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What do liberals think of John Kerry?

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  • What do liberals think of John Kerry?

    A few weeks ago Howard Dean's lead in the polls was considered so large that most of the other candidates were written off. When Dean's campaign imploded after his bizarre post-Iowa performance, he quickly faded from the limelight. Kerry wasn't even one of the front runners at this time, but for whatever reason he became the nominee almost without a debate.

    As a Republican, I am a mere spectator of the process of selecting the Democratic candidate. I'm now hearing from multiple sources that a lot of Democrats and liberals are fairly upset that Kerry ended up with the nomination.

    Dean's campaign was largely fueled by his internet fundraising and by a very active and vocal youth turnout. College campus activists for the most part. Dean appealed to them because he ran as an "outsider" with fresh ideas and no history in the federal government. Kerry, by contrast, is the ultimate Washington insider and has spent the majority of his adult life as a politician in Washington D.C.. This seems to have had the effect of totally alienating the youth voters that dean courted.

    The US is currently preoccupied with foreign affairs and national security as these are the most important issues on the table for now. Kerry initially touted his Vietnam service record, but this too has become a major embarrassment for the Kerry campaign as more and more details emerge of his extreme-leftist activity after the war. This has alienated virtually the whole military against him, and that could be the political kiss of death considering the major issues America is currently facing.

    A lot of Democrats seem genuinely upset that Kerry will be the nominee. Many are already calling him unelectable, even though the sitting President is overwhelmingly unpopular with liberal voters.

    I'm curious what liberals have to say about all of this. Do you think Kerry is electable and how do you feel about the man? Do you think he would make a good war-time president and why? Considering his past history, how would he possibly be able to command the respect of the armed forces? What about his voting record?

  • #2
    Here is just one example of the stuff circulating now.

    Kerry Voters May Suffer Buyer's Remorse
    by Paul Crespo

    After weeks of unusually positive press, Americans are getting a clearer picture of the presumptive Democratic nominee, John Forbes Kerry. And it's not such a pretty picture after all. As Kirk Victor of the National Journal magazine noted, "Kerry's Democratic rivals never seriously attacked him, allowing him to emerge virtually unscathed with the nomination. Now that he is the nominee, however, Kerry's free pass has expired..."
    Historically, the give and take of the nomination process allows voters to see what they are buying. This did not happen with Kerry. As Americans get a chance to examine their new purchase. Kerry's negatives grow stronger every day.

    Democratic activists, who months ago had rightly written off Kerry as too boring and too liberal, suddenly rediscovered the Vietnam "war hero" as the emotionally unhinged Howard Dean imploded in Iowa. Needing an “electable” nominee, the Democratic machine, aided by the Iowa Democratic voters and the mainstream media, immediately switched to the Kerry camp with virtually no thought. This moved him to front runner status nearly overnight.

    Had Kerry not mortgaged his second multi-millionaire wife's home to the tune of $6 million in December to make a loan to his campaign (another controversial issue), he might not even be the nominee now. Some Democrats now think their party should have done more due diligence on Kerry before jumping pell-mell on his bandwagon. Others may be having “buyer’s remorse.”

    In one Miami radio debate in which I participated a month ago, hispanic Democratic pollster, Sergio Benedixen, launched into his remarks with guns blazing, endlessly repeating Kerry's "war hero" mantra, using the term a half dozen times in so many minutes. Appealing to the conservative Cuban American community, he added that with Kerry “the war hero” as the Democratic nominee Republicans could no longer claim Democrats were soft on communism and national security.

    He seemed genuinely taken aback when I quickly challenged that assertion by noting Kerry's extensive involvement in the leftist anti-war movement. Many Vietnam veterans felt betrayed by Kerry’s group -- the Vietnam Veterans Against the War -- believing that these protesters were traitors who helped demoralize US and South Vietnamese forces prior to the conquest of South Vietnam. To those veterans Kerry and his group greatly aided the North Vietnamese enemy achieve victory, ensuring that our soldiers died in vain.

    And as details of Kerry’s four brief months in Vietnam emerged, including the three minor "scratches" he received that earned him the three Purple Hearts medals he used to leave Vietnam eight months early, much of his “war hero” shine began to fade.

    Meanwhile photos of the cover of Kerry’s 1971 book, "The New Soldier," which displays long-haired, bearded “veterans” carrying an upside-down American flag mocking the famous raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima by the US Marines during World War II, only highlighted Kerry’s disdain for the uniform he wore.

    This disdain was reinforced by the incident where Kerry, during an anti-war protest, threw either his medals -- or someone else’s medals -- over the fence at the US Capitol in a public show of disgust with his military service. Later, after he was elected to the US Senate, his medals -- or someone else’s medals -- hypocritically reappeared proudly on his office wall.

    In his book, Kerry also downplayed any threat posed by the Communist government of North Vietnam and instead charged that American soldiers in Vietnam "were killing women and children" and helping to create "a nation of refugees, bomb craters, amputees, orphans, widows, and prostitutes."

    And in testimony before the Congress, Kerry quoted numerous “veterans” who told tales of widespread atrocities by US forces in Vietnam. Sadly, many of the so-called veterans proved to be frauds, and the claims of atrocities wildly exaggerated or outright fabricated. We have since heard much less of Kerry “the war hero.”

    Photos of Kerry with Jane Fonda and other prominent anti-American leftists along with Kerry's photo shaking hands with Nicaragua’s communist dictator Daniel Ortega have only added to the image of Kerry as an out-of-the-mainstream leftist.

    Meanwhile Kerry’s current wife, Teresa Heinz’s strong ties to numerous extreme left organizations, such as the Tides Foundation, have also surfaced. And more people are talking about one of Kerry’s biggest liabilities: his arrogance, pomposity and foul mouth which add to his likeability problem.

    This was vividly underscored recently when Kerry referred to the Secret Service agent who accidentally collided with him on the ski slopes at his wife's winter retreat in Idaho as the “son of a bitch” who knocked him over. Kerry should be reminded that the SOB in question is charged with taking a bullet for him if necessary.

    All these issues, combined with Kerry’s Senate record, which the respected, non-partisan Washington magazine, National Journal, rates as the most liberal in the Senate -- may make Kerry a lot less "electable" than previously thought. Soon many Democrats may be asking of Kerry: “Can we get a refund?”


    • #3
      Don, I'm not sure if I would take Paul Crespo's article as a clean picture of the liberal view of Kerry.

      As to Howard Dean, I think his lead and his ultimate place within the minds of Democratic voters wasn't so much a catastrophe of one particular outburst, but the bursting of the illusion caused by all the hype. I had the feeling from the get go that Dean's campaign was much like the Michael Jackson case in that the interest was really just a bunch of gossip, shock, anger, and amazement, but when it came down to electing Dean, those aspects didn't translate into votes. Like Jacko, people talk and talk about his case, but ultimately no one cares. It's spectacle. Obviously Dean carried the voice of the young vote, but I don't think college rallies and youth enthusiasm translates 1-for-1 into votes.

      I realize many people do, but I don't have a problem with Kerry's Vietnam stance. Granted, some of his ideas at the time were and still are viewed as radical and history has shown that some things he said were erronous, but much of his advice to the American people concerning Vietnam was never acted upon and so it is difficult to judge the value of his proposals. I don't agree with statements that "all" US soldiers were rapists, etc, but neither did he. I've watched the reairing of his testimony and his speeches and his appearances on talk shows during the early 70s. Call it idealism. But I find his critique of the war realistic. I'm not going to defend all his principles on the matter, because there are some I don't agree with.

      I am not a "support the troops" person (granted my opinion probably doesn't count for much in this field since I'm no vet). However, a war carried out by inhumane and illegal methods reflects upon everyone from the C-in-C to the stock boy loading coca-cola in the GI's rec room. It also reflects upon the society willing to tolerate it. Returning from Vietnam and saying that war crimes were common practice is justifiable in my opinion. It's fruitless to blame each and every soldier, but it is justifiable to say that each and every soldier shares the collective guilt. And I think that was Kerry's message. It's a contentious issue for certain. There was an exhibit in Germany (it is still going on), that outlined the Wehrmacht participation in WWII attrocities. It pissed off a lot of people because for so long, the intentional, state-mandated attrocities were attributed to the SS and the ersatzgruppen.

      I've also heard conservatives and liberals alike bring up the Committee he chaired on the status of Vietnam vets in the early 90s. He's blamed for "abandoning the vets." But that's silly, given that the committee's report came almost 20 years after the war.

      I'm still sorting through Kerry's past, but overall I think he's very electable. I'm not happy with his recent tax revamp proposal, but I don't have to like everything. I understand the necessity to come up with an easy to illustrate method for keeping jobs in America, but I think this method is counter productive.

      I also look forward to a normalizing of world opinion about our country. I heard Bush say last week that "never will I outsource American national security to world opinion." That would be a ligitimate statement were it not for the fact that Iraq had next to nothing to do with our national security. That statement certainly cannot apply to Afghanistan.

      I am wondering about what Kerry will do if he inherits Iraq and the War on Terror(ism). Bush made a stab at Kerry during the same previously mentioned speech disagreeing with Kerry's statement that the War on Terrorism is primarily an intelligence issue. Madrid was certainly an intelligence issue. As was Iraq, if we are to believe their excuses that the WMD and terrorist claims prior to the war can be blamed on faulty intelligence that was the best they had at the time.

      It is extremely important that Kerry takes the high-road even suffering the black eyes the Bush campaign WILL give him. If he loses a group here or there, he can still win. He'll certainly lose if Bush can succeed in reinvigorating voter apathy by turning the Presidential race into something no one wants to watch because of all the spin, the mud and the lies.

      I'm honestly also interested in what average Joe Republicans think of Bush. Too much of Bush's promotion comes from the mouths of the die-hards.

      On a side note, I'm very much looking forward to the debates. My prediction is that Kerry is going to eat Bush alive.
      Even Jesus will never forgive what you do - Bob Dylan


      • #4
        I am a Libertarian, so like Don I am a spectator.

        I think Kerry suffers from the problem any long time congressman will suffer. Too many votes on both sides of the issues. The opposition will always bring this up as having no stance, but it is more a reflection of how partisian politics are played.


        • #5
          Originally posted by BigDog
          I am a Libertarian, so like Don I am a spectator.

          I think Kerry suffers from the problem any long time congressman will suffer. Too many votes on both sides of the issues. The opposition will always bring this up as having no stance, but it is more a reflection of how partisian politics are played.
          Yea, that's my opinion on the voting issues as well. Krugman had an article (or was it Herbert...well, one of them from the NYTimes anyway) examining the claims against Kerry's see-saw voting. And there was a particularly good article in the Economist two weeks back about this. I'll see if I can find either of them and post them here.
          Even Jesus will never forgive what you do - Bob Dylan


          • #6
            As Tim McBride would say, choosing between Kerry and Bush is like choosing between going off a cliff at 50mph or 75mph. With Bush, death is quicker. However, Kerry might give you alittle time to pray.

            Kerry appears to be very electable. The economy appears to be more important to Americans than the war in Iraq. Bush's decision to run as "war president" could be costing him domestically. Even Republicans criticized his State of the Union Speech which focused more on responding to Democratic canidate's criticism of his national security policies than the economy.

            I have little faith in either Bush's or Kerry's economic plans. Bush seems reluctant to show greater restraint in fiscal spending. Kerry is playing heavily on corporate tax cuts, which he hopes will stop jobs from going overseas. I doubt that.

            On National security, Bush stands out ahead of Kerry. He has stood up to most of the world to defend what he saw as "America's vital interest." It drew him much criticism and likely damaged America's global position. Yet, it was, and continues to be the source of support. Bush's blunt attitude, and simplistic nature makes him appear more honest and sincere to Americans. Kerry just seems to be saying what politicans say when they want your votes.

            For me, it is a loose-loose situation. Bush has pissed me off to no ends. He is a narrow-minded moron who's last indepth thought probably was the book report he did on "The Little Engine That Could." (Daddy Bush told little George it was oil that gave the engine the strength, not a strong mind-made him feel better.) I think he over-simplifies the world just because he lacks the ability or the desire to understand it, thus placing him in fantasy land.

            Yet, despite all this, Bush is better than Kerry when it comes to National Security. I believe Kerry is equally unrealistic as to the sincerity of internationalism. He'll likely walk in with the same kind of attitude of Clinton, which blindly committed the military to Somalia, leaving the details to the UN, who basically got stupid real quick. Bush is close to exhausting international support for America's war on terrorism (from a political standpoint, not in reference to laws etc.). While I feel he lacks the intelligence to recover the situation, Kerry's solution of trying to turn back time through abandonment, is probably the worse of two evils. (I don't believe Kerry will withdraw from Iraq. However, he will almost certainly intensify efforts to accelerate disengagement relying on America's position in the region to handle possible repercussions.)

            I am still trying to decide exactly how I want to jump off the cliff. I don't want to spend alot of time anticipating that final moment. Yet, I am a man who's committed many sins, and can use all the time possible to beg for forgiveness.

            I am beginning to understand how Iranians felt when they were given ballots filled with people who clearly did not support their views. To their credit, they voted to reaffirm the importance of the election process, even if they didn't like the choices. I have no love for Bush or Kerry. Either way, when I'm finished voting, I'll feel like I put another bullet in America's head.
            "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942


            • #7
              Originally posted by Menschenfresser
              And there was a particularly good article in the Economist two weeks back about this. I'll see if I can find either of them and post them here.
              Here's the article:

              John Kerry, flip-flopper?

              Mar 25th 2004
              From The Economist print edition

              One accusation that ought not to stick

              THE Bush campaign has begun a 90-day media blitz to define John Kerry as a serial waffler, bet-hedger and panderer. They are having a whale of a time. On the Republican National Committee's website, you can play an interactive boxing match: Kerry v Kerry. Click a glove. Pow! He's for gay marriage (the site gives details of his position). Click again. Zap! He's against gay marriage (contradictory details). And so on for 30 rounds, each an example of Mr Kerry supposedly on both sides of every issue.

              The assault is having an effect, or was before Richard Clarke's book embarrassed the president. Mr Kerry has lost both his poll lead and the aura of triumph from his party's primaries. In that sense, the campaign against him is already working. But is it true? Is Mr Kerry really incoherent and expedient? And if he is, what does that tell you about the sort of president he might be?

              Start by conceding that a certain amount of flip-flopping is inevitable in “the art of the possible”. For example, what would you call someone who opposed setting up a Department of Homeland Security one minute and espoused the idea the next? Or who claimed to be a staunch free trader—right up to the moment he imposed illegal tariffs on imported steel? You'd call him George Bush.

              Sometimes, flip-flopping is even desirable. Mr Bush was transformed by the attacks of September 11th 2001 from a cold war great-power nationalist to the democratiser of the Arab world (though with little to show for it so far). Some of America's most successful presidents—Franklin Roosevelt and Eisenhower, for instance—were accused of having no fixed moorings and of endless tactical flexibility.

              So the proper question is not, has Mr Kerry changed his mind? It is, has he done it so often that he is just a weather-vane? And the answer must be no. True, there is a long list of issues on which he has changed his tune. But many of these fall into one of two categories where changes of mind ought to be regarded as commendable or at least understandable.

              The first category embraces issues on which he changed for the better. In 1988, Mr Kerry voted against a proposal requiring welfare recipients to work a few hours a week. In 1996, he voted in favour of a welfare reform imposing far stricter work requirements. This was inconsistent. It was also justified. The 1996 welfare reform was one of the great successes of the Clinton presidency. Similarly, Mr Kerry used to oppose the idea of expensing stock options, arguing that to do so would hurt high-tech start-ups. But after the stockmarket bust, and as evidence grew that unexpensed options caused market distortions, he altered his line. As John Maynard Keynes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

              The second and larger category consists of Senate votes that look contradictory taken out of context, but make sense once the context is added. Many Senate bills exist in similar drafts, and the final version frequently includes obnoxious provisions that have nothing to do with the substance of the bill itself. Senators then face an unenviable choice. Do they back the bill, with the extra provision they would otherwise have opposed? Or do they vote against a bill they support? No wonder no sitting senator has won the presidency since Kennedy. With 19 years of such nuanced votes to account for, Mr Kerry is especially vulnerable.

              His idiotic statement about the $87 billion Iraqi reconstruction package—that he voted for it before he voted against it—reflects such problems: it accurately describes how he voted on different versions of the bill. He also endorsed ending the double taxation of dividends as part of a wider tax reform, but voted against it as part of a tax cut. Inconsistent, but understandable.

              Such problems are awkward for all senators. In Mr Kerry's case, they are compounded by a tension between the needs of representing liberal Massachusetts and his own, sometimes more hawkish, views on matters such as national security and welfare reform.

              Resolve v realism
              Of course, not all his flip-flops can be explained away. To different audiences, he has supported and criticised Israel's security fence. He voted for the Iraq war resolution, criticised the manner in which Mr Bush went to war, and refused to say whether he thinks the action was, on balance, justified. He has abandoned some brave stances against Democratic dogma—such as supporting Social Security reform or earlier challenges to restrictive practices by teachers' unions.

              So his record contains inconsistencies. But these are individual failures. They do not add up to any fundamental incoherence of political philosophy. In that sense, the main charge against Mr Kerry is false.

              To the Bush team, that is irrelevant. They are not concerned about the substance of Mr Kerry's views. Indeed, when they do turn to substance later this year, they will almost certainly criticise him not for inconsistency, but for the opposite: for being consistently liberal. The attack on “flip-flopping” is really about image: a vacillating Mr Kerry highlights the president's image as a man of immovable resolve at a time of national danger.

              Yet, almost inadvertently, this debate over image and inconsistency tells you something profound about the candidates. When Mr Bush reverses himself (in abandoning his promise to run a “humble” foreign policy, for instance) he does so boldly, almost spectacularly. There is no attempt to explain the shift. One set of principles succeeds another, as if the earlier views never existed. Mr Kerry's reversals, on the other hand, are products of subtly shifting nuance as he tries, and fails, to strike a balance between competing views. The one approach shows resolution, and a tendency to exaggeration; the other, a tendency to waffle, but also a grasp of how complicated political realities can be.
              Even Jesus will never forgive what you do - Bob Dylan


              • #8
                First, I don't take Crespo's article as representative of what liberals are thinking. I just threw that out there because I found it interesting and it is related to what we are talking about. But I know what you mean.

                I agree on Dean. He was a fool to court the youth vote to the exclusion of others because no one is ever going to be elected president based on that. Doing so also frequently makes a candidate look frivolous and hard for older voters to take seriously. His campaign didn't come apart because of his famous "scream," it came apart because much of what he was saying mystified both liberals and conservatives. Dean tried to run as an outsider and was quite critical of the sitting Democrats as well. You can't make enemies on both sides of the fence and expect to get anywhere in Washington. That's not the way the game is played and I think Dean learned a bitter lesson. Unfortunately for him, you pretty much only get one serious shot at the presidency and his has been used up.

                I am not a "support the troops" person...
                So exactly where does that leave you? I thought some of the military operations the US armed forces have been involved with in recent years have been mistakes, or at least politically unclear (which often adds up to the same thing). I thought Somalia was a mistake. Bosnia and Kosovo went on way too long, and I'm still not sure I even understand why we went to Haiti (whatever the reason it was a waste of time). Nevertheless, soldiers don't get a choice in the matter. They volunteer to obey the orders of the representatives the people elect. If you don't "support" the troops, I'm not sure what exactly you are saying. I just find this statement curious.

                I am wondering about what Kerry will do if he inherits Iraq and the War on Terror(ism).
                I'm not picking on you, but I find this to be an incredible position, and one that many liberals seem to share. We're spending billions of dollars on national security and this would be true even if Iraq never happened. This has a direct effect on the stock market and our economy as a whole. So when people ask which is more important, the economy or the war on terror, I'm astounded that some say the economy. The two are indirectly linked in so many ways it's hard to separate them. So I think it's fair to say that national security issues easily outweigh the differences the two candidates have on economic issues. My problem with this mentality is that you're willing to put our common national security in the hands of a man whom you freely admit doesn't even have a plan?

                This is Kerry's biggest weakness (and he has some huge ones). He hasn't laid out a plan for much of anything yet. The things he has taken a stand on he does a flip-flop within days. Kerry got a pass during the democratic debates but his pass is now expired. At some point he is going to have to come forward and put solid ideas on the table if he is going to have any chance at all of being taken seriously. So far his advisors have been unwilling to allow him to speak openly about what his own ideas are. His campaign so far has consisted of attacking everything Bush has done. But Americans aren't that unsophisticated and they will soon demand more than rhetoric.

                One of the reasons liberals hate Bush so much is that he is so blunt spoken. There are times where this can work against you, but a campaign isn't typically one of the. Bush has a gigantic edge here in that he can clearly and openly state what he believes, and he can use his track record as president to show people what he stands for. Kerry has the same problem that all challengers have in that it's hard for him to demonstrate anything. He can only talk, he can't actually do anything. The incumbent can. Bush can react to Kerry's criticisms by signing bills and making things happen and then say "look what I did." He also is a known quantity while we don't know for certain how Kerry would act while in office.

                Kerry has a fairly pronounced image problem even among his peers. He is not well liked within Democratic circles as he is known for having an imperious attitude and a sharp tongue. His voting record is even more liberal than Ted Kennedy's, but it is his waffling attitude toward the war on terror and Iraq that will eventually do him in. Not everyone likes what Bush has done but at least they know what he stands for.

                In the coming months look for Bush to use Kerry's own voting record as a sledgehammer against him. Kerry voted against every single military weapons program in the last ten years and sponsored a bill that would have cut huge chunks out of America's various intelligence agencies. Coupled with his radical stance on Vietnam War issues, he may very well be in a hole so deep he will never climb out of it.

                I agree that the debates are going to paint a very clear contrast for American voters, but despite his reputation for "nuance," I think Kerry is going to go into those debates will some massive disadvantages. First, Bush can say I have:

                a. Osama on the run.
                b. Killed or captured many senior al Qaeda leaders.
                c. Wrecked the Republican Guard and captured Saddam Hussein.
                d. Toppled the Taliban.
                e. Created the Department of Homeland Security.

                Even liberal strategists are conceding in private that it's going to be terribly difficult for Kerry to counter these accomplishments since he fought against all of them to some extent. What's he going to say?

                a. I would have deployed even more troops to Afghanistan to capture Osama?
                b. I would have killed the al Qaeda leaders twice?
                c. Left Saddam Hussein in power?
                d. Done something else with the Taliban?
                e. Not create the Department of Homeland Security?

                Democratic strategists are terrified of looking weak on crime and national security because they know Republicans have a solid reputation among voters on these issues and they have taken a beating on them in the past. So Kerry simply must present a hard-nosed plan on national security at some point. How can he do that and attack Bush's plan at the same time? Very difficult to say the least. Kerry has also boxed himself into a corner because he voted to support the invasion of Iraq. He'll get a little bit of wiggle room and leeway from the press on these issues, but not much.

                Is Kerry electable? Yes, but what he really needs is for something terrible to happen to give him a boost. This is what concerns Democratic strategists the most. Because of some of the actions and votes of their candidates, they have set themselves up as the party that benefits when bad things happen to America. Kerry needs to offer something a lot more positive and concrete if he hopes to knock off the Bush administration.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Don Maddox
                  So exactly where does that leave you?
                  That came off understated, sorry. It's been my experience that many people end up being defacto supporters of any military campaign because their boys or their friend's boys are on the ground in harm's way. I only meant to say that for myself, that's not the case. It leaves me being able to examine the larger aspects of a military operation and call it a complete fiasco without being duplicitous. I've really involved myself in looking over Kerry's post-Vietnam activity and much of the criticism thrown at him came from those whose position was essentially, "What you're saying is traitorous to our boys over there. Yes, there's problems in Vietnam, but it's the politicians screwing it up." The logic boils down to a passive or indirect affirmation of the war because you cannot not support the troops.

                  When a President sends in the troops, it must be taken as a given that (n)soldiers will die. If military operations are an extension of politics, then we must judge these things based upon their aims and legitimacy...not the men on the ground.

                  The statement was curious given out of the contextual things going through my mind at the time. I simply meant that I support troops if the cause is just because we all have to draw the line somewhere; otherwise, hypothetically, we could end up supporting our own uniformed mass murders.

                  I'm not picking on you, but I find this to be an incredible position, and one that many liberals seem to share. We're spending billions of dollars on national security and this would be true even if Iraq never happened. This has a direct effect on the stock market and our economy as a whole. So when people ask which is more important, the economy or the war on terror, I'm astounded that some say the economy. The two are indirectly linked in so many ways it's hard to separate them. So I think it's fair to say that national security issues easily outweigh the differences the two candidates have on economic issues. My problem with this mentality is that you're willing to put our common national security in the hands of a man whom you freely admit doesn't even have a plan?
                  I understand what your beef is, but I'm not sure how that relates to my statement. I'm simply wondering if Kerry will enact a remarkable diversion from Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld doctrine. You can't tell me that these guys haven't put on the table some of the most drastic revamping of our military and strategic positioning since WWII.

                  Kerry inherits Iraq whether he voted on it or not, whether he likes it or not. What does he do? Granted, that is why I said, I'm still very much in the research phase of formulating my opinion. I agree, Kerry's weakness is the lack of a firm stance on many subjects. In many cases, I think it's more of an inability to admit there's one focused solution. I like that aspect about him. I like that he's willing to deal with the nitty-gritty. That's reality. Politicians try to seem infallible and play like their one-liners solve everything, but we all know it's not true. It's just that we're such idiots as to make decisions on how close to a third grade level they come in their presentation.

                  I'm not an advocate of economy over national security. They are, like everything that big, linked, but not so much that you can't consider them on their own. We do pump hundreds of billions into the war machine, but that doesn't mean we need to keep doing it. Will moving a third of the defense budget into other sectors of the national budget, hurt the economy? I doubt it.

                  I agree that Bush being able to point at something he did will garner support, but that's only logical. And damn, he better be able to point to some accomplishments otherwise, why elect him? In reality, Kerry and Bush stand on the same footing. Kerry has nineteen years in the Senate and Bush 4 in the White House. It boils down to, most people think the country has seen better times. Bush can't rely too much on what he's done, because none of it sticks out as being all that fantastic. So they're both really just left offering proposals: "I promise to...."
                  Even Jesus will never forgive what you do - Bob Dylan


                  • #10
                    Good post M. Let me think on that.


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