Rock Against Bush was a project mobilizing skate punk and pop punk musicians against the 2004 U.S. Presidential campaign of George W. Bush. It was inspired by the idea of creating a vibe of anti-war and pro-peace sentiment, similar to the Woodstock Festival of 1969.
The effort was initiated by Fat Mike (Michael Burkett) of the band NOFX, inspired by the Rock Against Reagan campaign of the early 1980s. It has included live concerts, a series of compilation albums, and is associated with the Punkvoter website. Its goal was to encourage people, especially punk fans, to register to vote and to oppose Bush. The album proceeds were used to support a 2004 concert tour and an associated voter registration drive, emphasizing the swing states. The effort did not achieve its goal, as John Kerry was defeated. The albums have been issued by the Fat Wreck Chords label, which focuses on skate and pop punk artists, so most of the songs are by similar themed bands. In addition to NOFX, performers include Descendents, Flogging Molly, The Offspring, Rise Against, Pennywise, Anti-Flag, Against Me!, Green Day, Sum 41, The World/Inferno Friendship Society, The Epoxies, Autopilot Off and many others. Both a CD and a DVD were included, the latter containing documentaries critical of Bush, music videos, and comedy. The effort inspired Australian punk bands to start Rock Against Howard.
Rock Against Bush and Punkvoter received criticism from diverse groups and individuals. The liner notes of the albums included liberal talking points against Bush. Supporters of George W. Bush and others criticised the movement, while a similar (but more obscure) project was started by conservative punks, called Crush Kerry. In addition, some more radical punks (and anarchists especially) criticized the emphasis on electoral politics, as well as the virtual endorsement of John Kerry, who some believed was almost (if not) as bad as George W. Bush. The band Propagandhi decided not to participate when Fat Mike requested they change the lyrics of the song they wished to contribute, which were critical of George Soros. T-shirts were printed, depicting Fat Mike with the text "Not My Political Advisor", as a parody of the "Not My President" shirts that depicted Bush, issued by Fat Mike. Fat Mike himself stated he found this to be "pretty funny".