Governor Rahm Emanuel as her running mate. Meanwhile, the libertarian-moderate hope Governor Carl DeMaio walks into Toledo with a plurality of delegates, but a brokered convention sees Utah Senator Mike Lee get the nomination, with West Virginia Governor Richard Ojeda as his running mate. Lee/Ojeda wins in 2024.
     
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